In Jim's world, his client is the most important person and he has built this organization, The Jim Allen Group, on that premise.
A degree in Engineering has been especially beneficial in his real estate success story. The first real estate position was with a firm very strong in new construction as well as resale homes. Working with the finest custom home builders in the Triangle, the knowledge he has acquired is unequaled. His first year was one of great strides and he soon became a sales leader in the firm.
In January 2009, Jim transitioned his business to Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston. During his first few months, he won numerous awards including the International President's Premier Award. This prestigious award is the highest honor a Coldwell Banker agent can receive and is presented to less than one percent of sales associates globally. Jim has also been honored with the following awards during his time with Coldwell Banker: Mega Listing Team of the Year, Mega Volume Leader Team of the Year, Mega Sales Team of the Year, and Mega Team of the Year. The Jim Allen Group is the #1 Coldwell Banker Team in both sales volume and units sold!
Jim attributes his success to a continuing commitment to the marketing and selling of new construction and the dedication of his support team - all personally selected and trained by Jim. The team has over 700 years of combined experience.
The real estate business affords all the challenges needed to hold Jim's interest. You can expect the most the Triangle's real estate market has to offer with Jim on your side.
[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]
Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone. This is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the No Limits 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 Today I'm excited to have Jim Allen here with me. He's with the Jim Allen group, the Founder, Jim, welcome to the program.
Jim Allen 0:43
Hi, great, great to talk to you Umar.
Umar Hameed 0:46
Jim, one of the things I really wanted to kind of take a look at is you started in real estate, and then the financial crisis, you know, when Jimmy Carter was around, I remember one of our neighbors didn't take the one year alone to like everyone else, he decided it's going to get worse. And he took like a 30 year at 21% and just lost his home out of it. What I want to take you back to as as this recession hit you What were your thoughts, you were new in the industry, and then we'll talk about how you got out of it. So what was happening when all of a sudden, everything crashed?
Jim Allen 1:17
Or when it when the first one happened. Interest rates because of oil had just gotten completely out of hand. And as interest rates continued to escalate, boxes weren't able to qualify, you had to figure out different loan programs. So for someone like me, especially brand new to the business at the time, no clue what I was doing. I didn't know that I didn't that mortgage brokers were the ones that handled mortgages, I took it upon myself to really become a lending expert, when I would take a client of mine to a lender, I never would have thought of letting them go by themselves because they may come back and not want to purchase anymore, because once they hurt could potentially scare them to death. So you know, the simple solution in it, you do and how I followed the platform for my entire career. Once you find out what a problem is, or what's causing it, then you become an expert in that individual portion of it. And and it just assists you every time it happens. I mean, as much as starting out in the middle of a recession was a bad thing. The truth is, it armed me with the ability to fight off the next one in the next decade, then the next one then the next decade, because every 10 years, we run into some kind of stumbling block...
Umar Hameed 2:49
Jim Allen 2:50
It's just a matter of which one is which.
Umar Hameed 2:52
What's kind of interesting, a couple things that I kind of picked up from what you were talking about. One of the things that people that are successful do is when a problem comes up, they lean into it. And like you said, you want to learn everything about it. Whereas most people either ignore it or run away from it. And a market leader is hey, let's lean into it, figure out what's going on. So a kudos for that. And two, it's really interesting before we started recording, you were talking about you know, it's those recessions and the problem areas that really slingshot your business forward when you come out of it if you've got the right mindset.
Jim Allen 3:28
That's right. I mean, you know, an example for me, I had a pretty steady volume of it back in 2007, before the banking crisis hit, I had a you know, about 100 and 20 million a years what I was closing, you know, pretty decent average, just kind of
Umar Hameed 3:47
Yeah, very good.
Jim Allen 3:49
Well, when 08 came, obviously, you know, everybody else had to kind of figure out what direction to go in. And, and they kind of went in little cocoons, or they pulled their heads way back, because they didn't want to get exposed or get hurt. Well, I saw that as a growth opportunity. And I went around to all the local banks, who, at the time, didn't want to loan money out to builders or to do anything else. And I had been saving my money for some time. And so I started bargaining with the banks on behalf of my clients. And I said, Listen, guys, if I put X amount of my own personal money here, what will you loan out? Well, at first, it was like almost dollar for dollar the first year because they really didn't want to take on new construction loans. They were like terrified, and then it got to be two to one and then five to one. And then you know, it's not quite back up to the 10 to one that it was pre recession and in a wait but it's pretty daggone close now.
Umar Hameed 4:54
So this is pretty quite literally putting your money where your mouth was.
Jim Allen 4:58
That's right. And you know the average real estate broker, and I would quote this person, but I don't want them offended. I was sitting in a bank office, you know, a, and the bank was trying to decide how to save themselves, how do we keep from going out of business? And they called myself and several other leaders in our community. And we're sitting there. And one of the brokers sitting there said, Well, Jim, I'm a broker, I'm make 6%, if they lose 200,000, and I make 6%, if they make 200,000, so I'm a broker. And I said, well, that won't help right now. Because you made your money on the backs of all these guys, you're talking about losing money? What happens if they all go out of business? He said, Well, guess what, there'll be a new group of pickup trucks right behind them, their sons or whoever? And I said, you know, not this time, because this could be generational. You know, if, if a gentleman who's done it for 50 years goes out of business, do you think his child's going to become a builder? You know, and a lot of builders in our marketplace, children of people who had been builders previously, and the President of that bank kind of agreed with me, they were looking for what are all your good ideas. And at the time, I suggested starting to do a buyback program where, you know, we could still sell our new home at full price, but we bought the other person's house to leverage into it. So at least we got our money back out of the new one. And then over time, we try to sell the resale or we keep it as a rental to get building. But now, there are different tools that you use, and you got to have always your tool chest to get successful. But out of that launch, you know, last year, we closed right at $500 million. Whereas a business when in 08, we were lucky to do 100 million, and we actually in 09 drop down to 88 million in production. We launched out 500. Well, this year, so far, we've got pending over 700 million this year. And, you know, our goal right now is we'd like to start doing a billion dollars in annual sales. So we started I've been thinking about this goal for a while. But October was really the first time I implemented it to my team and, and started showing them where I thought we need to go in order for that to occur. And, you know, last October, same time period, we did like 127 sales, and 57 million in sales. Well, 57 million in sales, only ends up getting you the numbers real quick..
Umar Hameed 8:02
Jim Allen 8:03
700ish, which is where we are right now. So I implemented it beginning of September. So when we got back our October numbers, we just set an all time record for our own team, both sides, I sold 175 homes in October, at 91 million is what we did in gross volume in in, in October. So you take 91 million and multiply, you get to my billion, just a little over a billion. So if we can launch forward in October certainly is not normally the month you think of as being your best sales month, right? But it's a good that that is the one. So if we start from there, and traditionally, October is actually normally my second worst month of the year, September being my worst typically, and then October on the back end of it and then filters through the rest. But if we've got our second to worst numbers there, with our goal changing and setting it up differently with my team, then, you know, I feel like we were looking at a three year projection to try to get there safely. But shoot, we might get to a bay in next year
Umar Hameed 9:23
Jim, one of the things that's kind of interesting is a lot of people will just do what they've always done. It sounds like you see the world like you know, how do we need to solve this problem? How can we show up different How can we do offer something different? What do you think that comes from that need to solve problems?
Jim Allen 9:39
Well, I my backgrounds in engineering, so I got my degree in engineering when I was in college. And obviously what an engineer is is a problem solver. Now, not when you're trying to sell them a house. Sometimes you say oh Lord is the hardest people to sell to. But on the other end, I mean They're so used to handling people's problems and you come to them whether the water doesn't flow properly somewhere, or you're trying to figure out how to support a house, it's just a lot of different elements that engineers deal with. And so, you know, while I didn't like the physical aspects of being an engineer, the problem solving and putting everything in a in a solution, where I could figure the platform out of it works in real estate as well, didn't know it would at first, but I didn't realize how few people really have plans. So it, it helps you to plan for the future, and that I think the only way to do anything is first have a plan, and then steps in measures how to get to your plan, and then holding yourself accountable to your steps and measures. I mean, you know, if you formulate a plan, but then you do nothing to put it into action, or you, you know, really don't hold yourself accountable, then you you're never going to reach your goals. Well, once we set goals for ourselves. And we put a plan in action, I don't allow us not to do our goals. I mean, you know, that's my personality type that, you know, I'm not going to accept failure from myself. And I don't impose that same on others. You know, what I've learned to do as a team leader every time you you can't make everybody in? Do you have to accept the best them they can be? But...
Umar Hameed 11:38
so let's talk about that, Jim, for a second. So there's probably people on your team maybe currently or agents in the past where you saw more promising them than they saw in themselves? Can you tell us a story about one of those situations where you help bring out the best out of one of your team members?
Jim Allen 11:54
Yeah, I mean, almost always, um, you know, like, there's, there's a stumbling block for each person. And what you have to do is figure out, you know, what's the what's the block they put in front of themselves, but I'll give you an example of a couple of them. Actually, my number one agent on my team right now, had been a fairly successful broker on their own previously, you know, had for other people's standards had had gotten out there and was, was doing fairly well. But was kept and kept doing the same amount of business every single year, you know,
Umar Hameed 12:40
Jim Allen 12:40
That was the Rookie of the Year in the office, they were in. And you know, that volume they were doing as a rookie, still put them in play month to month when they were competing with the other brokers in their office. And that was the problem. All right. So so often, brokers are competing with other people that may not have their skill set or anything else, rather than making themselves the competition.
Umar Hameed 13:09
So in my word...
Jim Allen 13:10
When you need it with others, I compete with myself.
Umar Hameed 13:13
And sometimes, that's the hardest thing to do. Because a lot of times our beliefs around self worth dictate how well we do. And unless we change those beliefs, we get stuck in that same old threshold. It's, you know, some people call it the comfort zone, we also have a financial comfort zone, and we get stuck there. And once you change those beliefs around money and self worth, it just changed the entire world.
Jim Allen 13:37
So the first thing I do when I onboard people to my team, first first day into the office, I give them three things. I give them a mirror first.
Umar Hameed 13:48
Jim Allen 13:49
I give them the mirror because and I turn it I say this in because you're beautiful and I don't want to look at your reflects too much. But when you remember, if you're talking to someone on the phone or doing anything else, the problems are all go start right there writing your hand, and yet, preparing the reflection back because the moment you start making excuses, the moment you start accepting something less than what the other person desires or needs. All of us are filled with excuses. And you know, I can either say wishing mirror on the wall, give me what Well, unless you got a magic formula, that's not going to happen. So the solution is right there in it, you have to resolve the own your own issue, get out of the way of the transaction and allow it to happen. But if you're talking to someone on the phone, and you get aggravated or something they're saying to you doesn't flow properly for you pull that mirror out, because I bet your facial expression is going to be reflecting what the person on the other end of that call is hearing right now.
Umar Hameed 15:00
And the feeling.
Jim Allen 15:01
The reaction and they're gonna feel it right through the phone lines.
Umar Hameed 15:05
What's gonna be interesting? what's kind of interesting, Jim is that we don't use language accidentally. And one of the things we phrase we have is rationalizing. And if you break that down is rational lies, the lies we tell ourselves are so believable that we believe our own Bs, and we don't realize that we're creating it.
Jim Allen 15:25
That's right. So I you know, one of the things I inherently tell people about myself and I'm what I would like to get to this point is, I don't have filters like my mom used to warn people coming in Oh, shit, be careful. add filters he is he is liable to tell you what he really thinks, well, the world doesn't necessarily always Mr. Like, hearing the truth. I mean, they'd prefer us by to tell them they're covered up, Why will I ever smart enough to remember the lies. So I tend to just get rid of that completely and go the other way. But I also so the next thing I'll tell you, which this won't be popular with all your guests, but next thing I do is I give them a daily read Bible. And I suggest to them, Listen, I don't care. If you read it cover to cover, you don't read it at all. But the format it comes in, it's got an Old Testament, New Testament Proverbs and a Psalm every day, if you don't read anything, but the proverb, you'll start finding that the proverb you read will be the solution to the problems you ran into today. Or maybe you can put your problems back in that little problem solver, and start working from there. Because I don't know if you've read much of Proverbs, but it's really common sense solutions to the world.
Umar Hameed 16:45
Yes. And I read them, but I've heard them.
Jim Allen 16:48
Right. So anyway, that's, that's the second thing I hand them. And the third is, yeah, and this teaches this in all formats, I give them a pair of scissors. Okay, why would you give me scissors? Well, every time there's a string hanging off of one of my signs, or balloons still hanging, or we've left trash somewhere, and I'm trying to get them to understand this everywhere, if a bird poops on one of my for sale signs is sitting out from the property, you may still be able to see the number, but the person looking at the number won't see the same sign.
Umar Hameed 17:24
Jim Allen 17:25
Flexion, all the way through on everything. Little things are the most important things, I can't sell something as big as a $2 million house, because it's too large to sell what I can sell them instead, as a sink faucet, I can sell a counter top, I can sell a door pole, I can sell the thing at are sellable. No one on earth wouldn't be able to afford to pay for a cabinet full. So I can reduce my sales equation to the very smallest detail of something rather than trying to sell the hole. I believe in selling the details of the whole thing as you go through. And if you sell something to someone that way, it many wins. And a bunch of many wins at it too. Okay, well, there's all our wins. I don't see any losses on this other side, maybe this is a good thing for you to follow through to do.
Umar Hameed 18:28
So Jim, one of my favorite quotes, and I've got a million of them. But this one is from Einstein, it goes something like this, you know, I don't like simplicity. But simplicity on the other side of complexity is a beautiful thing. And what you've described is you know, those three things, the mirror to really let the authentic you show up and kind of reveal your own bs when you need to the Bible to give you knowledge every day that you can use because you need to get better as you go. And the third thing with the scissors, which is a great metaphor for looking after the small things is, is that right is the simplicity on the other side of complexity that allows realtors to shine
Jim Allen 19:08
saying and what's wrong though, you know, like if you're trying to coach someone else, or trying to help someone else gain footing if if you today, I mean who you are, if you join my team and you wanted to duplicate my footprint, at dam you'd get swallowed up in it before you got started. And unfortunately the methodology that all big brokers use and also big companies use is they put this big plaque up on the on the wall for agent the month or annual sales of the month or...
Umar Hameed 19:43
Jim Allen 19:43
...annual sales of the year and now everybody no matter where their entry point is, is aiming at this huge target well, over time they've realized that water down so now they got a will this is for teams under two and this is for teams three And this is if you're an individual agent, that's just to make everybody feel okay about themselves. Because we've all gotten into a society that rather there, then there being one winner and one loser, everybody gets a trophy for participation now, what our whole societies become about? Well, it's because the, you know, we were not put in the categories already we weren't, you know, we were playing baseball, and instead of everybody being in the major leagues, we got the lowest level minor league team trying to compete with the world championship team from the previous year. And the only way either one of them supposed to be successful is if they reach this one goal of winning the World Series. And we know that lower team has no possibility of beating this top one. But we tell them to go ahead and try. Well, I mean, live Yes, you learn out of your defeats, I do not doubt that. But get you learned just as much out of your successes as you do your defeats you, everybody I know only preaches Oh, you learn from all the bat, you do, no question. But you also learn how to handle things better out of successes, too, because it's just as important to be a good winner as it is to be a good loser. All of us have learned our whole lives how to be good losers. It's just as important when you sit on top of a mountain, to learn how to be there humbly, because guess what all the people who helped you gain your footing, that helped you build your business over the course of time, those same people that you see going up, if your head gets so large, you can't get through a door, you will see them as you shrink and go back down to the bottom on the other way as well...
Umar Hameed 22:04
Jim Allen 22:05
...it'll be the same people. But we all I think the the brokerage community is starting to learn that we all need each other, and that we're not really out there eating each other alive. Because while there are some people you may compete heads up for, for one little particular piece of a business. Over the course of your time, if you if you take time to recognize it, you only run into that person competing for other property, you know, maybe five or six times in a career, where it's, it's heads up, you know, it's me, or you, you know, unless you're the only two brokers in a little small town, that's not going to happen. But if you're in a Yep, Ali's not an enormous town, but you know, we're about 2 million people across a bunch of little mini towns around here. So you know, in comparison, other metropolitan areas in the country is not a big population. But we've got about 9000 realtors in my local area we compete with. So for me to go heads up with just one isn't going to happen every day. No, but not every day. And we all have different things we're good at. One of the things I learned to do. And it's what I learned to do in the last recession, and it in it went along with putting my money in some of these banks. I learned to get off my knees begging for listings and to create my own listings. So I do an awful lot of urban infill, I do an awful lot of lot development myself where I'm taking actually I just I become the purchaser. So you know, I get a home in certain price ranges. rather than waiting for the market to sell it, I go by it, split a lot in half and then go repackage it and sell it to someone else. I mean, if what I find in order with some point, you will outgrow what the best of sales approaches in the low market places you work in, you'll outgrow your ability to continue to grow your business unless you find new ways to get business and or to learn to start producing it yourself. So I'm in a marketplace where my team might say we'll do 700 million this year. Guess what second place team in my market will do this year. 200 118. So we're seven times bigger than second place. Well, if I'm competing with second place, what's gonna happen tomorrow?
Umar Hameed 24:46
You're gonna go down to 200 like I suggested.
Jim Allen 24:49
That's right. I'm gonna get la---, I will get lazy. I'm gonna, I'm gonna be you know, complacency. Yeah. So many of their signs but you If you if you today, wherever you sit in your life, whatever it is you're working on. I guarantee you, whatever you did yesterday that did not kill you. If you work the hardest, you think yesterday you've ever worked in your life, but you didn't die. I guarantee if you come back today, you got 1% more. I mean, you may not be able to jump on and become a different person, I can't become Warren Buffett tomorrow. But I can become a 1% Jim Allen tomorrow than I was yesterday. And you know, that hundred percent doesn't cap. So if you keep becoming 1% better every year, like, next thing, you know, I mean, and and I just told you, I used to be one of those hundred millionaires. That's what our that's still in a way when I was at 100 million. That was you know, what the highest anybody was doing? Well come forward to 2020. Now I'm at 700 million. But second place is still at 100 million. If I could have stayed at 100 million had I chosen to really easily, you know how by, I could have kept all my systems the same. I could have not chosen to grow, I could have never bought a house or a property or taking any risk, I could have been that broker that makes my money going one way or makes it go in the other. So in other words, if the market gets in trouble, I go out and take a class on how do you help people go through foreclosures? How do you how do you help them do short sales. And then when it gets good again, I just sit back and catch whatever little portion of my business I can catch or I can take control of my own business. Put the financial gains I make in any particular time over here on the sidelines to wait and, and be conditioned that once things get to the bottom of the trough again, I need to go full when while everybody else is taking a break, waiting to find out what to do I strike. And two or three years before anybody else gets ready, I put all my eggs back in. You know now, that's that's a risk taker. But you know, you put your side a little bit on the side is your comfort. And then you go back in.
Umar Hameed 27:29
Jim, this was such a great interview. And the one thing that I took away from this more than anything else, it's when there's a problem lean into it. That's where you find opportunity. Jim, we need to do another podcast later on. We're going to talk about how you build your team and grow your people. And thanks so much for being on the program.
Jim Allen 27:48
You're welcome. One thing I do want to say before I get off,
Umar Hameed 27:52
Jim Allen 27:53
The one thing all of us to the profession, we take something out every day. Think about what your contribution back can be you you made your money a certain way. You took all the all the all of it out. Now, once you get to a position of success, how do you get back? The reason I agreed to do this with you today is one of those things. I'm not charging you for it. I'm not charging people to talk to me about it. You know, we we figure a lot of tax lose anything you can think of, we have something we can help you with? Well, I offer that all up to every other broker that comes in contact with me for free. Because I realize only the ones that are in the top core tile are gonna do anything with it. The rest of them, it'll be good for their tool shed in one of these days. Maybe they'll use some of it. They may not. But at least we improve our business because knowledge is not meant to be locked away. It's meant to be shared. We're solidified.
Umar Hameed 28:57
Thank you so much, Jim.
Jim Allen 28:59
All right, thank you.
Umar Hameed 29:05
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.