Meet Alina Schumacher, a host of The Alina Show Podcast, who specializes in working with real estate agents who want to succeed faster without being overwhelmed. Today, she shares her accomplishments, secrets, and pieces of advice she has for her clients. Learn about the factors that had the strongest impact on her success, why it is important to differentiate yourself, and what impact technology has on her real estate business.
What You Will Learn About Real Estate Agent Coach – Alina Schumacher:
- What Alina Schumacher did prior to getting involved in real estate
- How she decided to start working in the field
- The factors that had the strongest impact on her success
- What helped her develop the necessary skills
- Alina’s book suggestions
- The 2 main resources that have helped her grow
- How her business looks like today
- Alina Schumacher’s ideal client
- The most common challenge her clients face and how she advises them
- The lesson of her lifetime
- What a bad advice is
- The importance of community events
- Why you should differentiate yourself
- The impact technology has on her business
- Find and connect with Alina Schumacher through her website
- How to get Alina’s book for free
Whenever you’re ready, here are a few ways we can help:
Work with me One-on-One
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- Become an Epic community member at The Epic Real Estate Investing Show
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- Grab my book, Epic Freedom ($1)
I frequently hear from people looking into investing in real estate for the first time, “How long is it going to take?” So much so, I wrote a short book about the 2 easiest and fastest strategies to a paycheck in real estate. You can grab a copy for $1 and I’ll pay the shipping – Click Here.
- Join our Badass Investor Program and be a Case Study
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- Also, check these out:
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Speaker 1: This is Theriault Media.
Alina Schumacher: But when you come home and your kids are in bed or you’re just not keeping up with simple things like doing laundry and getting your house in order and you just come home and you’re so exhausted you haven’t eaten all day. You’re living on coffee and donuts. You know what I mean? Your health is going into the tank and it’s literally like, that is the people that I feel like I have a better way for you. Literally, I do have a better way for you.
Matt Theriault: I am Matt Theriault, and welcome to today’s episode of Thought Leader’s Thursday.
All right. Okay, so today I’m joined by a certified high-performance coach, business and marketing consultant to real estate professionals, she’s the host of the Alina Show Podcast and the author of How to Get Listings and Dominate Your Market. She specializes in working with real estate agents who want to go faster without the overwhelm, the detours, and the burnout, and she does that by teaching them her proprietary market domination process, which enabled her to become the number one local realtor within two years of immigrating to Canada while homeschooling her three children. Someone of a superwoman and I’m glad to have her on the show. So please help me welcome to the show, Mrs. Alina Schumacher, to Epic Real Estate Investing. Welcome Alina
Alina: Thanks so much Matt, I appreciate it. Great.
Matt: I’m really glad to have you here. So, just a little precursor as we’re getting warmed up, we’re having some internet issues. So, if we notice that while during our conversation maybe we have to regroup, and come back around to ask the question again, and then we’ll do the best we can in editing, just FYI for those of you that are listening. But, I’m feeling optimistic, and so far so good.
Matt: All right. So, Alina, before we get into the show and what you’re doing today, what were you doing just prior to getting involved working in real estate?
Alina: I was a stay at home mom. We had literally just immigrated to Canada six months before the idea of going into real estate kind of presented itself to be. And, yeah, I was a wife, stay at home mom, homemaker, and just doing those kinds of things. They say just a mom, although you’re supposed to drop the just, right?
Matt: Right. That’s one of the hardest jobs in the world, they say.
Alina: All the other jobs exist actually to support the only job in the world.
Matt: Absolutely. Where did you immigrate from?
Alina: We moved here from Germany actually, but I was originally born in Russia.
Matt: Okay. Good. And, being a realtor, you may work for a brokerage, and you’ve got a lot of support from certain organizations that you had worked for. It is very much an entrepreneurial endeavor, where did that come from for you? How does this become your first choice transitioning from mom to something else?
Alina: Oh my gosh, Matt, I never had any intentions. We moved to Canada so we could homeschool, I wanted to homeschool my kids more than anything. In Germany that’s prosecute, you go to jail for that.
Alina: Yeah. So we decided to literally uproot everything. We had a beautiful home in the country, we had it all. My husband had an awesome job. But, we decided to start from scratch. We moved to Canada, and we bought a house through someone who I felt like really, really cared and went the extra mile for us, and I was just referring business to him. And before that, I used to do side jobs. I was selling Tupperware for a while, I did wedding cakes for people, wedding decoration, just whatever fun because I just enjoyed doing that. I am an entrepreneur, I can’t deny it. So this guy says to me, “Well you’re constantly sending business to me, why don’t you just get your license and at least I can pay you?” And I’m like, what? I barely speak English. English is my fourth language. And so, yeah, long story short I decided let’s pursue it, let’s see what happens, and if I make it through the exams maybe it’s meant to be, maybe it can just be a side job. Maybe I can do this on the weekends when my hubby is home, and whatever. And that never happened. And yeah, long story short, two years later I was the number one in the entire area, and my husband had to actually quit his business, and come support me, and help me to teach the kids because we had to make a decision, you can’t do both.
Matt: Right. That’s great. So in two years, you’re able to accomplish this. Our show is greatly around real estate investing, second is around real estate entrepreneurs. I’ve always said that when you say you do real estate everyone just assumes you’re a real estate agent and having been both, I’ve been an agent, I was an agent for four years, four and a half years, and I’ve been an investor for over a decade, I know the differences, and I know there’s not a lot of similarities, there’s not a lot of overlap. They’re two very distinct things. But, the one thing that they do both have in common is generating business and generating leads, talking to people, and making those conversions into contracts, whether that’s a purchase agreement or a listing agreement. So, to go from zero to number one in your market in just two years that’s pretty remarkable. So, looking back on that what would you say were the biggest factors, what had the most impact for you to be able to do that so quickly?
Alina: Number one, probably finding my niche. People would know me … I was everywhere. Literally, I went to the real estate boot camp the moment I started, and I figured if I’m going to do this I’m going to be good at this because I don’t like to start things and just not do them well. So, I made it my business to know everything about everything in real estate. I went to every house, I’m new to this country, to this city, to this area we live in, so literally, I would drive down every street, try to understand what’s what, what’s where, understand the culture, understand the community, and so on. And, people started to know me as that German immigrant girl, and I looked like I had just barely graduated from high school. I was young, what can you possibly offer because you don’t even speak the language properly?
Matt: You still look like you just graduated from high school.
Alina: I am a grandmother. I have my third grandbaby on the way.
Matt: That’s right, you shared that with me. I thought it was amazing.
Alina: And so, basically what I did is I turned it around. What other people thought was my weakness, I don’t know anyone, I don’t speak the language, I have no business experience, and I basically started to truly advertise my connections abroad. I knew other people that were immigrating from Europe, and I started literally running wanted ads. After I started to really get to know the market really well, and prepare for opportunity, because you know, like John Wooden says, “When an opportunity comes it’s too late to prepare.” And so, I started to run direct response marketing ads where I would just say wanted, this and this, cash buyers from Europe, this particular location, have to have this certain size, blah, blah, blah. So, and it was the truth. So, people would invite me to do home evaluations for them, and this is where it’s easy to say well, you kind of lucked out. No, I didn’t, because if I hadn’t prepared I would have looked like a phony and people wouldn’t have to trust me. And if I hadn’t actually had the buyers people would have quickly, word would have spread she just makes it up. So, that was one thing.
The other thing I think that really, really gave me that competitive edge is I literally stumbled into this, and it’s personality based selling. Understanding human behavior, and understanding people’s motivators, and understanding their greatest pains based on their personality style, and then adjusting my personal communication style accordingly where I would intentionally and strategically alleviate people’s fears, and speak to their motivators. It’s very subtle, and it’s, I believe, it’s called ethical influence if you practice it correctly, and from the heart, as you’re supposed to. In sales, you’re supposed to actually care about people. And so, I believed that was a big one where I was able, even though I was so young, I was able to connect with people, build trust with them very, very quickly, where other people would just come across another typical sales person that’s just looking for today’s sale, and not looking to build a business that’s generating long term repeat and referral.
Matt: Right. Right. I totally agree with all of that and accept it as absolute truth because it’s very similar to what produces success in the real estate investing side. One thing that you had touched on is what most people consider a weakness, not speaking the language, being very young. A lot of people give up and accept those as truths and make excuses to never even get started. You recognized where your strengths were, and you found your niche, and you went all in there. So, I think that’s really important. I think that anyone in any industry can learn something from that for sure. And the big part that we have most in common is are the people skills. Whether you’re looking for a listing, or you’re looking to help a distressed seller and purchase their property quickly, you’ve got to build the rapport. You’ve got to understand their personality, you’ve got to create that connection, and you’ve got to find out what’s ailing them and then propose the solution that’s going to fix it. And, I like what you said, ethical influence. I think that’s a powerful way to put it. Did that come naturally to you, or did you learn that from somewhere?
Alina: Well, two things. If you’re familiar with the Enneagram, I’m a number two. I’m a befriender and a helper.
Matt: What is that?
Alina: The Enneagram.
Matt: Enneagram? Okay.
Alina: If you’re not familiar-
Matt: It’s a personality test type of thing?
Alina: It’s not personality testing, it’s more of an understanding what drives you, your motivators, understanding who you are and why you are the way you are, but then not getting stuck there. It’s not about labeling a person, but it’s actually really empowering you to then take what you have and make it better. And there’s nine personality styles, different … I don’t want to call them personality styles. You know what, literally go pick up the book from Ian Cron The Road Back To You. He has an awesome podcast as well, changed my life. But anyways, that would be one thing probably that I’m naturally a people person, but definitely, have a bit of an advantage. I’m a disc guy, I’m a high S with a bit of D, not a lot of D, but a lot of S. So I’m kind of people-oriented, but I’m also really good with the details. So I think it was probably one thing, but discovering that and really putting a name to it, and starting to use it more strategically became with just a lucky Google search.
Honestly, I was in the very beginning of my career, and I was just googling how to get more listings, and there was this side ad on Google that popped up by Dr. Tony Alessandra, the Platinum Rule, and if you haven’t read that book it’s awesome as well. It’s very similar to the Disc Personality, just with different names and whatever. But, in the beginning, I would have assumed everyone is a certain way, and I’m just this nice person who wants to be everybody’s friend. When I started to put a name to it and understand strategies, how people are different, how some people are more closed when it comes to expressing their opinions, and how people are more task-oriented, or more direct, or more indirect, I started to understand people so much more differently. And, the empowering thing is you don’t feel offended anymore when somebody just brushes you off just because they’re very direct, or if somebody says, “Hey, I need to sleep on this.”
You don’t need a strategy to overcome the objection, you literally just let them sleep on it because that’s the kind of personality they are. And if you push them you’re basically repelling them. But if you ask them strategically the right kinds of questions and you know how to follow up the next day, you’re golden and you get the referral.
Matt: That’s great. You and I, we met in a fairly high-end mastermind group, and we sat next to each other accidentally two days in a row. And, as I got to know you I really started to connect with you in a sense that I saw a lot of similarities. I think we’re both very resourceful, we don’t accept no for an answer, as the weakness thing. We know we got strengths somewhere else that are very valuable in another way. And, I think the other thing we have in common is we both invest a lot in education, we invest a lot in ourselves, we’re both students of our crafts, students of our game. Am I right there?
Alina: Yes sir. Absolutely.
Matt: Yeah. Totally. And, money is not an object if it’s going to produce an ROI, even if it’s an intangible ROI, I think you and I we have that in common, we both go for it. So, with all the education that you’ve consumed, what would you say is some of the most impactful things? What has had the most value to you? Is it a type of education, or a specific course? I don’t know, even if you have a question in there. Something I just noticed about you and I never shared that with you. But, can speak on that a little bit, on what has had the biggest impact, and what-
Alina: For sure. For sure. You know, it’s really funny, I was talking to a client this morning, to a coaching client, and she asked me the same thing. Obviously, and this was a strategy call, so she’s considering to coach with me, and she was asking me the qualifying questions, what makes you different? And obviously, sometimes there’s this big ticket. So it costs so much, and I’m focusing on this number. So, what about it? So, I brought to her, look I understand,
I understand the big number thing. In fact, right now, I do a lot of coaching, as a matter of fact, within the last probably four years, I spend a quarter million dollars just in personal development and coaching. And the interesting thing is a lot of that was spent on stuff that really did not serve me and taught me what not to do. I don’t know. Do you ever feel like that?
Matt: Yeah totally.
Alina: You get something, you sign up for something you like, okay, well, so this is one way I don’t want to do things or this is one way I don’t want to launch my product or to sell my stuff on market. Right? But then the mastermind group where you and I met, well, that’s one that really has been a godsend to me, right? Where I feel like, oh my gosh, everything is making so much more sense now because it’s so in line with what I want to do.
So to answer your question, the two probably main resources that have really helped me as a human being, would be my certification with Brendon Burchard as a certified high-performance coach. I just don’t think there is a lot of people out there like Brendon who can connect the heart and the mind and the soul so beautifully and truly express it, sort of it makes sense and you just want to hear more and you want to have that to be part of your life. And the other thing would be John Maxwell and I am a certified John Maxwell coach as well actually. First things I did back in 2012 when I started to spend money on personal development and John, same thing, leadership development and his classic question, right? What’s your plan for growth? Because if you don’t have a plan, well is next year really going to look any much different for you than what you’re doing right now?
If you’re just going all kinds of detours, instead of having a clear line, here’s where I’m starting, here’s where I’m going and here’s the plan, how to get there. So that message probably really spoke a lot to me, John Maxwell’s message on leadership and very strategic personal development.
Matt: Good. Thanks for sharing that.
Matt: And that probably lead us to a good transition with that history, the resourcefulness that you have, the investments that you’ve made in yourself and now you’ve got a thriving new type of business. What does your business look like today? Who do you help?
Alina: I am living the dream and I’ve been afraid of stepping into the [treme 00:15:24] for quite a few years. Literally last year I closed my brick and mortar real estate office and went full time into being a coach, the coaching agents for quite a few years. And I always liked to say I raised quite a bit of my competition if you want to call them competition, right? But literally, I was fighting the idea of going full time into coaching because I just couldn’t bear the thought of, losing that baby that I had built so faithfully, the unique brand and this whole presence I had in the market, I’m like, I can just close my doors. But with the years more and more, it was more evident for me that my heart’s just drawing me into helping realtors on a larger scale. And so now I get to work with real estate agents all over North America.
I have quite a few coaching clients now. I’m selling thousands of books that just came out in April actually and it’s so humbling and just amazing to see that people would take those words that came straight from my heart and where I literally shared here’s how to do it, here’s here’s what not to do and here’s how to do it better. Right? And that it would have such an impact on people’s lives and their businesses. I mean, I’m getting so many incredible messages every day and literally could there be anything more fulfilling than knowing that you truly are changing people’s lives and helping them to get there faster? Right.
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Matt: You’ve got a private Facebook page or a group for our community and what you just said, I think, one of the more rewarding things is when people say, “Oh my God, this works.” Well, not teaching stuff that doesn’t work. I mean that would be ridiculous, what a terrible business that would be? But yeah I might-
Alina: And it works differently, right? Because my ideology and philosophies are very, very different than what’s typically out there. And that’s not to say what’s out there is bad and my stuff is good. It’s just that really it’s just very different because if you want something that you’ve never had, you have to be willing to do something you’ve never done. And if you’re not happy with your results, well look at what you’re doing and start changing those kinds of things. And to me, like I said before, it was one of the coaching things that I’ve been doing just weren’t working for me and that’s not to say that those are bad coaches, those are bad programs that just weren’t for me and so for me, I wanted to create something that would connect people that are like me and that are about community, about integrating the heart and the stolen tree of business where it’s not just about, cold calling 500 people every week and trying not to die to do it.
It’s not about just the numbers and the money, all that stuff is important, but to me, it was important to actually make a bigger difference and in a wider impact than just putting bread and butter on my own table. You know what I mean?
Matt: So who is your ideal client?
Alina: Right now?
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Alina: My ideal client is the real estate agent who is doing pretty well already, who already has quite a bit of forwarding momentum but is stuck and you’ll find a lot of those. Literally, I feel like there’s three groups of realtors. There’s the newbies who don’t know how to start and I do have some resources for those people. There is the people who are super successful, but they, for the most part, are either burned out or they don’t have a life. And then there’s people that are just before that phase.
Okay. So they’re doing okay, they’re able to go on a nice vacation once a year and they got their signs out, but they’re not consistent, they’re going feast to famine. They don’t really have a system, they don’t really have a consistent lead gen technique, literally, a lot of it is just luck, you know what I mean? And those people just work and work and work and they just don’t feel like they’re getting the ROI on the time spent. And most importantly, I guess, as I say also on my website is those people just don’t have enough time to spend at home, which is where I came from and that’s why that’s my passion. I did burn out and it’s the true story, I did get very, very successful. I had it all, but I didn’t have a life.
I got to the point where I was constantly on the phone. I was constantly out and about every weekend, every evening I was constantly out there and it’s nice to go on a vacation four times a year and it’s really, really awesome to have the resources and to have the respect in the community, but when you come home and your kids are in bed or you’re just not keeping up with simple things like doing laundry and getting your house in order and you just come home and you’re so exhausted you haven’t eaten all day. You’re living on coffee and donuts. You know what I mean? Your health is going into the tank and it’s literally like, that is the people that I feel like I have a better way for you. Literally, I do have a better way for you.
Matt: It’s awesome. So give me an idea … So your typical client that comes [inaudible 00:20:26] your ideal client. What is to say the most common challenge that they’re dealing with? What would be the traditional advice to deal with that challenge and how is your advice different?
Alina: You know what, most people think that in order to have more, they have to do more, so if you don’t have enough consistent leads, you’ve got to make more cold calls. You have to knock on more doors. You have to send them more postcards. You have to advertise more. My strategy is you first have to be more. If you want to have more, you have to be more, and this is what really, really differentiates you and my approach to coaching and to sales has for quite a while already been lead with questions. If I as a salesperson feel like you’re wrong, you’re the prospect and what you want to do by selling your house privately is bad for you, but what I want for you is good for you. So now I’m trying to convince you that you need me and that I’m better than everyone else and that I’ve sold more houses than all these people and that my commission is lower and that I market better and that I do drawing video and better at whatever. Right?
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Alina: That’s all just more noise. But if as a salesperson, I take on the role of a guide and I ask the right kinds of questions and I help my prospect to come to a different level of awareness about their own personal truth and their own beliefs. That might not be exactly what the reality is, but I helped them to come to that conclusion on their own. It’s so much more powerful. So now it’s not me who’s the hero? I’m just the guide. I’m just literally taking you by the hand and I’m showing you, look, here’s how to look at this, because you can be standing right in front of a tree and if you’re standing on a route level, all you see is a big old trunk, right?
Alina: But if you’re rising a little bit, all of a sudden you see is some branches and then if you rise even higher or suddenly you can look at the tree, [inaudible 00:22:32] you can also see other trees and you have this whole different perspective and you can see the picture when you’re in the frame, right? So when your prospect, I teach my agents to lead with questions, ask the questions. I have an awesome story in my book. I don’t know if you have time for it or not, but I have an Austin example of the story that taught me this technique from back in 2000, back in Germany. A story that happened to me with a vacuum sales guy, a guy who literally knocked on my door and wanted to sell me an expensive vacuum cleaner and the lesson of her life that I learned that completely and forever changed my view on-
Matt: Okay, well, you can’t leave us hanging with that [crosstalk 00:23:16]. And because-
Alina: All right.
Matt: … Because this part where we’re talking about right now, at this specific moment is very much … It’s going to apply to both real estate agents and real estate investors for sure.
Matt: Go ahead, tell me about-
Alina: So this guy knocks on the door and it would’ve been around noon because I had six months old and I had a two and a half-year-old, sorry. And I was about to put my babies down for a nap. And my doorbell goes and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, who is this?’ I opened the door and this guy stands. There was this expensive vacuum cleaner and I knew the brand. I knew they were like, what, 1000 bucks. And I knew I couldn’t afford it. I have a vacuum cleaner and he’s like, “Excuse me, ma’am, may I ask, do you have any carpets in your house?” And I’m like, “I do.” What am I going to say? Right. And he’s like, “How confident are you that those carpets are actually clean?” And I’m, what a question. Right? And he’s like, instantly before I could even answer because literally I had just vacuumed an hour ago and I vacuumed every single day. I have babies on my rug every day. I’m a clean freak.
And he’s like, “Would you permit me to demonstrate to you how much dust is still in your rugs?” And I’m like, okay, talk about letting a stranger. So he came in and then he saw my babies and then he made a nice comment about the babies, which is, as you know, called pre-framing, he made me feel good about myself and then he pulled out this dust bag right in front of my eyes, put it in the vacuum cleaner, the vacuum to a couple of square feet of my rug. And then he showed me all this dust and he showed me pictures of dust mites. Then he showed me what that dust does to my family and how icky and yucky it is. And then he said, and this is the carpet that your babies crawl on every single day.
Matt: I felt that coming.
Alina: And what he did, like boom sale are made. What he did is he entered the conversation I already had in my mind as a mom, which was about keeping my baby safe. If he had knocked on my door and asks, “Do you want a vacuum cleaner? Ma’am do you want to buy a vacuum cleaner?” I would have said, “Hell no.” First of all, I don’t need it. I got one. Secondly, I can’t even afford it. 1000 Bucks. Give me a break. We’re a young family. Right? But this guy entered a conversation that I had in my mind every single day and that is how can I make my life or my children’s lives better and safer.
And I asked him to come back in the evening when my husband was home. He did not pressure me. He didn’t say, “Oh no, you need to make a decision right now.” Literally, he came to our house that night and we bought a vacuum cleaner, and to me, that was the most powerful thing. He asked me a question because literally had he asked me, “Would you like
… buy a vacuum cleaner, I would have said, “No, don’t need it. Got no money. Sorry, sir. Come in ten years.” Right?
Alina: And also then ask me, please, where did I have the thousand dollars? Where all of a sudden that money surface from, right?
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Alina: There is no such thing as more money. There is just bad marketing.
Matt: It’s only an issue in the absence of value, right?
Alina: Yeah. And if you can communicate your value, right, and not just have them focus on cost, oh my goodness. And you do that with asking good questions.
Matt: Right, right. Good, great. There’s gold there, for everybody listening. And I think in every capacity of life, even professionally or personally. With that said, what is some, now that you’re a coach and you’re more connected probably to a slightly different type of industry, and you recognize and you observe, you can’t help but do it, observe what other cultures do and say, what’s a piece of advice out there that you hear all the time that just gets under your skin? It’s like, “Oh, don’t tell them to do that?”
Alina: Cold call.
Matt: Cold call?
Alina: Cold call [crosstalk 00:27:06]. Drives me nuts. I believe in being the flame that attracts the moth, instead of being the light that chases the moth. Everybody out there is chasing, chasing, chasing, convincing, trying to say how much they’re better. I believe in attracting. If I can clearly communicate to you what I do, and this classic example, if I’m standing in the middle of the desert and I got a water stand, beautifully fresh, cool, ice cold water, and somebody comes by my stand who hasn’t had any water in two days, I don’t have to convince him to buy my water. He’ll buy it. It doesn’t matter how much it is, right?
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Alina: So I just want to be that water stand in the desert, and I want to be found by the people because there is no point if they’re circling the desert and they can’t find my water stand. And that’s where marketing comes in.
Matt: Right. So what are some examples that you would do, to stick with that metaphor, how would you first of all, where would you find the desert and then how would you position your water stand-
Alina: Just be different.
Matt: … so that those thirsty people actually see you?
Alina: You got to be different. Most people start with fishing, okay? Well, I shouldn’t say fishing. I should use a different metaphor for this. Most people start with trying to [inaudible 00:28:14] a crop before they ever seeded any seeds or planted any seeds. So one of the strategies that I teach in my book is creating community events and community marketing campaigns that are a very different caliber than what most agents do, and not do it for just look here, how awesome I am, and my name is this, and I was whatever company, and call me if you want to sell your house. None of that.
What I have created is, to me it was like I feel like everybody, we’re selling homes. And not everybody knows what it feels like to have a good home that’s safe and that’s warm and welcoming. To me, it’s always been like there’s so many homeless people out on the street, and I want to help, but I always feel, well, why don’t you guys just get a job as we do? We have to work for our money too, right? Why don’t you just have a normal life, right?
And then what I started to do is I started to research because I was looking for a place where I could just do donations, where I could make a difference and where I could contribute. This particular shelter in our city was having a completely different approach. Instead of just feeding them, giving a man a fish, they were actually teaching men to fish, right? And so instead of just feeding them soup and giving them clothes and making them dependent and taking over their dignity, they would teach them how to get out of the thing. They had systems and everything.
But for me, I was like, “Okay, so how can I raise money for this, because I’m so behind this?” I sell homes that everybody can have a home, so I want to help other people who don’t have a home. That was my mission, okay? It wasn’t just about raising money. I also wanted to educate people. I wanted to take away the cliché that homeless people are just bums that are too lazy to work, right? And sure, I’m sure there are some, but you know what I mean. In general, there’s people who have different situations and circumstances in their life that they sometimes just can’t cope with, and just make bad choices, right?
And so that particular year I did a bake sale and we had some dynamite marketing. My brand, I don’t know if you’ve seen any of my Instagram stuff, but my whole brand was revolving around my name, Schumacher. So my slogan was Driven to Finish, it was me in my red race suit, and [inaudible 00:30:28] and Ferrari’s in the back. I had the checker flags, all that kind of jazz, and when our properties were sold, they weren’t sold, they were finished. People would constantly talk about it, right?
So this particular bake sale, my whole marketing campaign was hey, join me in raising so and so much money as I trade my race helmet for a baker’s hat. I literally did all the baking. I had a couple of people who helped me raise a ton of money, and then I’m like okay, this is awesome. But this is absolutely not sustainable. We raise $13,000 bucks. Fantastic, we had a great experience in the community, people were talking about it for years, right? It was an awesome experience, and I’m talking about it in the book.
The next year I’m like okay, I’ve got to do something better. So what we created was a benefit concert where I would sing, I invited people to come onstage with me, I very strategically selected very well known people out of the community who would come and see the event, and so we would basically host this benefit gala every single year. Now you can strategically align yourselves with local businesses to come and serve with you on the committee, who can help you to get more donations, more prizes for the auction, whatever.
And it becomes this big thing where everyone is working together for the common good, where we’re educating people about the real reasons for homelessness. We’re also getting all this free publicity because we have all these TV interviews, we have all these radio interviews, and nowhere ever do we toot our own horn and tell people how awesome we are, that we’re realtors and we’re doing this because we want to be seen. We just don’t, right?
And so this was one way of truly feeding trust and goodwill within the community, so that then later on, once you start to fish and you’ve planted all these seeds already … I’m going to use these two different analogies … But literally, once you’re ready to actually put out your direct response marketing, people know about you and they know that you’re so different. You’re not like, “Oh, I’m so much better than she is because I sold 10 more houses.” Or “My commission is a percent lower.” You know how it is, Matt, right? Because [crosstalk 00:32:30].
Matt: 100% percent. Yeah.
Alina: By being really, really being different and differentiating yourself. So combine that with a message that speaks to people’s fears and uncertainties, combine that with asking the right kinds of questions, and your role as a guide and not being a push, pull and drag kind of a person, right? And the rest takes care of itself.
Matt: Sure. Stuff like that doesn’t get forgotten, so that sounds like a lot of effort, a giant endeavor, but the rewards will pay almost indefinitely, as long as you’re active in your community, right?
Alina: Well, that’s the thing. Do you want to just be a realtor for this year and dabble in the business and just have a side job to pay your bills, or do you actually want to do this long term? Because if you want to do this long term, then you need different strategies, right?
Matt: 100%. 100%. When I was an agent in … I got my license in 2002 I believe … and I was an agent though, I don’t know, 2005 or so. And I remember back then, it was right at when the dot com crash had happened, and the whole internet was starting to take a hold on our society and realtor.com became a big deal during that period. All this different technology and I think the smartest minds in Silicon Valley were all figuring out how can we get in on this real estate industry and get these big commissions for ourselves with just this automation push of a button? It’s just panic and hysteria inside of our office and inside of the whole realtor community at that time. It was just permeating all through the whole industry.
I looked about a year ago, and there were just as many real estate agents today as there were then, so obviously they’re all still employed. That was what, 20 years ago or something like that, 15 years ago, but I’m still hearing that hysteria. What are you seeing or what are you hearing from maybe from your clients or from your peers, as far as technology? How do you feel about that taking over or impacting our business in the future?
Alina: Here’s my take on it. I believe-
Matt: I’d just be interested to see if this compares to mine, but go ahead.
Alina: Ah ha. Well, chances are pretty high so far. I believe that the new marketing of 2019 is actually going back to the conversation. I’ll tell you something, I cannot tell you how many times I get a message from a realtor where it’s like, “Oh, my gosh. You’re responding to my email? You’re responding to my message so quickly? I thought you’d have an assistant doing this.” And I’m like, “Never.” There’s no way in hell I’m going to have this opportunity and I’m going to give up this opportunity of building a relationship with the people that I am so, not desperately, but so passionately wanting to serve, right?
So I feel like in a day and age where everyone wants to automate everything, chat box, and everything is supposed to be quick, quick of a button, and everybody’s dabbling in video and doesn’t know how and is afraid, and it’s awkward, and it causes more confusion and more frustration amongst agents, right? I feel like, you know what? If you go back to the basics, it’s about a relationship. It’s all about that one on one interaction where people can really hear your heart and feel that you actually care, and see that you’re genuine and that you really want to help. No chat box can ever, you can never program a chat box to sound human enough for me. You just can’t. And I’m not against technology, but I believe in service.
Matt: Yep. I couldn’t agree more. I think there’s two aspects to it. One is the purchase of a house and a home is going to be the biggest purchase that most people make in their lifetime. It’s where they’re going to spend their life, and I don’t think technology can really disrupt that any time soon, until they figure out something, but no one’s going to make that purchase with the click of a button, and have no agent involved or no people involved. Not anytime soon.
The second thing I was thinking was when you said that 2019 marketing’s going back to a conversation, I couldn’t agree more. You know Gary Vaynerchuk, we all know who he is, he wrote a book a few years ago called The Thank You Economy. He said the more high tech business becomes, the more low tech your customer service needs to become.
Alina: That’s good.
Matt: We’ve embraced that, and it’s had such an impact. We’re not perfect with it, things fall through the crack, and with the internet and the volume that can be generated with the people you have to talk to, it gets difficult sometimes, but we got our biggest impact where, it’s something you just said, “Oh my God, there’s a person on the other end. This isn’t an automated email, you actually sent me an email, you actually picked up the phone.” I think for both of our industries, that should be embraced if you really want to separate yourself from the competition.
Alina: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Matt: All right. I keep trying to find people to come on my show that disagrees with me, but I can’t find anybody. Maybe that’s just who I’m attracted to. I’m going to go out and find some real naysayers and we’ll have a debate. But Alina, this has been an absolute pleasure. I’m so glad I invited you on, and I’m so glad that you accepted my invitation.
Alina: Thank you, Matt.
Matt: I want to do it again. If someone wanted to get in touch with you, what would be the best way for them to do that?
Alina: You know what, ideally, just go to my website, alinaschumacher.com. I’m sure you’ll have a link somewhere on the show now. Instagram, I’m super active on Instagram and Instagram stories. If you want to see what my real life looks like, I’m filtered, and of course, you know the good old Facebook page, right?
Matt: All right. That’s Alina Schumacher, and I think you said something that you’d brought some free gifts if you want to-
Alina: Yes sir. [crosstalk 00:38:11] Yeah, yeah.
Matt: Go ahead.
Alina: Definitely, yeah. Yeah. You know what, I would love to give away some books here, so if any of your listeners are interested, call in. First 10 to get a free book, just shoot us an email and we’ll make sure we’ll hook you up.
Matt: Perfect. And that email address would be?
Alina: Just send an email to [email protected].
Matt: Perfect. All righty. Well, I’m going to see you real soon. I’m looking forward to that again, and thank you so much and stay in touch.
Alina: You betcha. It’s been a pleasure, Matt. Thank you so much again for the opportunity.
Matt: You bet, you bet. All righty. So thank you for joining us here today. We’ll see you next week on another episode of Thought Leader Thursday. Take care.