Today on the More Cheese Less Whiskers podcast we have a different kind of episode because I'm calling in live, from Sydney Australia, and I'm here with my good friend, Jesse Dejardin.
Let me build a little background here. I've known Jesse for half of his life! He came to work with me as a young, bright-eyed, entrepreneurial go-getter, but listen to what's happened since then. We worked together for several years, and when he left, he moved over to Australia and became the social media and advocacy manager for Tourism Australia. Essentially the marketing agency for the government of Australia. He's now their global manager for social and content, looking after all the organizations operations and when it comes to social and content.
Impressive right! Jesse went on to become one of the 10 most influential people in travel, and just to put that in context, that ranking had him sandwiched between the CEO of Uber and the CEO of American Airlines.
He turned around their social media, and particularly the facebook page of Tourism Australia and made it the number one travel destination in the world, so my idea for our conversation today is to pick his brains and imagine he's coming back to Winter Haven, Florida and I was going to appoint him the global ambassador for my real estate business in there.
Knowing what he know's and what he learned from everything he did for Tourism Australia, what would he do in Winter Haven to build a really amazing outcome for a real estate business.
This is a great episode, lots of take-away actions, and you're going to get a lot out of Jesse's insights.
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Transcript - More Cheese Less Whiskers 113
Dean: Jesse Desjardin.
Dean: Now, let me tell you about Jesse, because this is a little different episode. Normally when we do a Listing Agent Lifestyle episode, we're talking with another real estate agent, and we're looking to figure out a plan for them to go through all the listing agent lifestyle elements. But that's not what we're going to do today, because we have what we call and expert in the house today. Now, I'm going to just build a little background here for Jesse Desjardin, because I've known Jesse for half of his life right now, more than half of his life.
Jesse: 16 I think I was.
Dean: To work with a man as a young bright eyed entrepreneurial wisher, who stopped me. I remember the thing that pushed him over the edge. He put a little note in my mailbox, I want to work for you.
Jesse: When I started dropping off my resume and my birth certificate.
Dean: Yes, his resumes all this stuff, so I was fortunate to catch Jesse early on, but listen to what's happened since then. Jesse started out with me, we worked together for several years, he then, it's very evident, he's very talented, very, very talented. Both a designer, and that was really the talent that emerged first is the designer. Then, just as an entrepreneur, the guy who gets things, gets what's going on. He moved over to Australia, and became the, what was your official title that you were-
Jesse: Social media and advocacy manager for tourism Australia, which is essentially the marketing agency for the government of Australia, and eventually I became the global manager for social content, so looking after all the organization's operation when it came to social content.
Dean: For that role, playing the role in that position, Jesse went on to become one of the 10 most influential people in travel in the world, and in this ranking. Just to put a context for us, because Jesse would never tell you this. In this ranking is, he's sandwiched in between the CEO of Uber, or not Uber, Airbnb. Was it Airbnb or Uber?
Dean: Travis Kalanick he's right after Travis Kalanick, and before the CEO of Delta Airlines?
Jesse: I think it was American Airlines.
Dean: Of American Airlines.
Dean: This is like a real thing. He's become, through his work with Tourism Australia, turned the social media, and particularly the Facebook page of Tourism Australia, into the number one travel destination in the world. That is the baseline for what I want to talk with Jesse about today. My idea for our conversation is to imagine that you are coming to Winter Haven, Florida, and I'm going to appoint you the Global Ambassador for my real estate business in Winter Haven, Florida, knowing what you know and what you've learned from the things that you did for Australia. What would you do, taking this, Winter Haven as a model for somebody to take a social media approach to build really amazing outcomes for themselves?
Jesse: I think this is going to be a really interesting conversation because a lot of my success at Tourism Australia, actually comes from a lot of what I learned from you.
Dean: I like to hear that.
Jesse: Even though the platforms change, like when we work together, Facebook and Instagram really wasn't a thing. We had like the living in Winter Haven and just for a little bit of background to my father Desjardin, as a real estate agent worked a lot with you for a number of years. I grew up in the real estate world. It's interesting that those principles that I learned with you, I applied them right away when I started at tourism Australia. One of the big ones, you know you talked about your eight profit activators. The first one, in terms of taking one single target market, well that's quite difficult when you're a national tourism owner, and you're representing the whole country. I took this whole principle of declaring yourself the mayor of something right?
Jesse: To heart, and when I started at Tourism Australia, all of our social profiles were Tourism Australia, or See Australia, and I think the equivalent for that in real estate is like me, my name-
Dean: Okay, right.
Jesse: Yes. I saw there was a much bigger opportunity, which was to be the mayor of Australia. No one declared themselves the mayor of that, and that was a pretty big and kind of ambitious goal, like back in 2011. When I started talking about that, people were like, hold on, who do you think you are sort of thing? It took essentially two years for us to really kind of position ourselves as @Australia. If you go now, even today @Australia on Instagram, the Australia.com Facebook page. The more we move closer to us being the mayor, it just created this exponential growth that was so much bigger than just our small, small team. I mean, when I left about seven months ago, the team was getting nearly 4,000 pieces of content every single day sent to us. For a small team of three people, to have 4,000 pieces of content sent to you every single day, you turn around doing 10 different stories.
Jesse: Like our output for such a small time, like it just blew people's mind what that produced.
Dean: Right, wow.
Jesse: I think there's this ability which probably wasn't as strong when I think we started working together of this, if you have all the right systems in place, you can create this kind of pretty incredible scale ready algorithm. Knowing those triggers could be quite good.
Dean: It's interesting, the thing you said about how it was, Australia was really taking the position in all their social things of being the agency or whatever. It was taught me about it, as itself. I remember, your first order of business was to instruct them that you wanted something we eyes on the homepage. When you took over the Tourism Australia Facebook page. It was their logo, was the profile picture right?
Jesse: Yeah, not on everything. Well, it's interesting, we're lucky here in Australia, that really the kangaroo and the koalas, doesn't belong to any other country but Australia. That's really what we wanted to leave with. It's funny that I think typically, if you look at tourism adds, especially today, it's still, we've got to show a million different things and we've got to show the big logo at the end right?
Jesse: For us, we just focus on kind of showing one story at a time, but there's no logo in everywhere. It was always featuring the place itself, and kind of thinking several steps before. The interesting bit is I think if you look at the difference between Australia and any other country on social is that Australia, the social profiles and tourism board has nearly ... I don't know what the latest numbers are, but I would estimate, it's probably nearly close to 40% to 50% of followers live in Australia right?
Jesse: He would argue that those people don't need to be convinced to come to Australia, because they already live here. Because we have such a strong following in Australia, they're our biggest advocates.
Jesse: They're the ones that have in depth knowledge of the place, every single nuance, every detail. Our job wasn't to convince them, our job was to help them get them on our team.
Jesse: To help convince everyone else. Which I think works just as well for real estate agents. If you can position yourself as the mayor of the community, and enlist all those other people in the community, you win.
Dean: I like that.
Jesse: You create a much, much bigger team. I think it's important when you put a strategy in place, doesn't Dan Sullivan talk about this also too, his whole like, when you pick something that's 10X, all of a sudden, it becomes clear what you do and what you don't do.
Jesse: Then your strategy becomes a lot clearer. One of our first orders of business is, I created this strategy called the world's biggest social media team. That was the name I put to it. It's actually still on SlideShare, I think if you Google it. The whole premise was that, what we wanted to do, we wanted to get the whole community to get behind this, to build literally the world's biggest social media team.
Jesse: People laughed at the beginning, they're like, "That's stupid sort of thing, that's too big of a goal, you'll never achieve it sort of thing." I'm like, "No, let's put it out there." I think that strategy deck which was quite extensive, it was quite long to read, got about 300,000 views. That changed everything for us. Because all of a sudden, people just accepted the fact that we were the World's biggest social media team, and we're the mayor of Australia, and everyone got behind it. I've seen other people struggle over the past couple years, where they're trying to build a community around them, without ... The community has to be about the community.
Jesse: That's the part that just doesn't gel sometimes is that there' very few people who can pull of the whole Instagram or influencer thing. I think even hard for a real estate agent if you're in the service business. If you want to build a community around what you're doing, it literally does have to be about the community.
Dean: Yes, and that's kind of an interesting take right? What I was saying about the ... Having yourself be attached as the unofficial mayor, as somebody who, so you're getting recognition of course for being, but for leading this team in a way. I just loved the fact that when you go to the Australia page now, just the kangaroo got the profile pick, of the guy looking like, you know he's the guy in charge of welcoming you to Australia.
Jesse: Totally, I mean if you're fortunate to have an animal like that in the country-
Dean: It's pretty amazing yeah.
Jesse: Because it's pretty disarming right?
Dean: Yeah, right.
Jesse: Sometime I think if it's a big logo, it's a big real estate agent, and right away you look at that and go, that's advertising.
Jesse: You know, and for us, our whole strategy was to get other people to advocate on our behalf. We know that by removing that at the beginning, it gets more people to kind of do it.
Dean: Now, let's go back then, and take these kinds of lessons here. If we were going to come and strategize for Winter Haven.
Jesse: Yeah, like a living in Winter Haven, what would it look like?
Dean: Yeah, what would that look like?
Jesse: Context? Yeah. Well, I think one of them is like position yourself the mayor of that neighborhood, and even within that neighborhood, there can be different subsets.
Dean: Oh sure. Yeah, so you look at it that, I mean, I'm imagining it that part of it, if I take Winter Haven, like the boundaries of it, and think of it like a country, that I'm the mayor or the ambassador for, this is really an amazing thing to think that you've got kind of two audiences that you're trying to attract right? You're trying to attract new people who are considering Winter Haven. Like when I look at how, if we position Winter Haven in the minds of people thinking about relocating, where does that fit as a destination, what would they want to know?
Dean: Also in the trying to win the hearts of minds of the people who already live in Winter Haven.
Jesse: Totally yeah.
Dean: Through that, become known as the mayor of that. It's really, I think I want to hear what your thoughts would be about it. The mistake that I often see people making is that they're trying too hard to make it about them as a real estate agent. Yeah, trying to sell too hard about buy a house or sell a house right now.
Jesse: I think it boils down, going back to basics, and trying to understand that, that people that you're trying to target, what is it that they're trying to get done? What are the big questions that they have? If it's someone moving into a certain neighborhood, it could be around schools. It could be around amenities and all that kind of stuff. If you become really good at knowing what those questions are, and being the person that can answer those questions predictably. That's the thing also at Tourism Australia, we used to butt our heads around coming up with new stuff all the time.
The thing is, once you actually start reading the comments, and looking at the questions that would be coming in, like 80% of them were the same question time and time again. We just became like, we had a help desk, or an email that people can send emails to. I remember, we used to get hundreds and hundreds of those emails. The same questions all the time. We just became really good at answering those questions. You just find efficiencies in your system, that all of a sudden, those questions get answered, and you move people along to the right spot. Then, it could also a fit in terms of targeting a certain neighborhood. If one of the big questions that people have is around how much is my home worth? The Facebook ads you can do today, the targeting is insane, it's so crazy.
Dean: Right, right. We just have a big win with micro-targeting. We've got a little work around that we have figured to micro-target even smaller than the one mile release that you can do.
Jesse: Yeah, yeah. You and the white house.
Dean: Yeah, GoGoAgent exclusive. We've figured that out, and that's working really well, and that's the thing is that using this to come and supplement the stuff that's going on the page. I look at this, the building out the page, that is the one destination now.
Jesse: Like the Facebook page for living in-
Dean: Yeah, how would you take that approach rather than building up all these subs? Would you have sub-pages, or how would you treat that?
Jesse: Yeah, I think there's a couple ways of looking at this. I think it depends what you're trying to accomplish, but a lot of what I see is people spread themselves way too thing. They have several different pages.
Jesse: Within that page, there'll be publishing every single day and not getting anything. The reality is at the moment, Facebook you would have seen, if you have a business page, you would've seen your organic reach go down, you know to almost zero.
Jesse: We were fortunate at Tourism Australia, that because we had such a community ... Because it didn't look like advertising, we had even Facebook would tell us that, you know your numbers are off the chart, we have never seen anything like that. The reality is if you're starting from scratch now, it's kind of like an uphill battle, because Facebook has said, we're only go to show friends and family advertising right?
Jesse: You've got to be able to play within that space of friend and family, and advertising. I don't think people mind the ads, as long as they're useful, and as long as-
Dean: Oh no, use ads are everything that I think that we've got as an opportunity to talk about here, is only in support of building a platform, to build through advertising. I'm glad you brought that, because I don't have any illusions that building that page is going to have any organic effect anymore.
Jesse: You're not going to outperform the local paper, you're not going to outperform the community center.
Dean: Right, and that's really kind of…
Jesse: You know what also, you can think of your page as a community itself, but I think of every post as a mini-community in itself. Because if you have, say for example, one of the biggest questions that people have regarding moving to Winter Haven is around schools. You can actually ask that question to people who are currently living in Winter Haven, with their families with kids, so they can put the targeting where you want it, and get them to kid of write their answer in your comments. That essentially becomes your post that you use to bring new people in sort of thing. I think even if that post is a year old, you can still keep using it. Within that, there will be conversations, people with will be asking questions, getting answers sort of thing. I think if you can kind of own that mini community within that, that's quite powerful also too. I don't think you need to launch all new big pages, and everything. Because that's the thing is if you build, even if it’s got 10 or 15 great comments in there, you can use that as an ad, which is quite good.
Dean: Yeah. It's an interesting thing then, because so you've got this ... To build up all the content on that page that I think that it's going to support, especially if you're running ads from that page for each of these things.
Jesse: Do you think you also have like, we're totally brainstorming this, but I think if every area would have five or six big triggers, or big questions that people would have in terms of moving into that area, and you had those as individual posts, and you also ran those as ads for each kind of community that you live in, then you can also run ads in terms of how much your home is worth, all that kind of stuff in between that, but essentially your page would just be, these 10 different posts. It wouldn't be, you're not trying to post something every single day about the weather-
Dean: Right, that's the thing. Right, and that's what I wanted to get for people to realize that the organic days are over.
Dean: That used to be a valuable thing that you would build some reach and build your ... It was really very interesting in reflection to see how encouraging Facebook was to businesses to encourage them to build pages-
Jesse: New platforms.
Dean: Yeah, yeah, to reach their audience and stuff like that.
Dean: It's funny, because now they enlisted all these business owners to do this, so that now they've got, that's the basis of targeted advertising for people targeting people who like all these pages that Facebook encouraged people to build right. I would look at that, I would love if somebody had come before and built the I love Winter Haven page, you know to get everybody at Winter Haven all excited about it, so you could target them as an ad group, and audience. Yeah.
Jesse: I mean the targeting even you can, if you have a page that says you know like the average home prices in Winter Haven, and once people click on that page, if there's a pixel on that page, you can then re-target them with an ad. It's the targeting capabilities on Facebook just blow my mind.
Dean: This is all to build for the building the audience stuff.
Jesse: I wouldn't over complicate it, like I wouldn't have, I think that's the challenges people spread themselves too thin, and try to do too much.
Jesse: If you do a handful of things and do them incredibly well, you'll see what works and what doesn't work and just go within the-
Jesse: Okay. What else then?
Dean: What else?
Jesse: I think in terms of, we talked about organic reach. I think the flip side of that is, yes organic reach is dying or it's not very big for most people, but the flip side of that is, you actually have access to speak to anybody on social. Like for us, we work with a lot of hotels at the moment. I'm blown away by the fact that I can just direct message someone on Instagram and contact the admin for that page directly and engage with them right away. I think that's the thing is if you, in every community there's kind of like three or four big players that you can kind of collaborate and work with. Especially if you have somebody that's truly in the interest of the community, people are going to be willing to with you.
We had this strategy that worked with some of my tourism clients at the moment where every tourism board tries to kind of do a million different things, but we have, we call them a 100 troops. These are a 100 people, or businesses, or influencers in the area, that we know are the best of the best and kind of support what it is that we do. In some cases they let us know use all the videos on the social profiles and recut them and all that kind of stuff. Every community would have a handful of people that are going to help you drive this thing. The type of people that if you give them a platform, they'd be more than happy to kind of work with you. Do you know Oprah's biggest insight that she learned, during her whole career?
Dean: Tell me.
Jesse: She often talks about this now, that in 25 years of the show, she did nearly 35,000 interviews and at the end of every single interview, almost every guest would turn to her and say, "Was that okay?"
Dean: Was that okay?
Jesse: Was that okay?
Dean: Yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jesse: She heard it from President Bush, from President Obama, she heard it from Beyonce. Beyonce would finish singing, the camera would turn off and go, "Was that okay?"
Dean: Yeah approval.
Jesse: Approval yeah.
Dean: Everybody wants approval.
Jesse: Yeah. Her insight was that we all want to feel validated, we want to feel understood.
Jesse: I think that's the power of someone who creates a community is you create that validation. Especially someone in the community poses their opinion about a school or says something, to get a like or to get a following from someone else. This is quite powerful.
Dean: Who might be, if we were building out this kind of court in Winter Haven then, so you're saying almost finding the influencers in a way, or the people who already have some audience with in Winter Haven?
Jesse: Yeah, a community center, or-
Dean: What are the authority places or whatever, where people are turning for the information? If you have the school district leader or whatever that person is, and you've got some content around that, that's an interesting thing because I look at all these content pieces as opportunities to them to offer something that people can ask for. Right, I'm a big advocate of starting a conversation, sort of asking, you know having somebody you know one of the very first things that I did and we built the whole living in Winter Haven and all of the money making websites around, was this idea of putting together that Guide to Alton Hills.
Jesse: Totally yeah.
Dean: Real estate prices. That was you know back in 1992, when there was no Internet. That was the thing that people would want to know what that is. I still look at it now that people have; people who are not from an area have no sense of what the real estate prices are. I laugh about you and I here, we're in Manly we're staying in this Airbnb and you come from Bangkok where you live now. I'm here, our friend James Shrampko lives over, we still live in Manly, but lives over there. We're coming in and this house that was in right now is about a $3.8 million house. We're seeing what we're getting here right?
Jesse: We're a bit cold, because there's no central heating.
Dean: We're a bit chilly, I mean literally it's spring here there's no central heating in the house, it's an old house, it's beautiful, but it's not that big, but it's in a really great location, and you just look at the context of that. That compared to my house in Winter Haven which is a tenth of the cost of the house here it's like my house is a mansion.
Jesse: That's a super important insight. The fact that you don't know that right.
Dean: We're instantly curious about it right?
Dean: Like we want to know that what do you get for the money, and that's the idea behind putting these pricing guides together, and so by highlighting that, and creating that environment, we're on that page we can offer the 2018 guide to Winter Haven real estate prices. That along that, we get that in there as well.
Jesse: That would be a killer. I don't know on Facebook, you can just target that specific community, have a cover with a photo of the community.
Dean: Yeah, that's it.
Jesse: I guarantee you, I think probably what would happen, in the comments, you would see people going at Dean Jackson.
Jesse: Because people in that community would know other people who had been talking our thinking about coming into that community sort of thing.
Dean: Right. I agree.
Jesse: That's always good when you can kind of pull that off.
Dean: Yeah. That gets people when their friends are thinking about coming, or they can-
Dean: Share that.
Jesse: One of our strategies that works quite well, is we would always be encouraged to be storytellers and create content and all that kind of stuff. I realized is that, wait my small team in Sydney, there was you know 25 million Australians out there. It's much more powerful if I cannot just tell a story but give all those people a story to tell. What is it that I can give them that they would take then and kind of build on it and make part of their story sort of thing.
Jesse: That's another thing that could work with the pricing guide is that you're giving those people in that neighborhood, something to go out and talk to everyone else-
Dean: That's it. Okay so some of these influencers, if I'm thinking about who they could be, recruiting these people in Winter Haven. Some people around schools I'm sure there's a tourism or Business Development-
Jesse: Chamber of Commerce.
Dean: Chamber of Commerce I'm sure there's somebody who's responsible for the growth of Winter Haven and attracting business and people to Winter Haven. You get on those people's side, and a lot of this, and this is something that again the things that we're talking about are very influential people can go a long way. Do you remember in Georgetown? When I was in Georgetown, I was the real estate agent for the mayor for Russ Miller. If you remember Russ Miller was the mayor when we were there.
Jesse: Yeah, that was a long time ago.
Dean: When you were a young boy, he was the mayor but this guy was so much of an advocate, I mean so many referrals from this guy. Including both of his kids, I sold houses for and helped them by other houses. I sold the mayor's house, helped him buy another house. Just the number of referrals, because as a politician his natural tendency is to be a connector like to be associated with people. Right? If you're thinking about like who's in charge of the PTA, and who's in charge of the schools and tourism, and who are the top people, the Chamber of Commerce, all of those people who are going to be influencing people relocating or moving. You know for a long time, and this is still true.
One of the greatest lead sources that we had was the Chamber of Commerce. They had, and you can get it still is an inquiry list from the Chamber of Commerce. If somebody's thinking about moving to Winter Haven, often they will call the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Commerce always has a new mover kit that they will send to people who inquire. Now there's a great opportunity there. We used to send postcards to ... We would buy the inquiry list and send postcards offering the Guide to Winter Haven to those people. That'd be an interesting thing to revisit that, to think about, and to maybe make a list of the top influencers, who those people would be, if I was a self-appointed Ambassador or mayor for relocation and movement around of people into Winter Haven.
Jesse: Especially, if you know like where, so if you have a new development for example you know. 20 or 30% of those homes in that development is being sold to people who used to live in x.
Jesse: You can do targeted ads to that community itself.
Jesse: To get that thinking about moving to Winter Haven, click here sort of thing.
Dean: Yeah. There's been a couple of, you know those are really interesting, that I look back over the last couple of things. If I'm paying attention to this, that there was a few years ago, all over the news that in Florida or in Winter Haven, State Farm is the big employer. They announced that they were going to close their big Daytona Beach office and they were moving 300 people to Winter Haven.
Dean: That's exactly an opportunity that you're talking about to run targeted Facebook ads to employees of State Farm-
Jesse: You can get that add up in five minutes-
Dean: Yes exactly. We could do it right now, to run in Daytona now within a 50-mile radius-
Jesse: I'll say. You can do it on LinkedIn
Dean: Do it about that. We had that same situation where General Electric was, this was just this last year closing one of their offices in Connecticut and moving everybody to Massachusetts, to north of Boston. That kind of big migration, if you are kind of ears to the ground, and you are kind of on the beat as the unofficial, the ambassador, or the mayor, that you're thinking through what are going to be the migrations thing that are happening.
Jesse: I think one of the secrets for success also too, is that are contact content never really look like advertising. It always looked like in service of the industry.
Dean: Yes of course.
Jesse: In service of the community. I think that's why people resonate so well. It helps that Australia is a beautiful country.
Jesse: If you can position your guide, as like the official guide, but also as this, in the service of community, you can get it in those places where your potential target market would be looking sort of thing.
Dean: Yes, yes.
Jesse: We have a whole business at the moment, one of the things that I learned, was that a lot of tourism boards, tourism brands, have created so much of this video content. The challenge was, everyone's so focused on publishing on their own communities, but if we actually take this video content, repackage it up, quite nicely, like an Instagram edit, Facebook edits, all that kind of stuff, we could actually go to some of the biggest platforms, and give it to them, as free content, free stuff for them to use, because it helps them.
Jesse: Often they would just pick it up.
Jesse: Yeah, like not just telling a story, but giving them a story to tell on your behalf.
Jesse: If you make them look good, then great.
Dean: That's awesome.
Jesse: Yeah. It's quite cool, I mean it's exciting, I think you know exactly what it is you're trying to do, I think the targeting on Facebook is incredible, and on Instagram, and even on Linkedin, if you want to target specific people that work at a company, that's quite interesting.
Dean: Yeah. Okay. I know you had some insights and stuff.
Jesse: You want more insights.
Dean: I do. I mean this is-
Jesse: Well tell me, like what else would people be trying to accomplish, like what's another job that they have-
Dean: Well, I think one job that people underestimate the value of is the ability to go from people don't know you to they know you.
Dean: That path of meeting people through things like this and then having that opportunity that when they have the real estate need, that you're now a known commodity in a way.
Dean: I say that differently than a personal promotion kind of way, because it's not about that. It's about, I think what you were saying earlier about things that are in service to the community.
Jesse: Totally yeah. Then this is where you like, and sometimes this is where people get hung up. It's like when you say community, it's like, well, am I going to have to run the community on top of running my business sort of thing.
Jesse: That's not what we're suggesting. I think once you're clear about what it is you're trying to do, just do those things, and do them well. Yeah, if it's in the service of the community, the great thing is you can get other people to help you if they think it's in service of the community.
Jesse: That doesn't always have to mean that the conversation has to be a 100% about people buying houses with you. If you could own a much, much bigger conversation, you have so much more leverage to do stuff with that. All the time, because we had a community of like 12 million follower on Facebook and on Instagram, the targeting you can do around that, the partnership you can do, the strategic side is so much more powerful that if it was just a smaller base, just all about us.
Dean: Yeah. It's an interesting thing. My thought around how I would approach things like this too, is getting, is rallying around with other businesses that are also on the planet of what we do. I think one of the best stories that's going to unfold over the next 10 years or so, is to see what happens with Berkshire Hathaway. It's really been an interesting thing to observe, that you know, I am really bullish on real estate as a business for the future her. I think there's lots of potential there. Warren Buffet has seen that same, you know he's very enthusiastic about real estate. They were for a while, opening up more offices than any other company. What I observed in that, was the conspicuous absence of the word real estate or realty, in even the title of the company. It's Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.
Dean: Which to me, is the smartest move-
Jesse: Totally, yeah.
Dean: To really expand, because if we're talking about social media, which is really what Facebook is, and that it's really about the people, and if I think about the people who already live in Winter Haven, that for most of the time they are not in the market for buying a home, or selling a home right. There's a big, big window, they're going to go years, and years, and years. Six, eight, maybe ten years, and then once in that 10 or in a period, they're going to make a move, and the realtors are very, every communication they have with people is all about the real estate market, which is essentially not very useful information to somebody who is living in a home that doesn't have any real intention of moving right?
Jesse: What a waste of all that.
Dean: Yeah, all that stuff right?
Jesse: I had that idea way back in 1997, '98, when we first started with money making websites and doing the idea of living in Winter Haven as a opposed to JulieMatthews.com or the thing, the personal branding type of things.
Dean: Which is brilliant yes.
Jesse: To get that, my idea was and still is that the opportunity to be the mayor of more than just the community but the idea of living as a verb in Winter Haven, and being an advocate for making people's lives better around their home. If you just take that category of being in the house now, all the things that, that is adjacent to, meaning all the home improvements that they're going to do, all the decorating, all the home services that they're going to potentially need. All the furniture, the big repairs, you know roof, all that stuff. All these people, all these individual business owners, were all these little silos together, trying to figure out like the roofing company trying to figure out, how are we going to get more roofing business? Doing it in isolation, while the same time, the pool company is trying to find people who are going to put in a pool this year in isolation from out of all of these people. If you think about that, if you had a relationship with these people for all of these things to be able to really partner up to almost form a syndicate that is committed to helping, banding together, creating content, that's valuable to improve people's life. It's a nice way to build community with the people who already live here.
Dean: You're not just making a commission on the sale of that home, but it could be services-
Jesse: It could be all of those things. I see it now, I remember reading a book several years ago, 20 years ago now, called the one to one future.
Dean: That book was like so far ahead of its time back then, that they were basically talking about how they could see a future that in time people would have an advocate who they would share all of their information with this one person who would then as an advocate for a whole group of people go out and arrange better situations for them. I keep thinking about that in terms of if somebody was, you know you had all these home owners, all these people who own the homes, and if I'm the advocate for living in Winter Haven, and any time that you need anything to do with your home, that you think about me as the relationship there. That no matter what that is, whether it's a roof or any kind of home improvement, or anything that needs to be done, what's really kind of advanced over the 20 years since they wrote that book, is that we're all connected online. It's so much easier now to even execute something like what they were talking about back then. You start to imagine what that could be like if you are making it kind of convenient for people to have all of these things. That's my point.
Jesse: Imagine it, imagine you're not just making your three or four percent commission, but you were literally servicing that home for the next 10 years, that's insane. That's pretty cool.
Dean: That's where I'm going. I mean I had that guy come to one of my breakthrough blueprint events, who owns a home services company. They do all electrical, plumbing, all of that stuff. He really was interested in going down this path of ... I don't know whether this category, I want to say that I created this category of managed home ownership. That this idea that, what I really would love. I know that there are a lot of people like me that what I told him, the articulation was, that I want to live in my house, like I'm a guest in your house. That's what I really want right? I don't want to have anything to do with the house in terms of the repairing of it, the maintenance of it-
Jesse: That's a major thing, yeah.
Dean: That's where you think about it, if you're renting a house, you've actually got a more peaceful existence in the house, than if you're the homeowner because if anything goes wrong-
Dean: You call the landlord, and say, "Hey dude, your water heater just broke."
Dean: Then you're done, because that's now got to be, and they've got to, the person who owns the house, they're not the ones coming out to do ... They've got a management company that manages the rental properties. Right? We think about that from an investment standpoint, but what about that sort of as an opportunity for a homeowner. What if you could provide management services for, let's start with even, your top 150 or the people that you, when you ... I'm thinking about like extending the relationship with somebody once you get them in the home, that now you, you consider that to be a home under management. Your relationship with them is not just about staying in touch with them, so that when they have a real estate need, that 10 years from now, they'll remember you. Which most people if you look at the MAR surveys, they all say that 80 plus percent of the people say they would use the real estate agent that they bought the house with again, but then less than 25% of people ever do. Because the moment that they leave the closing table, and the realtor gets the commission check-
Jesse: They're gone.
Dean: Then they're mostly gone. They don't think about the longevity of it, or that, that's a person for the next 10 years. Even the ones who do, the ones who do remember are only really communicating with people as if they were real estate prospects, right? It's like, I used to say to people, you know, so I have, I drive a BMW, and I said, "Imagine if I bought this BMW." I think I'm on my sixth or seventh BMW now. If the dealer would send me things about the statistics for the dealership or what's going on. Yeah like the things that tell me what's going on with the dealership and how the sales and the market and stuff with the BMW, I don't have any interest in that. What they do, they have a lifestyle magazine that they send that is a really good thing. Because now it's about communicating with me in my new role as BMW owner. The thing that has kept me a loyal BMW owner is that they make it so convenient for me to stay. Here's what, now, the routine now is literally three or four months or more before my lease is about to end, my guy there will start texting me, and say ... Because I have a X5M, which I love it right?
Dean: It's a beautiful thing. He'll like start texting me pictures and say you know, I could get you-
Jesse: That's the next level.
Dean: That is next level. He'll send that, but it's now, you know I get to where my entire, I don't ever have to go to the dealer, he'll bring, he'll send me pictures, I'll say, "Yep, I'll take that one." Then he'll bring, I don't even know what it's going to cost most of the time. He comes out, brings the car, takes mine, I get to keep that one, I sign all the paperwork right there at my house, he's already got it all prefilled out. My total involvement in the transaction is the 10 minutes that he's there in my house. Then the little bit of instruction on the new features or whatever that has come out there. I think about that. How convenient can you make it for people as well?
Jesse: I would almost like map it out, you couldn't map it out and say, you're looking at a 10 year timeline right? That people start thinking about moving, or thinking about in a year or two of whether I should do it. They go through this whole process until the number of years that they lived in that home. What are those moments that you can provide that service? Which is every summer you could be sending something about gardening or flower beds, and especially if you have a pool of clients together, you can negotiate pretty amazing rates, it's a supplier to kind of help you do that.
Dean: That's where you're setting up something like a Facebook group could be handy. Once you have homes under management kind of thing.
Jesse: Yeah, the great thing is that I think a lot of people think about social as just kind of again pushing stuff out sort of thing, but I think there's an incredible amount of insight you get from just reading comments. Not just on your platforms, but on other people's platforms, you see what people are trying to get. What they're trying to do, you see what people find painful, you see what they like. If you were that person that can provide that offer, that'll choose that, then win. I really like that idea of the full kind of service.
Dean: Well, there was an article, just all the things that are coming together now, I'm just seeing ... My mindset is just really shifting. I mean I've really had this realization that we are definitely as a society migrating to the cloud. That's the primary world right now.
Dean: The real world is the secondary world.
Jesse: Right, so we're in a simulation is that what you're saying?
Dean: Well no, no, I mean just the fact that we want to stay in the cloud, meaning we're online at all times. The number of people, the latest surveys were something like 78% of people answered the question of how frequently they're online as almost always right? That's true, we are almost always online.
Jesse: Yes, yeah.
Dean: That's really where everything exists. It's like our oxygen tanks you know, that we're taking time. It used to be that the Internet was a distraction from the real world. Now, that's the real world, and the real world is a distraction, a break that we take to get away from the thing, and how that's happened in 20 years, primarily in 10 years, all the stuff that matters is only 10 years old. Social media is only a 10 year thing you know. 2006 is when Facebook started.
Jesse: Instagram account, we weren't even sure if Instagram was going to be a thing. I think I still had Hipstamatic on my phone. We're like, we should register on Instagram, just in case it becomes a thing.
Dean: That's funny.
Jesse: It did yeah.
Dean: You look at that, and you couple this, what it's making us is it's making us slaves to convenience. I look at this now as the way that there was an article in the New York Times, that you should look up I would say, it's called the Tyranny of Convenience.
Jesse: Oh yeah.
Dean: This article was amazing, because a couple of the things that they said, really just struck home that you know convenience is the number one most underrated driver of every decision that's made. It dictates everything. I start to see it now that what it's enabling us is to stay in the cloud. When you look at now, if you compare having to even find a taxi or rent a car, or do all of this stuff that having the app, having the Uber app on your phone solves, as a convenience thing. I've been traveling all summer. I've been in Toronto, London, Amsterdam, LA, and here we are in Sydney, and every, it's like I'm not, I have just this new found capability that I can, within three minutes of wherever I am, have a car at my feet, ready to take me wherever I want to go, and I never have to look up from my phone. I never have to leave the cloud to make that happen right?
Jesse: You don't even, even talk to the driver.
Dean: I don't have to talk to a driver. Like you think about everything is minimized, so all I have to do, is I push the button, they show up, I get in the car, I only have to look up long enough to not trip on the curb to get in. Are you Dean? Yup. Then, okay, they know where I'm going.
Jesse: What's the equivalent in this context of this whole idea of a full managed service that we've been talking about?
Dean: That's exactly what I'm talking about.
Jesse: Because if I buy a house from you, I would imagine if we're talking about this idea, I would be part of this exclusive club.
Dean: That's what I think.
Jesse: If you have a question just open our app, ask the question, you have a Zendesk, you have a whole bunch of back end systems that would make this super, super easy. If you can pick up those questions like, "Oh, I have a plumbing issue.” I guess these are services people would expect that they're seeing in a rental.
Jesse: If you have the right system in place, and you offered those services to people that have purchased a home with you, I think that's pretty cool.
Dean: Guess what? Now, people then think, and I thought initially, that you would have to do this by then ... I thought, well you'd have to have like handyman services, you'd have to have like a Rolodex of all of these things. Now, what I've really come to see is just the layer of convenience that we can offer to people is the time, and just managing the project right? You think about, there's a Home Advisor is a big thing. They're really putting the push on, that everybody just goes to Home Advisor, and you can get the things. You know about Home Advisor?
Dean: It's a directory, not a directory. It is a directory, but it's curated of all home services, everything if you want to-
Jesse: Like yellow pages but more-
Dean: It's like that but their background checked, and verified in reviews and the whole lot. The way they're advertising it is if you and I are neighbors, and we're out at the mailbox, and I say, "Hey, I need to get a new roof, do you know anybody?" They go, "Yeah, I think I might." Then the guys says to you, "Well, that's sounds great, would you get me four estimates, and make sure they're background verified, and set it up for next Tuesday." You're like, you look like well you can't count on your neighbors to do that right and everything. It's like, that's what Home Advisor does for you right? I think that even that's available for home owners right? That they have the ability to do that, but even that, there's an opportunity to be the layer of protection from them having to even do that.
Dean: They can make one call and tell you that something has gone one, and that you then can organize, through Home Advisor to get all of the estimates, and to have somebody to meet the people at the house and do all the things to provide that buffer layer of convenience.
Jesse: Especially if it's a local, kind of local, like someone who actually lives there. Somebody who's grown up there. I think a lot of times, it these big platforms like Google and all that kind of stuff, they know it's a big kind of global sort of thing. It's not really local. If you're the guy locally who's known for doing this, I think that's much more powerful. It's quite cool.
Dean: Not before the reactive things you know. Then, thinking through all the proactive things in terms of, you know, if you've got this whole group now. Then, everybody's going to, of all of the, let's say there's a thousand home owners that you have in this under management, that some of them maybe ... May want to get their carpets cleaned this month, kind of thing. That's where the group sort of situation comes from it. To partner or arrange with a carpet cleaner-
Jesse: This is like the best Garden in Winter Haven also too, competition. Have people send their photos of their garden. Everyone who clicks on that gets served if you have a crappy garden.
Dean: I mean there's so much, you know but you think about that kind of stuff, like creating those environment, you know Ernst & Young, you know has very famously for years had the Young Entrepreneurs right? The 30 under 30 things, which think about that. That those, how smart is that to get those people to recognize those people early as their building companies that are going to make a thing.
Jesse: Yeah. I think that's quite cool.
Dean: Yeah, so I think that's really part of the stuff of being able to advocate for people. What else have you got here, thermos of?
Jesse: Well now I just keep thinking about this idea, the full-service kind of thing. I think that could be quite cool. Even going back to that insight about Oprah. This whole validation, it's so funny, one of the things I noticed when I started at Tourism Australia was that people always were quite critical of what we did. As a national tourism board, small businesses would be like, why are you not promoting this region, why are you not promoting that? To flip it around and get these people involved in what we're doing, by giving them validation, by highlighting the best, by teaching them how to do it. Then people kind of start getting behind you.
Jesse: Especially if you're kind of showcasing the most beautiful homes in that area. You're kind of, it's not necessarily selling, but because you're validating those people, it's almost by association. There's supporting or endorsing what it is that you're doing.
Jesse: Which is quite good. I think that's when you can expand your business model to also include this managed services, then you have so much more opportunity.
Dean: That's kind of an interesting thing, I think if you think about that. That there's potential there for having different awards. If people really love recognition to have. In that social things to have the best Christmas lights awards, and the best garden, and the biggest pumpkin or whatever. I mean getting, rather than getting those around, in terms of the social calendar, the community calendar of the things that could potentially gather people to that.
Jesse: Do you still do like the Saturday home tours?
Dean: I love that idea. We've moved it to doing daily tours.
Jesse: Right, okay.
Dean: As one of our super signature items for buyers.
Jesse: That's cool yeah.
Dean: Yeah, to join us for a daily tour of homes. We do tours at 10 am, and 1 pm.
Jesse: I think that'd be a great Facebook ad too.
Dean: Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah absolutely. That's the thing, you know I thought of the other day. I saw something was going on at Cannes, and I thought about, you didn't go this year right?
Jesse: I was going to.
Dean: That was interesting, but how many awards have you won there?
Dean: Three Cannes Lion awards, so if you're thinking about this Cannes Lion Festival, is the global festival for advertising and marketing. To win a Cannes Lion is like winning the Oscars for advertising right?
Jesse: Little bit yeah.
Dean: That's kind of a big deal, it's a big deal, on a global scale. One of the things that you won for was this campaign of the Giga Selfie Campaign. Can you describe that kind of thinking, because I had an idea that this could work in Winter Haven?
Jesse: I think it's an idea that originated in Japan. We worked with our Japan agency on this idea, but the whole concept was, to put a camera 100 meters away, and it would zoom into your face, so it would look like a normal picture when it came up on your social feed. The, within a second, it would just start-
Dean: It was only a 100 meters away?
Jesse: Yeah. It was a 100 meters at first, and then we zoomed back, and then you would see kind of the whole beach sort of thing. We eventually kind of tweaked and perfected the idea and we figured out how to do it one kilometer-
Dean: One kilometer, that's what I thought.
Jesse: Which is pretty impressive.
Jesse: It was interesting, because I lived in Cubiioy at the time, which is just right across the Harbor, and you can see the Opera House and the Bridge. We would have the person stand on the other side, and the camera would be in my living room, and we worked with Canon to kind of put all this together sort of thing. Eventually, you can trigger the camera from the other side of the harbor, and take a photo of you, zoom out and you would see the most amazing kind of thing. It was pretty cool
Dean: This, where would be, I'll put a link to this in the email that we send to people, but there's on YouTube, there's a video of it, so if you search Giga Selfie-
Jesse: Giga Selfie, yeah you'll see it.
Jesse: Yeah, you'll see the case study anyways. You know, like I think, to go back to the awards, and to go back to the social profiles, and all that kind of stuff, is I think, like often I'll get credit for that, but I think a big part of our success was calibration.
Jesse: Thinking of it as a bigger play, right? Even, we're standing in a picture on the wall of like the business model canvas for, last night we were playing around with the business model for a colleague.
Dean: Kylee Jenner?
Jesse: Mm-hmm. Yeah, like a $90 million business, soon to be a billion, with only seven employees.
Dean: I know.
Jesse: That's insane.
Dean: That's great.
Jesse: The fact that they outsource everything, like their sales and fulfillment, the Shopify, the Seeing Beauty does all their manufacturing, and the HR, Kris Jenner does all of it. The power is the marketing I think. The power is only this brand, this platform. Getting all the parts kind of fitting in that together. I think yeah. Then, that's when I think a lot of real estate agents probably need to be better at collaborating, not just to build their own real estate team even bigger, but collaborating with teams that can be in better service of the customer.
Dean: I agree with you. That kind of thinking, you know about highlighting like what are the things that are the iconic things about your community right? I think because you were, how many of those Giga Selfie stations did you have set up?
Jesse: We did it twice. The first time was about a hundred times we did it. The second time was about 3,000.
Dean: You think about like where, so the one on the video, you know imagine this like you're standing, you can't even see the camera. Kilometer away, and it's all controlled through an app, and you're standing on this, this platform, where you stand for the thing, and you're supposed to look in that direction, and just kind of smile, like you're posing for the thing. That's the camera, that's the picture that you get, but as you zoom out, you become this little speck, and there's the big, the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and the Opera House, and this epic selfie of you.
Jesse: The difference is, it's all about the person in the photo right?
Dean: That's exactly right.
Jesse: It's not our big logo on anything. It's really thinking about what would make this person look good. So I live and work across Asia at the moment, and you know every time we have dinner, you know who eats first at the table?
Jesse: The camera. All the time.
Dean: Oh, the camera eats first.
Jesse: Every single person has to take a photo of every single meal that we have right?
Jesse: I've observed some of the past couple months, and I'm asking a lot of my friends, like which brands, which pages do you follow? None of them follow any brand pages, they follow influencers, and they follow their friends, but what I've realized is that the smart brands, and the smart restaurants, and the smart hotels, have created experiences that make the guests look good, you know?
Jesse: I think, again it goes back to the whole Oprah right?
Jesse: If you can validate, if you can make other people look good, and what a powerful position to be, not only the mayor of that community, but that person that lifts everyone up and that highlights the best, I think that's an incredibly powerful idea.
Dean: I think about those things all the time. Like I think about that for even, I imagine, you know if you took like and ESPN like, or Sports Illustrated like approach to you know kids sports. In where, as like reporting on it, because Facebook Watch now as a new platform for video, that, that's their intent is to really make that a YouTube kind of alternative. A YouTube killer, and they're favoring content, and talk about where you can eek out organic reach and stuff. Certainly that's one of the things is through Facebook Watch. By doing things that way, and Facebook live videos as well.
Jesse: You could just become really good at interviewing people who live in the neighborhood for a number of a years.
Dean: Yeah, yes.
Jesse: That could be quite good.
Dean: I think you're right.
Jesse: Then use that content.
Dean: That's kind of, you know there was somebody that reminded me, so growing up, you know outside of Toronto, in the greater Toronto area, do you remember Lucy Zilio? Do you know who she was? No. She was on Omni TV. Her role, it was a really interesting thing. She was, it was almost like she was part of the station, but she was interstitial, like she would in between shows, and in between commercials, she would do like these one minute segments at, they were almost like content advertising type of things. She would be highlighting local business people, or local things, but doing it in a way that doing a segment about this, about skin care at LUSH in Yorkville was one of the things that would be the things. She became kind of like this hostess of all the kind of introducing all the cool things. You know Lucy, and Lucy then is introducing these other businesses you know?
Jesse: Let's take like Million Dollar Listening for example. All those shows, there's an insight in there, that the real estate agents almost celebrities, but I think the show's more than just selling the house. The show is about their insights about living in New York.
Jesse: What their opinions are, so I think anybody can create that now with social.
Dean: Yes, if you could have your own reality show.
Jesse: Yeah, a reality show.
Dean: No, I mean, that's really the truth.
Dean: That's what it could be, you know? How much of a great thing, just look at it now, we really take for granted that we essentially have, with your standard smartphone membership, you know, and your wifi, and into society right now, your opportunity in Cloudlandia is that you have a television station, a network, you have a television station, you have a radio network, you could, a podcast is like having a radio channel. You've got the equivalent of a newspaper, or a blog or emails. All these things that you know, essentially allow us to be media companies.
Jesse: What do you think about like Gary Vaynerchuk kind of approach to social, which is kind of more content push, and push, and push.
Dean: Absolutely I think he's right on track you know. I mean it's-
Jesse: This whole like jab, jab, right hook is interesting concept. Give, give, give, and then ask.
Dean: Right. Yes, and that's really the thing of yeah building that out you know? It's really fascinating to just, if I can get people to think outside of just the front end concern of doing a real estate transaction right now, and really get into being the mayor, so that you're building this relationship equity as well-
Jesse: Do you think, do they all have to be money making opportunities where you're helping people?
Jesse: It could be two times you're helping someone for free, and the third time is when they pay you a premium.
Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jesse: If you have the right system in place, you can make sure that people aren't going to fall through the cracks.
Dean: That's right. Yeah, but some of these other things, like the things that we're talking about. Like I think that managed home ownership is a business opportunity that people would pay for that.
Jesse: I agree.
Dean: Yeah, that would be a really great thing, if you just paint a picture that you are the, you do have a 1,000 homes under management, and that part of the things being. Well it is exactly. Yeah, yeah. I mean, you are their advocate. That part of the thing, if you are helping along with everything that has to do with the house, that part of the, and the way in the one, one future they would do is you know, quarterly or monthly surveying or whatever so who's, what I've mentioned about if you have a thousand members and saying to people on the monthly thing, on an app even, you could do it now. Push the button on these things, if you want to get your carpets cleaned.
Dean: You want to get, this summer, if you're thinking about doing any landscaping, or if you want to get a big for these things, and then to go to and arrange these things with business owners. If you're the real estate, if part of the thing is that they're going to be selling their house, or they're looking for a new house, it's like a constant way of being there when that decision is being made, you know?
Jesse: That's pretty cool, yeah.
Dean: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I just think that whole, I've got a few people who, they're interesting in going down that path. It's an interesting foray, you know going into something like that. It's different than what people are used to.
Jesse: I mean if you can pull it off, I mean, that's the thing, but you don't have to do all of it at once. It can just be doing a handful of those services.
Dean: That's exactly right.
Jesse: Works, and what doesn't work.
Dean: Yeah, and I'm all about finding the easiest way for things you know. Because I want to make it convenient for people to do these things too. Well, all right, look at our, we've been talking for an hour and fourteen minutes.
Jesse: Is that okay?
Dean: Is that okay? Wow, that's so funny. I think, you know, I appreciate that we were able to have this conversation. I wanted to get people in on a little taste of Jesse. It's fun to for someone to think that way about what would you do being only in Winter Haven.
Jesse: It's funny how the principles haven't changed that much right? It still is the eight profit activators still apply, and the social context-
Dean: Absolutely, they really do. All right, well we are going to go get warm. It's chilly here in Australia, in the-
Jesse: It is winter in all fairness.
Dean: It is still winter? It's not spring yet.
Jesse: Yeah, it might be the edge of spring.
Dean: Edge of spring, but anyway, so we're going to do that, and Ill talk to you next time.