May 26, 2022

Sales As A Second Nature with Christopher Avallon


Christopher Avallon started in real estate in 2016, and first learned the business on the investment side through flipping & wholesaling homes. Previously an expert salesperson from the financial world, he decided to become licensed and focus on selling residential real estate. Through hard work, focus, and discipline, Christopher quickly became a top agent, and founded Avallon Real Estate Group to expand his proven systems of marketing, sales, and personal approach that result in highly satisfied clients.

For more information, you can visit the brokerage website at: https://avallonRE.com/ or follow their NJ real estate blog at: https://avallonRE.com/nj-real-estate-blog/

You can also call the office at: (609) 436-5221 or email Chris at: chris@avallonRE.com.

Transcript

Josh:

Good day, fellow dealmakers. Welcome to the deal scout on today's show. We're going to have a conversation about sales and investing in residential real estate, and what's going on and the Northern part of the country. Mr. Christopher, welcome to the show.

Christopher:

Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you and it's a pleasure to be out here.

Josh:

Yeah, man. Good to have you, so tell us about who you are and what do you focus on?

Christopher:

Yeah, so I run a independent residential brokerage in Princeton, New Jersey, and we do residential real estate sales investing and, basically recruiting agents and training agents.

Josh:

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. As you're building and growing your independent agency, how did you get your start in real estate? Give us an idea of how you got going and then maybe some milestones that you've achieved in your deal-making journey.

Christopher:

Sure. Yeah. Originally I started on the investment side of real estate. Before I got my license, I was involved with wholesaling and flipping homes. What got me involved with that was I had a previous business that I was kind of, I was done with. One of my buddies from college was involved in the residential real estate investing side. So I said, you know what? This sounds like a pretty good thing. It sounds like I can make some money on it. Let me kind of learn about how it works. I have, most of my background has been, had been in sales up to that point. I get involved with residential real estate investing and did some flips in some wholesale deals. I said, really the best part about this is actually the sales side. I said, maybe I should just get my real estate license. And, my thought process was if I get my license and I start helping people buy and sell, I can also learn the market better because I'll learn through their experiences about having my own skin in the game, so to speak, on the investment side. So that's what I did. I ended up signing on with Keller Williams. One reason I went with them is because the guy there's a guy in the licensing class that he was running the class and the guy seemed like a real, like he was real good. Like he had, I could tell, like when you've been in sales for a period of time, you can kind of tell if somebody else knows how to sell and just based on their mannerisms, how they speak and kind of the feeling that you get. I said, this guy is teaching the class, knows what he's talking about. He's, he's a salesperson. I said, if I sign up here, he'll, I'll probably learn a boatload from this guy. And so that's what I did. I ended up signing up I've started under him. He just kind of showed me the ropes and I took off, I really, I was a top producer my first year. After that, it just, I just kept going and built up a small team. I ended up transferring that team over to an independent brokerage, which I'm running now.

Josh:

Nice. All right. Your one top broker or not top broker, top producer, how in the world did you do that in an office of how many?

Christopher:

We'll the way I'll put it as I was the top newcomer. I wasn't like producing like guys that were there for like 10 years, but I was the best newcomer and probably the only person that, so they had this thing at Keller Williams, the cap in your first year, like if you pay them 24,000 in commissions, then you get to take home a hundred percent. I basically capped out my first year and I did it in like with, I think it was like four or five months ago and got to take home a hundred percent of the commission after that. Basically what I do is I committed to lead-generating every single day. I would go out if I did door knock, I would be on the phone and I would go after expired leads. Basically I would just go up to the door, have a packet if they didn't answer we'd pack it. Anybody that I couldn't get in touch with on the first time, I would just keep calling them until I can get them on the phone. They tell me no, or yeah, I'm interested or maybe later on or don't call me again. So, there's a different routes to take and you go from there. I would say persistence and consistency are keys to succeeding in the prospect and game.

Josh:

So for prospectors, right? For, for people who looking, getting into the real estate game, you got you're wholesaling and you're flipping that's where you got into the business of real estate. Right? Well, let's start, let's start there because I think that also helped you when you talk about door knocking, I think that terrifies some people, but let's go back to wholesaling and flipping. How did you get your start in that? How did you find deals and opportunities and how'd you become successful there?

Christopher:

Sure. With the wholesaling flipping that actually I started finding deals through probate weeds. You go to the county or you go to the municipal courthouse or whatever, and they have for each county, they have people that are going into probate. Somebody that, what that means is anybody who inherits a property, their father passes away to become they named them the executor. They are then responsible for, taking care of that property or selling it or whatever the case may be. In many cases, a lot of these people that get these properties, the properties tend to be in disrepair, especially if somebody has been living in it for years and they haven't been, maintaining them. I would send a letter out to all of, I think I had like four or five counties that I was sending letters out and then people would respond. I would talk to them. At the time the guy that got me involved with it, he would go on with me on some of these appointments and kind of, that's how I learned to kind of look, what's look for how to evaluate the home properly. How much are the repairs going to cost? Things like that. Cause you have to know, by looking at a house, you have to be able to ballpark certain things, to know if it's going to be a good deal. Then, once you figure out, Hey, this could be a good deal. You could bring in a contractor and do a formal quote and all lavish for you put together an offer. That's kinda how I got started in the investment side. Now talk about door knocking. I got started with that a long time ago, back in like 2008 I out of college, I started with Edward Jones and they put me through a training program at the time they started you out as a financial advisor through door knocking communities. You weren't selling investments at the door, but you were just introducing yourself. You say, Hey, good afternoon. I just wanted to stop by and introduce myself. I'm a local at the time of saying local financial advisor. Here's some information about my company and then you just make some small talk. Hey, how long have you been living in the area? What do you like about the area? How do you, how has your 401k plan been doing? I would use that to get the phone number, have of a conversation, make some notes, and then they would go into a database for future follow the phone call and mostly phone call follow-up and maybe some direct mail.

Josh:

Yeah. Getting out of college, what did you go to college for?

Christopher:

I did economics. I graduated at Rutgers in new Brunswick.

Josh:

You got a job at Edward Jones and then they're like, here you go knock on doors. Going to knock on doors. What was going on in your mindset? What was going on in like in the interview process? What was happening in there?

Christopher:

I, I had an idea that they were going to require that when I signed up and I'd actually had experience with that in college because I did an internship for, Aflac the insurance company. That was my first foray into like cold prospecting. I, when I signed up for them, I thought, Hey, I'll get my insurance license. I thought they were just going to give us leads to follow up with and call. And I said, oh, okay. That sounds like a good thing. I get to the meeting and they're like, no, you're going to, you got to go introduce yourself to business owners. I'm like, well, wait, are you going to tell us the places? Or we just go out cold and introduce ourselves? They said, no, you got to go out cold and introduced yourselves to small business owners. I kind of was like a, I don't even know if I want to do that. I kind of was like that night before the next day we were going to go out and do it for the first time. That night I'm like, do I want to do this? Or should I just throw the towel in and go find something else? I said, what, maybe I'll just give it a shot. And I did it. I ended up getting the most, there was like a contest to get appointments. I got the most appointments that day that I won like a little cruise to go around Manhattan, not on a boat. So yeah.

Josh:

Yeah. Cool. Very cool. Yeah. The idea of cold prospecting with the high rejection rate, I, I, I did multiple businesses where I had to go cold prospect, right? Knock on doors and go into a neighborhood and start one end of the street and work your way up and come back the next and get in your car and drive to the next street. Right? The fear of that, even being in that, and I'm typically an extroverted person. I like people, I don't mind talking to someone new, but for me going, doing that on a daily basis had its toll, man. It was tough. It was really tough mentally getting that, doors slammed in your face. People get off my f*****g yard and yelling at you and you're like, oh, running around. How did you deal with that? How did you overcome that? Or how do you do that? Like what,

Christopher:

Or just take a repetition, I guess it definitely in the beginning, you're nervous. I think one of them, you got to do a couple of things to overcome it. One is you want to make sure you have some kind of script memorized because when you're nervous, you may not know what you're going to say. You can't really like wing it. You gotta know exactly what it is. You have to rehearse it. I would say the more practice you can do on your own or with a partner, you're going to better prepared for when you go out the first time. Because like when I went out door doc and the first time with, for example, like Edward Jones, I was like, oh man, I never did like a neighborhood. So knock on the door. I'd already had the script in that. I was going to say the questions I was going to ask and really like, even they even trained, they even showed us like how you should stand with the door. Right. They said, stand sideways, make sure your hands are visible. Don't make it look like you're hiding anything and stand maybe, like five feet back from the door so that they're more likely to open it, but you can't just crowd the door and like be peering in. They, they think you're going to attack them or, so, and I also, you want to be presentable if you're not going to wear a suit, at least like, professional clothing, a nice pants, dress shirt tucked in, nice shoes, something like that. I think that would help us too. At the end of the day, you just got to remember, I mean, you're just having a conversation with somebody and after you get, if, at least for me, after I got through like the first, maybe five, six doors, it just became, you get a rhythm, you get into a rhythm and just keep going. It's, it becomes like a game. Okay. I got, you know, five phone numbers. I gotta get like 10 more and let's keep going. You get, you hit your goals, ? I guess that's what I would advise on that is being prepared and doing it over and over again will become until it becomes a habit. It really,

Josh:

Yeah. Now, fast forward you went from, door knocking with Aflac and Edward Jones into, wholesaling deals and then into Keller Williams, she took your license. At what point were you like, man, I should go out on my own, create my own brokerage and do this for myself.

Christopher:

I guess in between, let me think about it. My, I had a business before I got into the residential real estate investing. I was working in finance, out of college and I had this one job that they basically, I, I, I worked my butt off and then they said, oh, well, we gotta let you go. I'm like, for not for any performance reasons, just they had some kind of change in the company. I had to be like, oh, and I said, what? I never want to be in a position where like I'm working my butt off. Somebody just decides to let me go and that's it. And I have no control, right? At least if I have my own business, I can control that. I, if I want to keep working, I keep working. Nobody's going to tell me you can't work. That was like one of the motivating factors. I ended up starting a small business after that completely different. It was actually, I was selling, I was designing and selling men's leather, wallets bags and belts. I ended up getting clients like a TJ Maxx and Marshall's had, did a couple of orders from me. I had like about 60 boutiques around the country that we're buying. The, I guess I could say more, one of my mistakes with that one is I, I went into it, not even having worked in the industry, I just kind of learned everything on my own. I went to this, I would go to the small business association to get advice. I would, I built it up like that. It, when its course and it got so important, right. I decided that would better off kind of just shutting it down and then going into a different industry, which is what happened. I became a realtor, I always had in the back of my mind, like, Hey, this is an excellent industry that if I want to go on my own and start my own place, I can do that. I always had that goal in mind from the get-go. It wasn't like, I just decided to do it. I had that in mind and I kind of just waited for the right opportunity to do it.

Josh:

Got it. What year was it that you went independent in real estate? Like you went out left Keller Williams and started your own brokerage.

Christopher:

Sure. That was a, that was in 2021.

Josh:

Yeah.

Christopher:

Yeah, it was last year. It actually last year it was my best year after having going independent. That was actually my best year in the business, out of my entire time so far. So, and I'll be honest. I actually was a little earlier than I was planning, but probably the only reason it happened is because there was some changes at the other company that I thought, I better just do it now. The, the right timing presented itself. And I, I did it. That kind of, that was what pushed me to do it a little earlier than I originally planned.

Josh:

Yeah. Starting up your own brokerage, you go from, just working under a machine, right. Keller Williams is a machine or any of these large brokers, a machine, right. They've got systems, processes, people they've got manuals, they got everything they need. Right. Because they've been doing it for awhile too. All right. There you go. Christopher launched. Now you've, you're growing a team you're growing salespeople, you're teaching people and such like that. Like what was the biggest challenge for you in that process?

Christopher:

Well, a lot of, it's probably just mental because, and you think about it, whether I'm at Keller Williams or I'm at here, right. At the end of the day, people that I do business with, they care about the relationship they have with me. Right. If I'm just looking at my own clients, right. They, my relationship is with them. When I left Keller Williams, all of my clients followed me to my new company. All the listings that I had that were on the market that I had to go to them and say, Hey, look, we're actually going on our own and we need you to sign a new listing agreement and do paperwork and they agreed to leave. What that tells us, I mean, I kind of knew this before, but really it's about your relationship with your clients and the brand is secondary, right? Yeah. That, that's great that they have all the, tools and systems and yeah. I mean, they came in handy to me when I trained, but at the end of the day, that relationship with the client is between you and the client. And, they're, it's not really with the brand overall, per se. I would say in terms of, training agents, somebody could go to Keller Williams and go through a training program, but in a lot of cases, and I'm not saying that they're bad trained programs or anything like that, they're great training programs, but sometimes they bring people in that may not have direct real-world experience, or maybe they have other experiences that have enabled them to get into this role. Now they're training people on selling and, may or may not be the case, but many cases that happens. I would say that with new agents, the advantage that I offer them is not just my experience at Keller Williams and my experience throughout my entire professional history, which is revolved around selling. It probably took me when I looked back and when I started in selling to where I'm at now, and it probably took me a good, five to seven years before I started really being proficient at selling is I guess, it's a tough business. There's a lot of people that make nothing. There's lots of people and making a lot of money in it. It takes a lot of time to get to that point where it's second nature and you can really succeed at it. Think having that, having done that is very important for any new agents that want to come into the business because sales is where they really trip up on it. I mean, most people can learn fairly quickly how to do a home valuation. They can learn how to look at the market. They can learn how to do all those back-office things, but in terms of getting new business, that's the most important part. And that's where most people fail. I mean, if you look at the failure rate, I believe after the, I guess like after the second or third year, it's like E something percent. After the fifth year, it's like 75% fail. So it's really a high rate. That's where I would say that, does it involve Keller Williams brand? It really involves my own experience and how I can teach others around that.

Josh:

For sales to be second nature, right? Let's just say I come into your organization, I'm really interested in real estate, but let's just say my starting point was sales is nothing. Let's say I'm coming in. You're like, oh dude, you're super new. Aren't you? Right? Like how do you, what kind of things do we need to walk through and learn? That sales could be a second nature for me.

Christopher:

Sure. I mean, a lot of the basic things include, scripting, and also just prospecting, right? How do you go about contacting people? What do you say when you contact people? What do you say when somebody says, no, I'm not interested. How do you turn that around to, steer it to what you need to get done. Now, the other thing too, a lot of new salespeople and I used to fall into this trap, a lot of salespeople treat sales as like this. How do you call it? Like a machine? That's like a, more of like a machine, right? Where it's like an automated process. Oh, f**k. If somebody says, they're not interested in that, I say this rebuttal, then I'm going to get them to say yes. Well, it's not really just about that. I mean, the scripts help you, but sales is about listening. Like a lot of salespeople don't listen to the other person. Right. They may just say, oh, like, I, I get calls. Sometimes people, they say, Hey, are you, do you want to get solar panel? And I might tell them something. They just, they haven't listened to what I told them. They just go on to a rebuttal and then I just ended up hanging up. I think one of the biggest pieces of learning to listen to people and not just treating sales as like this automatic, or like a, I like, I call it like a machine or non-human way, ?

Josh:

Sales gets a dirty word sometimes, right? Like, in real estate, that's your job sales. Right. I, I got my start in real estate construction and then real estate, but it's a sales driven role. You don't sell, you don't eat. Right. Like that's, it's you get a eat what you kill kind of mentality. Like when it comes to mindset of sales, like how do you help people become sales experts, right? Like that you've learned. How do you, how do you help people overcome that sales is not evil? Sales is good.

Christopher:

Sure. I think sales has gotten a lot of these, a lot of bad reputations because a lot of people are trained the right way in selling. They may be trained certain ways where that, Hey, you don't care about the customer. It's just like, they go about it from like, this selfish perspective is I need to sell this. I don't care what happens to the other person. As long as they buy something from me. Right. That's the wrong mentality. The mentality that I try to teach other people is that, number one, you gotta be honest. Okay. Because when you're trying to build trust with somebody in order to gain their business, if you're dishonest and then they find out, well, you're ruined with them, but then they may tell other people that you're a liar and your reputation gets ruined. That's number one, number two, you wanna pay attention to what the person may need and trust the other person. Like when you're talking with a friend, you're going to trust that what your friend tells you, right. It's the same when you're talking to somebody over the phone or they say, Hey, what? I'm not really interested right now, but why don't you call me in three months? We might have a better conversation then. Right. So I'd take that seriously. I say, okay, what, that's fine. I'll reach out to you. Maybe around three months or so, and we'll go from there. I think other people will S will have the mentality like, oh, well, no, they're just trying to get me off the phone. I don't believe that, oh, that's BS. I'm going to call them again next week and just keep calling. You ended up p*****g off the people, right? You gotta treat the client with a level of respect that you might treat your friends, ? And, and that's where I believe you got to come from, in terms of the servicing and selling. It's, you're talking to people, right. You're not, you're not talking with some people think that the, they treat clients like they're not intelligent. Right. I think you have to have that level of respect there to succeed, trying to affect, I don't know if that kind of fully answers the question, or if you wanted me to delve into anything else out of that.

Josh:

Yeah. For it to be a second nature, right? Like we've seen the salespeople, they're almost like an infomercial. Like every time you hang around them, they're trying to pitch you. They're trying to get you to say yes, they're trying to get that. It feels, we all have these friends, right? Like where they, you see the number on your phone and you're like not answering that phone call. Like, how do you create it, where you can, as a sales person where people, your friends will still answer your phone call, or your family members will still, like, how do you do that as a second nature without being an idiot?

Christopher:

Yeah. I think you got to kind of come from a position of creating value, not just say, Hey, you need to buy or sell a home right now. Oh, okay. All right. Have a nice day. Right. You have to kind of create some value. A lot of the ways that I keep in touch with people is by offering them, like giving market updates, or if we're working with a heating company and then maybe the heating company says, Hey, we're willing to do a free heating evaluation for any of your customers and them. We'll tell people, Hey, you know what, I'm just wanting to give you a call, let you know, or with a CD company that we're partnering with is offering to do free, you know, free heat evaluations before the winter time hits, you know, something like that. You've got to come from position to creating value and also listening to what the other person says. Right. If you're, if you listened to what the other person says and you act based on what they tell you, then you create a level of respect between both you and the other person.

Josh:

Sure. Yeah, absolutely. We've all been in these situations where we feel like, people are just pitching to us to get the dollar bill. Right. They have no desire to actually serve us, to work with us. They just want what's in my pocket should be in your pocket. Right. In the sales industry, you see those kinds of people. How, what kind of, what kind of salespeople do you look for your organization?

Christopher:

So, if you're tired, are you talking like an experienced person or a newer person that maybe you want it to get in,

Josh:

You make the call.

Christopher:

What are the things that I look for, right. If somebody, if I want to work with somebody or bring them in and train them, I want to make sure that they have the, I guess the respect to kind of tell me what is good, what they're thinking. Right. Sometimes I'll talk to people and they say, yeah, what? I'm interested in working with you and, let's meet or whatever. They don't show up or they don't have the, I ended up calling them before and they say, no, and I can't make it now. And then they just lead you on. They never tell you. No. Right. I look for the characteristics, within somebody where they have the guts to say, Hey, no, I don't want to work with you right now. You know, at least tell me that. Right. I don't want to be, I don't want somebody who doesn't have the guts to tell me what they need to say. Right. That's kind of the, one of the first things I look at. Like, if somebody is already doing this now, what are they going to do when I bring them on? I tell them that something has to be done and they give me a yes. Answer, but then nothing happens out of it. You know? I look for people that they're not afraid to say what needs to be said, and they follow through with their word. Right. That's, I think the most to the most important things.

Josh:

Yeah. As you're building this out, this is a new organization for what you're working on. What are some milestones that you hit in your brokerage? You said, you've actually, this was your best year ever in real estate, give us an idea of what that looks like.

Christopher:

Yeah. For example, a 20, 21, I, I did over, what did I do? Like 36 transactions, seller side transactions. That's my personal clients hired a new, I actually went from having a virtual admin when I was over at Keller Williams to now hiring a licensed admin who stays in the office part-time and then hiring an additional two agents under me that do their own business. Also helped me if I need a showing assistant, or if I need something taken care of on, maybe a buyer lead or something like that, they help me out with that as well. That was going from when I was at Keller Williams, just having like more of a loosely based team, I had people in the office that would work with me and then I had a dedicated admin, the virtual admin. I've kind of taken that, put it more, tightly together, I guess you could say. In terms of hitting the transactions last year, I mean, 36 transactions, my number of transactions best years, 2020, which was like 42, 30 still last year was 36, but I ended up making more money on less deals than in 2020. I would say that was a big milestone that gave me additional money to, I ended up investing in a property last year, too. I bought a, buy a rental property, and I actually bought it as a, I bought it like I would buy a flip, but instead of selling it, I rented it out. I have the equity in there if I want to use it or whatever I decided to do with it, I can reinvest that. I think those are a couple of milestones, gaining an investment property, growing the business, and then being in a position this year to further expand the business based on the success of last year.

Josh:

Nice. If I were getting started with your organization and I'm new to real estate, where would you deploy me? Like, you're like, all right, here's where you get started. Here's how to do what I did. How would you deploy me?

Christopher:

It depends if I, if you came to me and you want it to be an agent and you didn't really know like where to start or what your strengths for, I would try to find out about maybe any strengths that you have. For example, I'm an agent that I'm bringing on now. He, he has a strong community link, right? He had, he knows like a lot of people that are part of his church and some other avenues in the community. The conversation I had with him was, Hey, we can use these avenues to get you business. Right. That's an in the, you have a strong community presence. We, I, I, I'm going to actually show him how to market the property in a proper way to that community without being like you were saying, without being the annoying person, who's like, Hey, do you need to buy herself? Oh, Hey, do you need the buyers? I mean, that's not how I want people to do business. You want to add value. At the same time, let people know that you're available for any real estate needs that they have. I would talk to you about what your strengths are. I'll try to find out any, maybe I guess, advantages that you have, that we can position to success of real estate. Like, another example is let's say you came from a sales role and you did a lot of cold calling and door knocking. Well, maybe I would just get, you started doing the same thing I did only after expired leads are for sale by owner and weeds and get you down that path. Like one of my other agents, I had her, she started out and she was doing like a lot of phone stuff. She came from another brokerage at first and then came over and work with me. I started her on the same exact program that I used with expired. No, since she's been doing that, she's already got, she just started this in February. She's already got two deals under contract. I think I'm one of them. She has a buyer and the seller and she's has more in the pipeline. It definitely works if you put in the time and the effort and to take a step further. I had her shadow me for a day, a couple of days to see how I do things. I made comments about, things and she needed the fix. Like one of the things I found with her was that when she was calling, she sounded like she was just reading a script like, Hey, this is a so-and-so, I'm calling seizures. They're looking to sell your home. And I'm like, Hey, hold on. It, you sound like you're reading a script. You gotta be energetic. You have to sound like you're excited to talk, have the person on the phone. That will be the difference of you getting into a conversation with them versus them hanging up on you. That was one of the other things we found. She changed that and combining it with the other things I mentioned, and she's off to a good start now. That's, I think a good success story for the time being.

Josh:

Yeah, absolutely. As you're building this out, building out your sales programs and teaching other people in sales, like what are some good sales resources that you've found over the years?

Christopher:

Oh, books or things like that?

Josh:

Books, tools, courses, you name it. What's up.

Christopher:

Yeah. That's a good question. I would say that there's a number of sales books. One of the first sales books I ever read was it was by Steve Schiffman. It was, I can't remember the title. I think it was like how to cold call something around cold calling. I ended up reading it after, when I started at half, like I was doing a lot of cold calls and people were saying, oh, I'm not interested. And I would just say, oh, okay. I have a nice day. And I would hang off. I was waiting for that person to say, yeah, I am interested, which is not really how you approach it. I read that book and it kinda got me on the, set up to know what to say. If somebody says I'm not interested. Oh, a lot of my clients have told me the same thing before they see what the business is all about, or, something along those lines to rebuttal what they tell you. That's one, in terms of real estate sales, there are a couple of big books, like the millionaire real estate agent. That's a great book, the millionaire real estate investors, another great book. If you want to approach things from the investment side, there's another one by, I think it's called Holt, which specifically goes into, buying rental properties and how to deal with that, how to find deals for those things and then other sales books. So I'm just trying to think. I, it's been actually quite some time since I've really read a sales book, I've been reading a lot of real estate stuff lately. Like, I don't know if this is a sales book, but like thinking you're a rich and this is going to sound like it's coming out of left field, but I also read, the Bible every day. The Bible to me is something that is very motivating and positive and always provides hope. Whether, if you think there's no hope, it's something gives you a way to think about something that will give you hope, it turns something around. Yeah, I think those are some of the best things out there.

Josh:

What sales tactics are you learning from the Bible? Like old Testament, new Testament? What, like, what are your,

Christopher:

Yeah. You know, that's a good one. The, I was talking about this with somebody the other day. One, one of the quotes I like in the Bible, I think it's in the book of Luke and they talk about like, it talks about if, if the door does not open, you keep knocking and keep at it and basically telling you be persistent with it and then the doors will be open. Right. I think that is something that, you can look at and remind yourself that, Hey, sometimes the biggest obstacle to success is just giving up. Right. That, I don't mean like doing the same thing over and over again. That's really like the, if it's not working, that's really insanity. What I mean is if you're trying what, like, for example, with myself, right. I tried one avenue to own a business and didn't really work out well, I didn't give up, my desire to own a business right there. I tried a real estate business and now I'm on the pathway, I'm on a success path with that. I think those are, when you think about persistence is not giving up on your ultimate goal and finding different ways of one way is not working, go about it a different way and keep at it. So I think that's really important. I think that's something you can learn from reading the Bible.

Josh:

Super cool. Yeah. One of my favorite things and I learned this, cause I was door knocking at night. I've wholesale properties. I started in real estate where they're like, okay, here's your, whatever, go get deals. Right. You start knocking doors and you go to fisbos for sale by owners. You're just trying to figure it out. I found, you know, door knocking. When I built a construction company, I had a door knock, right. To get new, you know, some deals. There's a verse in the Bible that says you have not because you asked not essentially. It's like, you'd never know what's out there or what you could get unless you just specifically asked for it. That comes, at the time of the closing that comes for the opportunity, just asking for things. A lot of times people are open to it, but we don't ask or we try to get too slick and then we miss it rather than just going, asking. Right. Do you think that we as salespeople or business people, do you think we overcomplicate the sales process or sales in general? I don't know. Have you seen that?

Christopher:

You know, sometimes. Yeah. I think that goes back to what I was telling you about, listening to what the other person tells you. Right. Actually I can even revert this back to the Bible. Like another thing that just came to mind is having the faith to know that, the work you're doing is you'd get the results and, as long as you're going back and going about it and ethical manner in a respectful manner, you're putting in the time you're putting in the work, you're going to get results out of it. I think one of the ways, if they overcomplicate things is forgetting that, big part of sales is you're talking to another person, you're having a conversation with another person. It's not that much more complicated than that. You know? I mean, I think they, I think sometimes people get overrun with like objection handling and, having the right and wine to say at the right moment. In a lot of cases, those come into play at certain times, but it's not like the be all and the end. All right. I mean, that could be a lot of those objection. Handlers are in the beginning of conversations and then use that to parlay into a more in-depth conversation and ask questions about, Hey, what, tell me more about your situation or, what's going on. Like, one of the things that a lot of people like to answer to me is I ask them, I say, well, like with an expired listing, how come, if you don't mind me asking, why didn't your house sell? They get into that and they start talking and if you're, if they're doing all the talking and you're listening, you're winning. If, if they're doing all the talking and they're just listing, you're losing, so you gotta make it about them about their situation and how you can help them be, can get into a better situation than where they're at.

Josh:

Super interesting. Now, speaking of listening, can you hear the guys, do I think they're running wire? Where are you hearing that? Like,

Christopher:

Awesome.

Josh:

All right. These mikes, these expensive mics actually are working, doing their job. Yeah, I think getting other people talking is, is such a great sales tip, right? Cause I think a lot of times we just think that we need to go pitch, pitch, pitch, elevator, pitch, new rebuttal, new script. A lot of times it's just letting people just unfold for you. What's on their heart, what's on their mind. What's going on in their situation. They'll tell you the main problem. I think we talk too much as salespeople and that's where I typically see new versus experienced.

Christopher:

Yeah, you're right. I mean, I see that in a lot of cases, it's like I had one agent that they would just talking and I'm like, you got to let the other person talk. Especially like if you're showing a house, you don't want to interject your opinions into every feature of the house. What if they really liked that? You just told them that it's ugly and now they feel they don't want to get it. Now, it's a lot of features in the house or personal opinion. If I go and I say, oh, that's an ugly counter top. What if the client loves the countertop and they were going to make an offer on the house. Now because I interjected my opinion and they don't, they're not too crazy about it anymore. Honestly we do have to give our opinions at the right moments and for the right things. Yeah, things like that, you want to be making it about them and not over-talk and talk yourself out of the sale.

Josh:

Yeah. Don't talk yourself out of it. Say, oh my gosh, I've done that before in the past where I'd be like, you don't have to make any decision. Now I'm happy to, come back in a few days. They're like a checkbook in hand, ready to rock and roll. I'm like, I was afraid of the clothes. I was afraid of the actual success. There's one time I want a sales competition. Right. I was surprised that I won because I think some internal dialogue that was going on in my head where I was surprised that I won. Because I don't think I earned it or deserved it, even though I worked harder than everybody else, I found that, like I lacked what you shared earlier is do the work. You're doing good work, believe in it. Believe that you'll get the results for it. I didn't have that. I was just working to put food on the table. How do you, how do you help people with, if they're in a sales, have you ever been in a sales slump or a situation where you lost confidence or you lost a big deal in it and it affected your day or your business?

Christopher:

Yeah. I mean, in the beginning of selling, like Ben going all the way back to the beginning of my career, like maybe in like 2000 7 0 8 0 9, when I was at Edward Jones, for example, I had a guy that he was ready to do business with me and I don't remember all the details, but I know that I had door knocked him. He wasn't really in the best mood at the door. Somehow I got his phone number. I followed up with him on the phone and then he was, he, I went over and met with him and he was signing up for an account and then it came time to do the investment. There was something that I screwed up. I think something with like the price, I don't remember exactly what it was. I remember I had, I called him up. I said, Hey, listen, I, this is going to sound ridiculous, but I actually, for, didn't disclose this or I forgot to tell you about this aspect. I said, look, I can, I'll bring your check back and whatever I was embarrassed cause I messed it up. I'm like, now he's going to think I'm trying to scam the guy. I just told him, I said, look, you don't want to do business. That's fine. I'll take your check back to you and that's it. I ended up doing that and he said, yeah, bring it back. And, and that was it. I mean, I guess we can learn from that is, a lot of sales is sometimes about the details that we oftentimes in the beginning of our careers may overlook and we don't care. Oh, as long as I just get somebody to agree on the details, we'll take care of themselves, but not, in certain roles, right? You got to pay attention to all the details because a big part of sales is building trust. If you, the, one of the ways that we build trust, where we don't, what realized is by being consistent with what we say and do. If you're telling somebody something, but then you're doing something different. Or even if you tell somebody, Hey, I'm going to call you tomorrow at three o'clock and you don't call them at three and you call them at like five o'clock. Well, what does that saying right there? That's saying that I can't be trusted to call at three o'clock. I think those are some of the things that we, the newer salespeople don't realize how important they are. The little things are very important now in terms of setbacks and getting them, ahead of, around that you're always going to make mistakes. It took me probably, I would say, because I always had that issue in the beginning. Right. You would, you would make a mistake and then you get, oh man, all this work I just did. Like, for example, with that client, I did a lot of work. I, I missed out on the sale because of that. Well, I mean, it's something that you gotta get around and you gotta, I guess you gotta end up doing so much business that if you mess up some stuff, you can still get by with some of the business that is going well for you. Because as a new salesperson, you may make steaks. Right? The differences, if you're being ethical and honest about them versus being underhanded about it.

Josh:

Yeah. Yeah. There's the saying sales covers a multitude of mistakes, right? If you have one deal on the table and it's, it falls apart, your business went to zero, but if you have a hundred deals and you make that same mistake one of them, you got 99 others. This constant prospect and constantly gen constant sales is so needed, especially getting into a real estate and growing out the real estate for a fellow dealmakers out there. What advice do you have on prospecting today? Right. Door knocking is very different after post COVID, right? Or during even COVID. What is a way for residential door knocking essentially in today's market?

Christopher:

Well, I'll tell you, I mean, what was it? March 20, 21, I actually decided to go out and door knock. Cause it was slow during that time, last year. I said, what, let me, can we get out in the afternoon and door knocking, I door, knock the neighborhood that wanted to try to take over more. And it didn't, and it works. Cause now I'm getting a lot of business out of that neighborhood, but actually I got a very positive response to that because I had the mentality. It was like, man, if I go out, people would probably not gonna want to open the tour cause the virus so and stuff. And it happened to everybody was home. I had an enormous response rate because people were home and they didn't really care that opened the door. I think. Cause I was outside. I still had like a mask in my hand cause I didn't put it on. Cause I feel like if you had the mask on, they probably wouldn't be able to hear me behind the door. I just had it on, I had it in my hand and it was visible so they could see that I had something, if they wanted to talk further, come out and yeah. Head over it. No, I didn't have anybody telling me like, what are you doing out here? You just COVID or whatever died, nothing like that. I mean, it was a good response and it was probably the only one that had been around a long time.

Josh:

So good. Here's what I'm pulling from this. Right. If you would have listened to that voice that said, oh man, worldwide pandemic, nobody wants to see me. If you listened to that internal dialogue, you would have missed out on all these sales that are coming up. That, but if you're like, what, let's flip on the opposite side. Everybody's probably afraid of that. Let's flip on the opposite. They're home. That's awesome. Right? Like yeah, everyone was home. I didn't even think of that. I was just thinking, yeah, nobody would want to talk to me, we got the, this and that. They're going to shoot, you know. Awesome. Nice work man. Really good. Super challenging. All right. I've got some cards that have questions on it. Tell me when to stop.

Christopher:

Sure. Okay.

Josh:

All right. The question is when you were going through high school, what was the, like the coolest person that you looked up to? You're like that person I want to be like and where would they be maybe today? What do you think they're doing today?

Christopher:

Huh? Like, so would it have to have, it would be somebody that was alive at that time or like an idol or a role model? Like.

Josh:

Yeah. Yeah. Someone, someone that you really looked up to.

Christopher:

Well, let me think. I mean, in high school I was always a big a runner. I was, I did cross country and track and field and I, at the time I idolized the another runner from like seventies, Steve Prefontaine. I would always I used to look at what his times were and then I would compare my times and I know my sophomore year ended up running the same mile time and standing and I'm like, oh, if I can keep progressing, maybe I'll be as great as this guy was. I ended up getting injured and whatnot, but it was, it was a big guy, I don't, for me, not somebody that I had direct contact or, and he's deceased at this point, but I don't know if that answers the question or if it was something else that they were kind of looking for.

Josh:

No, I think that's good. How'd you injure yourself?

Christopher:

It was over-training a lot of the stuff was over-training and not knowing like the right training to do for the level that I wanted to get to. It's kind of funny because I guess it's like, almost like the same similar journey is like selling as running into selling because in running, I always had this goal, like I wanted to train at a hundred miles a week and I tried to get up to that in high school and I never, I would always get injured or something would happen. It took me like, I would say probably 10 years to get it right. I finally got to a point where I could train at a hundred miles a week. I did it ran a marathon. I did a marathon in like two hours and 52 minutes and then I did a half marathon. And then I said, you know what? I've got my fill. I'm done now. It took me so long to learn, I guess, the right training, just because I didn't have the proper guidance at the time, if, I guess, I don't know. It was just, you know, crazy story.

Josh:

I'm here in central Florida in south of the, where are you located?

Christopher:

I'm in Princeton, New Jersey.

Josh:

Okay, cool. If someone's listening in and they want to connect with you and maybe do a deal with you around you, what's a good place for them to find you and connect with you.

Christopher:

Yeah. I think Google Avalon, real estate group, I'll come up on Google or if they go to my website, Avalon rd.com. The only thing is my, the Avalon actually has two L's in it. I know a lot of the spellings of Avalon have one this minus two. So yeah.

Josh:

And that's your last name? Christopher Avalon, right? Yeah. I got it. Yeah. What's a question during this interview about deals and sales and such that I should have asked you, or even about your personal life that I should have asked you that I completely screwed up and did not ask you.

Christopher:

Yeah, I don't know. That's a tough one. I'm not sure if there's anything that we really missed. I don't think I can pinpoint anything, unfortunately.

Josh:

So, so you've given us a good place to connect with you. One last question. What does the future look like? You and I, we're hanging out maybe 20 years from now or something like that. We look back and we go, we did it. What does that look like? What does that success marker look like for you?

Christopher:

For me? I mean, it looks like it's turning into, my brokers into a franchise, having going from, being a single branch to a maybe national franchise and, having investment properties that I can rely on as well. I mean, it's supposed to basically diversifying my investments. It's more real estate and growing my business to the point where I can franchise it. That would, that would be probably my main success point.

Josh:

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. All right. Well, Christopher, thanks for being on the show today, man, really enjoyed your story. Love talking about sales and business, and I appreciate what you're doing. Ladies and gentlemen, fellow dealmakers out there as always reach out to our guests and say, thank you for connecting and sharing your story on the show with Josh. If you want to do a deal with one of our guests, all their contact information is in the show notes. So, direct connect with them directly and find a way to do a deal together. That's the purpose and mission of the show. If you're working on a deal and you want to talk about it here on the show or share your deal-making story, head on over to the deal, scout.com, fill out a quick form. Maybe get you on the show next till then talk to you all on the next episode. See everybody.

Christopher Avallon Profile Photo

Christopher Avallon

Real Estate Broker & Property Investor

Christopher Avallon started in real estate in 2016, and first learned the business on the investment side through flipping & wholesaling homes. Previously an expert salesperson from the financial world, he decided to become licensed and focus on selling residential real estate. Through hard work, focus, and discipline, Christopher quickly became a top agent, and founded Avallon Real Estate Group to expand his proven systems of marketing, sales, and personal approach that result in highly satisfied clients.

For more information you can visit the brokerage website at: https://avallonRE.com/ or follow their NJ real estate blog at: https://avallonRE.com/nj-real-estate-blog/

You can also call the office at: (609) 436-5221 or email Chris at: chris@avallonRE.com.