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Jess Lenouvel: Scaling Your Business For Freedom

Uncategorized Sep 30, 2021

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Jess Lenouvel loves to help people scale their businesses. She says, "My mission is to help realtors scale efficiently and create a life of freedom...the reality for most entrepreneurs is a hamster wheel to burnout." With over 14 years of experience as an agent and having sold $300M of property in the past 2 years, she realized her true passion comes alive in training and coaching others. This is why she founded The Listings Lab. She now has helped 1,000+ real estate agents grow to 7 figure businesses. Learn from Jess as she talks about marketing and scaling your business to find freedom.

 

In this episode, hosted by Mike Swenson, we discussed:

  • Jess started in real estate when she was 21. Her mom was into real estate for 35 years and pusher her into real estate.
  • She started prospecting into classifieds and she used to call it prospecting to her PJ’s.
  • Jess realized that the key pieces to all of burnt-out agents is that we need to be showing people how to build businesses that serve their lives and not showing people how to essentially build these hustles that essentially take away from their lives.
  • Jess quoted her coach questions to people all the time such as “do you have 40 years of experience?” Or “do you have one year of experience? 40 times? are you making changes?” “Are you taking risks?” “Are you learning?” “Are you innovating and iterating and, and treating the business like a business instead of just like a replacement for your nine to five” – these comes to her senses and realized most people get in for three reasons, unlimited income potential, you know, being able to set your own schedule, so the freedom piece, and also being able to help people.
  • People can get in touch with Jess thru facebook group named listings mob method for real estate agents.

Timestamps:

00:00 Intro and overview on Jess career
01:20 Jess background and how she started into real estate.
07:50 Talking about freedom in relation with real estate.
11:33 Discussion about three reasons why people get into real estate.
12:35 Jess talked about her marketing strategies.
22:23 How to get in touch with Jess.

 

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Full transcript here:

Mike Swenson 

Welcome to the REL freedom podcast where we inspire you to pursue your passion to gain time and financial freedom through opportunities in real estate. I'm your host, Mike Swenson, let's get some real freedom together.

 

Mike Swenson 

All right, welcome, everybody to this episode of the real freedom stories. And today, I'm so excited to share. We've got Jess Lenouvel here. And, you know, there's so much messaging out there for real estate agents. And what I love about you is, don't listen to what so many other people are saying, and you chose to go a different path here. And yeah, and really, and what I love too, is you're helping people focus on scaling their business, to build freedom. And so I pulled this quote here, from an article that people can read that we're gonna share in the show notes here from entrepreneur, My mission is to help realtors scale efficiently and create a life of freedom that every entrepreneur craves. The reality for most entrepreneurs is a hamster wheel to burn out. And that's why I make this podcast is to help people gain time and financial freedom through opportunities in real estate. And so you see that mission as well. Yeah. So So welcome to the show. And why don't you just take a couple minutes and share a little bit more about you.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

Of course, totally, thanks so much for having me. So I started in real estate when I was 21. So I was like a brand new baby agent, just got out of school, my mom has actually been in real estate for 35 years. So I really didn't know what I wanted to do. She sort of pushed me into real estate. I did okay, for a while I was very young, I looked like I was 16. You know, it was it was hard to kind of get going. And I remember going to all of these trainings that were telling me to door knock and cold call and flyer and, and I'm naturally actually quite introverted. And I remember thinking, first of all, even even at 21, I was like, This doesn't make sense. This isn't scalable. And if this is how I have to build my business, I don't know if this business is for me. And so right off the bat, Facebook was this brand new thing. Nobody was using it for business, it was like essentially, just like yearbook, photos, and like some like random updates in a classified section.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

So I actually started prospecting in the classifieds. And I used to call it prospecting for my PJs, because I would sit on my couch, nice, nice and comfy. And I would talk to people, you know, and there were people who were putting out there. And this, I mean, obviously, this wouldn't work today. But there were people that were putting out there, like in search of certain types of housing. And so I would message them, I would give them value, I would build a relationship, and eventually they would become clients. And so that's really how I initially built my business. So I never went down the traditional route, because it didn't work for me. And I knew that, you know, consistency is probably the most important thing that you can do, it's probably the most the most important success factor, right? And if you are doing something that you hate, you're never going to be really consistent about it. Right? So I had to find something that was going to work better for me. So you know, fast forward years, I we built a multiple multiple seven figure lien team, we were doing, you know, 300 deals, 250 300 deals a year, super, super happy, everything was going really well.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

I was traveling all the time, and I had all kinds of like I had that freedom piece that most that kind of eludes most agents, right? And then you know, what I realized I was I was in Hawaii with my husband, you know, we're driving down this beautiful highway, like right next to the ocean. And I looked at him and I was like, I don't think I want to sell real estate anymore. And at that point, he was working with me on the team, running our marketing. He was like, What are you talking about? Yeah, like our entire lives are, you know, are serviced by this business. And, you know, it was actually him who made the connection of you know, the happiest that you ever really are, are is when you're helping other agents when some agent comes and knocks on the door and says, Hey, I like can you help me I like I have no idea how it is that you built what you built. So we made a shift, we just sort of like we decided that that that we were going to we were going to make a jump we started building the listings lab, which is our company now. And yeah, so a couple 1000 agents later.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

We we've hit today but I think that the the key thing that has always sort of stuck with me that you mentioned earlier, is that there are so many burnt out agents out there. And I really think that one of the key pieces to all of this is that we need to be showing people how to build businesses that serve their lives and not showing people how to essentially build these hustles that essentially take away from their lives. And and I think, you know, there we have people in some of our programs who, you know, have multi million dollar a year production of GC eyes. And they're working from Costa Rica. Yep. They're working from like, they're traveling, they're they're doing other things, they're building other businesses, because they have the business set up in a way that it's first of all unlimitedly scalable, and that they really genuinely enjoy the pieces of the business that they're still working on.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, yeah. Well, and that's, that's a little bit you know, my journey. I had worked for a nonprofit for 10 years. I didn't want to get into real estate because I didn't want to be the 24 seven Yeah, exactly. I didn't realize that teams existed and in my my background is more admin and operations and so I was like, I don't want to be an agent I don't want to be away from my family at night. My previous job I didn't really have to travel for work so I love being home with my wife and my kids and I thought that I would have to give all that up to get into real estate and so part so I started on the admin side and realize like wait, you actually can build some good leverage behind you and do that yeah. And then I think too for some agents that's thinking bigger and thinking longer term know some a lot of times agents are like, Hey, I'm doing enough business right now. Like I don't need to grow my business and my question back to them is what if you could still make the same amount of money and work half time or none of the time because you built a team or you built some sort of leverage to afford you the income where you didn't have to work at all.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

So I You and I are so on the same page I say all the time that one of the most painful places to be in your business is around that 200 $250,000 Mark because you are successful and the outside world sees you as successful but you're also not quite there where you feel like you can actually like buy back a ton of your time hmm right and so I always say it's easier to run a seven figure business than it is to run like a $250,000 business hmm yeah because and it's a lot less painful because because you actually are at a point where you can leverage you can automate you can you can get you can get yourself all of that support that allows you to essentially choose what parts of the business you're actually going to be running personally. Huh,

 

Mike Swenson 

yeah. And wouldn't it be Yeah, wouldn't it be great if if you look at the whole job or your whole company and you say I want to do these three things and I don't want to do anything else so what I got to do that you know,

 

Jess Lenouvel 

Exactly and and i think that that's really the that's the key to all of this is that everybody has different zones of genius and so often you know there there's this prescription of these are the things that a team lead should be doing and these are the things that have been mentioned be doing and and there's no one size fits all approach for everybody right every single person who gets into real estate has different strengths and weaknesses they have different profiles they have you know, there's they have different things that they love to do and hate to do. So I think that it comes down to my definition of freedom is being able to choose you know, you get to do whatever you want whenever you want with whoever you want wherever you want like that's freedom and yes we live in a world where money comes into a lot of that choice. But on top of that is also you know, you get to choose how much you work, you also get to choose what clients you take on you get to choose what parts of the business you're involved in and what parts of the business you're not so I think that there's a there's an intentionality that I think is missing a lot of people will get into the business and grind grind, grind, grind, chase the next deal chase the next deal. And then you know, 10 years down the road, they look back and they think what happened huh this this is not at all what I wanted. This isn't why I got into this business in the first place.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, well and that's where to you know, one of the messages that we communicate with agents is you know, instead of feeling like you're running into the wind, what if you were running with the wind? And how much easier would that feel right? And kind of going back to that long term perspective on your real estate career is you know, you don't have to do the same thing for 40 years you know, you can you can pick and choose and like you did you you made a career adjustment. And the good news is is all the knowledge and experience and wisdom that you gained in your past career in real estate now gets to be utilized in your next career in real estate

 

Jess Lenouvel 

And when I was selling real estate, I didn't know that I was going to be doing this and you know, everything just kind of like builds on top of itself and you never know. There's a million different ways to use the skills that you have.

 

Mike Swenson 

And I think so many times agents sell themselves short or they see like, I've been in the business for one, two or three years, like I'm not making what I could have made in my other sales job. Yeah, so I'm gonna go back to that. And, you know, the nice thing here is, is you, like you said, you can build on top of it, and grow so that year, four, five, and six grow exponentially, where maybe it took you two or three years to figure it out. And what I always tell people is, the key is you just got to hang in long enough till everything clicks.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

And your hockey stick happens at different times, right? Like, just because someone else had happened in year two, doesn't mean that yours was gonna happen in year two,

 

Mike Swenson 

or somebody knocks it out of the park and sells 50 homes, your first their first year, and you're like, well, I only sold five. So maybe this isn't for me, Well, you could you could sell 50 homes in year three, you just didn't know it yet. And you got out of the business and sold yourself short

 

Jess Lenouvel 

100%. And I have a coach who, you know, going back to what you said about like the guy who's been in the business for 40 years, I have a coach who says all the time. And the one question that he asks people is, do you have 40 years of experience? Or do you have one year of experience? 40 times? Yeah, right. And it comes down to like, are you making changes? Are you taking risks? Are you learning? Are you innovating and iterating and, and treating the business like a business instead of just like a replacement for your nine to five, where it's like, okay, so Okay, well, I'm gonna make my phone calls from nine to 12. And then I'm going to do you know, it's a lot of people just replace their job.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

And, you know, when when you got into real estate in the first place, most people get in for three reasons, unlimited income potential, you know, being able to set your own schedule, so the freedom piece, and also being able to help people, right, and if you're, I always say like, if you don't take on the marketing side of things, and you don't become a really great marketer, and you're only relying on repeats and referrals, and you know, you're allowing your, your it's your choice, whether your business grows slowly or not, you know, and you're allowing it to grow that slowly, you're actually prolonging or maybe eliminating the chances that you're going to get all three of those things.

 

Mike Swenson 

Mm hmm. Yeah, well, and let's, let's turn to marketing for a second, because, you know, I've watched some of your YouTube videos, and I've seen like you, you have a great message for people, when it comes to marketing yourself as an agent. And in a lot of ways, it's different than what a lot of other people say. So why don't we talk about that, you know, and with the listings lab that you have, what are some of those key principles that you teach people when it comes to marketing.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

So everything that we teach within the listings lab is all geared around inbound, client generation. And I hear this all the time, and it's like my, probably my biggest pet peeve when I talk to agents, and I'm like, well, like, what do you need in your business? I need more leads. And I'll say, Okay, do you need more leads? Or do you need more clients? Because they're not always connected. And they're not always the same thing. And I think that really understanding human psychology marketing hasn't changed. It's just that the platforms and the like the the tools that we're using to market have changed. And you know, back in the day, when people were taught to geo farm, right, get a postal code, get a zip code, and you know, hammer that hammer that local area. Well, that made sense before we had the internet, right? Because you had to be consistent and frequent.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

And the only way to do that was cold call Dornoch flyer, and those were the only ways to have consistency and have brand awareness. But we have this beautiful tool called the internet right now. Right. And with that, we have the ability to niche down and to specialize in different ways. And being able to target human beings based on the life transitions that are going through in real estate. So people don't move because it's fun. People move because there's something in their current situation or their current life that's not serving them that they believe that they can fix or change with a move, whether they're upsizing downsizing first time buyers investors, you know, whatever. And so understanding what are the drivers behind that move? What and what kind of a solution are they looking for? Like what are they actually looking for in their lives, we're actually able to create psychological psychologically driven marketing where you know, really good marketing all it is, is being able to articulate what's in the back of someone's head better than they can right when you can do that they automatically will credit you with a solution.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

And so many agents are out there on social media or on YouTube or you know, on however their marketing doing this, look at me, look at me, look at me, I'm number one, here's my head, call me, you know, like a lot of like, just really ineffective zero messaging type marketing. And that doesn't work anymore. There's too many of us. So the only way to really break through that noise is to be relevant. So to have somebody say self identify with what you're talking about. And for you to For them to actually feel that know like and trust, which we hear all the time, right? You have to build know, like and trust. How can you build know like and trust with someone if that person isn't telling you anything about themselves about their business, about about their process about themselves personally, we make decisions humans, all humans, we make decisions emotionally first, and then we back the decisions up with logic 99% of real estate marketing out there is only logic based. Right? So we're missing this huge part of sight, human psychology.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

There's a reason why Superbowl commercials make us cry. Right? Like, there's, there's a reason why good marketers are using and playing off of human emotion. Mm hmm. And it's the same thing with real estate, right? We've all had that client who, who's given us the laundry list of what they want in their home and you walk into a house that ticks none of the boxes, and they're like, Oh, this one's it. Right. And it's because there's something emotional that's happened, and none of the logic plays in. Right. So marketing is exactly the same thing. Right and, and so a lot of it comes down to understanding we teach a nine point psychological journey from stranger to client. And a lot of that just comes down to are you giving these people everything that they need in order to choose you, and eliminate the competition.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

And so once you once you nail that, and you get that down with a certain demographic, or a certain niche, or niche, because I'm Canadian, so we say niche, right, so once you get that down, then you know, the the inbound business starts to come in, you know, if you have to choose between a business of chasing, or a business of attracting, I promise you that you won't be able to find a lot of people who choose the chase makes the business easier. It also makes it unlimitedly scalable. And you know, it creates a lot more evangelism within the business, those repeats in those referrals that everybody loves to brag that their business is made out of, you know, all of that grows exponentially. And that's really where you get your hockey sticks, is when you can actually nail that you can nail that attraction marketing, and then you actually can create that compound effect that comes with it, in terms of being consistent.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

And this can be done organically and with paid traffic. But I think so many people are so focused on the tool or the tactic, as opposed to really understanding what is the basis of marketing to human beings. And it's always going to be, it's always going to be psychology. And it's always going to be based on pains, problems, fears and desires. Right. And so a lot of it just comes down to, uh, most of the real estate industry has lost track of what good marketing actually is. And instead of focusing in on like those foundations and that, okay, what actually creates results in marketing, everyone's just trying to collect phone numbers and email addresses and then Pound those people, which actually, in my opinion, makes the whole industry look bad.

 

Mike Swenson 

Well in to just imagine when when somebody sees your product, and it's consumed your content and calls you up, you don't have to sell them, they know exactly why, why should I sell with you Just because I've watched all your stuff I've been drawn in, it's not like, Hey, I'm calling you and the other five people that I've watched all their videos and consumed their content, and I'm ready to interview you, it's usually, hey, I'm here, my person. So you don't have to do all that selling then when that happens.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

And I say that all the time. Like if you're a really good marketer, you don't have to be a really good salesperson. Or you don't have to even use those skills. Because people are coming to you saying, you know, and I would say the biggest, the biggest aha moment that people have usually when they go through our marketing programs are, I'm getting messages from people asking me if I have space to take on a new client. Right? I've spent my whole life chasing people and now people are coming to me saying, Do you have space? Or do you have room to work with me? And they're like, I had no idea that that was ever possible. But it's really like marketing is the key to changing the power dynamic. And, and really like allowing people to feel close to you, and feel and build that element of trust, right? And and that element of trust comes down to consistency and frequency, right? The mere exposure effect, which is basically that the human brain is exposed to the same person over and over again, we build trust. And the concept of reciprocity, right, we give before we ask, we serve before we sell, and that in and of itself will build a baseline level of trust. So even if they are, say interviewing two people, they're coming in you're they're coming to you warm, they're going to everyone else cold.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, that's awesome. That's fantastic. It's, it's I feel the conviction to you know, it's we have we have good intentions and we don't always execute at that same level, you know, and we can always improve and so yeah, no, that's, that's awesome what, you know maybe what's one other you know, kind of tipper advice that you'd like to give to agents and their business here before we wrap up.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

Um, if you're afraid of video, make videos. Just make more videos, just videotape yourself doing everything. We're coming into a season or an age of video content. And I get it, I'm introverted, I used I recorded my first videos on the rooftop of the building that I lived in at the time, because I was afraid anybody was gonna see me. I hated it. Yeah. And, you know, over confidence comes with competence, right? We always hear that, like, you know, confidence isn't the prerequisite. It's the reward. So it's going to be bad. Your first couple videos are not going to be good. And that's okay. Right? Just keep at it. And the more comfortable you can get on camera, and the more relaxed and the more authentic you can be, when it comes to putting a camera in front of you, the better your marketing will be over time.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah. Well, and I heard a great story one time where it was somebody that was, uh, I think it was a hairdresser, okay? And she said, how she wasn't great in sales, you know, she didn't like sales. And then she had a friend that asked her like, Hey, I'm traveling into town here. What's a restaurant that you recommend? And so she just lit up explaining this fantastic restaurant and how they made this great food. And they prepared it this way. And they did this and this and this. And, and her husband like laughed at her and said, like, Look, you just totally sold them without even thinking about it. Because it's something you're excited about sharing.

 

Mike Swenson 

And so when I talk to agents, you know, on my team that that say they don't like video, it's like, well just pretend your best friend is asking. They're in town. For a restaurant recommendation. Yeah. Just talk about it with that level of comfortability. And you don't have to think like the cameras are on me. But it's just I'm just sharing something I love with you. It's just a conversation, right? Yeah, you don't have to be scared about that. So 1,000% Yeah. Cool. Well, Jess, thanks so much for coming on. For those people that have you know, loved your story and want to learn more about you, how can they get in touch.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

And so I would say the number one place would be my facebook group. So we have a group I do trainings in there all the time. There's hundreds of trainings in there. It's called the listings mob method for real estate agents. So it's just facebook.com slash groups, slash listings lab. And it's only realtors in there. There's no marketers or stagers or spammers, or anything. It's 100% value driven. And we'd love to have you in there.

 

Mike Swenson 

Awesome. Well, thank you so much for sharing. And yeah, I think it's just a great message that people need to hear and it's exciting, right to talk about doing stuff you love, building leverage, building a life that you can have that freedom and flexibility. It's amazing. So thank you so much for coming on.

 

Jess Lenouvel 

Thank you so much for having me.

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