Teamerage – Kevin Markarian of Marker Real Estate

Kevin Markarian, Founder of Marker Real Estate

Kevin Markarian, the Founder of Marker Real Estate, grew his company’s revenue from $125,000 in 2014 to $2.1m in 2017, a 1,578% increase, and now they are on track to hit $5m this year.  

Marker Real Estate helps their clients buy and sell homes in San Francisco neighborhoods as well as throughout California.  

In this interview with Eversprint‘s Malcolm Lui, Kevin shares how he and his team accelerated their high value sales by:  

  • Leveraging technology for lead generation and nurturing.  While they buy leads from the likes of Zillow and, their own Facebook marketing channel yields the highest ROI by far.  
  • Creating systems to consistently deliver qualified leads to their agents.  When a lead expresses interest, his 24 x 7 concierge team will reach out them right away to see how his firm can help.  
  • Fostering a very strong teamwork environment within their brokerage, where the most seasoned agent will make time to help the newbies.  They’re not just a brokerage, but a “teamerage”.   

Marker Real Estate (computer generated transcript) (transcribed by Sonix)

Download the "Marker Real Estate (computer generated transcript)" audio file directly from here. It was automatically transcribed by below:

Malcolm Lui: Welcome to the High Value Sales Show of I'm Malcolm Lui the Managing Member of Everysprint, and today we're speaking with Kevin Markarian, the Founder of Marker Real Estate, a firm that helps clients buy and sell homes in San Francisco neighborhoods. Welcome to the call Kevin.

Kevin Markarian: Thanks Malcolm. Glad to be here.

Malcolm Lui: Kevin, you grew your company's revenue from $125,000 in 2014 to $2.1 million in 2017, 1,578% increase and now you're on track to hit $5 million in 2018. Before we talk about how you grew your company so fast, can you briefly share what your company does beyond my quick intro and how your company differs from the competition?

Kevin Markarian: Sure sure. So as you mentioned we we help people buy and sell home. So we're a traditional residential real estate brokerage. We have agents that work with clients work with buyers were good sellers help them accomplish either the American dream in terms of buying a home or maybe selling their existing home and moving up into something else home or downsizing. One of the things that we do differently. We focus heavily on technology as a company as a real estate industry as a whole has been is really lacking when it comes to legalizing technology and really leveraging the tools that are available to us. So one of the things that we do really well is you know we've generated a huge amount of clients through through online channels like we do a lot of online lead generation. We focus heavily on Facebook with Facebook targeting. We do a lot with just with social media with video. And so in terms of helping agents and spies and sellers haven't have a competitive advantage in the marketplace we're able to do that for them by leveraging a lot of the tools that are available to us through technology.

Malcolm Lui: Fantastic looking backward past few years going from one hundred twenty five thousand in 2014 to five million dollars by the end of this year in 2018. What were the three biggest drivers of your sales growth

Kevin Markarian: Well first is will one of the things I mentioned which is leveraging technology so we do a ton with online lead generation so the first thing would be really really tapping into tech and being able to create an app that would be number one. Number two is decreased create a system create systems to continually continually bring clients in. And so if you think about real estate real estate is is a profession where there's everyone's in kind of an independent business owner everyone's an independent contractor. We're almost like our own little companies each person. So the big challenge that agents have is where's my next deal coming from. That's that's a big big question. And that's why nine out of 10 agents fail in the first five years as a statistic by the National Association of Realtors. Eighty seven percent of agents fail in the first five years. And so that to me that the big problem that agents face is not you know getting being good salespeople or not wanting to help people or whatever the case may be it's it's how to generate clients how to get where we get my next client. So we've we've been able to master that at market real estate. We've we've leveraged technology to generate inquiries from people that are interested in buying and selling houses. And we do that better than a lot of companies. And so that's what's allowed us to grow it at a really high level is we don't have that that problem as far as like where's the next deal coming from because we have systems in place that allow us to generate a high volume of inquiries people that are interested and we and we do it at a high level.

Kevin Markarian: So that's number two. So that would be systems. Number three is once you generate those clients then what do you do. And and it's really comes down to conversion is how do you convert. How do you work with clients at a high level to show them value to provide them with the answers that they're looking for whether it's a buyer looking for a home to Tom to purchase in San Francisco one of the most competitive markets in the world. How do you provide a competitive advantage for them. Also with regards to a seller you know in a market like San Francisco where you know people are putting in offers and you know six getting a hundred thousand dollars over their asking price. So those are there's a certain expectation from sellers that OK if I'm a hiring agent then anything need to deliver you know really really great results. And so and so that you know we've been able to do that for them as well so. So let's do this. Those are three things. Number one is leveraging technology and generating leads. Number two is systems and number three as conversion and providing value to our clients.

Malcolm Lui: Fantastic. Now I know you talk a little bit already about the technology you're using but you mentioned Facebook and social media videos. Can you elaborate a little bit more detail as to maybe give some examples of how you use technology to generate increased

How they leverage technology to generate leads

Kevin Markarian: So really now I mean when we first started there wasn't a lot of people doing this. But now you kind of go over that all over the country and just do and speak and share these these thoughts and there's people that are doing these things at a high level now. So a lot of us a lot of people doing what we're doing now but when we first started we were like we were using Zillow. You've heard of Zillow is is a real estate real estate company that provides listings on housing and homes for sale stuff like that. And and they we started using Zillow like 2006 or 2007 is when it was kind of the first you know their first leg in terms of coming into the marketplace. When we started we started using them very early on. Also like realtor dot com we'd used them. Companies like that. And then we'd like leveraged Google and really just done a lot with paid advertising on Google. So some examples I mean we I mean we're generating leads. People come in they make inquiries. We then take those inquiries we sort of give them we have like a call center that responds and answers questions almost like a concierge. And then we basically when when people make inquiries we have our concierge team ask them questions related to their inquiry make sure that they are eligible or qualified to purchase a homeless or you know kind of where they're at in the process.

Kevin Markarian: And then we kind of qualify that per person and then we assign that that client to an agent on our team and we we kind of match those clients requirements with agents on our team that that that are that are experts in that area and create a win win situation. And what that allows us to do is number one we increase we improve the client experience because we have the concierge team that respond to them immediately answers their questions find find out what's important to them. And so we increasingly improve their experience there and then we assign them to an agent on our team that's going to be able to meet those expectations was an expert in the field and and provide a great experience for the customer. And at the same time we're providing value to our agent because as I mentioned earlier a big challenge that agents face is where's my next deal coming from. So if we agree on that then us as a company being able to provide opportunities for agents to work with clients that have been pre qualified that are they are interested in working with agents that have the level of expertise that that this particular agent might have. It's just it's just a great combination and that's what sets us apart. And that's that's just one example of how we can what. What was your question.

Malcolm Lui: Yet.

Kevin Markarian: Excellent

Malcolm Lui: No it's good. I had my original question was to have you elaborate a little bit more on how your leverage technology and you've definitely answered that so

Kevin Markarian: Okay good.

Malcolm Lui: That customers team not just an in-house team that you have or is this something you were you outsourced

Kevin Markarian: It's it's a combination. We have companies that we use to provide that service for us. And the one and then we also have in-house people that we train and this is kind of like kind of what we want market real estate is known for him in the real estate industry. So we're a brokerage and we. We also operate as a team. So we have we're kind of we had this phrase that we people kind of refer to to us by which is a we're not a brokerage. We're not a team. We're kind of a team arranged sort

Malcolm Lui: Okay.

Kevin Markarian: Of operates. And it's funny because I have a good friend of mine who also their company was on the 500 list a few times and he says that that we're the only real estate team in America that made the Inc 500 list. So we're basically we're mostly just the kind of a glorified a real estate team. But I take that as a compliment because that's a you know it's it's really a it's a unique sort of a niche network that we're in and there's a there's a trend in the industry to kind of follow that in that direction with regards to providing value to agents while maintaining profitability is really important too and we've been able to do that part of the reason why is because we operate as a team. We don't have your traditional sort of traditional expenses that are related to a to a more box cookie cutter sort of big box type brokerage brokerage with a huge amount of overhead. The majority of brokerages Believe it or not. It's very difficult to be profitable as a brokerage with all the overhead and staff and requirements you know that that we're all related to to operating a brokerage it's hard to be profitable. So a lot of people in the brokerage business have ancillary services that they provide and they actually make their money off the ancillary products like escrow like a mortgage like a title transaction recording and so on and so on and so on there's a lot of different things. But with us as a market we're actually profitable as a brokerage because we don't have your traditional structure because we're able to provide leads of value through leads that we send to our agents because we we're leveraging technology we don't need that the traditional brick and mortar like ground floor kind of operation and that's what's allowed us to be very successful.

Malcolm Lui: Can you elaborate on what expenses you don't have that a typical brokerage would have

The traditional brokerage expenses that they do not have

Kevin Markarian: Well if you think about like your traditional model which is is changing very fast because of disruptors like Zillow like dot com like you know the online lead space has really changed change across the industry. When I when I say online lead space what what to provide with I don't know what I'm talking about people in real estate know what I'm talking about people that outside of the business don't know maybe don't know. And that is we have listings as as as a community rustic community we'll have X number of listings one hundred listings. These are exclusive listings that are to our company and we can post those listings on a Web site. Now Zillow and the portals have have agreements with them with a with a multiple listing service which is where we post those listings that allows them to show those listings on their site as well. So that means that they can then if somebody is some if somebody wants information on that listing they can go to Zillow and then Zillow can then sell that person's information back to me even though I'm the one that owns the listing

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Kevin Markarian: So that's where there's like you know there's this there's there's there's value there for sure. If I'm not the one that has the listing in my opinion but there's also some controversy there right too because if I'm the one that has that listing and I'm an exclusive broker and then Zillow takes that listing and then resells the lead back to me even on the one that procured the listing. That's like a challenge that people face. That's what I mean by buy all and lead space that's why it's changed the industry so much so as far as market real estate we've taken advantage of what's those changes so so because of that we are able to generate so many high volume of leads which in turn has allowed us to not have your traditional ground floor you know brick and mortar space with a massive overhead of operating a huge office space because we don't need it frankly we don't need that. What's the purpose of it. What's the purpose of having a ground for brick and mortar offices be beyond agents working in the space which we do have that we have we have relationships with companies like Regis we have really beautiful conference room space we have more like a shared shared flight. We work together and we work.

Malcolm Lui: Yes. Would have been worth

Kevin Markarian: So that kind of environment where it's a professional setting. We've created partnerships with for example we have a partnership with the San Francisco tennis club it's a very high end you know high dollar membership club with people that that you know very wealthy what have you and they're interested. A lot of times in real estate so we have a partnership with them we have an office inside their facility. The cost of that office is significantly lower than what an office would be on a ground floor somewhere in San Francisco. So that the point is beyond an agent needing a workspace. In my opinion the reason why most brokerages have office space is for no one for visibility. They want to be seen signage you know what have you. Branding and all that. Second is you want walk ins right. So that's important to be able to have walk ins. Well let me ask you this. To my mind my my view well in my view the signage and visibility part I don't need to worry about that because I'm more visible online and I can target the people that are relevant the audience that's relevant to my business online and I can be seen by more people online than any brokerage in any area. Right for the most part I can I can control my audience. I can control my control. I control the eyeballs. OK. So. OK. So that's number one. Number two is in terms of walk ins. Let me ask you this Mark. How many times how many people do you think get up every day. Or people that are interested in buying or selling a house.

Kevin Markarian: How many people do you think get up and say hey let's go. I want to sell my house. Let me let's go find out what Johnny's doing over on the corner office and talk to him and find out you know what's on the market what's available. Like nobody is doing that right. Like that maybe like in 1994 people were doing that but now everyone's starting online. They're looking for the information online. So why am I going to go spend a huge amount. And and you know have this massive overhead that is going to that's going to reduce my my bottom dollar when I can accomplish the same exact thing if not more better. I can be more visible. I can have more walk in traffic if you will quote unquote walk in meaning my walk ins or online my my front door is my phone. Right. I don't need to have that ground for brick and mortar and then I can still but I can still accomplish the. The requirement that agents have which many agents nowadays are working remotely anyway. They weren't there's a lot of home offices and stuff like that. But for agents that want to work out of an office space I can accomplish that through partnerships with the services go tennis club where it's actually more beneficial to have an agent inside of a place where they are surrounded by potential clients versus being surrounded by other agents and in an office setting that's costing me a stupid amount of money that I want to pay. And so that's that's how we're able to stay profitable.

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. Totally makes sense. Now you share with me a little bit about the technology that you're using now I guess one last question on that front. Which media channel are using the most to find your leads. Is it Facebook. Is that where you find them. Is it Google AdWords a paper click or is it something entirely different

Facebook is their best lead source now

Kevin Markarian: Right now Facebook I'll give you an example. We've used the portals like Roadrunner comes along Trulia we've done a lot with them. Also Google but to give you an example one lead one particular one one client inquiry. It's gone to a point now where the portals are so popular like Zillow Trulia dot com and those guys within the in the real estate community that they've been able to increase their prices so much that one lead might cost in a particular area one Lee might cost one hundred fifty dollars for one one click. One person submitting their information. Now as far as how that compares to let's say Facebook I can I can get somebody to provide their information on Facebook. We might pay three dollars. So now somebody's listening in and saying OK well what's the quality of that lead. So I would say that as far as the rules of our common Zillow and those guys yes they will be lower in the funnel meaning they'll be more likely to transact sooner than probably someone on Facebook. But the cost. Number one the cost is so much different so much lower to focus on so through social media to market people through talk to those through social media that I'm willing to go further upstream go higher in the funnel meaning people that are less likely to transact in a short amount of time. I'm willing to take that chance by paying less and getting more volume on a higher funnel client than I would for that lower funnel client and pings and significantly higher price. One step further on that. Those those clients that are in low funnel with the portals those guys are being competed for are being we're competing for those people there's multiple people that are competing for that client like right because they're lower funnel

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Kevin Markarian: So they're clicking on other things too versus the person on Facebook that's higher funnel they may not be there may not be as much competition for that particular client. So

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Kevin Markarian: As long and so as long as we can stay in front of them when I say when I say this thing in front and what I mean by that is by nurturing by sending them information regularly maybe they're not ready to buy or sell today right now but they may be ready to buy or sell six months from now they may be ready to do something three months from now a year from now two years from now. I just want to be there when they really make the decision. So as long as if you're if you're working those higher funnel leads which I which what we've been focusing on more lately as long as you have the campaigns and the nurture and the ability to follow up where you're staying in front of them with content that's relevant that that is that's valuable they'll they'll remember you when it's time.

Malcolm Lui: Yep.

Kevin Markarian: So that's what's important.

Malcolm Lui: Now have you done that. Sounds like you probably have done this already. Can you share ultimately with your system and marketing you're doing now what your cost of a paying client when who does it transacting with you. At the end of day going through the funnel Estonia three dollars to get the lead in of course not all of them do business with you. Some number will ultimately do business with you. Have you figured out what your cost per paying client acquisition is through your system. And how about comparison before when you if you were to use the likes of truly Trulia and Zillow and real through dot com

Kevin Markarian: You want me to. You're saying you want to calculate everything all the time of all the leads that we're generating or each individual person

Malcolm Lui: At the

Kevin Markarian: Then

Malcolm Lui: End of day right I mean you set up a marketing system you're getting people to give the information at three dollars a click and then you go out of a thousand people who do that maybe only one end up doing that transaction for you right. So then essentially you pay three thousand dollars for that one customer. And this is just my numbers not your numbers. I'm just asking how that what what your costs of acquiring that not one customer is versus what it would have been if it used Zillow the likes of Zillow instead

The ROI of different lead sources

Kevin Markarian: Our average. So overall if you take everything we're about for every dollar spent about six dollars or 50 cents back so total if you want talk about a comparison between like Zillow and these guys so so with Facebook probably higher closer like 7 or 8 there's other Facebook providers like companies that we use it it's 10x return with with Zillow and groups not comics closer like three or four and my work. But those are happening sooner happening faster. So we're converting them faster but they load but the return is a little bit lower but is still a good return. And with with Google it's probably around for three to four. So it varies based on the based on on the on the platforms. But right now we're seeing the biggest return either through realtor dot com because the quickness of the transaction and then with Facebook

Malcolm Lui: Right. So you're still using all the other platforms and I don't go exclusively through your own system through Facebook right. Sounds like the returns you getting from Zillow real true dot google still attractive enough readers to pay for the leads from those sources.

Kevin Markarian: Yeah

Malcolm Lui: Okay cool.

Kevin Markarian: Definitely

Malcolm Lui: Fantastic.

Kevin Markarian: Definitely.

Malcolm Lui: Can you maybe give an example of the systems that you've created that help you take a lead through your technology platform and help move them to becoming a paying client.

Kevin Markarian: Yeah sure. So if somebody if somebody makes an inquiry the first thing that happens is they'll get so we backup one problem that according to the National Association of Realtors that they asked clients their biggest gripe their biggest gripe with agents and overwhelmingly the response has been the lack of the lack of response like most agents don't get back to clients. That's that's number one. Number two is so risk response time is incredibly important response time is incredibly important. So and especially if you think about online inquiries that are being made. We talked earlier about walk ins versus versus online leads. Yes. With walk ins I would agree that you have you know someone who walks into a plate into your office is probably a good client right. Potentially. That's a good quality opportunity because you have someone that's like literally physically walked in. You have their undivided attention in front of you and they're ready they're ready to talk to somebody right now. So that's wonderful. With an online inquiry someone who makes an inquiry online. You don't have their undivided attention right. They're not necessarily interested in one particular company to work with or one particular person for the most part they usually just want information. They're looking for an answer. And so because of the sort of lack of a lack of attention I guess is maybe the right way to say it. We cannot if only it makes an inquiry we can't afford to let them go to let too much time go by because they're known to go click on other properties too. They're going to they're going to click look at other agents as well. So response time is incredibly important. So to answer your question what we do is first and foremost is we respond fast within usually less than a minute or 30 seconds immediately as

Malcolm Lui: This

Kevin Markarian: Quickly

Malcolm Lui: Is

Kevin Markarian: As

Malcolm Lui: A

Kevin Markarian: Possible.

Malcolm Lui: 24 by 7 doesn't matter what time they are checking things out.

Kevin Markarian: Great question. So during business hours we'll respond with a phone call and we'll follow with text and e-mail. But if it's if it comes in over overnight then we do respond. But it's with text

Malcolm Lui: Okay

Kevin Markarian: And it's with. So we don't we're going to call someone at 3:00 in the morning

Malcolm Lui: Right.

Kevin Markarian: But with our call center we will if we will ask them for permission if they're available will we'll call them at 3:00 in the morning. Yes if they if it's OK with them like operation

Malcolm Lui: Okay.

Kevin Markarian: At and sometimes we get response like how are you working or what. What is this like. You know how why you're responding to me this late. And then we just reply that we're 24 hour concierge team we just want to make sure that we're getting back to with the answers that you're looking for. And we just want to be able to provide value and help you answer your questions. So usually that's that's OK.

Malcolm Lui: Oh yeah.

Kevin Markarian: And of course yes. So

Malcolm Lui: Imagine if he just said yeah this is how we do business when our clients have questions we want answered them as soon as possible. I mean the other of your competitors do that at 3:00 in the morning on a Sunday night.

Kevin Markarian: Yes. So you know once in a while people will not be so happy about it. It's fine. Usually we're usually it's OK. And then so we'll try to start a conversation and I think I think a lot of people thinking about marketing maybe don't. Or maybe they do get it. I think successful people get it. Marketing is all about starting a conversation. That's what marketing is about. We want to start a conversation with someone so. And once we start the conversation the next step is to get face to face and then you start transacting whatever whatever your business model is maybe it's not getting face to face but you want to get to the point where we start transacting. So for us in real estate we start the conversation and then it gets to face to face usually is how how business is handled. And so we're trying to get to that point as quickly as possible. So when we make those calls and we'll respond to a text or email. The objective is can we get face to face. Can we meet. Can we talk. Can we talk about your goals. Talk about what it is that you want to do and then hopefully the answer is yes. And if we do that then if we do get to yes then we we talk. We start asking pre qualifying questions you know if it's a buyer. Have you been pre-approved by a lender. What area you want to look and so on so forth. And then we try to assign that person to an agent on our team. We discuss it a little bit earlier which is we we we take those qualifications or requirements that the client might have and then put them with an agent on our team that that is an expert that that you know can help them with their with their with their needs and then we make a match there and are on and off they go and we use a CRM we use a company called follow up boss and we're tracking all the correspondence the agents are responsible for keeping track for for you know kind of.

Kevin Markarian: Making sure it's that you were everyone's on the same page of the concierge team knows you know maybe we have to pick up the phone and call and thank the client for something or remind them about something or confirm an appointment. So we just it's very important for us to be all on the same page when it comes to the communication. And and then we just you know we kind of let the agents kind of take it from there with with us helping out and guiding it's necessary. And then there are times when we make those inquiries or we make those responses to inquiries and the conversation doesn't go the way we wanted to and maybe they're not necessarily ready to buy or sell today they're not ready to meet with anyone today. So then we we have you know we stay in contact with them through retargeting on Facebook with with relevant valuable information with messaging we use a lot of automation. So you know we might not like a text message or an email and again it's just it's done in good taste with with you know respecting the client's space if you will they're kind of digital space. And it's really just about providing value with and providing relevant content that they might find useful in staying in front of those people digitally. Usually until they're ready to transact with us

Malcolm Lui: Right. And by useful content imagine during the conversation that the concierge team has you know one area of course he might be asked. You might ask to ask what area are you interested in. And then if they did they provide that but they're not ready to do a transaction or ready to go further. So then you perhaps I'm guessing you send content related to that area perhaps they can see what's going on in that market how prices are trending. Transactions are happening developments in that neighborhood and so on. Is that the kind of content you're sending

Their lead nurturing content

Kevin Markarian: Yeah absolutely and then of course we always get permission from them. So it's OK for us to send that information to them and a lot of times you already have that information because they filled out a form and submitted the information online to us already. So we already know. So we might just say hey you know we'll stay in contact. We'll send you some information if it's OK with you. And you know if there's any time you're ready. Feel free to reach back out to us and you know and then sometimes we'll reach out with a phone call and if there's some something else that might be interesting to them based on their initial inquiry or the conversation we'll make sure they're aware of it. A lot of times I think people that they're just looking for information. Right. I mean they just want info. And so if we can and then it's there's so much of it already out there so we can distinguish ourselves as an information source that is that is that that can provide that can provide information that maybe isn't available to them online. I think that becomes more valuable. So we try to do that as well.

Malcolm Lui: Right. Yeah definitely that would be something people would appreciate and there will be more likely to pay attention when you send them information that's only available from you and no one else. Can you share a little bit about what your plans are for 2019

Kevin Markarian: Yeah. You know people always ask like we do a lot of calls with agents that are wanting to join our company or do calls like this and people always ask you know what is your what's your goal like you want to continue growing your company. The answer is we want to grow there's no end in sight. With the growth of the but which is really about growing with the right people. So it's it's we've been able to build our company in a way that is like the people that work with us are very down to earth like culture is really important. It's all about. There's no egos like you work together everyone kind of works as a team as I mentioned we. I've been in an office environment before where like you know I've been a new agent and I'm eager and want to learn and then I go ask a question of a top producing agent in our in our office or whatever and I get like the cold shoulder. No that's not a good feeling. So we built this company to be the complete opposite of that feeling that I personally know. I had like I don't want anyone ever feel that it's like heartbreaking you know like someone you're like naive whatever like this person I want to ask the question and they get shut down.

Kevin Markarian: So my goal is always been to be the complete opposite create an environment where that we can think about that feeling. If you can if you can feel that I'm just that I just described. Think about the complete opposite of that and that that's the goal that we have with our company. We want everyone to feel really good inspired. We have an abundance mentality. So so one of the big challenges to I think in our industry and really in business period is people have a scarcity mindset. Like I don't want to share my knowledge with you because if you fight you find out what I'm doing. You're going to steal it and you're going to go do it yourself. Well I would challenge someone challenge people that feel that way to think like this instead. You're the kind of information that you're so so worried about sharing. I can google that. I can find out what you're doing if you're doing it at a high level. People probably know about it and I can look it up online. OK. There's nothing. There's probably nothing out there that very small percentage of information out there that's not available number one. Number two when I share my mind my expertise which is I do it all that all the time I mean I got to speak on stage I go and talk at different conferences and I teach people exactly what we do at our company so they can go do it too.

Kevin Markarian: And maybe someone thinking someone listen might think like that's not a smart thing to do. I would again say that I would challenge you to think differently on that because by sharing information that's valuable with people. People are going to naturally reciprocate. Right. So I back I've actually learned so much more by sharing with with people because they've actually they've come back and shared information that that's worked for them. And you end up creating an abundance sort of environment and you end up hanging out and spending time with people that are doing things at a high level that also have that mentality. The sky's the limit. So that's sort of how that's that's. In terms of growth is is a way that I want to grow the company as people that have that mindset. And there's no there's no end in terms of like we'll continue to bring those types of people on we'll continue to grow. We'll continue to help our clients with that sort of mentality and mindset and that that's that's the goal. That's what we want to do.

Malcolm Lui: And just not a pure market size wise there's no reason why you continue to continuing to focus only on its emphasis on neighborhoods. I mean you could easily grow throughout the Bay Area

Kevin Markarian: Sure we have offices all over California actually with agents everywhere.

Malcolm Lui: Okay

Kevin Markarian: So

Malcolm Lui: Your transactions your real estate transactions aren't just in the San Francisco neighborhoods then

Kevin Markarian: Right in San Francisco it's the East Bay southern California Orange County which just opens on Newport Beach all over northern and southern California.

Malcolm Lui: Okay. That's good to know. So things definitely haven't gone really well for you. What are the challenges that you see that you need to overcome to continue your growth.

Kevin Markarian: It's a good question. Really I think challenge would be finding the right people to grow with and also scale. They always want to think about like scaling your company. Can you duplicate things at a high level. Right now where you want to find people like the way I was when I before I started the company and then help them grow their businesses and kind of work in a way that we can collaborate together so maybe bringing people on to join our company that are doing things that at a high level but want to just take it take it a step further or 10 steps further or a thousand steps further and utilizing some of the things that we've been able to take advantage of that have helped us grow. So I'm finding those people is a is a is a goal of mine and I think there's there's really a lot of synergy that could and some really big things that can happen if I can somehow I can connect with those types of people and we know we are talking to people like that but I want to do it on a larger scale so that's that's one challenge I think we'll overcome that challenge this year by bringing on certain people that will help us sort of find the right the right fit. With regards to the right candidates and you know just really partnering and collaborating with other people within our industry that's not really a challenge it's just something I want to continue to do. So

Malcolm Lui: How about in terms of the marketing side of things in terms of generating more leads for your team especially as you grow demand for the leads will be growing as well.

Kevin Markarian: But one thing with that is because we we generated so many that like two hundred thousand contacts in our database and that's a large amount of people to someone in a different industry. But I think in real estate it's a pretty good amount of contacts we've generate in the last three years or so. So that alone is a lead source in itself. So all the people that have made those increase then are already to transact right away. Right. So so we have a massive lead source within our own database. And we've been we've been working on that. So. And in addition to that we continually increasingly flow externally and we will continue to do that. One thing we've recently rolled out is is kind of packaging packaging our platform for people that have teams with for brokerages and offered our sort of system to them as a package. So for example if they're generating leads they don't need to create their own you know structure with regards to how to convert leads at a high level. All they have to do is provide those leads to us we'll convert them. We'll requalify and do everything that we do that we're so good at doing. And then turn them back around back to that that that company or that that team so they can go. You know we'll meet the client or whatever. So we've been doing that and that's worked out really well. Yeah. Just uh just continually growing on on Facebook to increasing our presence on YouTube. That's that's a big platform utilizing video and targeting the right audiences and just kind of being everywhere all the time being visible. I think in our in our this era that we're in with social media the one who makes the most noise wins

Malcolm Lui: Yeah. If you have a good grip on who the right audience is to target

Kevin Markarian: Depending on. Yeah I do. I think yes definitely. You know every every audience has a has a different message right. We think there'll be more more that they'll be more engaged with them with the right messaging. So if we're targeting sellers or want to focus to a certain type of messaging for a seller versus a buyer versus an agent that we want to recruit. So. Absolutely. And I think you know videos where where we're going to be focusing more in 2019 utilizing utilizing YouTube. That's a would be a big thing for us. And just just just being everywhere. Being being being visible

Malcolm Lui: Yeah I imagine within the bigger buckets you just mentioned buyers sellers agents even within each of those categories there are different gradations within their right. Right. In starter homes second homes vacation homes the starter homes that are in the 1 million dollar range versus 10 million dollar range. I imagine all those would have a different message as well

Value and relevancy

Kevin Markarian: Definitely. And then same thing for it with agents. Agents that are brand new business agents that are season agents that are top teams with agents that are luxury agents. So everyone has their own messaging and it's really just again it comes back down to one thing value and relevancy. So how what is in it for me that that stuff the consumer is asking right. So I'm watching this live and anyone listening into this. What's in it for me. Why why why why am I listening to this. So there has to be some sort of a value that that's that's being provided. And so what we're going to be focusing on that more and more it's already ingrained in what we do but we just want to get better and better and we're going to definitely do that. The other thing is individually personally I want to I personally just want to be around people that are doing things that a higher higher level than I am. So you know I really believe that if I'm the smartest guy in the room I'm in the wrong room right. So I want to I want to be like the least knowledgeable person. And I want to be around people that are doing things that are a bigger level not only financially. I mean spiritually health wise as a parent whatever it is that we're doing. I think it's important to like as a business owner not only to think financial like think outside of that too because that everything everything works together. So if I'm doing good spiritually if I'm going good with my health that that's going to help me financially just as much as being financially well-off will help me with my health and everything else. So it's it's all kind of you know it's it's it's own collaboration with one another so when I'm thinking about I want to be around people I do it on a higher level than me. Yes something in financially and in business and success and everything of course. Yes absolutely. But also in other realms within life I think it's important

Malcolm Lui: Yeah

Kevin Markarian: To

Malcolm Lui: Yeah

Kevin Markarian: Be

Malcolm Lui: Definitely. Life is more than just your business to ask questions for you. Who are your ideal clients and an end from clients. I'm just not what you share. I mean you have probably have in your mind ideal buyers ideal sellers the agents ideal partners. Who are those people and what's the best way for them to contact you and your team.

Their ideal clients and agents

Kevin Markarian: Really an ideal client is is really anyone that has a need to buy or sell property that that's it. Whether it's an investor whether it's a first time homebuyer whether it's a seller whether it's someone that's an empty nester it's anyone that is interested in buying or selling a home in California where we have coverage almost everywhere in California and so that would be one. Number two is any agent that is looking to grow their business that wants to be as interested in technology is interested in lead generation that's interested in systems that's interested in scaling that. Those are those are people that would be a great fit at marker. We've had some really amazing success stories with agents that have come on different levels high top producing agents that want to build their their their business or want to grow a team or newer agents that have never even never done a deal before have come on and made the most amount of money they've ever made in their life for six months with us. So it's a it's really a great environment for for those types of people and and to get a hold of us go to our Web site marker S.F. com or marker real estate and you can reach out to us there and be happy to help.

Malcolm Lui: Thanks for joining us today Kevin and sharing how you accelerated your company's high value sales

Kevin Markarian: Great to be with you Malcolm. Thanks for thanks for doing this is really fun.

Malcolm Lui: We've been speaking with Kevin Markarian, the Founder of Marker Real Estate, about his company's rapid growth. For interviews with other fast growing high value sales companies or to learn how we can accelerate your firm's high value sales through automation, visit

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