Level Up - From Agent to Entrepreneur

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Tried and Tested Tactics for Long-Term Success in Real Estate w/Debbie De Grote

To build booming real estate businesses, we have to tailor our strategies to who we are and where our strengths lie. No two agents are the same, and every market is unique. We have to capitalize on what sets us apart from everyone else. 


That being said, there are some tricks of the trade that will always help us grow, whether we’re new to the industry or looking to reach the next level. 


Which tactics have stood the test of time and helped agents reach new heights of success over the years? As bought leads become the norm, are there any reliable ways to build our businesses organically anymore?


In this episode, Co-Founder of Forward Coaching, Debbie De Grote shares the foolproof tactics that have helped agents grow their businesses both past and present. 


Be consistent. If you do lead gen everyday and you’re great at follow up, everything else takes care of itself. -Greg Harrelson



Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  


Why we need to stay consistent with strategies that work

The secret to long-term success is to continue doing income-generating activities everyday. Don’t stop prospecting or lead generation after seeing results, keep doing them to see even bigger returns over time. 


How to build a bigger sphere without buying leads

Buying leads has become the easy way to find more business, but it’s still possible to grow a sphere organically. Focus on nurturing existing relationships and keeping leads in a funnel. 


How to attract the ideal client as the world moves online

One thing that’s stayed the same over the years is the importance of getting in front of our leads, but what has changed is how we do it. Focus on becoming a “wise advisor” to the ideal client by offering value through educational online resources and events. 


Guest Bio- 


Debbie De Grote is the Co-Founder and CEO of Forward Coaching, and a sales expert with 16 years of experience in real estate. She first joined the industry to put herself through college, but later realized her love for real estate and never looked back. She is passionate about coaching and has coached some of the biggest names, not only in real estate, but across a number of industries including title, mortgage, insurance, and more. 


To find out more, go to:




You can also email Debbie at:


Eliminating Self-Limiting Beliefs and Negative Self-Talk w/Chadi Bazzi


With all the challenges we’ve faced in 2020, many agents have begun to feel down on themselves and it has taken a toll on their productivity. It’s more important now than ever to focus on our inner games and make a concerted effort to be more positive. 


While we’re facing unprecedented obstacles, it’s important to remember that we have the power to shape our own destinies. By changing the way we think about our reality, we can overcome any barrier we face.


How can we make the shift from self-limiting beliefs to a more optimistic outlook? Is there a way to ensure that we believe we have what it takes to reach our goals? 


In this episode, real estate coach and host of the Top Listing Agent Show podcast, Chadi Bazzi shares how to stay bullish in the face of difficult circumstances.


The key to success has nothing to do with what you do and everything to do with how you feel while you’re doing it.-Chadi Bazzi


Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  


  • How to make our affirmations more effective 
    Affirmations only work when we believe in them, so we have to break the cycle of scepticism. Do this by thinking of something we know to be true and paying attention to where the voice in our heads says ‘yes’. Once we know where that place is, we can start focusing on moving our affirmations to that spot.

  • How to interrupt the behaviors that hold us back
    We all do things that help us get our heads in the game. These are called our “anchors”, and identifying them makes it easier to switch into a state of flow and productivity. 
  • Why the quest for positivity and self-belief is never-ending
    Finding our anchors and trusting our affirmations is only the first step to a more positive mindset. If we want to see consistent results over time, we have to commit to believing in ourselves every single day. 

Guest Bio- 

Chadi Bazzi is the owner of Top Listing Agent, a coaching company dedicated to teaching agents a more authentic way of selling. He is devoted to helping agents believe in themselves and their abilities. Chadi is also the host of the Top Listing Agent Show podcast, and the developer of Listings on Demand. 


To find out more about Chadi, head to:



Why We Fear Success More Than We Fear Failure w/Neil Schwartz

We’re living in scary times, and a lot of agents are worried about what tomorrow holds. However, sometimes what keeps us from reaching our dreams isn’t extenuating circumstances. Sometimes the roadblock is our own mindset, and we’ve become too comfortable with the current situation we’re in. 


Whether we’re battling issues beyond our control or our own self-limiting beliefs, it’s important to remember that we have power over the way we respond. Sometimes what scares us the most is success, and it’s important for us to address that if we want to progress. How can we tap into that power and stop being paralyzed by fear? 

How can we shift our focus away from worry? 


In this episode, renowned real estate coach and owner of Century 21 Masters, Neil Schwartz shares how to stop letting fear throw us off our game. 



You’re stuck where you are because it’s okay with you, and that goes for any level. -Neil Schwartz


Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode


How to stop beating ourselves up for not reaching goals
Not achieving our goals is disappointing, but it’s not the end of the world. Slow and steady wins the race, so as long as we keep doing the work we need to do, success will come. 


How the fear of success holds us back
We’ve all heard of the fear of failure, but often what really holds us back is the fear of achieving success and not being able to replicate it. We have to stop letting the fear of bruised egos get the better of us.


The issue with looking too far ahead
While it’s important to have goals for the future, thinking of every move we need to make to get there is an easy way to overwhelm ourselves. Take one step at a time and trust the process. 


Guest Bio- 


Neil Schwartz is a real estate industry veteran, nationally recognized coach, and the Owner of Century 21 Masters. Prior to starting his own business, Neil ran the largest Century 21 company in North America, with over 600 agents. Neil is one of the original Mike Ferry One-on-One coaches, and during his 39-year career, he has been celebrated for his ability to zero in on the agents who need his help most. 


To find out more about Neil, head to:






You can also call or text him on 


The Balance Between Brutal Honesty And Optimism In Difficult Times W/David Fanale

In difficult times like these, it can be hard to know what to focus on in order to keep our businesses going and stay motivated. Some people would say we should coat everything with optimism and positivity, while others want reality and truth. 


Should we commit to constant optimism if we want to see results, or should we accept the negative? 


The answer isn’t as simple as choosing one of two extremes, it’s about balance and taking action. What is the right dose of both optimism and negativity in challenging times and markets? How do we stand out from all the other real estate hopefuls? 


In this episode, real estate coach from Real Estate Skill Builder, David Fanale joins me to discuss mindset and the art of differentiation. 




A good mindset isn’t all about optimism. Deal with the brutal facts in front of you. -David Fanale


Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  


  • A good mindset is not always an optimistic one
    Particularly in crisis markets, successful agents are those who deal with the reality of their current situation and put in the work to handle challenges as they come. 
  • The importance of going above and beyond expectations
    It’s not enough to be good at what we do, we have to differentiate ourselves by having advanced skills. Especially in an uncertain market, consumers are looking for agents who stand out. 
  • Why you shouldn’t wait to take action 
    Don’t halt growth by waiting to be ready to take the next step. We have to commit to our goals by deciding what we want and what we’re willing to do to achieve them. 


Guest Bio- 


David Fanale is a real estate coach at Real Estate Skill Builder. He has extensive experience in the industry, having been a broker/Owner for over two decades. For years, David has helped agents become real estate professionals through his methods and techniques. Many of them have gone on to become top producing agents. David, with Real Estate Skill Builder, offers one on one and group coaching, with different programs that vary in length. Dave is also the host of the Real Estate Talk-TGIF podcast.


To find out more about David, head to:







You can also reach him on:



Books mentioned on this episode:

Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy by Isadore Sharp


Michael Hellickson On The 3 Things Every Business Leader Must Do, No Matter The Market

In light of the uncertainty brought on by 2020, consumers are beginning to demand more skill from real estate professionals. So if we want to stay in business, we have to deliver. 


Should we be taking risks during this period, or is now the time to play it safe? What do we need to change in our business models?


Luckily for us, the core principles of a successful business haven’t changed much. Instead of making major changes, we need to keep doing the activities we’ve always done. We just have to change the way we’re doing them.


In this episode, Founder and President of Club Wealth® Coaching and Consulting, Michael Hellickson shares how to adapt our strategies in an uncertain market.



Keep doing all the activities you used to do, but do them differently. -Michael Hellickson



Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  


  1. Lean in to lead generation
    Lead generation is non-negotiable for business owners, no matter which industry they’re in. If we don’t generate new leads regularly, we’ll be out of business before we’ve even started. Generate leads every single day, and look into new lead sources every quarter. 
  2. Follow up fast
    Following up with leads is a vital step, and we must increase our speed to leads. Get in contact with potential clients in 30 seconds or less. Anything longer is too long. 

  3. Convert with the client in mind
    Far too often, as agents we speed through transactions, but we shouldn’t be. Instead of rushing things for our own benefit, we have to keep the client in mind and take every part of the process one step at a time. 




Guest Bio- 

Michael Hellickson is the founder and President of Club Wealth® Coaching and Consulting- the #1 Coaching Company in the World in the Team space. Michael sold real estate for over 20 years, and was among the top 1% of all agents nationally, before he even graduated high school! At the pinnacle of his sales career, Michael and his team were #1 Nationwide, out of over 1,000,000 real estate agents and teams. In addition to posting big numbers in retail and REO, Michael is considered by most to be the #1 short sale expert in the World. During his career, Michael has spoken to thousands of agents and organizations nationwide and has also been featured on several national television and radio programs including Glenn Beck, CNBC, The Dave Ramsey Show, and The Fox Business Network among many other local and regional programs.


To find out more about Michael, head to:




And to take advantage of the free offer mentioned on this episode, text ‘Club Wealth’ to 727-287--5993 

How to Adjust Your Presentations for a Virtual World

Why let uncertainty slow our businesses down? If we can adapt our methods to the world right now, we can grow and thrive. 


In this episode we discuss how to take advantage of virtual technology, and keep our virtual meetings informative and professional so they deliver results.



To thrive during times of uncertainty, you have to be versatile and open to communicating through a range of channels. -Brendon Payne


Takeaways + Tactics 


  • Give clients options. Some people are more comfortable speaking on tools like Zoom, while others prefer a phone call. Be flexible.
  • Don’t cut any corners on the content and goals of the meeting. The conversation we have virtually is exactly the same as the one we would have in-person.
  • Share important documents with clients ahead of meetings, so that we can stay on track and on time.

How to Build a Supportive Company Culture w/Lisa Ritter

To see terrific results in our businesses, it’s vital we create an effective and supportive working environment. How can we build a great company culture? What can we do to show every member on our teams we care about them?

On this episode, Broker/Owner at RE/MAX Results, Lisa Ritter shares how to instill a great company culture. 



To have high energy you need to be surrounded by the right people. You are the sum of those closest to you. -Lisa Ritter


Takeaways + Tactics 

  • The key to a great business lies in a great company culture. We have to be surrounded by the right people to see the best results.
  • Create a happy working environment by making sure everyone gets along. We can do this by letting existing team members have a say in the recruitment process. 
  • Make sure every team member feels supported. To build a loyal team and retain talent, we need to show we care about them on a personal level. 

Guest Bio- 

Lisa Ritter is the Broker/Owner at RE/MAX Results in Omaha, Nebraska. Lisa is passionate about her real estate career, and has been making Home Buyers’ and Sellers’ dreams a reality since 2001. Since opening RE/MAX Results in 2011 alongside her husband Dennis, she’s worked hard to create an office that has a vision for providing the best results in the industry for their clients, agents, and company. Lisa and Dennis have won a Best of Omaha Award in the Realtor category in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 – winning first place in both 2015 and 2016. Lisa has also served in a number of leadership roles, including the 2010 Omaha Women’s Council of Realtors President, 2012 President for Omaha Area Board of Realtors, 2014 Nebraska Realtors Association President Elect, 2015 Nebraska Realtors Association President, and in 2019 she was appointed as the broker at large member of the Nebraska Real Estate Commission.


To find out more about Lisa, head to




You can also contact her directly on lisa@omahare.com and 402-612-2413

How to Remove Fear From Your Business

In the wake of COVID-19 and the economic crisis, it’s hard to deny that most agents are experiencing some kind of fear, but if we stop dwelling on the things we can’t control, we can move forward in spite of that.

How can we push forward in a time of such uncertainty? Is there any way to overcome our anxieties?

The first step to taking the fear out of our businesses is acknowledging what we’re afraid of. 

On this episode, we’re sharing how to remove the fear from our businesses and push forward.


You have to know that fear is contagious. It spreads amongst all of us when we let it flourish, and that can take us all down. -Greg Harrelson


Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  

  • Stop spending so much time worrying about that which we can’t control, and focus instead on what we do have power over.
  • Instead of bottling everything up inside, write fears down. We can make ourselves feel much better by acknowledging our fears and putting them on paper.
  • Most of the time, what we fear is the unknown. Get rid of that fear by coming up with a plan to move forward.

Adapting To The New Normal w/Debbie Holloway

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, the real estate industry is going through considerable changes. Many agents are working from home, and leaders have been forced to find new ways to stay in communication with their teams.

During this time of uncertainty, real estate professionals should shift their focus away from closing leads, and spend more time nurturing their databases. 

How can we stay productive throughout the pandemic and how can we adapt to the changes in our industry? 

In this episode, Tom Ferry International coach, Debbie Holloway joins us to share how to adapt to the new normal.


 Times are changing, but we don’t necessarily have to do everything differently. Do what you've always done- but be deliberate about every step you take during this period. -Brendon Payne


Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  


Become regular with routine
Whether we’re going into offices or working from home, having an effective routine is key. Time management is non-negotiable, especially for those of us working from home.


Set short-term goals
Throw out the 2020 plan: It’s simply not achievable anymore. Instead of focusing on the things we want to achieve this year, we need to set short-term, manageable goals.


Establish a line of communication
Communication is extremely important, especially in times like these. Don’t underestimate the power of personal conversations with team members and clients alike.



Guest Bio- 

Debbie Holloway heads up the Team+ program for TomFerry International. She is a senior coach, with over 20 years of experience coaching sales agents and company owners. Debbie speaks internationally on team building, mindset, culture, personality types and women influencing real estate. Prior to joining Tom Ferry International, Debbie owned a ReMax franchise and mortgage company, and ran a personal team averaging 150 deals a year in Louisville, Kentucky. 


To find out more about Debbie, visit:





You can also email her on dholloway@tomferry.com 


Book mentioned on this episode:

The Alter Ego Effect by Todd Herman


Set Up Your Negotiations To Succeed

Every stage of the real estate transaction has been impacted by the COVID-19 lockdowns and changes in the market. The terms of deals are changing rapidly, and the decisions of buyers and sellers are also shifting along with the situation we’re in. 

Agents are still presenting and receiving offers and having to negotiate deals, but the process has become more challenging. 

It is our responsibility to give every offer as good a shot as possible of getting to the closing table, and that’s dependent on the action we take, but most importantly, our mindset.  

How do we prepare ourselves and our clients for navigating this real estate market? What information do we need to have ahead of time, and how will this make closings more likely? 

In this episode, we talk about how to adapt our negotiation to what’s going on. 


The mental part of this game right now is critical. There are going to be 4 sets of emotions in the transaction, and the only one you can control are your own. -Brendon Payne 


Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  

Pre-qualifications and pre-approvals are getting outdated rapidly. If a buyer has a pre-approval that’s a few weeks old, make the deal contingent on them getting a current pre-approval. 

Having relationships with mortgage officers is important because they can become a resource during this time to keep us informed on what’s changing in the market. 

It is our job to remain calm. When we react emotionally, we become the problem in the transaction and the reason deals fall apart.

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