Dave Jimenez is an attorney by trade who began his real estate career 9 years ago by joining Ryan Homes as a sales representative in the greater Baltimore Area. Dave subsequently transitioned to a role as Associate Broker at RE/MAX to broaden his service area and help more clients.
He co-founded the New Home Team of Maryland in 2018 in order to better serve friends, family and clients and to help other agents grow their businesses in a culture conducive to success. Most recently, Dave helped oversee New Home Team’s acquisition and move into a historic building in the heart of Federal Hill. As the New Home Team continues to grow with new agents, Dave also helps facilitate on-boarding and training for new agents.
Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone. This is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the no limit selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster. Get ready for another episode.
Umar Hameed 0:35
Hello, everyone. I’m privileged today to have Dave Jimenez. He’s one of the Founder of the New Home Team of Maryland. Dave, welcome to the program.
Dave Jimenez 0:45
Oh, thank you so much for having me.
Umar Hameed 0:46
So Dave, you started in real estate in 2011. What was your first job?
Dave Jimenez 0:51
My first job was as a new home Sales Rep for Ryan Homes.
Umar Hameed 0:55
So reselling before or, is this your first sales job?
Dave Jimenez 0:58
So it was my first sales job before that I was actually practicing law. So when I got hired by Ryan Homes, I did. I made the case to them that I was in sales as an attorney that I was selling my case to the judge when I would go to court. So but it was my first true sales job.
Umar Hameed 1:14
So what are your parents shaking the head? We sent him to law school Look what he’s doing now he’s a salesperson. How did that go?
Dave Jimenez 1:21
Well, luckily for them, law school was all financed through loans. So they didn’t really care. It was my problem. But I was newly married, it was a conversation with my wife about you know, going from that steady check as an attorney to the commission life as a salesperson, but she was extremely supportive always has been still is. And, and it was really the right time for me. Certainly in retrospect that, you know, we could afford to take a risk. We didn’t have kids yet. You know, we we think we hadn’t even bought our first house yet. We bought our first house shortly thereafter. So. So it was a time when we could afford to live a little lean, as we kind of built up the business.
Umar Hameed 2:01
Brilliant. So starting in sales, you know, it’s a different kind of feel, who was one of your mentors, and what was one piece of advice they gave you that served you really well and might still serve you today?
Dave Jimenez 2:11
Sure.I mean, my first mentor was my uncle. Actually, in Florida, my uncle Tim has always sold new construction homes for y&r. And I looked at him and was always kind of envious of his profession and his lifestyle and, and he just encouraged me told me that I would be great at it. And one of the pieces of advice that he gave me was, if you take care of the business on your desk, you’ll always have more business, you closed one file, there will be another one waiting to get open back up. And that has really served me well.
Umar Hameed 2:46
That’s kind of brilliant. Because what it’s really saying is stay in the present moment and give your full attention to what’s before you which most of us are thinking about a million different things rather than than what’s at hand.
Dave Jimenez 2:56
Oh, it’s hard with technology now to write where you’re getting emails and text messages and phone calls, and you start one task and you get pulled to another and you do have to remind yourself every once in a while you finish what you started, you’re, you’re going to do a more efficient job if you do one thing at a time.
Umar Hameed 3:12
Definitely. So in 2018, you decided to form a partnership with your partner, Michael Lopez, what brought that on.
Dave Jimenez 3:22
We had been working together previously I was I was with another real estate team and I was having great success. And Michael is a big real estate investor. And we’ve been working together in that capacity. And just after a couple of conversations, it just kind of made sense for me is a natural evolution. And he is kind of the perfect partner for me and that we’re a great Yin and Yang, in terms of he’s very much a process guy. And was really great with setting up systems and has a lot of real estate knowledge. Where I’m more the, you know, the press the flesh, I on with my legal background, from a training perspective, I like sitting down with agents and talking to them about the right way to do things. So it was just really kind of a match made in heaven. And it’s been great.
Umar Hameed 4:11
You know I’veheard this, I’ve done a lot of interviews with a lot of real estate teams. And this is a common love story where you’ve got somebody that like gets turned on by process and detail. And the other person that’s more of a people person would be smothered by detail and just having that ability to do what we each do best to make a hole that is pretty amazing.
Dave Jimenez 4:30
It’s exactly and that’s where I had originally been a little reticent to start a team on my own because I knew that I loved that kind of work. Setting up a Google spreadsheet is not my idea of a good time. But Mike, I mean that that is his thing. So so it really allowed me to feel more comfortable making that leap with having someone to support me in some of the tasks that are just not my strong suit.
Umar Hameed 4:55
So how much thought before you started this, you decided we’re going to do this but you probably would have seen a progression of we’re going to start with, you know, just us, then we’re going to build up. How did you envision the look and feel of this thing when you had 10? agents? Like, basically, I’m talking about culture? How did you decide on the culture? And how do you make sure it’s in alignment with what you want? Oh, you
Dave Jimenez 5:16
hit the nail on the head culture is so critical. And that was one of the things we talked about from the onset, that we really wanted to foster a positive culture, a culture of building each other up. Certainly with sales, there can be some competition, but we want to keep it friendly. And just in the spirit of each of us doing better and not that, that anyone is better than another agent, but we all want to improve. So that was one of the things we talked about very early. And we wanted to make sure that we found the right people, so that that we didn’t jeopardize that culture as we grew and, and thus far knock on wood, we’ve been very lucky that we’ve found a lot of just genuinely nice, good people who are really hardworking and ambitious. So we’ve been lucky.
Umar Hameed 5:59
So having people that are ambitious in sales is of course a blessing, but it also could be a double edged sword. Sure, how do you prove people humble and connected, that you know, when one does really well, that they’re actually supporting others to do better, rather than making people switch off?
Dave Jimenez 6:17
That can be a challenge. I mean, you look for the personality type, you want confident, not cocky, right? You want people who are going to do well, but don’t feel the need, they feel confident enough in their own success, that they don’t need to put anyone else down or rub their success in anyone else’s face, it’s, hey, I’ve done well. And here are some of the things that I’ve done that have helped me be successful, because there’s more than enough pie in real estate for all of us to eat. So, you know, we don’t need to keep secrets about the things that we do, whether it’s, you know, how to generate referrals, or, or more listings, etc, or the right technique when you’re in an open house, and there’s no secret sauce to it, if you’re willing to work hard. And, and, you know, take some mentoring from people who have done it before. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, you can be successful,
Dave Jimenez 7:05
How oftend do you meet with your team?
Dave Jimenez 7:08
We meet weekly as a, as a whole team, even now with our masks on. And it’s strange time. And then outside of that, I try to, to set up time to either talk to each of the agents on the phone, or to get together in person and more of a one on one capacity, you know, certainly as we have things that we want to go over or if they have goals that they’re trying to hit, and just want some additional insight on what I would do if I was in their shoes.
Umar Hameed 7:34
Let’s start with you first Dave. And then we’ll talk about one of your team members and your team members don’t name names, but for you tell me about one of those areas where you were blocked or not achieving the level of performance you wanted and what you did to identify what the block was and what you did to overcome it.
Dave Jimenez 7:52
Sure. So I mean, in terms of starting the business, that was probably the biggest block that I’ve encountered in the biggest block, any real estate agent or new real estate agent is going to going to encounter are coming from Ryan homes where I was kind of spoon fed business, you know, you open the door, and people are going to come in and check out your model versus on the general brokerage, the resale side, you’ve got to generate all of your own business. So initially, it was kind of what do I do. And I was looking at other agents who were successful and trying to figure out how I could get to where they were. And, and initially, I took advice from from a lot of different people. And some of it was good, some of it was not as good. But one of the best piece of advices that I heard was actually from, from another agent who’s who’s a good friend who’s the owner of the short group, with Berkshire Hathaway, and random, he said, everything works. So just pick what you like, and what makes the most sense for you and do that you don’t have to do everything, pick what’s best for you. And that was a great piece of advice. Because you know, there are so many different things that you can spend time and money on. But if you can focus on the things that best fit your business model, because there are a lot of ways to be a successful real estate agent. But you have to decide, do you want to represent investors? Do you want to represent first time buyers want to work in the city, the county, etc, you find your niche, and you go from there. And that really helped me kind of hone in my approach.
Umar Hameed 9:25
Brilliant.So you went from like, lone wolf. And now all of a sudden you’re in a leadership position where people are looking up to you for guidance, and sometimes you can more clearly see what someone needs to change to improve their performance. So tell me about one of those. Were you in one of the agents, you were leading you you’re noticing this thing and how do you bring it up? And how do you help them get the change that would help them do better?
Dave Jimenez 9:49
Yeah, I mean, that is the challenge with with being a leader is sometimes you’ll see things where you would do it differently. Or you know, you can see that if they just do one extra thing. That that would help open some doors for them. But it’s the right way to bring it up without, you know, hurting feelings. And it’s important that you want to, you have to worry about hurting feelings. But at the same time, you’re not doing your job as a leader or as a mentor if you’re not finding a way to approach it, so you just kind of gently want to point out things that you would do and ask questions. And what I try to do is foster a culture where they feel comfortable asking me questions,
Umar Hameed 10:24
Dave Jimenez 10:24
And being forthright with me. And there’s a lot of trust there. I think that they know, like, I’m not a yeller, I always tell them, I’m not your boss, I’m here to facilitate your success. We’re all we’re all independent contractors in this real estate field. So I want them to feel comfortable that if they say, tell me about something that they’ve done, and I might deemed as mistake, I’m not gonna come down on them. That’s not my, my place, what’s done is done, let’s figure out the right way to kind of solve or right or to if it’s still an ongoing issue, the right way to solve the issue. So. So that’s the approach that I try to take.
Umar Hameed 11:00
So right now is like one of the best real estate markets we’ve had in a very, very long time.
Dave Jimenez 11:07
Yeah, it’s been a bit of a crazy year, it’s one of the best if you’re a seller, it can be a little bit stressful if you’re a buyer,
Umar Hameed 11:13
I can imagine. And so how are you preparing for there is going to be a downturn at some point, no one knows. So what are you planning right now? How are you coaching your people to kind of prepare for that whenever that comes?
Dave Jimenez 11:26
Sure. And and I don’t know that I would agree that there’s going to be a downturn, I think there’s going to be a change in the market, I think that we’re going to see a shift from the seller’s having the power that they have now, to the buyers having a lot more choice. And that’s where I do encourage all of my agents to diversify their business into both buyers and sellers to the extent that they can, and and to be in multiple markets, obviously, you only want to sell in places that you know and that you’re comfortable in. But for example, my offices in Federal Hill I lived in in Canton for 10 years. I know the city well, but now I live in Howard County. So I know, I know that Howard County bubble extremely well, too. So those would be my main two core markets. But I obviously got tired of those. So that’s one piece of advice that I give my clients is to earn my my agents is to stay diverse, and stay ready for for when that shift happens, so that they’re ready to pounce with their buyers who have been dealing with the struggle of multiple offers scenarios on every house that hits the market in the suburban areas.
Umar Hameed 12:31
Right. So as you look at growing as a leader, what a new skill sets that you need to pick up to kind of be the right person for the team as it grows.
Dave Jimenez 12:40
Yeah, I think one of the things that I’ve struggled with my whole career is, is time blocking, and scheduling. I’ve tried to remain flexible in my schedule, so that I can really accommodate the needs of my clients as much as possible. I find that flexibility and availability is really important in our industry. Because certainly I wouldn’t want someone to lose out on a house because I’m not available. But on the flip side of that, I need to make sure that as the team grows, that I have time to be available for my agents. So one of the things I need to get a little bit better at is being a little bit more rigorous about setting aside, you know, two hours here or an hour there and saying, you know, I’m going to be in the office, and I’m available for for this time, and I’m working on this. And I know that a lot of a lot of really successful salespeople swear by the time blocking and I, I’ve tried to implement it, but it can be a challenge…
Umar Hameed 13:38
for a lot of people. Dave, I’m not sure how many realtors are in our market. But there’s a ton of them. How do you articulate how the New Home Team is different?
Dave Jimenez 13:48
Sure. And are you asking me how I would articulate that to another agent or to a client?
Umar Hameed 13:54
Let’s go client first, I’m gonna go to the agent side in a minute.
Dave Jimenez 13:57
Sure. What I tell my clients is that we are a small team, more of like a boutique shop where our emphasis is really on customer service. So I tell them that that they’re always going to deal with me. To the extent that that it’s an emergency, and we need to get them into a house and I’m booked, I do have other teammates who can help in a pinch, but that I’m not going to push them off on to onto the back office, which certainly we have a great back office, we have a ton of support, but I want to be the face. I want to be the person available when when they have any questions or concerns. The home buying some process can be emotional, and it can be stressful. So I want to make sure that people know that I’m there every step of the way. So I make that pitch that as a smaller team, that we’re really able to give that white glove service. And additionally certainly I have the benefit of being an attorney where most agents aren’t. So you always hope that everything goes seamlessly but inevitably there are some transactions Don’t. And it helps to have that extra level of expertise to kind of muddle through the issues as they come up in a way that that the average team leader or broker, even most brokers aren’t actually attorneys. So so they have to defer to counsel where I know the answer to a lot of those questions.
Umar Hameed 15:18
Brilliant. So that’s how you articulate what you do. And other than the lawyer part, it sounds very similar to what a lot of other agents would say. So how do you get your team to articulate because sometimes that’s a challenge, right? Like where the owner has, okay, this is who we are, but getting each individual team member to articulate in a similar fashion. So clients get that, Oh, this is what it means to work with the New Home Team?
Dave Jimenez 15:41
Well, it’s funny you say that, because that that is actually what I view to be the sales component of our job. When I was selling for Ryan Homes, I had one one model one community to sell, it’s much more of a hard sell, you come into the door, and I’m going to give you my pitch and hope that you sign on the line, right? This resale side is much different, you’re selling yourself, you’re selling your service, your responsiveness, your expertise to your client, because you don’t care which house they buy, you just want to help them buy the right house for them. And it’s not about pushing a particular house, it’s about selling yourself as as an advisor. So that’s the key is kind of figuring out how to pitch your own unique selling proposition I don’t want to put my agents into into a box, they’re all different. So each of them would emphasize what’s special about them, and where their area of expertise is. And and that’s really the advice that I give them in terms of pitching themselves to new client, like I always view it as an initial showing or an open house or meeting a new inbound buyer lead as a job interview. And I tell them that say you need to come in prepared if you don’t expect not to get hired.
Umar Hameed 16:55
Right. And that makes sense. One of the things that drives business is actively looking for opportunities. Do you guys use any lead source right now to generate opportunities?
Dave Jimenez 17:06
Yeah, we use a number of different lead sources. We have some referral sources that we use, we do cold market with Zillow. This is that is they are they’re the behemoth you can’t get away from in the real estate industry as they drive a lot of leads. We use Boomtown as our customer relationship management system or CRM, and they also drive some some business, we’ve used Google pay per click. So certainly, some of the more tech heavy sources of lead generation are some of the places where we spend our energy, but we also do some direct mail door knocking, you know, some of the old school real estate techniques that still work. And that’s that’s what I like to do earlier in our call, in that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You know, sales is sales, real estate has always been real estate, you have the additional tech piece. But you know, you don’t really need to think too hard about new ways to do things.
Umar Hameed 18:10
So how do you help your agents? Because, you know, sometimes people are a little reluctant to follow the leads in the way they should? How do you kind of ensure people are always honing their skills?
Dave Jimenez 18:20
So I just try to when I see someone do something well, or when I see someone have success, from going the extra mile, I really tried to celebrate that. And we try to talk about that in our weekly meetings, in a way of I’ve always believed in people are more motivated. I know I’m personally more motivated by the carrot and the stick…
Umar Hameed 18:41
Dave Jimenez 18:42
…though, when when you’re able to evidence that, hey, look at this success, that so and so had by you know, going out going the extra mile doing it this way. And now it’s paying off now they just met a new client got them under contract. Look at that. So I find that that’s one of the best ways the anecdotal success story.
Umar Hameed 19:02
Absolutely. So like, hey, one of your peers did this. It works. Let’s do it.
Dave Jimenez 19:05
You got it!
Umar Hameed 19:06
Before we parted company, if you were going back in time, just a couple of years to us starting this business, the New Home Team, what advice would you give yourself that would have allowed you to kind of accelerate your success?
Dave Jimenez 19:18
Be open to change. I’m still I’m still struggling with that. My, my, my beautiful wife helps me with that all the time. She’s, she’s constantly reminded me because she knows better than anyone that I can be reluctant to, to change or try things, maybe differently from how I originally envisioned it. And, you know, I’m really fortunate that I have a great partner, who I think recognizes that me and his. He was called by another colleague as the most politely persistent person that he’s ever met. So it’s unfortunate that even when I’m resistant to change, he keeps trying but but that is something that I think looking back, I probably could have been more open to earlier.
Umar Hameed 19:58
Brilliant! Dave. Thanks so much. for sitting down with me, I really enjoyed our conversation and looking forward to chatting with you again when you are much bigger and having a bigger impact. Congratulations on your success.
Dave Jimenez 20:11
Well, thank you so much Umar. It was a pleasure. Thanks. Thanks again for having me on.
Umar Hameed 20:19
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