On today’s show, we're talking with Jesse Ibanez. I've known Jesse for, probably 20 years now. He owns a real estate and mortgage company in San Diego called the Greenhouse Group, and they really get behind this whole idea of the green lifestyle, and sustainability, and you know, they're in the right area for that.
A lot of people, especially in Southern California, and around the country, resonate with that message, and he's opening up a brand new office to server these people in an area he'd like to do more business.
We had a great conversation about how to integrate or marry the resonating purpose they have with their business and the economics of it. How do you make sure this is something that's going to fit with the sustainability of your business rather than be something that's just going to entertain you?
We worked through some really great questions to ask yourself and hatched some really viable evil schemes to attract more business that stay true to their real passion.
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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 082
Dean: Jesse Ibanez. Here we are. You heard that. We're recording live.
Jesse: I beat you to it, finally. See, Dan never gets to beat you to it.
Dean: That's true. Tell me. I'm excited. It's a little ray of light on my calendar to see Jesse Ibanez right here, live and in person.
Jesse: That's only because I'm not wearing any pants.
Dean: Oh, well then. Perfect. Tell me, what's going on, Jesse?
Jesse: Well, I'm delighted to carve out a little chunk here with the artist formally known as the DJ, maybe more contemporary is Moo Moo Buckaroo.
Dean: Oh, hey, there.
Jesse: I've been working on some of these for you.
Dean: The Moo Moo Buckaroo. You crack me up.
Jesse: We got this new spot, Deano. There's a new addition to the family. Our little Greenhouse group is all growing up, and we just bought our first building, and we landed it right here in the heart of San Diego on a history little street called Adams, and it's a corner spot, and it's a little craftsman house. It's about 1,000 square feet and we're gonna revamp this thing so that it not only can exist as our office building, but also a model for the neighborhood to be able to take what's pretty typical for what everybody lives in because it's not an office building, it's actually a little craftsman house, and say, "Hey, you don't have to scrape it, and if you can't afford to move into the spot that you want, you can actually revamp this and you can do it green."
So that would be with the homage to energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor air quality, reduced, recycled, reused materials, and then tipping the cap to the green EQ; like the effectiveness quotient of green lifestyle. We're going to do that and we're gonna model it for everyone, so that it'll be a little signature piece for the neighborhood. I wanted to connect with you and tap into your infinite bedrock stream of celestial wisdom, and see how we can actually employ this house so that it literally is one of the team. Generating business and stuff, just like we're trying to do.
Dean: Okay. Tell me. This would be useful because I know we go back, I know the backstory, but it would be helpful to explain it to me like we're just meeting right now, so that people listening will know kind of what you do and what you're up to.
Jesse: Yeah, fair enough. We're kinda trying to be the heretics; the unbrokers of the real estate game. We're kinda trying to shake some shit up a little bit, so there's that old traditional conversation of someone kind of stepping in between two things that are already moving, and how that's kind of perpetuated itself from the beginning of time until now, and obviously, that might be the product, but the process leaves a lot kind of left to be desired, so we're trying to kinda merge into that space and 2.0 or maybe even 3.0 the game a little bit, and make it more about the actual experience. Maybe that's one half of it, and the second half is this little green flag we're trying to raise up to trying to give a glimpse to maybe what's coming down the pipe from the product perspective, too.
That's us. We're a small little team here in San Diego. It's basically myself who runs the real estate side of things, my business partner Jeremy who runs the mortgage planning wing of things, so we do both in house, and we're helping first time buyers and first time sellers, and anybody interested in the green lifestyle. That's our niche.
Dean: Okay, perfect. When you look at it, you couldn't have picked a better place than San Diego to tap into that whole vibe. It seems like you're resonant with that group, so you're in the right place. Tell me about this house that you got here. This is your real estate office now. I remember telling you ... it's funny, I was at Mike's office, which happened to be in the same building where your old office was, which was funny, because I came down to get us some water or get something to drink at the little store that's in the building there, and I'm looking and I see there Greenhouse. I'm like, wow, I know that guy.
Jesse: You're kidding me. You're talking about the TD Ameritrade building right there in Mission Valley?
Dean: Yeah. Right where you were, because do you know Mike?
Jesse: I don't. I feel like that name's familiar, but no.
Dean: Yeah. Well, his office is right in your building there, so it's kind of funny because I popped in because you weren't there.
Jesse: Oh, that's too bad.
Dean: Yeah, it was funny to see. Okay, so you've moved out of there, you've bought this building, you're in the community. So you're kind of standing alone.
Jesse: Deano, just to be fair, we're actually still in that office. We're in the process of rehabbing that building that I'm speaking of. We probably won't take occupancy until June or July.
Dean: Okay, perfect. Okay. But that's the plan, is that you're headed that way.
Dean: Yeah, okay. It's really interesting. Do you remember Tom Cook from Toronto?
Jesse: Sure. You bet.
Dean: Okay, yeah. Tom, years ago, got a similar small house on a corner in an area of Toronto called The Beaches and we set it up as a real estate viewing center. This is in 2000/2001, when the internet was just becoming the thing. It wasn't as mature as it is now, so we set it up so people could come in and look at homes on the big screen and all that stuff. The fun thing that we did; it was saying, "What should we use for the signage?" Because we had a pretty good corner with good traffic going through, so rather than just putting the Thomas Cook Team, we put his URL. So we put TorontoRealEstate.ca on there, and we had a real estate reviewing center, and the fun thing that we put on there was right on the front thing, we put "free popsicles".
Jesse: I love that.
Dean: That was kind of the thing that people would comment on. They would come in and you would have free popsicles for people who wanted to view some homes, but it was kind of an outward focused thing to the building. Having the signage and everything about it kind of telegraphed that this was a space for you. It's not to house my office, it's not our ivory tower, or our corporate bunker, this is for you, and we're saying, "Welcome, come on in." And the free popsicles was kind of like the invitation. Like, "We're serious. Come on in."
Jesse: I love that thought.
Dean: Yeah, now, when you look at it that that sort of thing, if you look at the evolution for the need for a real estate office, is really pretty low right now, in terms of the actual practicality of it. In the old days, people would have to come to the real estate office to get information, but they don't need it now, because everything about every property is available online right now; on their smartphone, so they don't need that. They don't even really need to come and meet you there, but how could you ... what are the things that could be useful in a space like that? How are you going to set up the actual floor plan of the space? What are you going to have there that would invite or be able to facilitate kind of community involvement, or what's your vision on that? Do you envision doing small workshops or demonstrations or product demos? Are you gonna make this a kind of demo center for green things? How do you envision this?
Jesse: Your intuition is obviously pinging. First of all, that's exactly why I wanted to reach out. I love that about you, dude. I love that you came up with the popsicles. That's so Deano it's not even funny. Just pure joy for stuff like that. If we could crack a code for something like that for us, Hallelujah. More specifically though, absolutely. The extra investment ... first of all, the monetary investment, for sure, and not just go and commercial grade carpet with the horrifying cubicles. We're actually gonna do this like a demonstration home, so I should say the client facing part; the front stage. From the front door to the little ... but the challenge we have with that is we only have 1,000 square feet in this little old craftsman home, and we still have to have room for desks and stuff like that, so anyway, our plan is to have this be an open front door kind of thing where we actually have little workshops where folks can come in and they can learn about those five tenets of green lifestyle, and actually touch and feel it. That whole thing, so there's definitely that component.
Dean: What are the five tenets of the green lifestyle, just so I-
Jesse: Sure. I ran through those at the top. I did it kind of quick. It's energy efficiency, it's water efficiency, it's indoor air quality. Again, reduced, recycled, reused materials, and then that green lifestyle sort of quotient thing; being able to ride your bike to work or transit close by or walk your groceries, all that kinda stuff. Those are the five tenets. Now, I also would add a sixth. The thing that I'm kinda hype on recently is home automation and stuff, like technology; like Google Home, Nest thermostat all talking to each other and keeping your energy bills down and all that kinda stuff like that.
I'd even add a sixth onto that for myself, but to your point about the popsicles, one thing I do plan on investing in, and I don't know if this is going to be done or not because it's just not quite in that same easy to execute category as popsicles, but I'm gonna invest in one of those badass coffeemakers. One of those real deal ones, where it makes the noise and the whole thing. For team camaraderie but I'd love it if anybody just popped in and we made them a coffee.
Dean: Do you have a nice patio space or ... a craftsman home, you got a porch, probably?
Jesse: Yep, yep, yep. There's a nice big porch on the front.
Dean: Okay, so that may be ... if I were thinking about it like that, like to increase the space there ... that might think about the way that I create the window that opens from the kitchen out to the patio or something. Anyway, just to make some space like that, you know?
Dean: To facilitate that kind of thing. The other thing that you could do to multiply the space is to kind of think about it if you've got that limited amount of space, too, rather than have it be kind of a physical gathering place, which might be a little more difficult, is to make it a virtual gathering place by creating some elements of a studio in there, where you could do a video. It could be the video podcast headquarters or audio podcast headquarters as well, so that it kind of becomes iconic for your outreach of it.
Jesse: Yeah, no, I actually have that now. I pirated a big chunk of our current space ... I don't know if you saw it when you came. There's a big nice green screen, the lights are all hanging from everywhere. The reality unfortunately is that we don't use it as much as we had intended on just because it kinda feels like the needle kind of shifted over kinda towards more raw stuff, and that's not to say the oars are shift completely on something that's produced a little nicer, but still. I'm not sure if that's gonna commute itself just from space. I'll probably just have that be my office, Deano. I'm probably just going to have to multipurpose my office there.
But hey, something real quick that reminded me. You were talking about that. I was just up on a little family vacation on Northern California in a beautiful little town called San Anselmo in December, and we were grabbing breakfast, and there was this really cool thing that I saw. It was a corner spot and I recognized the name was a real estate name. It was like something in Vocal or whatever. I can't remember. Not that popular down here. I walked in because it caught my eye. I walked in because it didn't look like a real estate shop at all. They had a couple things in the window that were real estatey, but I walked in and sure enough, it was a wine bar, and the guy was right there. He was all primed up; classic handshaker dude who was rocking the Saturday shift. I was like, "Dude, what are you guys doing?" And he's like, "This is basically a wine bar and we just happen to do real estate here." I was like, "Whoa." It was kind of like one of those mind expando blastos there.
Dean: Yeah, no, there was a guy here-
Jesse: That kind of gave me the idea of the coffee shop.
Dean: Yeah, there's a guy in Winter Haven that did that same thing. They had a café that they would run that was integrated into their real estate office.
Jesse: What do you think about that? I'm not trying to get into the café business but I'm just kind of ruminating inside that little bubble for a second.
Dean: I like the idea that you're integrating that into the community in a way. If you're saying, "How do you and what's the best outcome here?" Fundamentally, it's still going to be driven by your real estate business. That's the fundamental thing, if we get down to it.
Jesse: Of course.
Dean: The core is that we want to build a relationship with people who are going to buy or sell homes. That's really the fundamental thing, and you're kind of using this green context to set a context for the relationship. That I think goes a long way, but you gotta do it always with your eye on the fundamental business, because a lot of times people just don't connect the dots. They don't do it in a way that is connected to the core business so when you think about it, it's not enough to just be, "Oh, we're green and we support the fundamentals and all this stuff and oh, by the way, we do real estate." How do you integrate those and how do you become the only choice for people like that? People who that really resonates with?
If you're looking at it, that if you take each of these elements, you've got a great relationship with your after unit. You have a lot of people that you have a relationship with over all these years, and that as a core is really a great place to come from, but this additional thing of now being out standalone in a community, is it in an area where you hope to get more business, or are you just in a location that a lot of your business happens away from that neighborhood? What's your intention there?
Jesse: Beautiful pivot. One thing. Full disclosure here, I've somehow managed to get away with knowing you as long as I have, Joe, and all these guys, that concept of having a target market and the farm and stuff with never actually having one. We've got a niche, but other than that, we're kind of slutty. There are very few parts of San Diego County that we don't serve so because of that, we've never been like, "Okay, and this city block." And I've always had that thing in the back of my mind that when you told me decades ago, you said, "You know, it's amazing when you do the metrics on an area like yours, you could dominate like one square mile around your house and live like a king." That whole thing.
Dean: That's part of the thing I will say to people. Like Jesse, if you did the math on that, and all of a sudden there was a new law enacted that you could only practice real estate within two square miles of your office, you'd make more money. It's funny but true.
Jesse: Potentially, and if I'm being honest, the truth also is that-
Dean: Potentially. I love how you cycle that.
Jesse: There's a little bit about ... I like to live and think through the concept of an abundant lens, and there's a little bit of scarcity that creeps in, like the Langoliers of a Stephen King novel. I just think of my one square mile because then all of a sudden, it's like, "Mine." Someone comes in and I'm like, "How dare you, that's my listing." I turn into that old creepy curmudgeon from the porch so anyway, now is the time. I got the spot and so now, what I wanna do, is I wanna dominate that zip code, basically. For us, it's the 92116 and I plan on doing my first getting listings campaign in earnest around that whole thing, so that's definitely part of the vision.
Dean: Okay. I look at that as that's kind of the fundamental thing, but when you look at it, how does this intersect with those ... what did you call them? Five fundamentals or the five-
Jesse: The five tenets.
Dean: The five tenets. Okay. How do the five tenets intersect with what's going on right now? With people who are looking as buyers for energy efficient homes? Part of the thing that you have when you have focus like that is what would be a checklist of things that would constitute an energy efficient home? You're saying if somebody came to you and they're really into this and they said, "Listen, we really want energy efficiency. That's a really high priority for us." What would be the boxes that they're looking for a house to tick kind of thing?
Jesse: Yeah. The truth, Deano, is that's actually one of the things of a struggle in the sense that it's like you can have a sense ... I'll take ownership, I have a sense that this is a future for a myriad of reasons we're not going into, so let's just concede that point for a second, so that concept, but it's never been a right now thing enough to where this is really inside the granularity of someone's search swath, so it hasn't migrated to that thing. So from a marketing perspective, I bet you, for clicks and flicks, you could probably get somebody to be like, "Oh, that sounds cool."
To grab their eyeballs and kind of take them down a path, but if they're sitting down across the table from me and we're going into the metrics, man, I can count on one hand in my whole career that someone's been like, "Okay, well, it must have an energy efficiency quality and rating of the HERS rating of this." It's still below zero. It might be doubling underground, that whole thing, like the six Ds there, but it hasn't made it above zero yet.
Dean: Okay, and so part of that, then, that's where I would want to test and see if that's actually true.
Jesse: Yeah, I like that.
Dean: To see if there's enough of somebody who would do that. Now, the good news is, that with Facebook right now, it offers you amazing opportunities to target specific people with a specific message. If you took an intersection of people who are within two miles or whatever of your office, your zip code there, and who also, if you did some research, like certain things that would indicate that they are conservationists or green or something like that, and you were to identify with a little bit of research things that can't be algorithmed like homes with energy efficient ... I think it would be interesting if you became kind of known for something like the green list where it was the 10 most energy-
Jesse: Oh, that's deadly.
Dean: Efficient homes, where you post that.
Dean: Somebody who that's important to could resonate with that. If they're not gonna-
Jesse: I love that thought.
Dean: Typically, people are not gonna make a decision exclusively on one element like that, but if they do, this is the place to go. You're gonna kind of attract the people that this becomes a priority for.
Jesse: Yeah, Deano.
Dean: I think the homes that are listed that are energy efficient probably do a really good job of saying, "We've got solar or we've got this." That those are the things that ... there's something that you could own, that you could do that search, and research it better than anybody with an automated search could do.
Jesse: I love that thought. That's really creative.
Dean: It fits, right? You've gotta find this intersection because otherwise, they're not easy to connect otherwise.
Jesse: Yeah, that's the market maker. That's the whole lakefront homes deal, and that's that. The whole time I've just been thinking about this being sort of a continuity play, if maybe I can borrow that term out of reference, with the ownership class. The folks that are already in a conversation where you're saying, creating a tribe, where it's like, "Hey, we're the green tribe. We're over here. When you go list your home, of course you wouldn't think of anybody else because we're a group. We're a set, we're a pack. It's a band of brothers kind of thing." So having that. I've thought about having little Greenhouse tours but then I wondered, why would the owner really care to do that? There's really nothing in it for them, so I've been kind of stumbling around on that.
Dean: No, but that's where I think if you go out of your way, if you take a little bit of effort to identify each week the green list, that these are the new homes that have come on the market that have a five sunshine rating or whatever, that those are ... that you would become known for that, and that would be a differentiator. Now, you've got that market maker element that you are really now attractive to people who have energy efficient homes to want to list with you because you seem to attract the people or resonate with the people who have that kind of message.
Jesse: I love that.
Dean: Now, another thing I might look at for this is I would do some research on grants, tax credits, all these things that are available for home buyers to upgrade or make these energy efficient changes to their homes as they're buying to make it sort of seamless for them; that there's an opportunity to get ... do you know off the top of your head any tax programs, tax credits, or grants or forgivable loans or anything that is available to home buyers as they're upgrading the homes they buy?
Jesse: Yes, actually, most certainly. Twofold. In terms of the local sort of governmental programs, my wife and I actually took advantage of one that they were doing where we took our old 1963 beach house and we made it more energy efficient than I think it was 2006 standards or something like that. No, that's too long ago. 2012, I think it was, standards at the time, and then so there was like a demonstration home where they literally had people from the community come parade around our house like it was an open house to see what we did. The only change with that stuff is I was kinda trying to do it to be the dude who did it first, the pioneer, so then go back and kind of bring it to my peoples. But then what happens is the whole political nonsense theater and then the funding goes away and it's not there anymore. It got kind of exhausting to keep up on it, so it's just kind of like, all right, I guess that's that. It's whatever the winds of charge are kind of with that.
And then on the other side, we do mortgages in-house and there's always been the energy efficient mortgage where you can kinda do that stuff and it's kind of a form of a little rehab loan there where you can get a budget to do upgrades as long as they're ... and for some reason, they just haven't ever been that popular. Again, I could probably count on one or two hands in our entire career anybody's ever taken advantage of those programs. It's just weird.
Dean: And that's why I'm very cautious when I look at it to separate the kinds of one of the things I will say to people is, "Are you doing this, is this approach to entertain yourself or to sustain yourself?" And that's the thing, you have to be willing to admit that I'm willing to go down this because I'm passionate about this and I'm interested in it and I want to do it regardless of whether it's going to improve my business or affect my business versus my priority is that I want to do this as a great thing for my business.
Jesse: Yeah, I hear you and that's a solvent, solvent point. I think where the rubber meets the road on that is while it's a flag we fly, to use that metaphor again, it's never really been a divergent path in terms of our bottom line stuff. It's not like we're divesting thousands of dollars to this conversation that nobody wants to be in or that it's whatever. We're just still cruising along and gratefully top 1% in our market and stuff, but it's like I've always had this feeling like it's not a matter of it, it's just a matter or when; that it's still just like zeitgeist has arrived but it hasn't moved in, yet. That whole thing is gonna become more and more to people as we go. The truth is we have a harbinger up north, the bay area, to talk about your algorithm. That really actually was exciting to me because they do have it woven into their MLS already, so they actually have green scores like we have lock scores, and we don't have that yet, so I've gotta believe that's probably coming, too.
Dean: It would be cool though, while it's not there, for you to be the leader of it, and the only one that's bringing it out there.
Jesse: I love that, man. Now, it's gonna take some lifting. I'm gonna have to move the you know what outta that.
Dean: Yeah, but there's part of the thing, though, is that it's gonna require some research, which is the advantage that you have in this, is that nobody else is doing that, plus you'll get to see does that resonate? Are people asking for it? If you did it one time and you just had the 10 most energy efficient homes in whatever ... on the market right now, that would be a really great easy way to start that and see if it fits, or to see-
Jesse: I love that thought.
Dean: Yeah, see if you can build a group of people who that resonates with, so that you're now every week sending out the green list, that that's your thing. I think that's a wonderful thing. Then, the other thing where you could go down that path, if you look at solar being one of the things that not every house is suitable for solar or ideal candidates, but if it were pre-screened that these are solar ready homes, kind of thing, like they're on the right side of the street and they've got the right kind of unobstructed rooftop to the sun and they're in the right price range because sometimes it doesn't make sense economically on some of those.
When you just look at how fast things are changing, you look at the things where the cost of those panels have been coming down and they've been getting smaller, and then what Elon Musk just unrolled last year with those beautiful solar tiles, why wouldn't anybody have those solar tiles, right? And that's just like, now you're kicking yourself if you've got that big moon panel on your roof that you're gonna become profitable on after eight years or whatever.
Jesse: Yeah, it's hilarious. I actually put my name in as a refundable deposit. I was one of the first in San Diego County. I'm really hoping that those end up panning out financially because he hasn't really released ... he's making some bold proclamations about it being cost effective, but I guess we'll see. But that's really exciting.
So with the vision I had, Deano, was I could even do some kind of little outreach program, forgive that maybe frame there, but just like some kind of postcard deal or maybe even a Facebook ad or something, and then try to rally if anybody feels like they have the greenest home in the zip code, and then literally take a checklist of all the stuff in there and just check off all the boxes that they have and what they don't, and each house gets like an EQ score; it gets like an effectiveness quotient, and you could even do some kind of silly plaque or something for the one that wins or whatever, but the point is if it worked, I just had an opportunity to, in a different capacity, coming in maybe through the side or even the back door proverbially, to get into a relationship with these folks who maybe aren't selling right now but when they do down the road, now they're on my team.
Dean: Yes. That makes sense because that's part of the thing. We always talk about in order for people to choose you, they have to know you, like you, and trust you, but people often say that as one word. Knowyoulikeyoutrustyou, like that's one thought, but the precursor to all of it is that they have to know you, period, full stop, and then they have to like you, full stop, and then trust you. So when you get that, if the campaign is about getting to know people in your zip code who are resonant with that green message, that's really the thing. There's a lot to be said for that, and that ties in then with your Greenhouse, especially since that's the name of your company and you've got the opportunity to host some different ways to showcase little things that people can do.
If you talk about air quality certainly as one thing, you could show all the different ways that you could get that air quality, and looking at ... it's almost like you're building that relationship with people and helping them live that lifestyle, getting fully integrated with that green lifestyle, so just like you said, when they do get ready to sell their house, that you're gonna be someone that they know and they like and they trust.
Jesse: So Deano, I'm gonna pivot a little bit here because I'm respectful of your time. To your eight profit activators, so I think we can both comfortably say that we're talking in and around a single target market. This idea classifies as a niche in my capacity, at least this element of the conversation. Compelling prospects. There's different ways that we can kinda get to that. I think maybe the second to third, educate and motivate. Gary V. talks about the fact that basically right now, attention is the most precious thing that exists, secondary to air and water, and you're an entrepreneur and you're running a media company, and you need to be behaving like the mayor of your city, and then last is your job of actually helping folks get into and out of homes and financing in between.
If I'm not taking that layer at its face, and I love the thought of ... I've heard you talk about putting a little visual map up on the wall there and have the layer of oil wells and all the different things and all the Google maps with all the clients and I got a new buyer. I love that shit. That's totally gonna be going down in this iteration. But maybe more specifically just to this project, so we've got five basically ... let's call it five and a half months right now until we take CO, until we take occupancy, and I've thought about this as a cool metaphor because one of the things that makes us unique as a listing company is that we don't practice the four Ps. It isn't price it aggressively, put a sign, put it in the MLS, and pray it sells. We basically do all of our work in advance, and that's really our unique ability. That's the true element of the checkbook pen and calendar method deal there.
All of our work kinda gets front loaded. What I wanted to do is I wanted to make this project of the new Greenhouse Group headquarters be a metaphor of that. To the media company thing, I want to be able to document this journey of how we're basically doing this for our house, and then archive and curate that as a way to sort of demonstrate to a future seller how we could also approach, maybe to a lesser degree, doing it for them as well. That kinda got my mind sort of flowered a little bit in that of okay, Deano would know exactly what the minimum effective dose would be to be able to capture their attention. Say, "Hey, everybody in the neighborhood. This is what's going on. Come check it out." And then have that be like a deadly little metaphor for what we're eventually going to be doing for them in the future.
Dean: So you're talking about now the people who live in that area?
Jesse: Yes. Right. My new getting listings farm.
Dean: Okay. I look it at as initially, I would start with the getting listing campaign as it is, first. I would look at it because that's gonna get you more response more than just broadcasting out your green message, so I would start and keep that kind of separated in a way, initially, because now, with the people who respond to your getting listings postcards, then I would start that bonding process with those people, and I would focus my attention on the immediate neighbors in your little neighborhood; the ones that can actually see your house or live on the street in a way, to start becoming that level of neighbor with them. Are you on a busy street, are you in a cul-de-sac, what's the environment where you are?
Jesse: It's definitely ... yeah, so Adams is now morphed to a business street there. It's still ressy in the feel of it, but yeah, we're on now sort of the business little street, but then it's like literally the next house behind us, you're in residential, if you can kinda picture that.
Dean: Yeah, I love it. Okay, so those are the ones that I think when you take a couple of ... within a 10 minute walk of your place there, just in that kind of a radius of people who are out walking in the neighborhood or out walking the dog or walking the kids or just going to go somewhere, that those people would be sort of the prime candidates to invite to pop by or whatever. What's the environment? Is it sidewalk or busy street or is walking traffic or driving traffic? What's the vibe?
Jesse: The best way I can describe it is probably a mix of both. On Adams there, the busy street, obviously you got the cars there 24/7 probably going 25 to 35 miles an hour there, but then interspersed with the people walking their dogs, going back and forth to pick their kids up from school, all that stuff.
Dean: So there is a sidewalk.
Jesse: Oh yeah, there's a sidewalk. You betcha.
Dean: Yeah, so there are those opportunities, then. And like you said, one block on the opposite side of your house, that would be a more residential neighborhood; a slower pace.
Jesse: Right, right.
Jesse: Now, when you talk about the bonding process with these people, how do you imagine that? Because getting listings is early, that's click, whir. That's like, "Go." But this is kind of more granular. How would you imagine that?
Dean: I would imagine that I would start with just kind of letting people know what's going on. Even if you started flyers or something to kind of let those people know what's going on. If you're saying, "Hey. We're just introducing ourselves. This is what we're about and what we're building."
Jesse: Like a door hanger, maybe?
Dean: It could be. That could be, certainly. Just to kind of let people know what's going on because they're seeing all this construction going on.
Jesse: Yes. I like it.
Dean: Or they're seeing whatever's going on there, so you're kind of counting down. Those would be the people that you might invite to your housewarming or to your grand opening kind of thing, and have it be a showcase, just show them the different things. If you were eligible and able to get some kind of tax credit or some kind of government tax deduction or advantage by some of the things that you're doing, to kind of document that, and show that as a possibility for people. It's pretty fascinating. A lot of times people don't even know that some of these things exist. I'm constantly shocked. I have a client that we work with and we do HECM, Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, kind of like reverse mortgages for purchase, and I'm constantly amazed by how many people have no idea that this is even available.
Because if you're over 62 right now, you could buy a home with 50% down, and live in it forever with no mortgage payment. It's essentially like getting the house for half price, and people don't realize that that's even a possibility, so a lot of times if there's some kind of program that's available that most people have a stated preference for energy efficiency and for being green and principle based kind of living, but as long as it's not inconveniencing me too much, or as long as it's not costing me more money. If the choice is that if it's the same money or less and it's energy efficient, I'm gonna choose that choice. Make that choice. But if it's more expensive, now I have to weigh my thing; is the money more important than my preference, my principle preference, and that's why people all don't drive electric cars and get solar panels on their roof, and do all of those things that everything was free, it would make logical sense, but we're not living in a logical world. We're living in an emotional world.
Jesse: No question. Well said, said well.
Dean: We wanna balance that with making sure that people have those choices, and so if you show that there is a way you can totally upgrade your ... because a lot of these houses might be older homes, and they're gonna have to replace the furnace and the heating and the stuff like that anyway, so as long as you're doing that, you were to choose this energy efficient model or redo the windows or insulation or siding or all of the things that go into that, and you can blend it into the purchase price, like what I'm imaging you're talking about with your green mortgage, that that could be a really valuable thing. If you showed people that you could get that upgrades.
Jesse: And you know what? The part that was exciting to me about that is again, it's almost like you almost kind of feel like there's a little bit of trickery going on because my experience of doing this now got the better half of two decades is that at the end of the day, it's not a big part of the conversation, but that doesn't discount the fact that I'm sure it's a totally viable part of an early, early conversation, like when you're grabbing people's attention. Everybody wants to pay less in monthly fees. Everyone would like the lifestyle of green. It's only when you get it all the way down to, "Oh, that's going to cost me $7,000 more for that. Mm, okay."
But at that point, you've already won the game because you've got their attention, you're got into a conversation, you've been nurturing them over the time. They're like, "Oh my God, you guys are the bomb." At that point, they're not gonna be like, "Yeah, just because I'm not gonna get a totally energy efficient home from you, it doesn't mean I'm not gonna buy from you still." Or vice versa from sales, so I love that thought, man; your idea of curating that and being the algorithm is deadly.
Dean: And that makes a big difference. I think that's where you can start to gather the right people. And that way, when you're looking the way you communicate with your existing clients, when you start to say that ... here's somebody talking about buying a home and they're concerned about energy efficiency, give me a call or text me, and I'll get you our list of our top 10 energy efficient homes list, published every week.
Jesse: I love that. I love that.
Dean: It becomes a great referral mechanism, that people when they hear those conversations, can be around that, and it might be just that you become equated with that, too, that they know that one of your charitable causes might be that you support environmental things or the green movement type of thing as well, so you're completely kind of one of them, you know?
Jesse: Yeah. I love that thought, man. I know we're running up here on time a little bit for you, so are there any other things that come to mind for you?
Dean: You tell me. What have you heard? What's landed so far that's kind of formulated something, and anything you really get cleared up in our remaining moments there?
Jesse: I appreciate that. Yeah. What I heard you basically say, and you talked about Tom Cook and how he did the real estate viewing center, I'm still curious about what that would look like from the 2018 version. If a sign of a URL was gangbusters at the turn of the millennium there, what would be that version in 2018? I'm still kind of churning around a little bit on that, but that thought though of the free popsicles was deadly. I'm wondering if my thought of the coffee deal can somehow ... I don't know. It's not quite as easy.
It doesn't fit in the exact same kind of container but maybe there's something there. I've always wanted this to kind of be the Starbucks for people, not to continue on this coffee theme, but just how the Starbucks dude always wanted his stores to be the people's third living rooms. You have your own house, you've got your office, and then he wanted this just to be your third living room. I know that's not always gonna be the case but as a spirit, embodying that spirit, where anybody can walk in, including your past clients at any time, and they can grab a coffee.
Dean: That's why I wondered about the outdoors, because I know you're limited with 1,000 square feet, but is there a way to integrate the outdoor space so it's like everybody can feel comfortable to come and hang out on your porch?
Jesse: I love it, man. I can even see Adirondack chairs out there.
Dean: That's what I'm saying. Yeah.
Jesse: Yeah. That's really cool, so good work, young man, on that. We threaded off on the whole concept of being like the algorithm for this green, the curated green list is just deadly. Reaching out to the concept of having maybe some CPC and some Facebook targeted stuff, and then me even reaching back out to my past clients and kind of creating a little EQ list, which I can also put also on that Google map. Oh, that was a question I was gonna ask you. When you run the Google map and you roll over it, what does it actually say on the Google map?
Dean: You can create layers, so you can create a private map, and you can create one for whatever you want. You can call it whatever you want, but it drops a pin, and then when you hover on the pin, whatever data you've imported with that record shows up in the light box that pops up.
Jesse: Okay, okay, so I can control that to my heart's desire, when I roll over the pin what it actually says. Because I was trying on shelling it right there in front of clients, so I was curious if you had like a top three kind of thing there that you did with that. That's visually there. There's that. I can add that green EQ to that little rollover pin thing, which is cool. Curating the green list and a couple different ideas about top 10 most efficient energy homes on the market right now. Walking around the neighborhood and then also from a message point of view, getting back into the whole, "Hey, what money is out there? What grants? What tax credits?" That's what people salivate for, I would imagine, because everybody wants green, but their idea is that, "Oh, that's just too expensive for me to actually go and do that." So here's a way to offset that, great, deadly.
Yeah, then walking around, the whole being mayor of the city kinda thing, telling people what's going on. I was even thinking a door hanger. I'm going to maybe throw a hashtag on there so that people can actually follow the progress behind the scenes of what's going on with it if they so desired.
Dean: Yep. We know you got video skills, so you got that going for you.
Jesse: I'm not sure what that means, but I'll take it.
Dean: I always laugh. I still have a real soft spot for Diego's First Home. That holds a great special spot in my heart because that was in a time when video editing was not really as easy as it is today. You did a wonderful thing. Diego's First Home, does that still exist somewhere on the internet?
Jesse: Dude, it is still on the interwebs.
Dean: So if we go to YouTube and do a search for Diego's First Home, would it be there, or where would we find that?
Jesse: It would be in Diego's First Home, I bet you anything, and I don't know. You might have to throw in "Jesse's YouTube". J-E-S-S-E-S-U and then "T-U-B-E" just so that it is from all the gazillions Diegos out there, I'm sure.
Dean: Jesse's YouTube. Diego's First Home. That made me laugh and that's what I always love about the thing. I'll just share what you did. You had this great idea of filming a tour of the guy, Diego, who bought his first house, touring the walkthrough, now that he's the guy who owns the house and putting it up as a thing to ... I think it was even pre-Facebook so you weren't even tagging it on Facebook, but what you could do-
Jesse: Yeah, it was definitely pre-Facebook. The YouTube was just flexing, yep.
Dean: Yeah, yeah, and so to have that, you were just asking him, in one of these rooms, "What are you gonna do in this room, Diego?" And he says, "I don't know." And then you flash to this party. It was a Lionel Ritchie song or something, wasn't it? What was the song?
Jesse: No. It was, "Everybody Dance Now".
Dean: Everybody Dance Now, that's what it was, and I just laughed and laughed. It was so perfect. Where I got the Lionel Ritchie was Chuck Charlton did something similar after that with the Dancing on the Ceiling.
Dean: In one of his Milton Daily Homes as a nod to the creativity of Jesse there, but that I think ... I think we've gone and hatched what we might officially call an evil scheme for you today.
Jesse: You know, Deano, I think you're gonna have to get one of those radio boards like those zany morning talk show host radio boards so that whenever an evil scheme is hatched, you just press the MIDI key button and it goes, "Bwahahaha."
Dean: Oh, see, perfect.
Jesse: You could tally them. Like, "Well, there were three evil laughs hatched." Almost like you can quant your effectiveness on how many evil schemes you hatched.
Dean: Three evil laughs. I can't wait to see how it all unfolds.
Jesse: Yeah, well. Listen, man, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you. You are a bright shiny light in my podcast phone, my friend, and you're doing big things, you're doing great things. I'm loving the Joy of Procrastination. I'm loving the listing agent lifestyle. Always been a big fan of the Whiskers. Keep it up, my friend.
Dean: I love it.
Jesse: You're doing good work.
Dean: Thanks, Jesse. I will talk to you soon.
Jesse: Okay. Looking forward to it.
Dean: Thanks, bye.
And there we have it. I love Jesse Ibanez. I love his energy. I love everything about him and he's very passionate; enthusiastic. I think he's gonna take these ideas and run with them. We'll hear good things on our followups with him. I'll keep you posted on what happens but a couple of things that we point out is that it really does all come down to how do we tie in what we're doing to the appropriate eight profit activators, so what's the thing? We talked about the target market, people who are attracted to the green and sustainable energy conservation message, and who are intersecting with people who are thinking about buying a house, so when you look at in profit activator two, how do we get them to raise their hand, it comes down to, "Well, what if we offer them information on the most energy efficient homes that are on the market right now?"
Separate himself from all the other people who are trying to attract people as buyers and make it something that is not easily attainable. He's gonna have to have somebody do some of that research to find those homes and maybe own its own score. He really took to that idea. I think he's got a great opportunity there, and we'll see how it all unfolds. If you'd like to continue the conversation here, you can go to MoreCheeseLessWhiskers.com. You can download a copy of the More Cheese Less Whiskers book, and you can be a guest on the More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast. If you just click on the "be a guest" link and as always, if you want to see how your business stacks up with the 8-Profit Activators right now, where the big opportunity is, you can go to ProfitActivatorScore.com and take the online Profit Activator Scorecard. It'll give you immediate insight into how the 8-Profit Activators are either growing or slowing your business right now.
That's it for this week. Tune in next time, and we'll have even more More Cheese and Less Whiskers.