January 13

Darren and Kat Leblanc on How Real Estate Market is Changing


On Episode 269th of The No Limits Selling Podcast, we have Kat & Darren, a power couple, the duo did $75 million in 120 transactions in a year. Kat has been in business for 3 years whereas Darren has been working for 20 years in real estate.

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[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:01
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone! My name is Umar Hameed, I'm your host on The No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how you can become better, stronger, faster. Just before we get started, I've got a question for you, do you have a negative voice inside your head? We all do, right? I'm gonna help you remove that voice and under 30 days guaranteed, not only remove it, but transform it. So instead of the voice that sabotages you, there's one that propels you to much higher levels of performance and success. There's a link in the show notes, click on it to find out more. All right! Let's get started.

Umar Hameed 0:41
Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the No Limit Selling podcast. I'm your host Umar Hameed. And today we have the privilege of having Kat, the brains of the outfit and Darren, her henchmen joining us today. Thank you so much.

Darren Leblanc 0:56
Our pleasure to be here.

Kat Leblanc 0:57
Thank you for having us.

Umar Hameed 0:59
Brilliant. So you're in Sudbury, right?

Kat Leblanc 1:03
Absolutely. Sudbury Ontario, which is about four hours north of Toronto.

Umar Hameed 1:07
Is there a lot of nickel mining there or something in Sudbury?

Darren Leblanc 1:11
This nickel capital a world right? So Elon Musk is down here now and electric cars are going to be? Well the batteries anyways, the the metals for them are going to be pumped out of here like crazy. So it's a..

Kat Leblanc 1:25
..lots of exciting things.

Umar Hameed 1:27
So fun fact, back in the days when, you know, Neil Armstrong went to the moon, they had the lunar rover. And they actually brought it to Sudbury to mimic the surface of the moon, which is like, "Hey, Go Canada". I'm Canadian, too, by the way.

Darren Leblanc 1:40
So that test site is just around the corner from us. And we could see the kids still visit it. So the NASA test site.

Umar Hameed 1:48
Yeah. You know, when, when he went to the moon, I was a little kid in the UK, the middle of the night, on a black and white TV watching this. And there was a part of me that knew a monster was going to come and nab him. And so so thankful that didn't happen, but a little bit disappointed too.

Darren Leblanc 2:07
Sudbury has changed a lot since then. Right. So they replanted everything. And it doesn't look like a lunar escape anymore. So we have well, as you can see big, beautiful trees.

Umar Hameed 2:16

Darren Leblanc 2:17

Kat Leblanc 2:18
We had 330 Lakes surrounding within Sudbury. So if you were actually to fly in, you would see I mean, just how green it is. But also just this beautiful, many incredible bodies of water. I mean, it's such a beautiful place to live.

Umar Hameed 2:33
So we're going to talk real estate in a second. But I had a friend that moved out there. And she purchased a home on one of those lakes. And about two weeks before she moved in. There was a fire in the house went up in flames. No. And so for the homeowners, it was like, you know, super tragic. And they were like, We want to back out of this deal, because we want to rebuild this house and stay here. And she's the contracts already done. So she ended up rebuilding the house and getting a brand new house on the lake and I went up there and it was just gorgeous. It was like going to Lake and little islands with blueberries. And yeah, magic. So you guys have been in the real estate business for how long?

Darren Leblanc 3:12
So I've been in it for about 20 years. Katherine has been in it for about 3 years.

Kat Leblanc 3:16
Well, three years actually selling but I've always been alongside with Darren more on the administrative side. But as things really started to progress with us in terms of business, then it just naturally happened, right? He was running with his head cut off. And so I just figured I'd jump in and help him.

Umar Hameed 3:33
Get your back on.

Kat Leblanc 3:34
You got it.

Darren Leblanc 3:35
And the business. And the business transformed itself once Katherine came on. So we doubled our business year over year over year for the past five years.

Umar Hameed 3:46
High-five to both of you.

Darren Leblanc 3:46
Yeah, thank you. So we've grown into a small powerhouse here in the city. And so we're loving it last year we did. We did 122 deals and both $78 million in volume. And it was basically basically the two of us with one assistant at the time. So we were we were we were running we were going and now we're starting to scroll grow at our team and and more and more people are coming on so nice. How many people in the team? Right now we just hired a new social media girl. And we have one buyer agent. So uh, but we're but we're being cautious, right? We could we could grow very quickly. But we don't want to lose that kind of how do we say that? We don't want to lose sight .

Kat Leblanc 4:32
We run a very tight ship. And we're very calculated about all the moves that we make. So Darren and I so like he said, for the past five years, we've really transitioned our business, but that's because we treat it like a business and we're very serious. We have a certain level of customer service and care that we like to provide. So bringing other people on we want to make sure that we don't lose that integrity, but also as we bring other agents on which is the ultimate goal and then to grow The Corps. We want to make sure as we bring them on, we're able to feed everybody because everybody knows the quality of your work. And, and making sure that everybody feels fulfilled. So, you know, taking other people on knowing what their goals are, we're huge communicators, we want everybody to feel good, successful progression is always happening. So these are things that, you know, we're considering as we grow. So just because it's important to us, it should be important to the agents that we're bringing on as well.

Darren Leblanc 5:30
And culture is very important, too, right? So we want to make sure that our group is very well connected.

Umar Hameed 5:35
So culture is really important for like, several reasons. Number one, when you've got a group, but to just really defining it and knowing exactly what it is, because it's so easy to stray from it yourself. Because you know, as things get busy as well, we'll just do this. But when you have it well defined, it's like no, no, it's out of our scope, or wait a minute, our culture is XYZ, and this is gonna violate that. And then once you guys are living and breathing it, then it's easier to get people to come in because you guys become the poster child children to demonstrate it every day, I was just working with a construction company. And they've got these standards on their walls. And it's like, Oh, we got these standards. What do you think about those and it's like, too complicated. It's like they need to be like really, really simple. And you need to exemplify every single week like this construction worker to build this standard. And this is what it means because this is like when you bring it to life is when people really understand it. When it's just like words on a wall. They just stay there because in Sunbury right now there's corporations all over that city that have similar things on the walls, integrity, work ethic, our customers ask their employees, you guys actually do that. It's like, now it sounds like what you guys are trying to do is build something real and alive. And so if a customer deals with the cat, or the third agent you bring on board, they shouldn't be able to tell the difference. There'll be a personality difference. But the quality of care and the culture you guys define that kind of go? Hmm, this is what this team is all about. And I'm happy I'm part of it.

Kat Leblanc 7:11
That's right.

Darren Leblanc 7:11
Absolutely, 100%

Umar Hameed 7:13
Can you tell my wife that I was right?

Darren Leblanc 7:18
Well, we're celebrating 25 years together.

Kat Leblanc 7:20

Umar Hameed 7:21
Oh congratulations. That's really exciting.

Kat Leblanc 7:23
Yeah, it's something to be proud of, for sure. Considering we work together, we do everything together. So and still together, which is kind of monumental.

Umar Hameed 7:33
Yeah. And one of the things that's kind of interesting is because I worked with my wife for for many years, and it was very much just, I was the guy saying, Hey, let's go do this. And she's the person saying, Hold on sailor. Yeah, we need to build an infrastructure for you go there, or sometimes you build the infrastructure as I'm heading out. And if it was all up to me would have crashed and burned a long time ago, it was all up to her, we wouldn't have done anything, we would have been really cautious. And so what do you how do you guys fit together? What do you bring to the table Kat? And what does Darren bring that, you know, one on one don't equal to the equal 11?

Kat Leblanc 8:08
Um, so it's kind of funny, because you kind of hit it on the head when you said that. So Darren is, I mean, together, we both bring a lot of creative ideas, but putting it into play, obviously, you do have the, you have to have that infrastructure, right, because you have to be able to support it as you're moving along. So I mean, I think it's a, it's not to say that, you know, he's the one that puts all all the processes in place, I think we work together equally, I'm huge on customer service, because I just feel like as the world keeps progressing technology, and all these things, and that human connection seems to be very few and far between. And it's really important to me, because I know even on my day to day, things that I have to do as an individual services that I need from other people, I just feel we're getting less and less and less of that. So when you do get it, it's like a breath of fresh air. Right. So and we want our clients to feel exactly the same. Darren obviously has way more experience in terms of the real estate industry because he's been in it longer. So I often find myself I sit back and I just listen to him with the clients and it just blows me away just like the amount of information and knowledge that he has not just on the real estate side but building with the legal the mortgages, like he's, he's very well read and he's very experienced and like, through these converse, I can see the relationship forming very, very strongly between him and his clients because they they feel and they trust him because of the information that they they're able to get from him. They defer to him for so many things. So obviously Darren brings all that knowledge and in that support to his client, I think For me, because I'm newer, maybe a little bit more energy. So he made a very conscious decision that he wanted to be very focused on listings. I'm very excited to be in this new industry. And I really enjoy working with the buyers. So I'm more out there, I see more homes, I see the prices in which they're listed, I see what they sell at, you know, and just communicating with the other agents in terms of, you know, what did you know, When those deals came together? What did it all entail? So I'm able to bring that over to Darren, because he's more focused on the listing side, but also, you know, putting that infrastructure together as we bring more people on putting those processes in place. So I mean, I don't know if we're, we're a mix. We're a real mix everything. Yeah.

Umar Hameed 10:48
Brilliant. So one of the things you brought up was customer service. And what's really disappointing these days is when somebody gets average customer service that would have been, you know, at best average, you know, 20 years ago, it's like, Oh, my God, the customer service area. So great. That's like, no, that's, we've lowered the bar, but at the same time, so you already know this, but I'm going to tell you the secret anyway. One of the places to hire kick ass amazing realtors to join your team. Our restaurants, the waitstaff and the bartenders you see somebody with like great customer service, I've got one of my real estate clients, and they've got some of their rock stars that are doing like 80 transactions themselves have come out of the food industry and they just were hired for my god such amazing customer service and you give them an opportunity to build a career for their families. Sometimes those people shine brightly.

Kat Leblanc 11:42
You got it. You have it.

Darren Leblanc 11:44
Yeah. And thinking outside of the box, right. And I think i we i We always use Tony Robbins message was give without a hook, right? And we kind of turned for us. We turned our our whole business around. And for marketing purposes, we just market the customer's property and just the customer property 100% of our marketing dollars goes into the customer's property. We got no benches no billboards, nothing personal.

Umar Hameed 12:09
You don't have anybody sitting on your face. There's no nothing disappointing

Darren Leblanc 12:14
nothing, because it doesn't. For us, it was like, I don't mean want to sound rude, but we're it's all very self serving, right? So and then we look at all we look at a lot of real estate agents and they market themselves but they do nothing to get that property sold. Right. And that customers that's their most valuable asset or like how are you gonna get our property sold? What are you doing? Other than just throwing it on Realtor dot, you know, or MLS? Yeah.

Umar Hameed 12:39
Focus? Yeah,

Kat Leblanc 12:42
yeah. We're not just saying it, we're showing them right. I can't tell you like, we're very big into our videos with the homes, whether or not people are actually looking for real estate or not, we've created quite the following in terms of through our videos, because they just love it like, either you love it or you hate it, but people are watching and they're they're anticipating the next video like what what are they going to do in the next video kind of thing? So yeah, and it really like it does do an exceptional job in displaying that home, you know, and that's why we've had so many successful sales on these properties.

Umar Hameed 13:19
Love it. So how do you maintain a relationship with your previous clients? Like what does that look like?

Kat Leblanc 13:27
We do a handful of things, really. So I'll take it. Okay. How's that?

Darren Leblanc 13:32
So pre-COVID, we did one thing that was really fun. We rented a movie theater. And we were the first to premiere the movie, Frozen. Before anybody in the city saw we bought the theater at 9am and brought up and asked all our previous clients to come all their kids dressed up as Elsa, we did free popcorn free everything. And we just kind of had this kind of magical moment for for the kids. And it was nothing real estate. We didn't talk about real estate, nothing we just gave. And everyone just had a great time. And everyone still talks about it. And the fact that we we showed this movie before anybody in the whole city.

Kat Leblanc 14:12
Yeah, so just creating family events. But then also for, you know, family holidays, we'll go through a local bakery, we organize with them and we do pies. So we'll have the local bakery, make apple and pumpkin pies, we'll send out an email to all our clients and we'll say what would you prefer pumpkin or apple pie, send it out and they'll RSVP and then they come by and they pick it up. And that's just our way of saying thanks. You know, and they and I will say actually, I mean they do love they do love the family events but that extra touch of like have a locally baked pie and bring it to your family goes beyond like people love, love, love that idea. And then of course end of year we do do Nice little gifts, drop them off at their door. And so just little things like little tokens, right? Nice. I love that, you know, even though the transaction is done does not mean we're not thinking about you. And that's another thing. We'll do the random calls, just to check in Hey, how you doing?

Darren Leblanc 15:20
I think this is the one that I kind of the one that for me was that I I'm really excited about is the day of closing. And a lot of people are a lot of agents are afraid to call the day of closing because they're worried about what the problems are going to be yes, and all that kind of stuff. So they run and they hide, right. I'm like, excited for problems, right? Because that's my opportunity to shine. So if there's a problem on closing, "I'm here to save the day". Exactly. So we we had one just to give you a perfect example, on closing guarantee they moved in, they can't find the garage remote, they can't operate it. It's all missing. You know, what do we do? We call our contractor go to Home Depot, grab a garage door opener and just go there and install it. And they were never expecting that. Yeah, but you know, it's taken care of. And so we've got an issue. We've done little things like that, where we have problems, right, Katherine did one where the people moved in and leaves pregnant with kids. And then the sellers left from not our sellers. But another sellers left the home in disarray. Katherine hired a crew of cleaners got there right away, and they cleaned the home. Yeah, and we're talking to multimillion dollar homes. So it's wasn't, you know..

Kat Leblanc 16:28
..our biggest, biggest thing you know, people call us and they're they're quite frantic. And we recognize the high level stress moment. And we're and our biggest thing is, don't worry. There's always a solution, always a solution. And then they just kind of pause and take a breath. And they're like, Okay, we got this. And so and then that's what Darren and I do, like we don't panic, we create the solution, we fix it. And that's and that's honestly how our clients feel just done.

Umar Hameed 16:56
Right. All right. So let's change directions here for eight Bravo for doing that is stepping up and you know, it's a bunch of nice bullshit you know, we're gonna be here for you an all cap Do you everybody says that the skip that step up and do it is legendary. So kudos for that. So I'm gonna pick a random number. Let's pick the number five. What are five tips for working with your spouse? That leads to a great working relationship and a great personal relationship?

Kat Leblanc 17:28
Stay in your lane.

Umar Hameed 17:30
Stay in your lane. Love it. What's number two?

Kat Leblanc 17:35
Well, I mean, this is a no brainer. Like I say it, but at the same time, people don't do it. Communication is key ever. And absolutely everything.

Umar Hameed 17:43
Stay in your lane communicate, great communications. What else?

Kat Leblanc 17:46
What else? Darren?

Darren Leblanc 17:47
Its weird because you're, you're asking me this question. And I'm trying to think back and it's just kind of, you know, you don't think of how to walk. Right? You just walk right. So you've you're trying to explain the process of how to walk into some it's just, we've kind of just always done it. Right. And I think, yeah, I think Catherine set said it right, we stay in each other's lane. And we bring different kinds of expertise to the table. We never give price evaluations without going back and debating the property with over a glass of wine because she sees things very differently than I see things where she is, you know, I'm saying this in a beautiful kind of way, but very touchy feely kind of organic kind of feel and how the home speaks to her. We're I'm very mechanical. Right? And so..

Umar Hameed 18:08
.. just the facts, ma'am.

Darren Leblanc 18:31
Yeah, just the facts. Right. But the facts aren't always right. Right? So then we'll come back and debate it out and come up with a..

Kat Leblanc 18:41
I think we're very, because we're both. Don't get me wrong. We're both very headstrong, like we're very, two very strong individuals. And I think we try and so if we can't come to some sort of terms, in the grants, we're very, we have a little humor in our, you know, if we can't come to if we're debating something out, we're not agreeing. I think we spin it into more humorous way and more suggestive, right? No, there's certain things like we're very flexible, too. I would say, you know, if it's not that I can't be. I'm confident in the things that I want. But I could also be easily convinced if you state your case.

Umar Hameed 19:23
Nice, so I'm going to finish the list off for you. So it's stay in your lane. Yeah, great communications. Yeah. What you just said which was it was wasn't flexible. Was it flexible?

Kat Leblanc 19:34
Flexible and suggested? Yeah. You do.

Darren Leblanc 19:39
I think we push each other too.

Kat Leblanc 19:41
Oh, yeah.

Umar Hameed 19:41
Yeah, right.

Darren Leblanc 19:42
We push each other into uncomfortable situations. She pushed me into an uncomfortable situation and I pushed her back into uncomfortable situations. For example, our videos in the very beginning we did a video I'm like, kidding. Like, we're not going to do this all the time. Right. And then conference like, no, every bar got one. I'm like, Are you kidding me? No one Oh, I don't think we should do that.

Umar Hameed 20:01
I'm gonna put the link to few of those videos in the show notes people can see those. Yeah. So flexibility and then respectful driving other people to kind of be uncomfortable and the fifth one on this just make one up and it's like makeup sex.

Kat Leblanc 20:16
Yeah there you go. Yes. You know what, there's times where, you know, we've we've had days where, you know, at night we go and lay down and we're just like a solid high five, like, how do we even survive this day? Yeah, we did what we did in the day, some people don't even accomplish in a month. And it's just like mind blowing.

Umar Hameed 20:37
Love that. Thank you so much for being on the show. There's two more questions I have for your Yeah, like, no politician, three, one. For each one of you. What makes you happy?

Kat Leblanc 20:49

Kat Leblanc 20:50

Umar Hameed 20:52
Second question, what's one tip you would share with the world that would allow them like a mind hack, allow them to be happier, more productive, sleep better? look better? smell better? Like what would be the tip you'd give someone?

Darren Leblanc 21:07
For me, it's for me, it's communication. Communication and being honest with your spouse.

Umar Hameed 21:12

Kat Leblanc 21:13
So I mean, happiness stems from inside. And I think you need to make space for yourself in a very loud world. So I think..

Umar Hameed 21:23
Love it.

Kat Leblanc 21:24
You know, making that time for yourself however you choose to spend it, but just sitting quiet, and because I think that's when you really, you know, figure out who you are the things that you want the goals that you're going to strive for. So being quiet. People don't have to be quiet anymore.

Umar Hameed 21:42
So Kat. Just write this down soon as we end this broadcast. Okay. It was being quiet in a loud world. That could be your book.

Kat Leblanc 21:51

Umar Hameed 21:52
That's a kick-ass amazing title. Okay. Yeah. Here's, here's the last question. Okay. What's the question? I should have asked you that I did not.

Kat Leblanc 22:03
Maybe what was the one? Maybe just because we transformed our business so much. What maybe what what was the one thing? Well, there's never just one thing, but what was that thing that really pushed us into a new category? I would probably say it was the consistency of our videos.

Umar Hameed 22:24
Love it. Thank you so much for being on the program. I had a ball chatting with you guys. I'm looking forward to our next conversation.

Kat Leblanc 22:31

Darren Leblanc 22:32
Looking forward to it.

Kat Leblanc 22:33
Thank you so much.

Umar Hameed 22:39
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.


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