September 13

Nick Montaleone on Using Systems To Build A Thriving Business


Hello, My name is Nick Montaleone, and I am a proud Husband, Father, and Real Estate Broker in the Windsor-Essex County area. I started my career as an agent at a young age but then choose a different path which lead me to become a Paramedic.

After nine years of dedicating my life to helping others as a Paramedic, life lead me back to Real Estate. My parents have been in the business for over 33 years and have taught me a lot through the years. My father Joe is the Broker of Record at Century 21 Showtime Realty where I manage our team, “Team Monty.”

I take great pride in our team and what we have created. We strive to put our clients first and always be there for them wherever they may need us. With the market changes, it is important for us as realtors to always educate ourselves on the market and guide our clients in the right direction. When I am away from the office, I enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife and 2 adorable boys. There is nothing more important to me than family, and I love spending as much time as I can with them.

I’m looking forward to what the future holds in store for us and am excited to continue to build Team Monty!

[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 Limits Selling Podcast. Today we have Nick Montaleone, the Big Monty here with us today. Thanks so much for being on the show.

Nick Montaleone 0:53
Absolutely. Thanks for having me. It's great to be here.

Umar Hameed 0:56
So what's interesting is real estate, like everything else is all about relationships and how we connect with other human beings. So tell me about a realtor you met that helped you redefine what real estate was? Like, there's so many you know, there's hundreds of thousands of realtors throw a rock at a networking event, you'll hit five of them. But some are exceptional that kind of speak to you that kind of gives you a sense of, "This is a noble profession, or this is a profession where you get to help a lot of people," was there one such meeting where you went, "That's where I want to be."

Nick Montaleone 1:25
Yeah, absolutely. Umar you know, what I have actually fortunate for my end, I have quite a few mentors that are part of my life in this business. One, the most important being my father, my dad, Joe, he, he's the broker of record, the owner of the company, you know, thank God that he's so forward thinking and so advanced in his approach in business, he really embraces technology. And but yet he's got the old school style of business, right? Where relationships is key and communication with your clients and your friends and your sphere of influence is key. So really kind of focusing on what he's done in his business. And learning off of what he's learned and experienced in his time is really a huge asset for me, right? So, you know, he's definitely the the top of the influence pyramid for me. And then, of course, I've met, you know, a bunch of my colleagues, even...

Umar Hameed 2:15

Nick Montaleone 2:15
...just great people, and you learn little bits and pieces from everybody, right? And I mean, there's different ways to do business, there's not one way to approach this industry, there's not one way to to conduct yourself as a professional, some people are, you know, just just work differently than others. And it works for some doesn't work for others. So you really have to find your own, your own style and your own approach, but learn a little bit from everybody. And a key player in that, obviously, is my father as well.

Umar Hameed 2:42
Brilliant. And so are you part of a team? Or are you like a solo practitioner?

Nick Montaleone 2:46
Yeah, so we are a part of a team. So a few years ago, once I got back into the business, my dad ended up handing over Team Monty to myself, from that point, we just kind of reinvented ourselves, hired on support staff to kind of helped us with the backend stuff, marketing, that kind of thing. And so now we have myself as essentially the team lead, my father, Joe, my mom, Josie, and my sister-in-law, Bianca, who just recently joined as well. And then we have the support staff, again, behind us to kind of make sure that we're, you know, in tip top shape and performing to the best of our ability for our clients. So yeah, it's been great.

Umar Hameed 3:20
So talk to me about the, the team dynamics, and how do you curate it? Because it's something you can't leave to its own devices. So there has to be a conscious effort, especially when you start getting non family members coming on board, if you decide to do that. Culture is, is key, but it can't be left to his own devices, it has to be nurtured. So kind of your thoughts on that?

Nick Montaleone 3:41
Well, 100%, and actually, I personally learned that lesson, you know, by, you know, I guess putting my hand on the fire. You try to automate your business to a certain extent in any business, right? Automation is great but I really, you know, really realized quickly that you can't automate real estate entirely. You know, we tried to implement a lot of systems at the beginning and it just felt, although people were being, you know, reached out to and touched, it felt automated. And I feel like they felt it was automated as well. So we really stepped back and re analyzed our operation. And although valuable, although important, you know, certain automated portions of your business, you can't forget that human touch that human communication. So I've reverted back to personal calls to each one of my clients to make sure that they're, you know, being cared for that their answers are being you know, addressed or that their questions are being addressed. And but we rely on the automation port part of things to keep our systems and keep us in line, right? So, a few automated emails will go out but it's always followed up with a personal touch, personal contact, and it's important, right? You can't automate this business. It's not a set it and forget it kind of thing. Things are changing. people's intentions are changing the requirements or requests are changing. So we have to be on top of that and you're not gonna do that with an automated system.

Umar Hameed 5:01
Right. And I think more and more automation is coming in. And at the best case, it augments the realtor, and allows them to leverage time. And also increase the touches with their clients but at the end of the day, it's a human to human connection.

Nick Montaleone 5:16
100%, 100%. And like I said, you know, technology is obviously extremely important. And we do rely heavily on systems. But I think 1,000% What you said is accurate, where you have to keep that human to human connection, the phone lines, open the text messages open, and just be there for them when they need it, and how they need it. So and it's tailored to everybody, right? I mean, everybody's different. Some people need less care, some people need more care, and you really have to understand your clients and be there, listen to them what they need. And that's it's a big part of it.

Umar Hameed 5:47
Brilliant. So the simple word you said, which is really hard to do, Listen. And also ask like, if you don't know, ask, so how do you ask your clients how they need this relationship to go? Or do you ask that? Or do you just to kind of divine it with your powers?

Nick Montaleone 6:02
No, 100%? Well, yeah, so actually, before I start working with a buyer, I'll take a buyer, as an example, I have what's called the buyer consultation. And it's a meeting designed to really ask an abundance of different questions that we've, you know, kind of have laid out, just hear their story. And I often start that buyer consultation, to ask them, "What are you looking for? What do you need? What is it that you are looking to achieve?" And then I start taking my notes down asking further questions, depending on where that goes. And it again, that's a that's a big part of it. Same thing with the selling end, right? Sometimes a seller, of course, they all want to sell, but sometimes they you know, won't budge from what they're looking for and they just want it done a certain way or if they want something tailored, "You know, Nick, I like, you know, I've seen this type of advertising, can you guys do this?" "Of course, yeah, we can do anything you need." So we make sure that we're getting the feedback from them too. Because, you know, at the end of the day, they're like I mentioned earlier, there's not one way to do this business, there's not one way to promote a listing, there's not one way to help a buyer. So by all means, if there's something that a client needs, specifically, we hear them out, and we're happy to make sure that we tailor our services to meet their needs.

Umar Hameed 7:10
So in this day and age, data is readily available, but what isn't available is insight. So how do you look at the data for a client and give them the insights they need to make better decisions? And how do you let your client know that, you know, this is the value add you're adding?

Nick Montaleone 7:27
Right. So insight in regards to the market, you're saying or?

Umar Hameed 7:31
Market like you know, here's the data of the market, these houses sold for this, this happened here, but the markets changing. So sometimes you get to look at the data and where trends are heading and give your best guesstimate what's gonna happen. Whereas a layperson, "I'm just a homeowner, looking at the newspaper, I have this level of I can read the data, but you can make sense out of the data." So...

Nick Montaleone 7:54

Umar Hameed 7:54
...talk to me about how you communicate, "This is why you're hiring me..."

Nick Montaleone 7:58
Absolutely, yeah. So I'm very reasonable in my approach, in regards to my advice that I give people in where the future trends are going, we know where the market is today. I mean, we have, you know, statistics, I have stats printed out like crazy on my desk, and I always have, you know, numbers ready, that gives us a indication of where we were. So, you know, we know where the where the market is, today, we know where the market was yesterday, we can only, you know, do our best guess as to determining where it's going to be tomorrow. Now, those are just, you know, assumptions. Those are just predictions. Those are, you know, we're looking at margin...

Umar Hameed 8:32
Educated positions.

Nick Montaleone 8:32
Exactly, exactly, right? At the end of the day, we can do our best guess but you have to be careful. And I think this is a key thing as a realtor, you have to be careful on the advice you're giving people because if they take that advice, and rely on that advice, and the advice is wrong, who's at fault? Who's responsible, right? So I always throw it a disclaimer to my clients to say, "Listen, we know where we are today. We know where we were yesterday, if you look at things if they were to continue, this is where we expect to be tomorrow. But be careful." At the end of the day, you don't know what tomorrow brings. And markets always fluctuate, you know, you look at stocks, you look at housing, you look at anything, there's always changes that evolve that were economists tried to predict, and they were wrong. So realtors are no different, right? So we can look and guess at you know, take an educated estimate an educated guess as to where it's going to be. But at the end of the day, the market changes. And there's external factors that influence you know, the trends, and we just got to be mindful of that. So I always err on the side of caution with my clients to tell them what I think. But also just know that there's 1000 different ways that tomorrow could unfold so.

Nick Montaleone 8:34
Definitely. So how many transactions are you guys doing a year right now?

Nick Montaleone 8:35
Ooh, that's a good question. So right now, I would have to I'd have to guess that we got to be at about 30,30 transactions, give or take.

Umar Hameed 9:51
Right. So you got still mileage to go so probably another 20+ transactions to go by the end of the year?

Nick Montaleone 9:58
For sure. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

Umar Hameed 10:00
So are you guys looking to grow?

Nick Montaleone 10:02
So I mean, as a team, we've definitely thought about the idea of growing, I think that's more of a long term goal. Eventually, we're going to start bringing on team members, just right now with, you know, the kind of watching how the markets going, we're just kind of waiting to see what unfolds over the next maybe 4,6,12 months to really make that proper decision. At the end of the day, you want to be a responsible leader, as a part of a team. And if you can't support providing them with your time to support them, and teach them about the systems and how to communicate with clients, and also provide, you know, even just some leads, and whatever the case is, you know, really, you gotta you got to make sure that it's the right decision at the right time. So looking at what's going to happen in the next little bit, it's definitely a possibility. The brokerage itself on the flip side, besides our team, the brokerage is definitely expanding, we got a lot of agents coming on board, which is great. And my dad's doing, you know, pretty heavy recruitment campaigns.

Umar Hameed 10:53
How many agents right now?

Nick Montaleone 10:55
I think we're at, I want to say we're at 34ish, give or take 37, somewhere in that ballpark. Yeah.

Umar Hameed 11:00
So how do you define yourselves like the brokerage? Because it's like, "You know, I'm a century 21 office, it's like, you know, who cares in the grand scheme of things, because 21 offices are all different." So what's the field that your, your family is trying to create, in that that makes it attractive to people to say, "Oh, my God, I found the right one."

Nick Montaleone 11:20

Umar Hameed 11:21
[Garbled] you're looking for.

Nick Montaleone 11:22
And that's the biggest challenge, especially I say, especially since COVID, it's really made everybody re invent themselves and embrace technology more than before. And one thing that we've always done even leading before COVID was embracing that technology. And it seems that a lot of people have decided to kind of embrace the same and kind of, you know, somewhat catch up, but we're always looking beyond the curve, we're always looking to see, "Okay, this is where we are today. But where are we going to be in a year, two years, five years, 10 years, and see where you know, some of the new changes are going to be see where we can reinvent ourselves." Now, that's a big part of, you know, your tomorrow's business, we also put together an amazing presentation for our clients, whether they're looking to buy or sell. And it comes down to sometimes not even just, you know, expensive technology or crazy systems, sometimes just answering questions and having information laid out. And it's amazing how many, you know, realtors, or professionals in the business, don't have just simple explanation of, you know, allocation of funds after the transaction or what to expect when purchasing and other costs associated with purchasing. So I find it's a combination of providing our clients with that information. And also, you know, backing it up with the proper support systems and technology, you know, especially for listings, right? people want to make sure that they're getting,

Umar Hameed 12:37

Nick Montaleone 12:37
you know, the professional photos, sometimes twilight photos, depending on the property, virtual tours, videos, all of these things, is what separates us from you know, maybe somebody who doesn't embrace technology, right? So and those those factors, if you think about it, people are buying their houses online, people are looking and shopping on their phones, people are looking online on on realtor.ca or different websites, unless your presence is strong, and your presentation is 100%, all it takes is a split second for them to jump from your listing to another.

Umar Hameed 13:07

Nick Montaleone 13:08
And you need to capture everybody by using different you know, methods of advertising and different presentation styles so.

Umar Hameed 13:16
Brilliant. So where are you looking to grow as a leader yourself because you know, you're going to be expanding your team and you've got a certain skill set right now, what else you trying to bring on board to make you better, stronger, faster?

Nick Montaleone 13:29
Absolutely. So we're always looking at different programs and technologies and even looking at our you know, some of our competitors, right? because...

Umar Hameed 13:35
Oh no, I was thinking are very much Nick, what is Nick doing to be a better leader?

Nick Montaleone 13:40
That's essentially it. I, I'm literally I research every day.

Umar Hameed 13:43

Nick Montaleone 13:45
I am looking at what's happening. I'm always even just, you know, more of the core details of real estate, I'm always doing a little bit of research. You know, if I can look up case files, look up different scenarios on on, you know, whether it be Rico's website, or whatever the case is, I'm always trying to dig and learn and find out new information for myself to make sure that when a question gets thrown at me, I can answer it properly remembering the lesson from somebody else, right? So that's important, right? You got to learn from other people at the end of the day that said, "That's how business is done. That's a life has done," but I'm always, you know, plugging away at researching and learning what's new and what's out there for myself, not only just my team, but for myself, myself as well so.

Umar Hameed 14:21
So you've come across a lot of realtors, and there's you know, 30 plus realtors in the brokerage. Where are some of the areas where realtors struggle?

Nick Montaleone 14:30
I think it comes down to implementation of systems and trying to do it yourself. That's, you know what, I'm gonna put that first doing it yourself. When I first started in this business, luckily, at the time, I didn't have you know, kids actually might well my first son was just born but I was able to allocate a lot of my time to the establishment of systems and, you know, presentations and I'm talking I was at the office that you know, 5-6 in the morning sometimes and I wouldn't leave sometimes at night till 10,11,12 o'clock at night.

Umar Hameed 14:59

Nick Montaleone 15:00
That's not sustainable.

Umar Hameed 15:01

Nick Montaleone 15:01
You know, and I think the average realtor, the, you know, high majority of realtors are fearful of spending the money to hire an assistant. That was the major factor that catapulted our business into the next level, as soon as I could have assistance with other things that I don't necessarily need to do, but I need implemented, that was the factor that allowed me to focus my attention now into other areas that, you know, things I wanted to do, but never had time but those are the detail is important, right? to find details are important in business. So it allowed me to focus my energy in other areas. And so I think that's the biggest factor is having a support system of, you know, whether it be administrative staff, and also the embracement of systems and technology as well, right? I have an amazing CRM system that I use. Again, it's expensive, but you have to do these things. You have to you can't make money unless you spend money.

Umar Hameed 15:54
I'm going to add something to that your CRM system, whichever one it happens to be, is probably the cheapest thing you've ever done. If you use it.

Nick Montaleone 16:03
Yes. Yes.

Umar Hameed 16:04
If you spend the money and you're not using it, then of course, that's going to be a waste of money. So yeah, you get a system use it. So talk to me about fear and real estate, because oftentimes, you have realtors that are really good in these areas, but there's one area where fear comes up, and they shy away from that, and that has an impact on their earning ability. So where do you most commonly find fear in, in realtors? Like when in which areas?

Nick Montaleone 16:30
Yeah, for sure. So I think there's a lot of fear in a lot of aspects, communicating just with people in general, sometimes can be a very intimidating situation, you know, especially if you've just lacked personal confidence, or whatever the case is. It's a very, it's a very alpha type of a business of an industry where you have to be a leader, you have to be confident, you have to be able to be willing to compete. And, you know, strive for that next business, right? that next client And it takes guts to do, right? a lot of times you have to go to whether it be events and be in front of an [garbled] of people and make sure that they're, you're introducing yourself to them and stick your hand out, shake their hand. You know, talk to somebody you don't know, even, you know, some people, you know, doing door knocking and cold calling, all of these things, it's not for everybody and I will admit that it's not for everybody, but they're all important pieces of the business, right? So and that's, I would say that's a big factor is getting in front of somebody new, and just starting up a conversation.

Umar Hameed 17:28
Brilliant. So what's one piece of advice, you'd give people, a mind hack that would allow them to be more productive, sexier or sleep better, get more listings, what's the one piece of advice you would give?

Nick Montaleone 17:40
I would say the two things that I mentioned, get an assistant and invest in a good CRM, because with those two things, you can have that support. And with the CRM, you'll make sure that you have a checklist in the morning...

Umar Hameed 17:52

Nick Montaleone 17:52
...of who you need to call, who you need to reach out to the last time you talked to them, what you talked about, and all these things will help pave the way for a better conversation and better communication leading forward.

Umar Hameed 18:02
Brilliant. Nick, thanks so much for being on the program, really enjoyed it. And I like your ability to just go straight to the point, you need this, this and this, go do it and it's it.

Nick Montaleone 18:12
Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure being here and I look forward to listening to this podcast once it's ready enough.

Umar Hameed 18:18

Umar Hameed 18:23
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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