[blockquote cite=”Joe Saccone” align=”left” reverse=”off”]“I felt like I needed to plug into what was working elsewhere and bring it into my market so that I could leapfrog the local competition.”[/blockquote]
NAEA: Great thanks. Just to make sure that I’ve got everybody’s name set right and spelled right, could you just say your first name and last name and then spell it for me please.
Joe: Sure. Joe Saccone. Last name spelled s-a-c-c-o-n-e
NAEA: Great. What city are you working out of and what state?
Joe: Buffalo, New York.
NAEA: Buffalo, New York, nice. You said before that you’ve worked with a Keller Williams franchise and is there a specific name for the Keller Williams franchise?
Joe: It’s called Keller Williams Realty, Buffalo North Town.
NAEA: I’ve got about 7 questions that we’re going to go through. I’d like to keep things in story format, so it doesn’t feel like- this is not a survey, this is not an interview. This is you telling your story, because there are people out there who are – this is the whole point of why you and I are talking – there are people out there, who are like you. Who have gotten to a certain point in their life, a certain point in their business and they’re trying to make a difference. People take action when they have an awareness over what that problem is. You had an awareness over something in your life, something in your business, maybe a combination of the two, that made you aware of a problem that you’ve tried to solve. The solution that it brought to you, that you brought to yourself in some format or form that we’ll get to, was NAEA. Would you mind talking about the story behind how you first became aware of NAEA and what your business was like at the time?
Joe: Sure, it was actually several years ago. I would think it might have to be 4 or 5 years ago when I first stumbled upon the Kinder Reese website. I remember very clearly, I was at my parent’s house. They were in Florida and I stopped to check on the house. I brought my laptop and I was hanging out, doing some work. Just doing a little research online cause I was at a point in my real estate career where I was doing well without trying terribly hard. I just didn’t know how to get to the next level. I was with an independent, local company at the time and there was no direction. I immediately– what I stumbled upon…
NAEA: Would you mind going into defining what “well” is, cause “well” for some agents is 20 deals a month and “well” is 20 deals a year for others.
Joe: Sure, I was probably in the business for 4 or 5 years and I was doing between 25 and 30 transactions a year working by myself. No assistant, no buyers agents, anything like that. I didn’t know-
NAEA: Go getter, just make it happen…
Joe: That’s it – no experience in the real estate industry, came from a totally different, unrelated business. Nobody was really putting together a plan or vision of where I could go or what was possible. The people that I was seeing in my local market that were very successful had been in the business 20 / 30 / 40 years. And I was being told that you just had to pay your dues and build up a database. After a period of time, you can do the kind of transactions they were doing. I did not want to wait to get to that level. I wanted a quicker path, really, to the top.
NAEA: This was 3 or 4 years after you started, you came across NAEA’s website- sorry at the time was Kinder Reese. You, just kind of, Google search, was there- did you type in Kinder Reese, did you…
Joe: I was. I was looking for some sort of direction. Honestly, NAEA, I think at the time, somebody had mentioned Craig Proctor, so I may have been looking at some of his stuff. Somehow, you know how Google is, you just stumble in to something else. I literally just stumbled onto Kinder Reese.
NAEA: What were the feelings at the time. You kind of alluded to it and I try to get as specific as possible. How ever far we can go into it, that’s great. Some people will have a failed transaction and – “You know, I just hired somebody and did all the training and all of the sudden, ” – I’m giving an example, “I thought they were going got be a great cultural fit, and then all of a sudden they flipped out and turned to be a dud. Then it happened again and again and after the fourth time, such and such. I said, you know what, enough is enough. I need to solve x y z problem.” So, I know that you were looking to get to the top faster, but was there a specific – all right, this just happened. Was there a prompting event or prompting conversation or prompting word that you can remember that made you jump on the computer and say let’s do coaching. Or was it more of a passive “Let’s see what’s out there” and you got drawn in by the allure of what you were seeing from your research.
Joe: It really was the latter because the company I was with at the time was a local, independent company. There was one manager who serviced the whole company and had no real estate selling experience. His idea of getting to the next level was the company helping – the company offering me incremental increases in an advertising budget without really being directed anywhere specific. It was really throwing stuff against the wall and see what works. I felt like I was getting zero direction.
NAEA: Kind of like- “Hey, we’re an employer and here’s a little bit toward your 401K- 401K matching and if you somehow manage to make it work and figure out all the strategies of investment, then good luck to you. Here’s a little bit of extra money.” But nothing like here’s the strategic route and here’s the plan on how to get there.
Joe: Nothing strategic at all about it. Nothing where they could point toward a single person and say, that person- where that person was 3 years ago is where you are today and by following this specific system, or following this advice or guideline, he got to where he is today. There was no roadmap or proven success. Just nobody there- everybody had figured it out on their own in some way, shape or form and nobody there was super successful that hadn’t been doing- hadn’t been in this business for quite a while. There was nobody with 5 years or less that I felt was doing things that would make my jaw drop.
NAEA: Yeah, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, so I’m just going to ask what might seem an obvious- a question that has an obvious answer. But, what did that feel like? What was the feeling when that, when you came to that realization?
Joe: My feeling was, what am I doing here and how do I extricate myself from this. And put myself in a position with people that get it. I’ve always felt that most of the local real estate people and competition, nobody really gets it. I felt like they were 20 years behind the times. Nobody really saw what was possible that I even saw in my own little market. I just didn’t know how to get there. I knew there were much, much bigger goals and that there were people in different parts of the country that were doing things different. I just didn’t know what they were.
NAEA: So it’s accurate to say that you’re the type of person that is always looking for the next level of result. Looking up as you’re looking forward at the same time?
Joe: Yes, I’m a big believer in not reinventing the wheel. I believe, I’m fortunate in one respect – being on the east coast in a mid-size market that’s not cutting edge that there are things going on today in bigger markets and typically in the west coast. Like anything, there are people there that are doing things that will become mainstream in 3, 4 or 5 years in different parts of the country. I felt like I needed to plug into what was working elsewhere and bring it into my market so that I could leapfrog the local competition.
NAEA: We have a thing at NAEA. I don’t know if you’ve heard it yet, but if you haven’t please allow me to be the first to welcome to it: It’s seek the best, to be the best.
That’s basically the process and philosophy that NAEA has built- Mike and Jay have used to build their real estate businesses and they’ve taken that philosophy and applied it to NAEA. And now we have an association of people who are convalescing around, which is implicitly and explicitly a core value. You actually started to- you’re kind of doing my job here for me.
I really appreciate that, cause my next question, you started to answer without even knowing it. Which was, what you were looking to get out of joining NAEA. So, 3 or 4 years ago, you found NAEA on a website doing some Google searching. You were sick and tired of dealing with the lack of leadership and lack of direction and wanted to find what you were perceiving to be what’s going to be coming next in real estate when it finally gets to your market.
You’ve been following Mike and Jay for all those years, and then you decided to pull the trigger. Can we talk about that moment, right then and there. And speak to where your business is right now cause you just recently joined. And want to know, again, going into feeling and the story as well – the moment you decided to pick up the call or was it a webinar that you attended. What was the transition from, “Okay. Enough is enough. I’m doing it today. Let’s make a difference. 1 – 2 – 3 go.”
Joe: Sure. Two things. First, I would say that- I want to make sure this comes across. Really when I joined Keller Williams, I recognized that Keller Williams had an outstanding training program as well. But, I recognized the need for me to get into some kind of coaching. And I put it off, put it off, put it off. I plugged into a lot of training and it’s fabulous, but I didn’t decide to hire a coach. But, I’m a big believer, I fell that I’m a- what’s the word- see…non-conformist, but I generally, when everybody goes left, I like to go right. So, I went to…
Joe: Contrarian, I’m sorry, yes. I tell people I’m contrarian and I couldn’t even remember it. So, contrarian. I believe I’m very contrarian. I’m always seeking what’s out there and it was a good feeling. I went to EGS in 2014, last fall, and I actually signed up then, but I didn’t get started until a couple of months ago. I heard a lot from the stage, I’ve been to a couple of their events. I really looked long and hard for, I would say, cracks in the armor of both Mike and Jay, and people associated with them. Cause I’m good at that and it just wasn’t there.
NAEA: Skeptical contrarian.
Joe: Yeah, but I’m also very optimistic by nature. I’m the type of person that always believes in the best in people. So I’m not looking- I’m not a negative, looking for the negative, but I looked at them and what they were doing and what they assembled and said, “This almost seems too good to be true.” So I watched, I talked to them individually, very briefly in the hallway and that kind of thing. I ate lunch at EGS with a young guy from California last year, who was having great success. He really solidified it for me and that was the first day of EGS. That changed my thinking throughout the process and I looked around and I realized…
NAEA: You met single person – you kind of did a little bit of ad hoc questioning back and forth, kind of finding for chinks in the armor. And then from there you, I guess, saw someone on stage or had met someone one- I’m asking- who was part of the company or part of the program and had a conversation with them. And somehow a light bulb went off.
Joe: I don’t know that the light bulb went off, I finally just said- so yes, I had lunch with him the first day. The next day he was on stage, so I had no idea when I was having lunch with him that he would be on stage or what level of success he had because he was extremely humble. So, he was sharing with me what he was doing, what was working, never any numbers or any bragging at all. Then he was on stage and they were talking about what he had accomplished and what he had done. I just looked and I said, “Seriously what are you waiting for.” This will be- let’s get signed up because I had…He had, not just him, but a number of people had validated their success and I saw there was nothing else for me to look at. I generally make decisions pretty quick, I don’t- this one took a long time, I don’t know why.
NAEA: You’re saying it took a couple of years or a couple of months?
Joe: It took a couple of years probably because I needed to be sold first on the fact that I absolutely needed coaching and second of all that I needed to figure out exactly that NAEA was the route that I wanted to go.
NAEA: I’m really enjoying this conversation because you’re just enlightening me to what it takes to make a difference in someone’s life. So, that’s really also the part of this call and part of why we’re doing this. Other people are going to hear this, other people are going to read this. When they do- they may not hear it actually- I don’t want to make you feel like you’re going to say anything that’s going to be uncensored. But they’re going to be able hear the story and the path you’ve taken, it might actually help them accelerate them toward making a decision sooner, because they feel safer and they feel more confident. And are able to make difference in their lives and families lives. The cascading, invisible hand of wealth that gets created when people do the right things in the right order at the right time. You can see that I write the copy, so…
Joe: That was actually one of the things at the end of EGS. Jay was walking down at the very end after it closed out. He was walking down the aisle and shaking people’s hands and all. I just thanked him for bringing me clarity, which is really what I needed. I needed somebody to part the clouds and for me to see clear where I needed to go. I needed to sit down with somebody that was going to get me focused and clear and help me prioritize. Like they said, do the right things in the right order instead of doing the right things in the wrong order, which I felt like I was starting to do.
NAEA: Before we just started talking about this, you brought it again around full circle. In that, there were 2 decision points that you had to make. 1 A – coaching was something that you needed and B- the right coach. Can you bring me into the awareness it takes. What are the things going on inside of your mind or business that makes you not- what is that contrarian skeptic in your head telling you why you don’t need coaching. What questions do you need an answer for him, in order for you to say, “Yes, I need coaching.”
Joe: I’ve always- I’ve been a believer, I’ve been a personal development sort of junkie, like a lot of people, for a long time. I never took the step to coaching. I’ve known for several years that I was going to get a coach, I just didn’t- I wasn’t ready to pull the trigger. Partly because of money, partly because I wanted to make sure I was picking the right coach, the right program. Something, I really felt strongly about.
NAEA: It’s kind of a combination of you kind of knew you wanted, needed, coaching because of your openness to the self-development process.
NAEA: It was just a combination of moving through your own time and space, if you would, to finally have the message ring a bell in your head?
Joe: Yes and to know really that there was a roadmap that- we were not going to do C until we did B. And we weren’t going to do B until we accomplished A. I find that, at least what I’ve heard, in a lot of other coaching programs, things are focused on just scripts or different aspects of the real estate business which are all critically important. I wanted to make sure that I was aligning myself with an organization that I believed in – the people and the mission – and also the way that they were doing things. Not to just make sense for real estate, the coaching program sounded like it made sense for any type of industry. Even an athlete. You’ve got to know what your baseline is. You’ve got to know where you are today and then figure out where you want to be, to figure out what the plan is in the middle. So, whether it’s winning a gold medal in the Olympics, or selling a hundred million dollars in real estate, or writing a best-selling book, I know there’s a process. And that’s what these guys seem to bring – people like Jay Abraham from the outside. Just processes and the right way to do things in other industries that they’re applying to the real estate business.
NAEA: So, it sounds like you’ve done your homework and you’ve shopped around. And you looked at the other coaching companies. That’s really important for people who are, again, going to be exposed to what we are talking about here. Obviously, I’m biased as who has the best. And seems like you’ve made your decision, but your decision has come from the fact that you’re trying to make a decision what’s best for you and your business. My bias comes from the fact that I work with them every single day. I’m not looking at other coaching companies. I don’t really have a position in which I could say with authority, why choose one over another. If you could go into what that decision, that process of elimination that you went through. You don’t have to name names of coaching companies. I don’t think that would be necessarily fair to highlight those people and that might take away from your willingness to speak freely about them. If you could, maybe talk about how many coaching companies did you interview, how long did it take you to go through the process of each one. What did you do as far as, being the contrarian skeptic that you are, to validate or invalidate those as viable options and choices?
Joe: Well, that’s pretty simple. I really didn’t dig into any specific one. I can say that had I not pulled the trigger with NAEA after EGS in the process I told you, I would absolutely be in the coaching program at Keller William because it’s outstanding. I can share with you, whether it’s the off the record or not, I’m taking some heat from folks in my office and other people I know around the county. Nobody says anything bad about NAEA, they just wonder why I didn’t go in house.
Joe: It wasn’t that I didn’t go in-house, it was that I made the decision to get into coaching and with NAEA really prior to looking at anybody else including Keller Williams, seriously. It was a feeling. I felt really good about Jay, Mike, Wally, John, everybody that’s been on stage. Everybody from the people who- before I even got to Dallas the first time. People on the phone, people at the check in, gave me my name badge. Everybody seemed to be in alignment and then the guests that were there that I would meet, that I would sit next to or have lunch with or meet in the halls. Seemed like everybody was like me, they were seeking something. It was more of a what felt good, you could go- I could ask you what kind of jeans you like to wear and you’re like whatever the brand is that fits you awesome. They may be awesome jeans, and I put them on and they just do not fit my body. All of the hoopla or advertising really doesn’t mean much, for me it was a- I’m very much go by the way that I feel. And everything was validated – the success of the people that were in the program already. And I just felt really good about being associated with a young group of people that were out to change the real estate industry and, I honestly felt, were in it to improve everybody’s lives in the room. They weren’t just there to take your money, which I know some other extraneous coaching companies are probably built on just being big. I really felt like everybody at EGS or NAEA really was about honestly, like Jay says, revolutionizing the real estate industry. And I wanted to be a part of that.
NAEA: I’m going to say thank you on behalf of the company, because the intentions that we set, they have been successful because the experience and feelings that you’re describing back to us are both, I would say, curated and also authentic. Like attracts like, water seeks its own level. The Exponential Growth Summit is the one place a year, we to bring both our people who are already know what our culture is about. And a lot of the other coaching companies that go for big, we go for something else. I’m- this is one of the best interviews I’ve had, in the sense of wow- I would say that we are contrarian skeptics. We are trying to be on the cutting edge. The fact that that message, through all the different channels and mediums, it reached you. It feels good that the right people are getting on the bus and the wrong people aren’t listening to this and are out there doing their own thing. The right people are, like we said before at the beginning of our conversation. People, processes and then product. Of all the good feeling that’s going on, it is about revolutionizing real estate industries. It is about providing as much value as possible to consumer experience. It is about also providing a differentiated value proposition for our members in order for them to make the difference in all down the value chain. Specifically, you – that’s all well and good, but there has to have been an impetus for results. What is that number in your head, what was that specific piece that you both are looking for right now, in the present time, and then what are some of the future modules, or ideas, or systems that you look forward to implementing?
Joe: In terms of pure numbers, I love the fact that the average EGS or average NAEA coaching client, I think the number was 800 and some thousand in GCI. That was appealing to me, I thought well, if that was average, there’s certainly people doing significantly more and the one’s doing less are still doing a lot. That was important because it’s really about the lifestyle. And I truly believe- it’s cliché, but it’s not the money, but what the money can do for my life and other people’s lives that I can help that are less fortunate. That’s really what It’s about. In terms of numbers, I told Wally on our coaching call last week, he wanted to know my- I have a 90 day goal. And I threw out a hundred thousand dollars and I don’t know that It’s possible. He said, it’s going to be a challenge, but we’re at a good time of year and that’s what I’m going to push for. Ultimately, I want to build a team and I need to hire an assistant – is really my number one priority to get me more productive. Because I’m not good at the- I struggle immensely with follow-up and paperwork. That’s my next goal would be hiring a good assistant.
NAEA: Is that something that you knew inherently going in to this, looking for an answer on how to do it or was that something that was brought to your attention early on in this process?
Joe: It was actually brought to my attention the minute I came over to Keller Williams, because Jerry Keller and everybody that trains in our company professes that you’re first hire, unlike most people in the real estate business, should not be a buyer’s agent. Your first hire should be an administrative assistant. So I’ve know that, I actually had one about a year and a half ago. I had to let her go. I’ve not consciously worked at rehiring somebody the way that I need to. So, that’s already been drilled in my head that I need that person more than anything right now.
NAEA: Again, you’re doing an amazing job right now cause you’re answering questions I haven’t asked yet. My next one was, what is the first thing that you are going to focus on and it sounds like it’s going to be- correct me if I’m wrong- but it’s going to be getting that assistant hired.
Joe: It is.
NAEA: That’s great.
Joe: So I’m going to be doing a lot of listing.
NAEA: So, we’re coming to the end of our time right now. We talked about the present, we talked about the past, it’s just the natural point in time to talk about the future. What does the future look like for you? If you had to predict the future or if you had to tell yourself a story about what that looks like. If you had to describe to yourself and write an essay: “Dear Future Self, I am now a member of the NAEA, Elite Coaching Program, and next year when you read this letter, the following things are going to be accomplished…” What would you write down on that letter to yourself, then open it up as a 12 month from now time capsule?
Joe: That’s so interesting because that’s one of the courses we have at Keller Williams, called Bold. That’s what you do, you write a letter to your future self to be opened a year from now.
NAEA: I just made that up.
Joe: Yeah, I know – I love it. A year from now, what does my life look like and the business? A year from now, I have an outstanding Executive Assistant who keeps me on task and allows me to spend my time doing the things that I’m best at, which is meeting with people, taking listings. I love meeting people and creating relationships – that’s the part about real estate that gets me jazzed up. So, I’d like to be freed up a year from now to spend more time meeting new people, helping them with their real estate needs, making new friends – cause I’ve made good friends out of many of my clients. I’d like to be well on my way to building a separate pillar of my business, which would be a division where, a renovation and development division, where I can start purchasing old homes and old buildings and renovating them, to build a portfolio. Eventually, I would like to have a building division where I’m actually building brand new homes and doing something just very cutting edge. I’d like to be cutting edge and revolutionary. I’d like to do that in both renovation of existing structures and building of new homes. The other thing I’d love to be able to do is be a- I’d like to be a coach and or a trainer in the real estate business. I think that’s much further down the road because I do enjoy sharing knowledge with other people to make their lives easier.
NAEA: You’ve really painted a very clear picture of why you’re in coaching, what you want to get out of it, not just for your business, but that whole grander scheme and vision of the future. If I add it all up, and you tell me if there is anything missing, but you’re trying to put systems and processes in place in order gain leverage on your time to do more of the things you like to do – to create more value, to generate more wealth, which will help you create, help more people in turn give you the freedom and the confidence to then try new things because you have systems that are reliable and predicable in place. There is the opportunity, I guess that is what this is all about, putting things in place to give yourself the opportunity to choose bigger and better, bolder visions of what your future could be.
Joe: You should be a copywriter. That was awesome. I hope that’s on tape cause really- that really is extremely succinct. And I’m smiling as you said that cause as you were saying that, you were putting my jumbled words into a much more eloquent paragraph and as you’re saying those things, I’m picturing my future business running with minimum input from me. And me water skiing when the weather’s nice or playing golf and traveling to warm weather destinations when it’s snowing here. And teaching individuals in other cities to do exactly what I’ve been able to do because I started this journey.
NAEA: I’m going to give you a little taste of what you’re talking about here. There is a program – we’re going to be talking a year or two years from now. The conversation we’re going to have is going to be about, “How are you enjoying the Mastermind program?” Because that’s exactly what the people in the Mastermind do. They’re at that level, they’re operating in that type of space. Follow Jeff Cook – he’ll tell you how many times a week, how many times a month he has off for vacation. You are on the right path. Jeff Cook wasn’t always there. If you can find one of his stories in the Expert Advisor magazine. Try to find one of his presentations from any of the different EGF events, you’ll hear that, that’s all real and that’s all possible. Jeff Cook was once in the same place most NAEA members are today. he just followed the path, hustled, did what Mike and Jay did, didn’t complicate things – he’s an idol to many and now teaches those around him.
NAEA: It’s in your future too.
Joe: I love it.
NAEA: Well, I’ve got to tell you, this has been the best part of my day, if not the best part of my week. Honestly, I’m not just saying that.
Joe: Thank you.
NAEA: I’m not a copywriter dropping platitudes. This was really a fantastic conversation and I really do hope I’ll get the chance to interview you again at the next stage and level of your business.
Joe: I certainly hope so. I would say that you will. I just have to follow everything that Wally is teaching me.
NAEA: That guy is amazing.
Joe: He really is, yeah.
NAEA: If you’d like, I can send you a copy of this. If you ever want to go back and listen to yourself talk about- cause you got into that space and so we’re going to leave this call. You’re going to go back to work and you probably have 20 listing appointments set up in the next couple of- I’m just throwing numbers out there. That are going to distract you. Maybe hearing yourself again talk, about the things that got you excited and why, can help remind you if you need. If you’d like I can send you the recording in a couple of minutes when we’re finished.
Joe: Sure, that would be great. Thank you very much for offering.
NAEA: You’re welcome. I hate to say, but it’s time to go. At the end of a good talk show, I feel like I’m sad to see my guest leave. I’ll catch you on the next one.
Joe: Awesome. Thank you very much. I’ve enjoyed it.
NAEA: Thanks a lot Joe.
Joe: Alright, take care.
NAEA: Talk to you next time. Bye-bye.
Joe: Yep. Bye-bye.