Get to know Brian Flynn
I was born in Medford in 1963, and I've lived there (more or less) my entire life. When I was growing up, Medford was a very different place. It almost felt like a small town because of the tight-knit neighborhood I grew up in. I can remember me and my friends just walking in and out of each other's houses, no knocking, just a "Hi!". And our parents would do the same. It really was like having a big, extended family.
Of course, that meant it was pretty hard for a kid to get away with anything! I don't know if it really takes a village to raise a child, but having an extra set of eyes on your kid sure helps.
Nothing lasts forever, though, and we've seen some big changes in the area over the last 10 years-especially with real estate values skyrocketing like they did between 1999-2005.
But one thing that has stayed the same is the friendly, family-oriented atmosphere. Medford-and the surrounding towns-are some of few in the area that still have real neighborhoods.
You know-the kind where most people leave their doors unlocked and there's a constant stream of neighborhood kids going in and out all day. At least that how it was for me and my friends.
I grew up playing Little League, St. Francis BYO Basketball, and lots of other sports. I went to St. Francis and then to Medford High, where I played basketball for a couple of years. I guess you could say I was a pretty normal kid.
All that changed when I was 14.
That's when I got my dream job as a vendor at Fenway Park. You know those kids who used to run their butts off selling hot dogs during games? That was me.
In a way that's what got me started in sales. When I was a kid, the job was 100% commission based-so the more you sold, the more you made. Today, it's all run by a big corporation, but back then the franks and beers were supplied by local company that really took care of its employees.
I took to selling like a fish to water, and I always ended up in the 1 or 2 spot out of the 70 or so vendors. Of course, my mom asking me "Did you sell more than everyone else today?" might have had something to do with it too.
And for the most part, I did sell more than anyone else. The one guy who beat me was _____________. That guy was amazing, I have to say. To this day I've never seen anyone work so hard for so long. I'm sure he's a millionaire by now. We were always fighting for the #1 spot, and I don't think either of us ever held it more than a week or two.
Anyway, I guess you could say that was my first taste of selling. But even then, I knew it was better to work smart than work hard. You see, I had a system-and that system made it pretty easy for me to consistently be in the top spot in my marketplace. Sure, I worked hard (you try lugging a metal crate full of franks up those stairs in July!) but I also knew, right off the bat, how to get people to buy.
As soon as I turned to walk up the aisle, I'd bang the metal tray against a railing. Now that was LOUD-those trays were steel and pretty big--and everybody within earshot would turn to see what the sound was.
And they'd see me, maybe 100lbs soaking wet, with my Sox hat on and a giant tray of franks. And I'd lock eyes with the first adult and say:
(Years later, when I was in corporate sales, I would learn that this is known as an "assumptive close". Simply put, the salesperson asks for the order in a way that assumes you've already decided to buy. Usually it's a question that can't be answered with a simple "Yes" or "No", so it forces the prospect to take some sort of action. It's very, very powerful and I still use a version of it today.
For instance, "When would you like to move in to the house?" is one that has sold more homes for me than I can count.)
And you know what? That simple stunt with the tray and asking "How many?" stunt worked. Really well, in fact. I always sold out before having to walk up all those stairs to the nosebleed seats.
I didn't know it at the time, but I had already mastered the 4 steps of selling or, "AIDA":
Attention-You have to get the prospective buyer's attention.
Interest-You have to generate instant interest in what you're selling
Decision-The prospect makes the decision to purchase
Action-The sale occurs and money changes hands
This is the basis of all selling, and I was really lucky to learn it at such a young age.
Those early lessons in how to sell, face to face in a highly competitive environment, were the best education I could have gotten in sales. I learned the value of working hard AND working smart, and that's something I've carried with me through my whole career.
You see, it's not enough for your agent to just "work hard". Anyone with enough motivation can work hard-but that doesn't mean they're working hard on the right things. I've seen agent work their butts off chasing unqualified, looky-loo buyers, trying to get them to buy a house...while a REAL buyer has left 2-3 messages about a house-one they're ready to buy today.
Maybe you've encountered one of these agents-you might even be friends with one. They're always running around, always on the phone (even when they're with clients) and can't sit still for a minute. In fact, most people think that's what real estate agents are supposed to do.
However, if you work smart AND work hard, great things happen.
Anyway-back to my story. I worked at Fenway and the Garden for about 7 years all through my time at Medford High, right up until I finished with college at UMass Boston. Once I finished there, I had to go find a job...and that's where things get interesting.
How I Got Into Real Estate
Like a lot of kids, I kind of went into the family business. My mom, Emily, had been a very successful agent for a number of years. After I finished school, she suggested that I get my license and try my hand at selling real estate.
Like most of her advice, it was pretty darn good. She had seen how much I loved my job at Fenway and saw the potential for me to be a great real estate agent. So, way back in 1985, I got my real estate license and went to work.
To tell you the truth, it was pretty tough at first. Back then, there wasn't any way to really get info on homes for sale, other than the MLS book-which was updated once a week, at most. And that thing was BIG-I'm willing to bet the average one weighed at least 10 pounds. Not really something you can carry around too easily.
And of course, there wasn't an Internet, and cell phones and even fax machines were in their earliest stages. In fact I don't think my office had a fax until 1988 or so, although a couple of us did have those big "car phones".
So as you can see, selling real estate 23 years ago was very different. Today, we have the ability to market your home anywhere that the World Wide Web can reach-as well as a lot of other tools that I couldn't have even dreamed about back then.
Still, I really loved my job, especially the really tough commercial deals. These can take up to a year to close and you're dealing with developers, investors, building departments, banks, and so on. Let me tell you-after doing those deals, selling a home seems like a cakewalk.
After 5 or 6 years I began to feel like I needed to move on. I knew I would always be involved in real estate somehow, but the office I worked in had gone out of business. Rather than search for a real estate sales new job in that very tough market, I decided to look into other sales careers.
I spent the next 10 years working in high tech sales for companies like EMC. As much I as loved working in corporate sales, my heart was always in real estate (and of course my mother was always telling me to get back into it).
The time I spent in business-to-business sales proved to be worth almost as much as my time working at Fenway, though. I learned an entirely different type of selling. You see, when you're selling millions of dollars worth of computer hardware to a big company, you're not "selling" as much as you're "building relationships". It takes a long time for decisions to be made, and you may have to give the same pitch to 3-4 different managers, committees and so on before somebody gives you the "OK".
In addition to this, corporate sales teams spend a lot of time and money training their salespeople. In fact, I've heard that it costs as much as $200,000 to train a new salesperson! This sounds like a lot of money (and it is), but you have to remember that these companies are selling millions of dollars worth of equipment or software. When the stakes are that high, you'd better believe your boss wants to make sure you don't lose a deal because you don't know what to say or how to handle a situation.
What I find amazing is that there is little to no sales training in the real estate industry. A real estate licensing class doesn't teach you anything other than the legal side of the industry. That's right-there is no mandatory sales training for real estate agents.
Think about that for a minute.
The biggest financial transaction of your life-hundreds of thousands of dollars-could be handled by someone who doesn't have the slightest idea what they're doing. For some of you reading this, the equity in your home is your retirement fund. It's how you're planning on sending the kids to college. It's where the vast majority of your money is tied up.
Wouldn't you want someone who knows what they're doing on the job-making sure you get every penny you and your family deserve?
I would too. When I decided to start my own office in 2004, I knew it was vital to have the same commitment to training my agents. Not only do my agents go through a rigorous 100-day training program, we have weekly team sales training sessions. And these sessions are not optional for my team members. If they want to be part of the Flynn Team, they must have the same commitment to constant and never-ending improvement that I do.
Returning to Real Estate
All in all, I spent about 10 years in the corporate world, and while I liked my job, I always missed real estate. In fact, I often told my friends that I would quit the corporate world and go back to selling homes when I turned 40.
The truth is I ended up going back a few years early, in 2001, at age 37. The business had changed a lot since I had left, especially with the widespread use of the Internet.
However, I was surprised how few agents were using it to sell homes. Most just used the MLS and email, and never gave a thought to having their own website or promoting their listings online. I think a lot of this had to do with the fact that most agents hadn't been immersed in the dot com and IT world like I had been for the last ten years.
At my high tech sales job, we had used our website to generate leads and then followed up with them though emails and phone calls. This helped us save a lot of time and let us focus on the really good buyers-the "ready-to-act" prospects.
When I looked around my office, I saw a lot of dedicated, hard-working agents. But I knew-from working as a vendor and in the corporate world-- that working hard simply wasn't enough. Lots of agents work hard-and 80% of them are out of the business within one year of getting their real estate license.
I saw agents working the phones, spending hours cold-calling hundreds of people to find one decent lead. I saw agents holding 4 hour open houses that attracted only a few disinterested "buyers". And I watched those same agents waste months trying to hard-sell those buyers into a home-any home.
I knew there had to be a better way.
Coming from a very strong corporate sales background, I knew the value of working as part of a team. I knew that the way most agents did business (and the way most still do) was slow, inefficient, and often ended up costing their clients lots of money for mediocre results. I also knew that no one in my real estate office was exploiting (or even aware of) the true potential of online marketing.
You see, in 2001, most agents simply didn't do anything but the "3 P's" to market a home.
Put a sign in your yard
Place an ad in the paper and (maybe) on the web.
Pray it will sell quickly
Now don't get me wrong-advertising and yard signs are very important. However, if this is all an agent does in today's tough market, they are doomed to fail. I knew I could improve on this old formula, so I started experimenting.
In fact, I flew all over the country, meeting with top agents and marketing experts to find out the most innovative and powerful home selling strategies out there. I guess you could even say I became obsessed with finding a way to sell my clients' homes for more money in less time. I would even stay up until 2 or 3 am some nights, trying to find the "secret formula" that would let me give my clients the best results possible.
And after months of exhaustive research and testing, my first website (www.GreaterBostonHomeInfo.com) went online. At first, I figured it would be a success if it generated enough buyer leads to just sell my listings. I put all of the homes I was selling on there with pictures and good descriptions, and gave buyers a way to learn more by offering a Free "Home Info" Package. The idea was that someone would visit the site, see a home they liked, and then ask for more information. Basically, I wanted motivated buyers to "raise their hands" and give me a reason to contact them.
So I set up the site...and went away on vacation for a couple of days. Out of curiosity, I checked my email at about 12pm the next day.
What I saw shocked me.
That simple website had generated dozens of home buyer leads in just a little over a day! To tell you the truth, I had expected to maybe get 15-20 leads a MONTH. I didn't even know how I was going to send these people their Home Info Packages, let alone how I was going to work with all of them.
After my initial shock wore off, I knew I had hit the target, and I got right to work selling homes. The other agents in the office were a bit surprised, to say the least-they kept asking my mother if I was working for her. They just couldn't believe that a "new" agent could list and sell so many homes in such a short amount of time.
That simple website was the start of the VIP Homeselling System.
The truth is that any of them could have done the same, if they had the right tools. But they didn't-and today, most of those agents are STILL doing things the same way. Still chasing "looky-loo" buyers. Still wasting hours of time cold-calling (even though it's against the law). Still doing 4 hour open houses that few (or no) people go to.
Over the past 7 years, I've continued to refine my VIP Homeselling System, making it even more effective. Some of these improvements include improving my websites, adding new lead generation strategies, developing automated follow-up systems, and implementing our unique "Cash Rewards" Guarantee (to learn more about these innovative home selling techniques, please refer to the "Home Marketing Manual" and the "Cash Rewards Special Report" that are included in this informational package).
These improvements eventually led to me forming my own sales team with my mother, and eventually we began hiring agents to help us. You see, we simply had more business than we could handle on our own. Since we both work exclusively as listing agents, we needed someone to field all of the buyer calls and emails about our listings. If we didn't have such a great team, we'd never be able to focus all of our energy and time on getting your home sold.
In 2004, I decided it was time to open my own office, and RE/MAX Results opened its doors on February 1, 2004. It's been an amazing 4 ½ years; we've gone from being a brand-new office with a handful of agents to the top office in Malden, Medford, Everett and Revere with 55 agents and a 5 person support staff. My own team has grown to 10 agents, all of them working together to make sure your home sells for top dollar.
Well, I hope that you've enjoyed reading this little biography of mine as much as I enjoyed writing it. It's been a wild ride over the last couple of years-especially lately-but our team approach and home selling systems have kept our sellers very, very happy (you can see proof in the Testimonials Book I've included).
If you'd like to learn more about how our VIP HomeSelling System works, please read the enclosed "VIP HomeSelling System Manual". I've also included our "Seller Tips" special report and our "Homeselling Timeline" as well.
Of course, if you have any questions, please call me at 781-395-4000. I'll be happy to walk you thought the entire System, including our Cash Rewards program and our unique Guaranteed Sale Program.
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