BreakAway Agent Podcast Episode #11 with Courtney Self from Hunter Mason Realty
How To Be An Industry Disrupter With Real Estate Auctions Featuring Courtney Self
The BreakAway Agent Podcast is all about identifying agents that stand out from the crowd. Courtney Self started her real estate career shortly after high school and worked on selling homes and investment properties throughout college. Not just satisfied being a top agent, Courtney decided she needed more of a challenge, and in 2010 opened her own real estate firm. She has helped Hunter Mason Realty grow from a 2 person office to 3 locations with over 30 team members in the South Bay in California. She shares her insights into how real estate auctions don’t have to just be a process for old or bank-owned houses. They can be a great model and system for pricing non-distressed homes.
Listen in to the full episode as Tiffany and Courtney talk about creating great habits and growing your business with out of the box ideas.
There Is No Magic Bullet
Courtney starts off by saying that she got to where she is today by working her butt off. There is no specific magic bullet, there is no secret sauce. It just takes hard works. She jokes by saying that the real estate industry is the hardest easy job in the world. The concept of talking to people and selling homes is simple, but the hard part is that real estate is all consuming.
Make The Process Easier For Buyers AND Agents
Something that Harcourts Hunter Mason Realty does is selling homes by auction. They have sold over 1000 homes through non-distress real estate auctions. It’s not just for foreclosures, it’s just a great system to help homes get sold for the very best price.
Making the process easier for buyers AND agents is a great habit to get into. Part of the process of selling homes this why is by getting an inspection and disclosures up front. When a buyer comes and looks at the house, they can see everything. Hunter Mason Realty does all the inspections right away, and it ends up saving both the buyer and the agents more time. It’s something they have gotten in the habit of doing with regular listings too. It just makes sense to disclose absolutely everything first so that buyers know exactly what to expect and the house sells for the right price.
Auction Models Can Be A Great Tool And System For Pricing
Courtney loves using real estate auction models as a tool for getting the right price. Often times agents will recommend a price and the house won’t come close to it. Whether the market has shifted, or the comps were off, as an agent you don’t want to feel like you have egg on your face.
Starting with a minimum bid price, auction listed homes can still get offers. Courtney says she will typically get between 7-15 offers on each home that goes up for auction.
Buyers Know The Market, Sometimes Better Than The Listing Agent
Typically on homes that are about to be auctioned, Courtney sees a variety of offers come in that help her identify what the house might go for with a traditional listing. Often she notices that buyers know the market better than the listing agent. They are actively looking for homes in their ideal neighbor, within a certain price point, so they know what they are going to be getting.
Courtney reinforces the idea that real estate auctions on non-distress homes can help you get a price for a home that you might not get normally if you listed it traditionally. Overall, she loves the system. It’s easier for the agent, it’s more transparent for the buyer, and it’s a benefit for the seller. Everyone knows what people are willing to pay, and the whole process is authentic.
Real Estate Takes Courage
What drew Courtney into the Harcourts model is their values. People first, doing the right thing, being courageous, fun and laughter. Real estate can be really fun, but you also have to be a courageous person to succeed in this industry. It can be a scary industry. You have to be able to talk to people about hard things and help them with the biggest investment of their lives.
Real estate is full of little challenges, and it takes courage to be committed 100%.
Pride Yourself On Being Reachable
Become the broker or agent who answers the phone. Courtney quickly became a full-service brokerage, so that she could be available to answer questions and hold agents’ hands if they needed it. Be like Courtney, and pride yourself on being reachable. She gets back to her agents right away when they have questions for two reasons:
- She wants them to be successful and be an asset to their clients.
- It’s her license that is on the line, so she needs to make sure they do it the right way!
Be Committed 100%
When looking to add people to her team, Courtney looks for people who are going to show up and be committed. Too often she sees people dabbling in real estate and then backing out when they realize how challenging this industry can be. If you’re not willing to give 100%, you most likely will not be successful.
Real estate isn’t a job. It’s a lifestyle.
Tell Everyone What You Do
Just like we stated above, real estate is a lifestyle. It’s not just a job. When you’re out and about, it is your job to tell everyone what you do. Don’t be that annoying person who just passes out their business card at social events. Real estate is about helping people. It’s about gaining trust and gaining connections.
If you aren’t comfortable with selling yourself and telling everyone that you can help them with real estate, then you should find another career path.
Get Your Database Together
Most people, even if you are new in real estate, have a database of people who they can help and gain referrals from. Your contact database is the backbone of your business.
Especially in real estate, it is important that you show up every day. Even when it’s slow, even when you don’t have much going on. Show up every day and research listings, go to open houses, network with other agents. There is always something you can be doing to grow yourself and your business.
Give Back But Don’t Overcommit
As an agent, it’s important to give back to the community, but don’t overcommit and let your business suffer. Join something local that can help you feel like you are contributing and also help you grow your business. Network, volunteer, but remember where your focus is at. Don’t waste your time on too many volunteer opportunities and get behind on your business.
Get involved in your community, because it is the community that keeps bringing you business, but make sure you don’t lose focus.
Courtney Self recommends finding extracurriculars that will help you find joy in your life and will help you meet new people. If you are only spending time with other agents or brokers, you might make great friends, but they won’t help your business grow.
Technology Won’t Do The Work For You
There is a lot of great technology in this business, but it won’t do the work for you. A lot of agents gravitate toward technology, but it won’t do your job for you. Don’t get too hung up on all the “shiny objects” that promise you quick success. You can always hire someone to help you and do a better job than you might.
Don’t waste your time chasing perfection, just keep moving forward and helping people. Ultimately, if you’re focused, your business will grow.
Remember at the end of the day, you are the one who has to do the work. If you are committed and ready to grow, you will succeed. Go out there and start meeting people so that in a few months, you’ll still have steady business. Try out of the box ideas, like real estate auctions, and you can be a successful industry disrupter.
About Our BreakAway Guest
Courtney Self, Broker-Owner
Courtney started her real estate career just out of high school (1986) and sold homes & investment properties while in college. For many years she was a top agent but in 2010, feeling like she needed a challenge, she opened her own real estate firm and named it after her sons, Hunter and Mason. Since then, Hunter Mason Realty has grown from a 2 person office to over 30 team members and 3 locations in the South Bay in California.