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EP 394: How This “Virtual Real Estate Agent” Netted $110k on 20 Hrs/week in w/ Chris Bello

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About this episode:

Is the thought of working 20 hours a week a pipe dream? It’s not for Chris. He’s what you might call a “real estate connector” or a “virtual real estate agent.” By taking his incessant need to optimize through systems & processes and combining it with his love for building relationships with people, he’s managed to build an authentic brand that people love (and makes him a healthy living.) If you’re looking for tactical ways to get back your mental energy & time freedom, this episode is for you. Listen in.

Mentioned in this episode:

Chris’ Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Connect with Chris at ChrisBello.com

Calendly.com for automated scheduling

Zapier.com for more automation

Aweber.com or Mailchimp.com for simple & cheap email solutions

Episode Transcript (This is an automated transcript by robot carrots – please mind the typos 😉)

00:00:00:01 – 00:00:18:10

Chris Bello

Create a bunch of content, you can only connect the dots. Looking backwards, I think Steve Jobs said that. So you have to create all this content, send all these emails, and then you can look back and see which ones had the highest open rates. Which one had the highest click rates? Why? What did we talk about was the subject line of question, Did I have a compelling offer?

00:00:18:18 – 00:00:37:14

Chris Bello

Who’s clicking on these emails? Right. And what are they? What are they? Real estate agent? Are they some random entrepreneur who found my podcast on entrepreneurship? And you can start to kind of test and tweak the messaging and it’s just an experiment and you get a little bit better every single time you put an email out or a piece of content.

00:00:41:11 – 00:00:57:08

Brady Winder

Hello, friends. Welcome back to this episode of the Care Cast Podcast. I’m your host, Brady Winder. This is the podcast where we help agents and investors dial in their online marketing so they can build businesses of freedom and impact. This episode is going to be a lot of fun because I have our friend Chris Bello with us on the podcast today.

00:00:57:08 – 00:01:28:04

Brady Winder

Hey Chris, we met at Kurt Camp a couple of years ago at our biannual mastermind and he’s taking a really unique approach to real estate. It’s an agent who also does some investing. So you might call him a hybrid, but he’s gotten massive amounts of time freedom back and he’s refers to himself as a virtual realtor. And so what I like about Chris is that you can apply these concepts as an investor or agent, and this is someone who’s wildly diligent about productivity and automation.

00:01:28:04 – 00:01:34:03

Brady Winder

And so we’re going to have a good conversation today about how you can get some that time back. And yeah, welcome to the podcast.

00:01:34:03 – 00:01:57:20

Chris Bello

Chris Thanks, Brady. It’s awesome to be here and like we connected over at May 20, 20 one’s Carrot Camp. I think I had shared with people there that I was doing things differently. I had just moved to Denver, Colorado, from Texas with my fiancee, and so my business has been working remotely. And so I haven’t really had to get into the Colorado market too much and that’s kind of where we’re at these days.

00:01:57:20 – 00:02:03:18

Chris Bello

I’m doing things virtually all from this home office right here through systems, automation and delegation.

00:02:04:11 – 00:02:18:07

Brady Winder

I love it, man. So we don’t do clickbait titles and the title is 110,000 in a year and at about 20 hours a week, give people some context for what was that like and where are you headed this year?

00:02:18:21 – 00:02:37:06

Chris Bello

Yes. So I always like to start off and give credit where credit is due. Books are very influential and two books that really heavily influenced the way that I set up my business were a The Four Hour Workweek and B The E-Myth Revisited. I didn’t want to be the business owner or the person who created a job for myself.

00:02:37:06 – 00:02:58:23

Chris Bello

I wanted it to operate like a business and have systems and processes in place. And so I will give credit to those two books for really heavily influencing how I created my current business and setup. But the main thing that I tell people is that you need to have some sort of scheduling tool for people to schedule time on your calendar because otherwise you’re being very reactive.

00:02:58:23 – 00:03:17:01

Chris Bello

I see answering every single phone call as being very reactive. Like if we’re talking right now and I get three phone calls, I’m not going to tell you to pause this and take those calls. Right. I’m going to come back to them. Thank you. Hear about time blocking off and right. I think real estate agents are good at time blocking and I’m sure investors are as well.

00:03:17:09 – 00:03:27:10

Chris Bello

But calendar scheduling leaks such as cowardly enable B optimal time blocking experience because everything is an appointment on your calendar. Does that kind of make sense?

00:03:27:15 – 00:03:44:01

Brady Winder

Yeah, absolutely, man. So you did the 110 K last year. What are you what’s this year looking like? And are you still are you still doing that? I think the reason I’m asking is because sometimes 20 hours a week is hard to believe. It’s an even round numbers because you’re really doing that. Or is he pulling for. Yeah.

00:03:45:01 – 00:04:03:07

Chris Bello

Yeah. So I know I’ve taken my foot off the gas a little bit, just like Trevor Mark talks about, you know, when he was shifting over to Carat, he talks about how he knew he had to slow down on other things to focus on where he wanted to go. And so this has been kind of like getting clarity season for me on what’s the bigger vision, what’s the big picture?

00:04:03:07 – 00:04:22:12

Chris Bello

Do I want to do Houston real estate remotely from Denver forever? Do I want to get into the Colorado market and forget about Houston? Like those are kind of some of the questions that I’ve been asking myself because bigger commissions here with the higher price points, right? So I keep finding myself taking deals in Houston where I’m like, man, I’m making like three grand on this deal.

00:04:22:12 – 00:04:43:08

Chris Bello

If I just shift my focus here, I can literally make four or five times the amount of money, right? So I will kind of preface that by just saying, you know, I am pacing for a little bit of a slower year this year. I want to blame the market, but not being a victim, you know, I’m taking ownership and I know that I’ve been slowing down in order to speed things up and just working to get more clarity.

00:04:43:08 – 00:05:01:23

Chris Bello

So I have shifted my model a lot this year to referring a ton of deals out. I think I have like 40 or $50,000 of potential referral fees from all the things that I’ve sent out. The only downside is as I check in with other agents. Hey, how’s that buyer doing? Oh, they decided to renew their lease. Okay.

00:05:01:23 – 00:05:17:03

Chris Bello

That buyer decided not to buy because of them. So it’s a lot of it is like buyers are afraid to make that decision right now and it makes sense with the way that the market in the economy is. So I have a lot of irons in the fire in potential referral commissions that should be dripping out over the next year or so.

00:05:17:12 – 00:05:23:09

Chris Bello

But it’s just sometimes frustrating because you put all these different seeds out and you’re not sure when they’re going to sprout.

00:05:23:11 – 00:05:39:06

Brady Winder

Let’s talk about that real quick about, you know, planting the seeds. And yeah, I want to know how you market yourself as a virtual realtor and as someone who helps anyone in any state. And then we’ll dove a little bit into how does this tactically work as far as who’s working for you, etc.?

00:05:39:14 – 00:06:03:14

Chris Bello

Yeah, so I do have the podcast, I get a lot of traffic. I’m about to pass, you know, 2 million overall downloads on entrepreneurship and mindset marketing. Just things that I’ve selfishly liked to learn for myself and bring amazing guests onto the show. Trevor has been on the show as well, for example, and so I’ve been trying to figure out how to utilize that to get referrals from people in the audience, saying, Hey, you know, I can help you buy or sell real estate anywhere.

00:06:03:14 – 00:06:25:21

Chris Bello

If you need help, schedule a time to chat or reply to this email, things like that. Various calls to action to try and monetize some of those referrals through people who find me online. And it’s been interesting. You know, I’ve had a person I used to work with, had a house in Mexico he needed to sell, for example, or another listener or follower had an apartment in Dubai, the UAE.

00:06:26:04 – 00:06:44:19

Chris Bello

And so I, you know, I got to find people who I can refer those deals out to. That’s been a big way of generating. It’s just through my own personal content and network. You may have heard this referred to as attraction marketing, where you create content, you have calls to action, you put little different hooks out there and sometimes you get some bites.

00:06:44:19 – 00:06:47:23

Chris Bello

That’s been my main focus over the past few years.

00:06:48:15 – 00:06:54:04

Brady Winder

And that’s where a lot of these referrals are coming from between. Yeah, things like the podcast and your personal network.

00:06:54:12 – 00:07:16:03

Chris Bello

Yeah. And just planting seeds. I mean, I, we hear that all the time and it’s frustrating because we are in that Amazon order, you know, two day shipping. So having to plant seeds and wait for months or years can be very difficult for us to do these days. But a lot of the referrals and opportunities that I get today are results of the efforts that I’ve done since I got into real estate in 2018.

00:07:16:11 – 00:07:33:03

Chris Bello

So every time, you know, I it would flood in Houston and there would be properties and we’d say we’d buy them. When I worked with the wholesaling company before to get my start in real estate, I still get leads from those realtors that do that. I would buy those types of properties today. So it all stacks and compounds on itself.

00:07:33:03 – 00:07:42:19

Chris Bello

So anything that you do today, while you may not see an instant result, you can’t underestimate how powerful that could be a year or two from now, because you may still get business from that.

00:07:43:08 – 00:07:59:16

Brady Winder

Oh, absolutely. And it’s not it’s not exactly the type of evergreen marketing that we talk about accurate all the time, but it is still a form of evergreen marketing, you know, things like the podcast, where those podcast episodes live on, those conversations live on, people go back to them and listen to them. And it’s, it’s, it’s their long term.

00:07:59:16 – 00:08:17:04

Brady Winder

So this so some of these referrals tell me about how this works. Like if you get a referral out of state versus you get one in your markets in Denver or Houston, which appointments are you taking and which ones are you passing off? Like, what’s your team look like? How do you do this whole virtual realtor thing?

00:08:17:14 – 00:08:36:07

Chris Bello

Great questions. Great. I appreciate it, but I get the vibe of what you’re asking so personally in crafting my business the way that I have, you know, four hour work week, I mention that and Tim Ferriss talks a lot about having virtual assistants and how, you know, he traveled and he literally had virtual assistants handling his business and he thought everything was going to fall apart.

00:08:36:14 – 00:08:56:22

Chris Bello

And lo and behold, it continued to run without him. So I’ve kind of adopted that model for myself, where I don’t necessarily have employees or overhead or fixed expenses. It’s all kind of contract work, right? I’ve got a few virtual assistants in the Philippines. I’ve got someone who makes thumbnails for my podcast, for example, other people who can do the editing.

00:08:56:22 – 00:09:14:19

Chris Bello

For me, a transaction coordinator on the real estate side who writes up, offers for me. But the referral part, I can cherry pick the leads if it is a relationship that I know. Let’s say it’s a friend and I want to make sure I take great care of them and we do have that relationship. I may cherry pick that deal and work it myself.

00:09:15:03 – 00:09:34:01

Chris Bello

And if it’s someone that we know, a probate attorney sent me someone who inherited three or four properties and I don’t know that person. I may refer that out because we don’t even have a relationship anyway. Does that kind of make sense? So most recently, I can give you an example, perfect example, a probate attorney who actually was a friend from high school.

00:09:34:01 – 00:09:51:03

Chris Bello

It just works out now that he has leads for me that he can send my way. He had a client of his inherit three or four properties. I think like three lots or two of them were lots. One was a house and one was like a 12 unit apartment complex. And I had been to Houston for some time, so I referred the complex out.

00:09:51:03 – 00:10:10:04

Chris Bello

I haven’t really done any five plus unit properties on the listing side. I refer that to a commercial realtor friend that I know. Two months later he got it closed. He showed up to the title company and I got my, you know, four or $5,000 referral check wired to me without ever having to do anything. It was literally like a text message introduction.

00:10:10:18 – 00:10:15:01

Chris Bello

That’s that’s pretty cool. What can happen when you just have these referrals and you know how to actually route them?

00:10:15:10 – 00:10:20:00

Brady Winder

Yeah. Okay. So it sounds like you are you’re still the lead manager, though, right? You’re.

00:10:20:00 – 00:10:21:01

Chris Bello

Yeah, I’m the connections.

00:10:21:13 – 00:10:27:23

Brady Winder

Okay. Yeah. You don’t have none of your Vas and none of your team is going through all these leads, deciding where they go.

00:10:27:23 – 00:10:46:20

Chris Bello

Right? Right. It hasn’t been so overwhelming. I’m not doing paid marketing or anything like that. So it hasn’t been so overwhelming where I’m like, Man, I got 500 leads. Which one of these are actually good? It’s infrequent enough, I guess, or like a low enough volume where I can vet them, do the intro call, see if it’s a legitimate lead, you know, hey, you’re already listed, okay?

00:10:46:20 – 00:11:11:13

Chris Bello

This is a really solid referral that they’re listed in. They’re motivated. They’re trying to contact me to help them sell a faster. That may not necessarily be one that I pursue because it’s already on the market with another realtor, but I can also vet them and hand them out to other realtors. So the commercial guy, he got the commercial deal, another residential realtor may be my go to to send a referral to in Houston and it gets a little more complicated like the Mexico one.

00:11:11:13 – 00:11:33:20

Chris Bello

I didn’t know any realtors in Mexico, so I’m like, you know, in Facebook groups, hey, does anyone have a great realtor in Mexico? In Monterrey, I have someone who needs to sell. And then I do a quick 15 minute zoom call, get to know them, and then I’ll make that introduction. So we create the relationship, I pass the lead off, and then I just occasionally check in to make sure that things are going well and see what the status is on that transaction.

00:11:34:07 – 00:11:50:23

Brady Winder

Hmm. Okay. I love that that makes perfect sense. And I like how your your it’d be easy to like over delegate in this case like, oh, you know, automate and say, oh, all the out-of-state leads are going here, you know, right into my market are going to me. But I like how you’re doing that still. You still maintain that personal touch.

00:11:50:23 – 00:11:54:10

Brady Winder

It sounds like I maintain those relationships for sure. You know, as.

00:11:54:12 – 00:12:10:14

Chris Bello

I’m reaching out to those realtors myself. Right, I’m reaching out. We’re doing a quick zoom call. I like Zoom calls because it’s pretty much face to face where I see you. I see your mannerisms. You can see me. We’re both real people. And that gives me more faith and trust that you’re going to do what you need to do on your side.

00:12:10:14 – 00:12:33:15

Chris Bello

Whenever I make that introduction and I even had another referral client in Seattle got to talk to the realtor, I didn’t know it was a friend of a brother or know a brother of a friend. And I connected him to another realtor in Seattle. He bought a house. He loved the realtor. Realtor did a phenomenal job. And he’s going to be my go to anytime I ever have a realtor lead in Seattle, I’m going to call that guy because he did a great job.

00:12:33:15 – 00:12:35:12

Chris Bello

I got paid on it and the client was happy.

00:12:35:23 – 00:12:43:02

Brady Winder

Absolutely. And so you’re holding that you’re holding that accountability. You’re setting a standard, right? That you’re not just passing off the lead.

00:12:43:14 – 00:12:55:18

Chris Bello

Yeah. I want to make sure they have a great experience, too, especially if it’s like a relationship that I know. I don’t want to ruin that because, you know, your reputation is on the line. If you make a recommendation and they have a terrible experience that actually reflects poorly on you.

00:12:56:07 – 00:13:08:00

Brady Winder

Yeah. Oh, absolutely. So you talked about following up with your your partners, your other agents that your presence leads off to. Yeah. Is any of that automated? Are you doing automated reminders or is it just whenever it comes up in your mind?

00:13:08:11 – 00:13:27:18

Chris Bello

Yeah, occasionally it’ll just be, you know, I’ve got my little database that I check in to. How’s that lead going? I don’t want to be the annoying person who’s like, I want an update at 10 a.m. every Monday, you know, because I know we’re all busy in the market the way that it is. Like I mentioned earlier, I myself have clients who have been waiting on the sidelines for like a year for the market to crash.

00:13:27:18 – 00:13:47:19

Chris Bello

And they they just don’t want to make a decision. So, yeah, how frequently do I really follow up without being too annoying and too aggressive? Right. There’s that fine line of, Hey, I’ll check in with you in two months, or I don’t want to text you three times a day until you block me, especially if we’re friends. So there’s that fine line and just occasionally, ever, every couple of weeks, I’ll check in.

00:13:47:19 – 00:14:03:22

Chris Bello

Hey, any updates on those two buyers I sent you? How’s that looking? And it’s funny to see a lot of them were struggling with that, too, because they’re also seeing a lot of buyers waiting and waiting and waiting. And then sometimes sellers too are not sure if they want to sell because they got such a good interest rate.

00:14:04:06 – 00:14:18:10

Chris Bello

So we’re all kind of in that, you know, this is my first time seeing the downturn, the shift, as they may call it. I’ve only seen the up and up of like cool leads. Everyone wants to buy and sell. Yeah. So now I’m also getting a taste of, huh. All right, I got a lot of people who are waiting.

00:14:18:10 – 00:14:38:04

Chris Bello

How are we going to navigate this? How frequently do we follow up? But that’s the beauty of email marketing, which we can talk about too, is I just nurture my list and I send emails out, so I’m constantly staying top of mind. Whenever they’re ready, they’ll reach out, they’ll schedule a time to chat, they’ll reply to my email and my email list is well over a thousand contacts at this point.

00:14:38:21 – 00:14:56:08

Brady Winder

Okay. So I’m actually very curious about that because I feel like this is like for anyone listening emails not did you ever see a Facebook ad for some marketing agency? Like emails dead. Everything’s dead like everything. You know, email is alive and well. It’s working well for us, is working on for a lot of people that use it well.

00:14:56:16 – 00:15:12:14

Brady Winder

But a lot of people, they just don’t know what to talk about and they don’t know what to say. So like over a thousand people, that’s a lot of people. If it’s a high quality list, which it sounds like for you as a relationship builder, as a connector, that is a high quality list. Yeah. What, what are you emailing them?

00:15:12:14 – 00:15:26:01

Brady Winder

Because I feel like for most people, the extent of email marketing as a real estate professional is like, I send out my monthly market update, here’s the spreadsheet, or we have these listings like, that’s it. What are you talking to people about to keep them engaged?

00:15:26:11 – 00:15:45:01

Chris Bello

Great question. So this has been something I’ve been working on building since before I even really got into real estate. I started my podcast in 2017, got into real estate in 2018. So I’ve been a nerd about email marketing and just marketing in general and figuring out, you know, who’s the avatar, what’s the offer, what’s the message, the copywriting.

00:15:45:06 – 00:16:04:07

Chris Bello

Those are all things that take time to learn. And I know Trevor is also a student of that. Like, I’ve learned a lot of that through his content that I’ve listened to. You know, there’s the Russell Brunson’s of the world, the Gary V’s of the world, they’re all figuring out what resonates with their audience. What does their audience want to hear more about, and if something’s getting good engagement or like a podcast.

00:16:04:07 – 00:16:24:01

Chris Bello

I think you mentioned that earlier. When we’re talking a podcast that’s getting more downloads, you try to figure out why. Why is this one getting way more downloads and engagement than that other one? Maybe people want to hear more about this topic. So for me, I’ve been talking more about, Hey guys, here’s my newest podcast episode. I interview so and so we talk about this, this and that.

00:16:24:07 – 00:16:41:20

Chris Bello

You’re going to find a lot of value. So I try to share what I’m up to as well as new content that may be helpful for them. It’s nothing at all related to real estate. You know, it’s very different than a lot of realtors do it, but I’ll have my calls to action at the bottom like. P.S. Just a reminder, I’m still helping my clients buy and sell real estate.

00:16:41:20 – 00:16:59:14

Chris Bello

Here’s my latest listing that you want to check out. And if you want to schedule a time to chat, just reply to this email or click this link to schedule a call with me through coulombe. So they’re constantly being reminded, not in an annoying way, not like Here’s my ten listings that we got four open houses this weekend and when do you want to buy or sell?

00:16:59:14 – 00:17:11:22

Chris Bello

Please send me referrals. It’s not like that. It’s more passive, just like that soft call to action. Hey, I’m here when you need me. But if you don’t, here’s some great content you can check out. In the meantime so that I take Mindspace up in their brains, right?

00:17:12:05 – 00:17:14:19

Brady Winder

Yeah. And you’re adding it’s value.

00:17:14:19 – 00:17:31:19

Chris Bello

Values? Yes. Leading with value. Leading with results is always very helpful because now you open the reciprocity loop. You’ve given them so much stuff for free that when they’re ready, they reply back, Hey, Chris, I’m ready to buy that house or I’m ready to sell my house. You’re the only person that came to mind.

00:17:32:09 – 00:17:52:11

Brady Winder

So. So ensure in your head. This 1000 person plus email list is not a promotional or marketing method list. This is a value driven the thing. Whereas I’m going to help these people. I’m going to give them content that’s relevant and valuable to them and remind them what I’m up to. Build that relationship piece. I’m still an agent.

00:17:52:20 – 00:17:56:11

Brady Winder

You still help you buy or sell your house. And it’s working. It’s working well for you.

00:17:56:13 – 00:18:14:05

Chris Bello

Yeah, it’s working. The only frustrating thing I will say, since I’ve gotten into real estate and focused on attraction marketing, that method, the pull versus the push, my only frustration is it’s very unpredictable. Like, you know, the go giver mentality. You’re always giving and giving and giving and you never really know when is it going to come back.

00:18:14:09 – 00:18:39:12

Chris Bello

I was sharing that on a call. I was on the other day and you’re not supposed to give with the intention of getting back. I know that. But it’s harder to to measure versus, as I said, 5000 mailers out. I get X amount of phone calls, we get this many deals. You don’t necessarily have that visibility, but you just know and you just have to have faith that if you continue to put good out there and give the best stuff that you can, it’s going to come back tenfold.

00:18:40:02 – 00:18:55:09

Brady Winder

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s like you do it because, you know, it works. And yeah, in some sense it’s just delayed gratification. Like you said, it’s sort of the podcast in 2017. That’s not an overnight success. You’ve been doing it for years, but I feel like a lot of people don’t want to put in years worth of work.

00:18:55:09 – 00:18:56:19

Brady Winder

They want the Quick Hits.

00:18:57:00 – 00:18:57:18

Chris Bello

100%.

00:18:58:12 – 00:19:18:03

Brady Winder

That’s cool. So you talked about Townley has been a game changer for you. I know Keith said we’re talking about the earlier he’s use currently close multiple deals from having it connected to his care site. After the step to form, it’s like booking a calendar appointment with me. You’re using it to free up your time and your really your mental space.

00:19:18:16 – 00:19:21:15

Brady Winder

What other tools are using, using Zapier or anything like that?

00:19:22:02 – 00:19:42:01

Chris Bello

Yeah. So the main ones that I’ve been teaching some other realtors about lately, I use Counly. There’s paid and free versions. If you want to do like the free version, you can connect calendar with like a MailChimp or a Weber with Zapier. But if you do have the premium, I think you need the premium coulombe account to be able to integrate directly with an email provider such as MailChimp.

00:19:42:13 – 00:20:02:23

Chris Bello

So really the way that it works is someone schedules at time with me on calendar, they’re on my calendar, they get reminders. The Zoom link is automatically sent to both of us, so that saves me time. I’m not scrambling. 5 minutes before the call to send them any links. And then if you have Zapier, you can have an integration to add those contacts to your email list or provider.

00:20:03:13 – 00:20:24:10

Chris Bello

If you do, I will say again, if you do have the premium version of Coulombe, which I think I pay like $11 for a month, it’s the cheapest software that has opened my life up the most. If you have that premium version, you can definitely integrate directly. So now let’s say Brady signs up on my podcast or to schedule a call, you’re automatically added into my Weber email list.

00:20:24:10 – 00:20:42:21

Chris Bello

And you know, the email providers, all the software is interchangeable. If you don’t use a Weber, you can use constant contact or MailChimp. It’s just a method for building your list and communicating with your people. So that allows me to stay in touch with people and you’ll go through a certain sequence like, Hey, thanks so much for scheduling your time on Cowardly.

00:20:43:04 – 00:21:00:12

Chris Bello

Or if you download my free thing, there’s different opt in forms, right? So you’ll get the message depending on where you found me. If you want my free thing on productivity and my my little complete life tracker is what I call it, you’ll get a couple emails about that and then you get added to my broadcast list where you’ll hear from me two times a week.

00:21:01:07 – 00:21:08:19

Chris Bello

Does that kind of make sense? So I can have different ways for you to find me and give you some tailored content before funneling you into my weekly newsletter?

00:21:09:04 – 00:21:21:04

Brady Winder

Yeah, absolutely. That makes sense. And so when you when you started on this email marketing path, did it start with that many layers to it or was it simple like one little funnel, like calendar, the thank you email.

00:21:21:14 – 00:21:36:15

Chris Bello

It was super simple. Oh yeah, I was super simple. Just like, Hey, I can’t wait to work with you eventually, you know, if I can help in any way, here’s what I do. And it had my, you know, realtor, my fancy buttoned up in a suit picture or whatever I took, you know, when I first got into real estate.

00:21:36:20 – 00:21:57:17

Chris Bello

And now it’s just my casual t shirt. You know, I’m embracing more of that personal brand and being more of myself. So it’s evolved. I know a lot of people struggle with this. You talked about it earlier, too. What do I email my people? What do they want to hear? And it stinks to say. And, you know, you have to kind of tested an experiment like you talked about earlier with the podcasts, create a bunch of content.

00:21:57:17 – 00:22:15:00

Chris Bello

You can only connect the dots. Looking backwards, I think Steve Jobs said that. So you had to create all this content, send all these emails out, and then you can look back and see which ones had the highest open rates, which one had the highest click rates? Why? What did we talk about was the subject line of question, Did I have a compelling offer?

00:22:15:08 – 00:22:32:10

Chris Bello

Who’s clicking on these emails? Right, and what are they? What are they? Real estate agent? Are they some random entrepreneur who found my podcast and entrepreneurship? And you can start to kind of test and tweak the messaging and it’s just an experiment and you get a little bit better every single time you put an email out or a piece of content out.

00:22:32:23 – 00:22:49:16

Brady Winder

Hmm. I love that. I love that. It’s funny as you’re talking about this erm remembering an email exchange you and I had a while back, I sent out I was same thing is what we’re talking about was promoting a podcast I’ve been promoting, I use it as a loose word. But anyways I said, hey, we just did this podcast called The Ethics of Wholesaling.

00:22:49:16 – 00:22:51:20

Brady Winder

Part two. We did a live stream. Love free to check it out.

00:22:51:22 – 00:22:52:19

Chris Bello

I replaced it.

00:22:52:20 – 00:23:06:04

Brady Winder

Yeah. So these are the questions that keep me up at night. And I was being serious. I was I mean, I said it tongue in cheek, but these are the ethical things I struggle with when it comes to real estate. And I’m, like I said in the email to or our whole list, carrots. So list, what are your thoughts like?

00:23:06:04 – 00:23:10:01

Brady Winder

Do you struggle with these things in your reply? And I was like, Oh Chris, I’ve heard from them in a while.

00:23:10:13 – 00:23:27:05

Chris Bello

So these things work because I literally shared like, Yeah, man, I remember we had this old lady who was months behind on her mortgage. Her lights went out. How much is enough? Like, do I felt a little bad? Like, do we really need to make $30,000 on this assignment fee or should we have made 20 so that she had ten grand more?

00:23:27:05 – 00:23:35:02

Chris Bello

You know, some of those ethical questions definitely come into play. And that right there started the conversation which led to us being here talking today.

00:23:35:12 – 00:24:01:11

Brady Winder

Yeah, absolutely. It works. The proof is in the pudding. It is. So I got a couple more questions before we kind of wrap it up here. First, on the what we’ve been talking about on the tactical side of like, how does this business run? And then I wanna talk to you about your podcast selfishly. What would so I guess to kind of wrap the virtual realtor side of the business, what, what would you suggest to an agent or investor just do in their traditional business model?

00:24:01:11 – 00:24:16:06

Brady Winder

They’re working 40 to 8000 hours a week. What’s the first thing I mean, what besides calendar you would suggest like, hey, here’s how you can start to buy back some of your time or like any sort of inspiration for them to get them in the right direction for sure.

00:24:16:06 – 00:24:32:22

Chris Bello

So I do live and die by my calendar and I think a lot of people, when they first get started, there’s so many things to learn, right? You’re not really using a Google calendar or digital calendar. You might have one appointment on their one Zoom call that you accepted, but most people are like, Oh my gosh, I didn’t realize I have this appointment, right?

00:24:32:22 – 00:24:55:17

Chris Bello

I didn’t even know it was on my calendar. They’re not even checking. So if you start using a digital calendar, I personally like can use Google calendar really easy. They have a great app. It’s easy to use on a computer. Use that for everything. If something gets moved or deleted, remove it from your calendar. If something gets added like a birthday dinner, put that on your calendar and that right there will enable you to see where you’re spending your time.

00:24:56:00 – 00:25:10:06

Chris Bello

Because I can look at the last two years and tell you on a certain day I can just like do a relay and just pick a random day. Boom. I can tell you what I did that day and I can tell you what I didn’t do because literally it’s not going to be on the calendar. It’ll show as deleted right?

00:25:10:06 – 00:25:34:09

Chris Bello

So you do that. You see where you’re spending your time and that combined with a tool. But you can set rules in place, right? So if you’re not using a calendar, please do yourself a favor, use a calendar time block and have set rules for yourself. So for me, for example, I don’t even take any calls. I wasn’t taking any calls before 1 p.m. for the longest time, so we’d have the whole morning to create content, focus on deep work and that kind of thing.

00:25:34:09 – 00:25:43:08

Chris Bello

So it just depends. What’s your ideal perfect schedule? Write that down on a piece of paper and build your life in a way that actually honors that perfect schedule.

00:25:44:11 – 00:25:52:22

Brady Winder

You said before, not before 1 p.m. for a while were you getting are you getting calls in there? People are trying to reach out to you or you had to shift that or what happened there?

00:25:53:07 – 00:26:14:11

Chris Bello

Yeah, I definitely opened it up. I know. I think it was an Alex for Mozzie podcast where he’s like, Hey, I was working with gyms and they had sales intake calls at 7 a.m.. That was their only availability. Like you need to be more flexible because that is the most important thing, right? So for me, for like a real estate intake call, for example, like that 15 minute real estate intro call, I just opened it up.

00:26:14:11 – 00:26:32:19

Chris Bello

I said, Fine, you know, it’s a ten or 15 minute intro call. I’m willing to take those starting at 8 p.m. and ending no later than 8 p.m. so that I can be most available for my leads whenever they need to reach me. Because I know people are busy, they work full time. So if I’m just like, you can only talk to me between one and 4 p.m., good luck.

00:26:32:19 – 00:26:41:11

Chris Bello

I hope that works. You know, I’m losing opportunities in those cases and so that’s the only reason I kind of opened it up a little bit more to make sure to make that availability for people.

00:26:41:20 – 00:26:51:11

Brady Winder

Okay, cool. Yeah. And you’re still making time for that deep work, which yeah. Man, that could be that, that it’ll be a whole nother podcast episode on its own. Someday we’ll talk about deep work some time.

00:26:51:16 – 00:26:52:15

Chris Bello

Yeah, we’d love to.

00:26:53:07 – 00:27:13:11

Brady Winder

Yeah. So lastly, before wrap it up, I want to hear a little bit more about your podcast journey because originally before this interview I was thinking this is two separate conversations how the real estate business runs in the podcast, but clearly you’ve integrated them really well and is getting you a lot of business. You’ve had the opportunity to interview some really big names on the podcast.

00:27:13:22 – 00:27:21:04

Brady Winder

I want to know, I want to know how you got them on the show or what are you doing to get these people on? And for the listeners, who are some of these names that you’ve had on?

00:27:21:13 – 00:27:40:18

Chris Bello

Yeah, I’ve had, you know, Degrassi O.C. Billie Jean is marketing Dan Fleischman, Trevor Mark, of course, on the show, I think Dan Locke as well. There’s been some big guests, some authors that have come on. And it’s funny because I tell people it sounds fancier than it is, but a lot of times people have a new book that’s coming out and they’re doing their book launch.

00:27:41:02 – 00:28:02:23

Chris Bello

They’re literally willing to go on all the podcasts because it’s driving more traffic to their books. So you can easily land those guests who just came out with a book and say, Hey, I’ve got this podcast. We’ve been going since 2017, close to 400 episodes and established incredibly witty. And you can actually, surprisingly land some of these whales of guests that other people are going to be super impressed by.

00:28:03:08 – 00:28:24:00

Chris Bello

And a lot of my guests have actually come from DMS. Maybe I’ve heard a podcast of someone on another show. I really resonated and I said, You know, Kelsey Graves was one guy that I interviewed. He has a YouTube channel called Win the House. You Love. And I heard him on another podcast talking about how he was a burnt out loan originator and was tired of taking those calls at 10 p.m. and 6 a.m..

00:28:24:10 – 00:28:45:22

Chris Bello

And he went all in on YouTube to build his following, you know, almost 200,000 subscribers and his entire business is online. So that was one guy just deemed like, hey, man, I wanted it to be real and not one of these fake canned responses that’s from a VA that’s clearly like copy paste template. Hey, when the house you love is great to connect with you, it was Hey Kyle, I really resonated with what you talked about on that certain podcast.

00:28:46:08 – 00:29:01:02

Chris Bello

I’m kind of that burnt out agent, too. I’m referring a lot of deals out because I want to see how do I fit my lifestyle to fit what my my dream outcome would be and got him on the show. Two weeks later, he’s like, Hey, here’s my email. And two weeks later we had a podcast conversation. I had him on my show.

00:29:01:08 – 00:29:10:11

Chris Bello

So a lot of these just start with there’s a lot of value. If you could add to my audience, here’s my link. If you’re interested in scheduling a time and you’d be surprised how well that works.

00:29:11:00 – 00:29:16:04

Brady Winder

And you made that personal connection too. So he sees our staff. I did.

00:29:16:04 – 00:29:16:18

Chris Bello

My homework.

00:29:17:04 – 00:29:23:09

Brady Winder

Yeah. You’re like, okay, this person values my message. This is going to be a real conversation. And they’re not just in it for the PR.

00:29:23:21 – 00:29:25:01

Chris Bello

Exactly, exactly.

00:29:25:02 – 00:29:35:02

Brady Winder

Are you reaching out to like, are you just going to like Google on them front in the contact form on the website? Or are you making like relationships or connections with PR, you know, publicists?

00:29:35:02 – 00:29:54:14

Chris Bello

Yeah. A lot of times it’s really just straight up a DM to them. So that example, Kyle, it is more of a private account. I requested a follow. He’s not very public on his Instagram sentiment. DM told him, Hey, I love what you’re doing. I’d love to have your story on my show if you’re open to it. And so coming from that place of, look, I listen to this, I resonate with that.

00:29:54:14 – 00:30:19:02

Chris Bello

I’m not just trying to get guests on the show for the sake of doing it or for the PR or whatever. And so that really rings, you know, stands out to them and they see that, okay, this sounds like someone I can have a great conversation with and create a relationship with. So that works. And alternatively, for other podcasters, for any podcasters listening, if you offer a podcast swap like propose that, that’s always a great win win because you get something and they get something.

00:30:19:02 – 00:30:34:06

Chris Bello

It’s like, Hey, you be on my show, I’ll expose your message to my audience and I’d love a chance to share my message with your audience. So we both add value to each other. We can both kind of do back to back podcast recordings, and it’s a win win for us both, assuming that you’re kind of more or less in the same range, right?

00:30:34:06 – 00:30:47:12

Chris Bello

You’re not trying to get on like Jordan Harbingers podcast if you’ve only done one episode because that’s not really like a fair. He’s already at that seven figure a year sponsorship level. You can’t expect to get him on your show if you only, like, started your podcast last week.

00:30:48:03 – 00:30:59:06

Brady Winder

Yeah, absolutely. Okay. I love that’s a good tip. It’s a reminder for me, the biggest name I booked was on my current cast was a couple of years back and it was Greg McEwan, author of Essentialism.

00:30:59:06 – 00:31:00:04

Chris Bello

Essentialism. Well.

00:31:00:15 – 00:31:19:08

Brady Winder

I don’t know. There’s only a couple of books that have changed my life, like the Bible and Essentialism, I don’t know, maybe a couple of others. But I reached out to his team, his website, same thing, very personal message. Hey, I read this book, Change My Life. We send this out to team members and he happened to be on a promotion run for his follow book, Effortless.

00:31:19:08 – 00:31:29:11

Brady Winder

And his staff reached out to me, said, Hey, we’re actually looking for opportunities. And it was awesome. Locked it in. I was like, Oh my gosh. And then he gets on the podcast is like, So what are we talking about? Who’s carrot? What are we doing?

00:31:30:10 – 00:31:49:06

Chris Bello

That’s cool. Even Bob Berg, the go giver, right? We had him on on the podcast as well. And just following up, you’ll be surprised the number of DMS that actually pan out and most recently, the podcast conference, I met a guy we’d exchanged a few messages and I’m like, Dude, I saw your webinar and we had messaged on LinkedIn, but we kind of never followed through.

00:31:49:06 – 00:32:03:17

Chris Bello

And a year later we just actually had that conversation. A week or two, I had him on my podcast, so all those little seeds to go back full circle, all those seeds that you plant, they do come back. You just keep on planting the seeds and stay consistent and you’ll be amazed at what you can do.

00:32:03:17 – 00:32:24:03

Brady Winder

That’s awesome. And we’re recording this pretty far in advance. This episode will come out in December, but by the time it comes out, we just booked Bob Burg on the podcast. So for anyone listening to this, go back and listen to the Bob episode from November anyways, that’s about that’s about all I got for you, man. It’s, it’s it’s been a long conversation.

00:32:24:03 – 00:32:40:12

Brady Winder

I think you’ve helped a lot of people. I really love your business model, how you’re doing this. You really have bought back a lot of time. It’s it’s you can see you’re not you’re not strung out. You’re not stressed out. And you really have done a good job of designing your, quote unquote, lifestyle business.

00:32:41:01 – 00:32:43:17

Chris Bello

Yeah. And it all starts with being intentional.

00:32:44:08 – 00:32:52:04

Brady Winder

Yeah. So my last question for you, if we wrap it up, man, what’s what’s driving you forward right now? Like, what’s the next step for you? I like.

00:32:52:04 – 00:33:07:00

Chris Bello

Man, great question. And honestly, that’s what I’ve been struggling with and that’s why I’ve kind of taken my foot off the gas. And I’ve not been sure with the clarity of what I want to do. And like Trevor talks about, you know, I feel like I kind of run out of vision like my runway. I got to come up with a bigger vision.

00:33:07:00 – 00:33:21:13

Chris Bello

What’s that five year thing that I can really run towards full speed instead of just hustling some real estate here and there to make some money, which is where I kind of feel like I’ve gotten to in a way where I’m not necessarily always passionate about it. I’m just doing it. Okay, let me do a couple more deals.

00:33:22:01 – 00:33:45:14

Chris Bello

So now it’s more how do I do something more that’s exciting to me? Maybe even rebranding the podcast and really making it my own and not being so serious and trying to be all professional, you know, really putting my own personality into it more. I think that’s kind of the direction I’m going in is just embracing who is Chris Bello and how do I really put that into everything that I do and just pour my energy and attention into those things.

00:33:45:20 – 00:33:57:08

Chris Bello

So I hope I know it’s kind of a vague answer, but long story short, I’m just really trying to figure out what is the next 3 to 5 years look for me, other than just doing X amount of deals per year and increasing by 20%, right?

00:33:57:18 – 00:34:14:06

Brady Winder

Yeah. No, I appreciate the honesty and transparency and it’s like I think I’d be I would think that like nine out of ten of Americans are in the same boat is like our vision runway. It runs out over a few years. You’re right. But I think about everyone’s ran out at some point during the pandemic. It’s like, what are we even doing anymore?

00:34:14:11 – 00:34:32:15

Chris Bello

For sure. For sure. My life coach said that the terms called languishing where a lot of people are just kind of burnt out. We’ve all been pushing through no vacations like, you know, we’ve just been grinding and trying to make things as normal as possible. And deep down, we’re kind of just like burning ourselves into the ground by trying to keep going and staying optimistic.

00:34:32:21 – 00:34:49:07

Chris Bello

So the term that she said was called languishing and I looked it up, there’s a podcast on it where you just feel kind of like, meh, like I’ve been feeling net a lot lately and I think a lot of people can relate, you know? So yeah, the focus on gratitude, that’s a reminder to myself too, because realistically we all have so much to be grateful for.

00:34:49:15 – 00:34:53:18

Chris Bello

We just often forget it because I’m like, Well, when Lambo, I don’t have a Lambo yet. Like.

00:34:55:02 – 00:35:13:23

Brady Winder

Yeah, focus on gratitude. And then at some point we just get a laugh about it and just get along with Awesome Man, where can people find you? We talked about your podcast all the time. Entrepreneur Podcast, Motivation podcast, that is the name, so go listen to It’s Great podcast. Where else can people find you and connect with you?

00:35:14:05 – 00:35:32:11

Chris Bello

Yeah, thanks. Brady So the best way is if you go to Chris Bello, e-commerce or ISP, as in Boy E Slocombe, you can find me, you can get my complete life tracker is my free thing. You can see how my systems work. I literally tell people you can funnel hack me, get my free thing, and you can see how my email sequence works.

00:35:32:11 – 00:35:49:09

Chris Bello

What emails? You get my calls to action in the past. I also have a free training on there for real estate agents that I’ve created more recently on some of these automations that we talked about today. So that’s also at my website and then I’m also most active on Instagram. Chris Bello Underscore is the best place to find me on there.

00:35:49:23 – 00:36:06:23

Brady Winder

Awesome. Sounds good. Well, thank you for offering that our for our guests for our listeners go funnel hack Chris Christie come if you ever have for anyone listening if you have any thoughts on the episode questions for myself, questions for Chris about his business model or how he’s doing this. If you want to talk about it, email me.

00:36:06:23 – 00:36:20:20

Brady Winder

Brady at Care.com. I love to chat about it and love to hear your thoughts and thanks for listening everyone. If you got value out of this, share this episode with a friend I greatly appreciate. It helps more people find the podcast. So I have an awesome week. Chris, thanks for joining us, man.

00:36:20:22 – 00:36:22:03

Chris Bello

You too. Thanks, Brady.

00:36:22:11 – 00:36:36:15

Brady Winder

See everyone.

About Chris Bello:

Chris Bello is a top-producing real estate agent with a background in Supply Chain Management. This unique blend has helped him figure out how to increase the efficiency in his business as well as the businesses of real estate agents across the nation.

These systems work so well that he has been helping clients and closing transactions in Texas 100% remotely, having relocated to Denver in March 2021 with his fiancé.

In his free time, Chris loves hiking and being outdoors. He also hosts the Entrepreneur Motivation Podcast, which has amassed over 1.8M+ overall downloads.

Brady Winder

Carrot's Content Strategist & Host of Carrot's Podcast. Loves family, music, good conversation and all things Volvo.

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