August 28

Jason Sherman, CEO at Real Living | At Home


Jason serves as Principal Broker and CEO of RLAH Real Estate. A seventh generation Washingtonian, Jason graduated from the George Washington University in 2000 and received his J.D. from the Columbus School of Law in 2003. Jason is admitted to both the Maryland and DC bar associations. In 2004 he joined a well-established title company where he practiced until founding RLAH Real Estate in the fall of 2012.

In addition to his duties for RLAH Real Estate, Jason involves himself as much as possible with the real estate community. He moderates seminars teaches classes and serves on multiple committees for GCAAR; including his role as Chair of the Forms Committee (2017). Jason also served on the Board of Directors for GCAAR (2015-2017) and Bright MLS (2017- present). Jason is also a member of DCAR and NVAR.

When Jason is not working, he enjoys time with his wife, two children, two dogs, and two horses. He is also an avid swimmer.

Podcast Highlights:

  • Its a volatile time in our industry, don't fight it embrace it
  • Introverts make great realtors
  • To succeed you must have faith in yourself

Contact Jason:

[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 0:34
Today I have the pleasure of having Jason Sherman, the CEO of real living at home on the program. Jason, welcome to the show.

Jason Sherman 0:42
Thanks a lot. It's a pleasure to be with you.

Umar Hameed 0:44
You know, the first thing that really becomes apparent is when I look at the marketing and the website you guys have, and even the name real living at home, it certainly gives you a different feel, then your traditional realtor.

Jason Sherman 0:57
Yeah. Well, real living is a national franchise, part of Home Services of America. And the at home was I wish I had a great answer for how we came up with that, but it just sort of happened. And it does give a different feel from your traditional real estate brokerages. We promote it now is our law. You'll see the acronym that in the world and it offers us a lot of flexibility. We like the name.

Umar Hameed 1:22
Brilliant, we met at an event put on by a mutual friend Carrie. Sure. Yes. From that you hadn't come into your office kind of talk about mindset. How important is mindset to success in real estate or or any endeavor?

Jason Sherman 1:38
It's probably the most important thing in success in life. Absolutely. I mean, first of all, having you come and speak to everybody, you people loved you. So it was great to have you we love to having you senior, the Keri Shull event. But to answer your question, your mindset is, is everything.

Umar Hameed 1:56
Can you tell me a particular time in your real estate career where you were, let's say, operating at level one? And then you made that jump to level two? What was that mindset shift or what happened at that time we went from, you know, figuring it out to actually executing at a high level?

Jason Sherman 2:12
Well, I think maybe the best example would be when the brokerage started six years ago, I was a title attorney in Bethesda, Maryland for about eight years. And I was attracted to the real estate brokerage side of the industry. And I decided to make the jump. And so while I stayed in the industry, I definitely shifted what I was doing to a completely new career path. And people thought I was absolutely insane. And they thought that they people like me or didn't like me, but they were definitely watching me thinking those that knew me, this guy's going to fail, let's watch this train wreck. And had I not been committed to what I wanted to do. And I didn't have faith in myself and just faith in the process, there were a lot of opportunities for this thing to completely fall apart

Umar Hameed 3:01
with any moments where you are actually doing it. You know, we all have those times where things don't align properly. And the difference between successful people and ones that don't make it as far is that doubt sets in and they kind of start shutting down as opposed to, you know, stepping on the gas, did you have one of those moments, we had to rely on your mindset to, to push through,

Jason Sherman 3:22
I think every day, you have to rely on your mindset. For me, I really enjoy what I'm watching and studying other people, I just got a lot of enjoyment out of that. And I like to watch successful people. And you can really just take that from watching the news. Any type of person, you'll see, you have their ups or downs, business people, celebrities, anybody really authors, it just doesn't make a difference. They all have their ups and downs. And as a casual observer, you don't really watch how those successful people really move through those stressful times, and then move forward. And the trick is, is to stay positive. So every day, I just kind of feed myself with positive energy. And that really helps a lot. You know, I think sometimes when something negative happens in your life, it happens. And then you as a person can internalize that for a very long period of time, you can replay it over and over, just beat yourself up. And somewhere along the way, I figured out that I just need to cut that pretty fast, and then feed myself with positive thoughts and solution oriented behavior. Maybe the best example of that is I remember when I was 16 years old, my my dad was really scared that I was going to be behind the wheel of a car and I need out to this place put on by police and they they teach you basically how to drive in bad conditions. And the police officer who is teaching this course said you know what people tell me all the time. When they get into accidents, they go, I could see the person's face as I was crashing into them. And he says, That's why people get into accidents, they look at the person they're going to hit. And then they hit him. He says, if you look at the place where you want to go, your body kind of naturally goes to that place, and you avoid accidents. So if you're about to get a tax, Id look at the place you want to go, not the place you're trying to avoid. And you'll end up there. And for some reason that clicked with me. And in life, I always say, Well, I'm going to focus on where I want to go, rather than the place I'm trying to avoid. And your body just kind of naturally gets into position and you have a better chance of getting there.

Umar Hameed 5:36
Oh, that's brilliant. And here's another piece of advice when one of those issues happens where there's like trouble. The best question I find is to ask, what is the universe trying to teach me and it does a couple of things. Number one, it changes your perspective from you, you almost have to take this meta third person place to look down upon the situation. And that removes you from your emotions, get that lesson that you're supposed to learn, that gives you something to focus on. And I think that was a trick taught to me a long time ago. That's been incredibly useful.

Jason Sherman 6:06
Yeah, yeah. No, I think so. I think so. I mean, we all have our kind of our different ways to get through challenges in life. And as long as you have some kind of process in your mind, and you stick to it, I think you're, you're better off.

Umar Hameed 6:23
Tell me about Justin. He's the president of your company. Is he also a partner?

Jason Sherman 6:27
Yeah, he's my business partner.

Umar Hameed 6:29
How did you guys Connect, and what made you think that this would be a good partnership?

Jason Sherman 6:33
Well, you never know going in, I guess, for sure. But he was in Dallas, I was here. And someone had put us in touch with each other. And we decided to meet and I told him what I was up to up here. And he was looking for a new opportunity. And we really just got along. And I think we looked at each other. I always joke that he he says he looked at me and he goes, Oh, I definitely can fill all the gaps that this guy, that's hilarious. But I think we had some overlap. And we connected and we just decided to do it. We got lucky. Brilliant. So

Umar Hameed 7:05
tell me what it's like when you've got two of you. And then you have to start bringing on agents. So you've got people that you're leading? How did you figure out that leadership thing? And did you have any missteps? Or did you have any? Oh, my God, we're really good at this moment.

Jason Sherman 7:19
Probably we had all the above, you know, first, you have to have confidence in yourself that you can do it, I think we had to own up to the place that we were in. So you start new company, new branding. There's a lot of reasons why nobody wants anything to do with you. But there are some people that we believed on day one that could benefit from our services. And so we worked hard to articulate that. And then we just slowly grew, you know, the beginning is hard. And so you have to acknowledge that the beginning is hard. And then you have to think well, who are the types of people that would get anything out of this small business operation with cement floors, card tables, chairs, no other services to speak of except, you know, just at night just standing behind you and helping in every way we can. And so we really got started on the ground floor. I think maybe the mistake some people might make when doing something like this, is they envision themselves differently than they are. So there has to be a heavy dose of realism too, as to where you are in the process. Yeah, I mean, we had some business philosophies. And we definitely felt that if we stuck to some of those business philosophies, we were better off. And that meant saying no to certain things, and not doing other things. And, but then also, when somebody came over believing in what we were doing and honoring everything we said we would do, and you just continue to grow. And there's a process to that. And, you know, so I think we just recognize that

Umar Hameed 8:47
what are some of the challenges that you're seeing in real estate 2018. And going forward,

Jason Sherman 8:53
our real estate industry, like many services industries, are being challenged right now. Technology, you know, is a great example of that everybody's worried about Zillow, Redfin, open door purplebricks, there's just all these outside companies that are saying, let's just remove the human from the transaction, we can synthesize it, we can bring down the cost, just a lot of that going on. And all service industries, I mean, you have Legal Zoom for lawyers, everybody's just kind of under fire. And so it's a very volatile time. And so it has people nervous, I think the best thing that anyone in our industry can do any industry like this, is first you have to embrace volatility. Every you've seen big companies fail, because of just kind of the way technology is infiltrating our society. So you have to first get comfortable that volatility is there and take some solace in that and know that you can't just set it and forget it. Like maybe a business could 30 years ago if you ever could. So first you have to get comfortable with that, too. Then you have to say okay, how am I going to adjust Quickly, all the time to stay current, and just kind of move through the time. So I think to some extent, we're all looking into the future and it's black. And we don't really know what's coming and those that are panicking or getting out or not doing anything, I think those people are in real trouble. Those that say, Okay, well, I'm just going to get comfortable acting a little bit blind for a while and know we're all in the same boat. That's good, too. I think there is a fear that technology in all industries is just going to infiltrate us and then remove us. And I don't think that that is going to happen.

Umar Hameed 10:36
And just to add to add to that, a couple of data points number one, we were supposed to be paperless a decade or two decades ago, and I suspect in the year 3033, there'll be paper number two doctors looking at CT scans have like a high 80% accuracy rate computers have a 92% rate, but together is like a 98 99% accuracy rate. So you know, how can we do real estate and leverage technology but deepen that relationship with that customer so they feel nurtured, safe and cared for during the transaction? Because at the end of the day, it's the biggest one they're going to do?

Jason Sherman 11:09
Well, you're right, definitely realtors brokerages. Anyone in the service industry is saying, hey, pair me with technology, and we'll be unstoppable. There are people that are creating technology that says, But yeah, I can, I can make even more money if I don't have to deal with you, the human. So there is a battle going on there. It's an it's absolutely true. I mean, some tech people are building it for the realtor, some tech people are building it to exclude the realtor. And so we'll have to see how that shakes out. But But I agree with you. So far, I've never seen anybody choose a tech company over a human when all other variables are equal. And I think people like people, and that part is undeniable.

Umar Hameed 11:56
Definitely. So Jason, we were going to combine this podcast where we're going to share it on each other's podcast. So why don't I hand over the mic to you? And have you asked some questions?

Jason Sherman 12:07
Oh, there we go ahead and thought about that. What is something that what? Are there any common traits that you see, among successful people in mindset? And are there some characteristics you see, among people that are not successful?

Umar Hameed 12:23
And I'll give you the third one, stuff that's common to both. So in successful people, I think one of the things that really distinguishes them their ability to rebound, that stuff's going to happen, and is how quickly you can actually get back up and keep on going. And having that confidence in yourself, I think is a is a hallmark of successful people. Is their personality traits. I know you do a lot of work with realtors. Is there a personality trait that you see that's common in a realtor that is less common in other industries? I do not. I think people are people. It's really amazing. You know, at one level, we're all snowflakes and different. But at another level, we make the same decisions, just like everyone else. So we think we're unique, but we're really not.

Jason Sherman 13:05
I have found I have a little theory that I have floated a long time, which is that I think in the real estate industry, an introvert can be a more successful realtor than an extrovert. What do you

Unknown Speaker 13:18
think that is?

Jason Sherman 13:20
My feeling is that introverts of speak casually have less juice than an extrovert. And because of that they're careful with it. And because they're careful with it, they study how to interact with a person to be most effective. And I think sometimes an extrovert, just because they're just unlimited. They're they're less polished in achieving their results. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Umar Hameed 13:45
It actually has a ring of truth to it. So what I'm going to do is, over the next couple of weeks, keep an eye out for people like that and see if it's accurate or not. So, but my hypothesis would be Yeah, that sounds pretty spot on.

Jason Sherman 13:59
One thing that I struggle with, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts. So one of our jobs here to grow brokerage is to bring on agents, seasoned agents are kind of easier to find because they have a history of success. And you know, what they've done in the past, brand new agents are a little harder to predict their future because like I said, they don't have that history of success within the industry. And if you were to look at a person, I guess it could be across any industry. And you had to size a person up at the beginning of their career to know if they would be successful or not. And it's a gamble. What kind of things do you think you would look out for when studying that person?

Umar Hameed 14:40
So one would be a hunger for learning. If that turns them on, I think that's a really good sign number to kind of get them in a relaxed conversation and ask them about their, you know, their passion, whether it's running or stamp collecting or whatever. And then get them to tell you about a story with things weren't going Well, and how they handled it. And if you do it in the rapport phase where it's like, that's not really the interview, we're just kind of chit chatting, people don't have their guard up. And oftentimes you get that resilience element, you can get a sense of that. And I think if they've got those two combinations, putting them to the test really quickly, and I'll give you an example, I was talking to this guy who works in a tech company. And he said, you know, from the resume, I know whether they're qualified to come to the interview or not. And so I only pick the qualified people to come into the interview. And when they come in, I get them to code in front of me, tell me why they're making those decisions. So they get to do this coding. And he gets to see the thought process of how they handle things and why. And then the last part, which I thought was total genius was, you know, so tell me about your last company, and what your team did. And he says, I count the number of times they say aye, versus we people that are saying, No, we did this, we did that. And it's all about the team. He says the other people, I hire people that were like, I was brilliant, I did this, I did that. If the eyes outweigh the weaves, we don't hire him. Interesting.

Jason Sherman 16:07
One other question for you. You you you consult with businesses, realtors, people all, when someone in business says to you, Hey, I have someone on my team or an employee or whatnot, that is underperforming. And I can't get them to where I want them to be. Do you think that is? How much time do you give that person before? You think it's clear that they're just simply underperforming? And how much of it do you focus on? Are they not in the right position within that team to be successful? Do you understand my question I do.

Umar Hameed 16:44
So you know, either the right person, or they're in the right seat from the Jim Collins kind of book. So I think one of the things to really do is to talk to that person, and really get a sense of improving in this area, is it important to them as well are they trying to do and just not figuring it out. Because sometimes the boss wants somebody to do something, but they don't. And if they don't really want to improve their, I think then we need to figure out whether where they fit in the organization or not. But if they want to improve, and they're trying and it's just not happening, then there's a belief in their unconscious that's blocking them. And that's something and I can go in and figure out what that belief isn't changing, you get this dramatic change. So I think that's very much the old shrink joke, how many shrinks does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but the bulb has to want to change?

Jason Sherman 17:31
Yeah, that's good. I came

Umar Hameed 17:32
across this really interesting concept, I was doing a retreat for a company in Silicon Valley, they talked about the parking lot. And I thought, oh, any ideas that come up, we can handle we, you know, write it on this thing called a parking lot. There's a No, that's not what we mean, we do this thought experiment, where we take every single employee in our company, and have them all come out into the parking lot. And then we look at them one by one and figure out whether we should let them back in the company or not. So if they get let's say, Jason is like, okay, Jason, well, he's not fitting well in this spot. But he'd be brilliant in that spot. So to do this thought experiment to figure out, you know, right person, right seat, whether they belong or not, which sounded cold, but I think is highly effective. Because oftentimes, we just kind of go along with the status quo, and don't question it. And I think that's as leaders, what we need to do is to fire ourselves and say, you know, if I got fired, and I was a new person coming into this company, what would I see? What would I change? And because you don't have the baggage of legacy, it allows you to make different insights then when you're Jason, the CEO of your company right now. So Jason, any last questions before I ask you your final one?

Jason Sherman 18:42
Sure, I'll ask you one more, and then I'll turn it back over to you. Since this has a bit of a real estate theme to it. When agents are meeting with clients for the first time, any tips you can give. So those agents have a better sense of whether the potential buyer or potential seller is serious realtors are always worried about their time being wasted, because they don't get paid unless the transaction closes. And so one of the things they're always looking to do is size up their potential client to make sure that this isn't just a hobby for them.

Umar Hameed 19:12
So one of the things to do is to, you know, in any sales position, you realize the importance of rapport getting into rapport with someone, if you saw somebody with a frown on their face, kind of looking down towards their feet, you know, the back of stooped, you would instantly go that person is depressed. And if you took on that body posture, after about a minute, you would not feel the high energy you felt a moment ago. Does that make sense? Yes. So your physiology and what you feel are linked really, really strongly. So when you get into rapport with your client, a prospective client, and you're taking on their body posture, and you're using similar mannerisms, you're looking at their word choice using similar word choice. What you Get is a feeling inside you. And oftentimes, that feeling has is not your feeling, you're picking it up from their body posture. And what that does is, as you're having this interaction, they're saying all the right words, but you start feeling the slight anxiety within you, and you go, am I feeling anxious? It's like, No, I'm not. So that my prospect must be feeling anxious. And then I would just say, Are you okay with this, Jason? Oftentimes, because I've connected with them on that anxiety, they'll say, Well, not really, because of whatever's going on. So rapport is a critical part of building trust. But more importantly, doing mind reading and figuring out what's going on inside the mind of your prospect. So let me ask you the final question for you, Jason. Yes, Jason, how many realtors in your organization right now? Like, how big is the organization?

Jason Sherman 20:49
We have just about 200 realtors, at what

Umar Hameed 20:52
point? Do you think your role will change? Because right now you're CEO, and you do certain duties, and you focus on what you need to focus on. As you grow this thing? Do you think your role is going to change in any way? Or will you be basically doing what you're doing right now,

Jason Sherman 21:07
the role is always evolving. But the key is to remember what are the most important things you do that people depend on you for, and you extract out the so for example, for me, I do a lot of work with the agents regarding the contracts, I help with sticky situations during the pendency of settlement. I think those things are really important to the agents that I work with. They don't we now we build websites for people here, I played almost no role in that. And so you you quickly, you continue to pare down your role in certain ways to the exact thing that people want from you. And then you look for support in other areas. And so that frees you up to do other things and grow and evolve. But you can't lose the essence of the relationship between a broker and an agent. Otherwise, there's there's no value for them being here, if that makes sense. Makes perfect sense. I think that's very much you need to make sure you're relevant to your people, just as you need to make sure that your company is relevant to the marketplace.

Umar Hameed 22:12
Yes, agreed. Jason, thanks so much for sitting down with me.

Jason Sherman 22:16
We do Omar Thank you.

Umar Hameed 22:22
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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