CDRE 37 | TikTok For Real Estate

 

What effect does TikTok have on your business?  We know it can be entertaining, but is it effective for marketing? Yes, but…Can it work for real estate agents and how long does it take to see results?

Today I bring in two real life examples of TikTok creators who are successfully using it to earn income, make strategic connections, and market their business effectively. In fact, they met on TikTok!  Luke Johnston, a seasoned real estate investor turned real estate agent, talks about how TikTok continues to move the needle in his business and how he used the powerful platform to meet his client – and new team mate Satirah Moore.

Satirah is a TikTok pro who has grown to over 83,000 followers in just two short years just by talking to people about something she loves. Isn’t it interesting that when we spend time in our passions, we have the most stamina and see the greatest results.

Listen in on these strategies and tips and the effort and payoff from those who took the time to learn and implement them.

We had fun, we drank red bull, and we got into a real day in the life of real estate agents and entrepreneurs using TikTok in their business. Enjoy this easy hang out with Luke and Satirah from the World Famous Lister Property Partners Team in Branson, MO.

Thank you for listening!

Watch the episode here

 

Listen to the podcast here

 

YOU KIDS & YOUR CRAZY GADGETS | Luke Johnston And Satirah Moore

What effect does TikTok have on your business? We know it can be entertaining, but is it effective for marketing? Yes, but can it work for real estate agents? How long does it take to see results? In this episode, I bring in two real-life examples of TikTok creators who are successfully using it to earn income, make strategic connections, and market their businesses effectively. In fact, they met on TikTok.

Luke Johnston, a seasoned real estate investor, turned real estate agent, talks about how TikTok continues to move the needle in his business and how he used the powerful platform to meet his client and new teammate Satirah Moore. Satirah is a TikTok Pro who’s grown to over 83,000 followers in two short years by talking to people about something she loves. Isn’t it interesting that when we spend time on our passions, we have more stamina and see the greatest results?

Listen in on these strategies, tips, the effort, and the payoff from those who took the time to learn and implement them. Without being afraid of China, we decided to drink some Red Bull and talk about a day in the life of real estate agents who are using their TikTok business. This is an easy hangout with Luke and Satirah from the world-famous Lister Property partners team in Branson, Missouri. I hope you have a good time and enjoy this conversation.

 

CDRE 37 | TikTok For Real Estate

 

This is what we’re talking about with our local team right now. I asked everybody. I took this massive bunch of AI classes in Sarasota recently, and they asked the question that I turned around and I asked you guys during one of the last sales meetings, and it was, “Would you use a real estate agent or what they said was a business person who didn’t know how to use the internet?” Let’s talk about that because this is how you guys met.

Yeah, definitely.

Satirah was your client and your husband own much real estate prior to meeting Luke?

 

CDRE 37 | TikTok For Real Estate

 

We own a house. We own a commercial building. We’ve owned a few properties that we’ve taken that were yucky, but in good neighborhoods, fix them up, we make $100,000 off of them over time. We’re familiar with the real estate process but we came to Luke because we wanted to buy a short-term rental.

Let’s talk about how you met. I think there’s a lot of magic in the marketing and in the way that you guys met. Brag on yourself, please for a minute. Tell us a little bit about your TikTok channel and about why you decided to launch that. Luke started a TikTok channel for his real estate marketing purposes, and it launched phenomenally well. Is that how you guys met or was it a different way?

I have a channel on TikTok. It’s called Satirah Loves Branson. I show people things to do, see, and eat in Branson. I started it because my daughter was going to college here outside of town. My friends were like, “You should show us what you’re doing.” We were searching for things on TikTok. We could never find anything. I was like, “Yeah, I’ll start a TikTok channel.” It exploded. The next thing you know, you’ve got 80,000 followers.

I want to dig into that a little bit because first of all, starting a TikTok channel, for some people like for my kids, it’s like, “I’m going to post a goofy picture of me rolling a ball up the couch with my foot in front of my dog, and I get 10,000 people to view it.” I’ll work my butt off to try to post quality content and nobody watches it. What expectations did you have before you started this?

I didn’t know, but I knew that nobody was making quality short-form videos for the Branson area. I suspected by looking at other areas that had travel gurus, that it might become a thing, but I had no expectations. There was no expectation of what might come of this.

Tell us about the arc. You started the channel, and then how successful did it become? How fast?

It seems like I had 30,000 followers in 3 or 4 months, but then it took a whole year to get the next 50,000 followers.

Talk to us about that commitment. What was it like to start that? How often did you post?

I try to post a few times a week. There are some weeks that I’ll post every single day. Lately, we have a family member who has cancer, so I’m not posting as much right now, but I try to stay pretty consistent and I try to always have 4 or 5 videos a week. I think consistency was the key there to keeping followers engaged and to keep on top of the algorithm. It’s definitely a commitment, but it was fun for me because it’s a hobby. I loved getting to come to Branson. Of course, we’re here to see our daughter, but I’m also here to go on vacation.

Consistency is the key there to keeping followers engaged and to really keep on top of the algorithm. Click To Tweet

Yeah. There’s a lot to do here. It’s a great play.

I was here at least one week a month shooting content and having fun. It quickly became a little hobby that was draining my bank account dry.

Really? Talk about that.

I hate to even tell people what I spent the last two years on shows, places to stay, and places to eat. I don’t ask people for a handout when I go to review these places because I want to have an authentic experience. Sometimes somebody will reach out and be like, “We have a show. If you’d like to have tickets, we’d love for you to come.” I always tell them, “It doesn’t guarantee that I’m going to do something for you, but sure I’ll come check it out.” It was quickly sucking my bank account dry. It was like, “What can I do to capitalize on this captive audience and funnel them into something that would maybe make me money to sustain what I have going on here?”

Short-term rentals seemed like they might be a good option or a good starting place. I think in one of my videos I might have mentioned that I was looking for a short-term rental. I had spoke to some different real estate agents here in town. Super nice people. I want to say that out front that they were super nice, but they weren’t exactly meeting my needs. They weren’t exactly like Luke, they weren’t pointing me toward places that I knew I would be able to rent out. We spent more time talking about the show they were in than the actual real estate, different things like that.

That’s how Luke and I met. He reached out to me on TikTok and he was like, “I think you’re probably already working with somebody, but I have this great resource here. You might want to read this book of Jeremy’s.” I was like, “Okay.” He was super nice. He wasn’t trying to steal me away but eventually he stole me away.

It’s okay. As real estate agents, it’s an interesting dynamic because we compete with our colleagues and we also cooperate with our colleagues. I suppose attorneys do the same thing. There are a lot of industries that do. We always train people that you have to work as somebody’s assistant until you can earn the right to be their agent. That was one of the defining factors. Whenever somebody gets into the real estate business, one of the first questions that I ask them is, “Why do we need another real estate agent? There are 800 of them in the market.” The market’s shifting. That usually ejects a lot of non-hard workers from the marketplace.

The people who are committed, solid, and full-time agents tend to thrive. I know this because I survived that 2008 crisis, and I watched the market go from 800 people down to 250, then slowly build back up. This is the best time to gather market share. This is the best time to get into real estate, and I won’t let anybody make any excuse for not succeeding because I’ve seen the lowest of the low. I survived and I have a theater degree. I didn’t know anything about real estate when I started. Describe the process to me of getting that first vacation rental. How did you find an agent? What other thoughts were going through your head? What were you searching for?

We were looking for someplace that we could rent out and make money and still use it whenever we wanted.

You came to Branson?

Yeah, Branson was the idea. To pinpoint, a certain development was not even on our radar at all. We were looking at houses. We were looking at anything. We had no idea. In fact, we made an offer on a place that would’ve never worked. If we would’ve got it, we would’ve had to sell it because we couldn’t have it rented out. I’m glad we didn’t. I was kind of sad at the time.

Since I didn’t have a realtor who understood what I was trying to do, they kept steering me toward houses. That’s not what I needed. I needed somebody who would say, “This is the place that you can rent it out. We know that because it’s an established vacation rental in the city of Branson.” I found your book first. The very first thing I found was your book. I’m like, “This guy’s in Branson?” I ordered the book on Amazon and called and made an appointment to meet you. From there, I brought my wife, we were chatting in the conference room. Jason Yeager came out around the corner and he was ready to help us. He was a brand new agent at the time, too.

You can listen to Jason’s podcast, too. He’s one of the first five podcasts that we did. Great conversation there with a guy who was an American Idol finalist who became a rockstar real estate team leader. It’s interesting. Jason was very service-oriented and I remember that meeting with you guys. You very quickly jumped into another investment. Most people won’t invest in new construction in the city of Branson because the building codes can be somewhat challenging to deal with. They can in any town but especially in Branson.

I’m not trying to pull any punches. It’s something that we have dealt with our clients that some people choose not to invest in the city limits for that reason. It’s not that bad. It’s not that hard. You just need an agent or an advocate that can help you through that process. What’s fascinating about you and Aaron is that you guys didn’t have that. You jumped in feet first in building a short-term rental right in the city. You bought the land and then you built it.

We bought 13 acres and we knew that we couldn’t buy any 13 acres, it had to be zoned correctly. We kept our condo for a year, and I ended up selling it to my uncle as a turnkey business. He kept it for a while and then sold it. That same condo that I paid $110,000 for sold last year at $495,000. That’s in a matter of five years. That’s crazy, but it did change our lives. We bought that 13 acres and then we sketched out on a piece of paper, “This is what we want to build,” and we built it. It was a process. There’s a lot that goes into that.

Talk about it a little bit.

You definitely need fire sprinklers. What I found out was the best people to hire are the people who are going to Sunday school with the guy who’s going to approve your plans. In our town especially, it seems that way where they want to see the same people in there that they’re doing business with all the time. You want to hire the contractors that they know and trust are going to do exactly what they want done.

There’s a trust factor there. There’s a peace of mind that comes with doing business with somebody who you know how they’re going to do business. Attorneys are the same way I found, especially if you’re trying to get a certain zoning request. There are certain attorneys that they’re afraid of, certain ones that they like to deal with, and certain ones that they’re not. What’s funny about Branson, Taney County, and Stone County in general is that it’s very tribal. I’m not trying to be like belittling to these rural counties because it’s the same in New York City.

When I talk to real estate agents and investors in New York City, it’s the same way. There’s a good old boy network there. It’s humans. It’s human behavior to be that way, but it’s not human behavior to jump into a project this large. You guys have cojones of steel. You know what I mean? You truly do. I admire that about you. I think anybody tuning in should follow you because you’ve got great ideas, you’ve made them work, and you’re continuing to evolve in a cool way because you came back a few years later back in the same conference room and you’re like, “I want to quit my full-time job. I want to be a real estate agent.”

That’s true.

How did that happen?

That was pretty wild. The railroad, I worked for them for ten years, and it’s a great job, high paying, and not a lot’s expected of me. At the end of the day, it’s not a very satisfying job. I was ready to do something different and I started researching, “What do I got to do?” 2007, I took my real estate classes and I never took the test to become certified completely or something. I remembered a lot of the same questions from a long time ago and went in five weeks during my full-time job only I got my real estate license studying at work.

You jumped in, especially in a crazy time. It wasn’t easy at first, was it?

No, not at all. In fact, at the time I jumped in, everybody had a deal whether you were good at real estate or not. I remember everybody talking about how busy they were and I didn’t have a clue what was going on. I was trying to soak up what I could from everybody. Once the deals slowed down, that’s whenever I picked up a little bit. It was exciting.

Like you guys, I wanted to serve my clients. One of the things that I love about what you said is that it seems like your TikTok channel was started as a way to serve people because it didn’t exist. You combine that with your passion, and you’re doing that again now with real estate. I want to talk about that in a minute, but what’s cool is that you funded it yourself. You didn’t ask for handouts. You’re like, “I’m going to honestly go in and review this place. What’s interesting is that Lisa, who’s your team lead and she was also on one of our shows, Lisa and Matt, you can go tune in to their story. They moved from England to the United States and quickly became very phenomenal real estate investors and agents. They’ve got a great story. Very inspirational people. You can go tune in to that show as well.

She told me when she first met you that, “We went to lunch and we’re having this meeting about her joining my real estate team and five people walked up and like, are you Satirah from Satira Loves Branson?” The impact that you’ve had and the service that you’ve provided is helping people. It is having a positive effect. That’s very special. I think a lot of people see influencers on TikTok or on Instagram, and they don’t realize the work that it takes and how long you have to endure putting out content before someone receives it or before those algorithms pick it up.

You’re definitely a giver, 100%, that’s how you’ve gotten to that amount. It’s not a bunch of take, it’s all gives.

Did you have the same experience on TikTok when starting, you’re like, “I’m putting this out there”?

Yeah, and it drains you. I know if you do a few times a week, it’s probably better, but if you’re trying to do something every day, it’ll literally drain you. I don’t want to post anything today, but you got to stay after it. If you’re going to keep providing value for people to keep watching your stuff. For me, it’s a lot of brand awareness. I’ve had a lot of people approach me. I don’t have 80,000 people by any means, but I’m working towards it.

Yeah, you will one day.

I have had clients that are straight out of TikTok. It’s great. It’s been working good for me. Whenever I had the downtime from being brand new and seeing all these people going crazy, I thought, “What can I be doing right now to draw people?” That’s why I started doing video.

 

Cocktails and Dreams Real Estate Podcast | Luke Johnston And Satirah Moore | TikTok For Real Estate

 

What I like about your style, Luke, is that it’s consistent. It’s the perfect example of consistency winning the race. You’re in your car, you’re posting about some bit of nugget that you learned or that you feel like other people should know, you are serving your client. What’s cool about it is that it became instantly recognizable. It’s like, “Here’s Luke in his car. What’s this wisdom? This is a funny one. His kid’s in this one. This is hilarious.” How do you guys come up with your ideas for what to post?

It would be something that happened that day, or some days, I’ll get this feeling and be able to slam a bunch of them out in one day. A lot of times if they come to me, I will write them down and keep them for later and pull that book out and start going through them. There are other ways to do it now.

There are with AI.

I have started asking AI to help me come up with some things here recently. It’s stuff that I would’ve come up with, but the prompts I put in like, “Tell me about vacation rentals with the down market.”

It does. If I’m stuck on something and I feel like I’ve made a Mexican restaurant video 50 million times and I don’t want to use the same words, I’ll go to AI and I’ll be like, “Tell me about this place.” They may have more descriptive words or they might say things differently. I take little pieces of this here and there and put it together.

I asked my parents the same thing because we were talking about ChatGPT and they’re like, “I can’t get into it.” I’m like, “You need to get into it. You absolutely have to get into it.” Especially real estate agents, entrepreneurs, real estate investors, and people who want to get better at social media. Social media, frankly, is the same way as AI. It’s the way that our customers communicate with the world now. We can go sit by a campfire and forget about the world and hunt squirrels all day, but unless people are buying squirrel meat, you’re not going to have a lot of business. You guys are on the cutting edge, whether you know it or not, and you are succeeding at it.

You need to get into ChatGPT, especially real estate agents, especially entrepreneurs, especially real estate investors, especially people who want to get better at social media. Click To Tweet

It’s like in the 90s, you had to figure out how to do emails, how to word perfect. All of those things, it’s what you needed in the nineties to be relevant and now it’s how to use AI.

You decided to buy a condo or buy an investment in Branson. Tell us about that meeting and maybe some of that he gave you a book, and then what happened?

He had sent me a book, and I was like, “This guy’s nice.” I was trying to work with another real estate agent in town. Every time I would text this guy, he thought I was like a robot. He would send back, “Stop.” He kept emailing me all of these properties that I couldn’t use for short-term vacationers. I was ready to pull out my hair. I had sent you a question one day because I wasn’t getting an answer out of my other guy.

You asked me about lenders.

Yeah. I said, “Do you use any lenders that you like?” He sent me a thing and I was like, “This guy knows I’m working with somebody else and is being kind enough to help me out. Why am I working with this other guy who’s not meeting my needs?” I was like, “Luke, let’s go look at some properties. I’m going to be in town whatever week. Let’s go do this.” We did, and then Luke was my guy.

I remember it wasn’t necessarily an easy transaction either. I remember because I was kept abreast of the situation and advised from time to time. You’ve got a crash course. I think that every real estate agent needs to, at some point, buy real estate and sell their personal home because this happened to Kelly and I not too long ago. What happened was, this was the home that we brought all of our babies home to. I cleaned up pink-flavored puke off of the carpet. I don’t know how many times I did.

What flavor is pink puke?

I don’t know. It’s got to be some penicillin maybe from flavored liquid antibiotics that didn’t stay down for whatever reason. I remember, this is how it is with children. It was such an incredibly crazy week that week and here we are, Kelly and I, up at 3:00 AM and I’m cleaning up an exorbitant amount of fluid that came out of a tiny human. I’m laughing hysterically because it’s that or passing out. Those are the experiences, all the joy and all of that balled up into this house that we decided to sell, because this is the cool thing about real estate. It’s a need-based asset class, so we had more humans in our home. We ran out of room. Somebody keeps bringing home cats and dogs, so we needed a bigger space.

I’ll never forget how sad it was and how emotional I was when we sold that home. I think sometimes for us, it gets a little bit routine like the dentist. It’s like, “That’s my mouth. Be careful.” They’re like, Yeah, I’m going to get in there.” We forget how emotions are attached to a real estate purchaser sale, which makes it difficult. It’s how we bond with our clients. It’s in fact why you’ll never be able to replace a real estate agent with AI, because you’re always going to need that local expert. All these tech people, they’re out of touch with their emotions and they’re out of touch with what it takes to guide somebody through a process. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the things that happened there. Do you want to?

Yeah. The first property that I put an offer in, Luke had made the offer, he called the agent, we thought it was all good. At the last minute, the buyer or the sellers pulled it off the table. I was heartbroken.

They said they didn’t want to sell.

Yeah. They were selling it because they were going to invest in something else, and then that investment fell through.

It was a good offer. It was maybe at or above asking. It was going to happen.

Yeah. I offered full price. I wanted this condo so bad still to this day.

It’s the one that got away.

It is the one that got away.

It’ll come back.

It did come back, but then I was busy with another one.

That’s true.

That was a bummer, so then we had to go looking for more, and I’m a perfectionist. I need it to be perfect, and I’m picky. Luke was probably like, “We have to go look at all these condos again.”

What have I gotten myself into?

No, not at all.

We then found another one. We made the offer. Everything was good, and then we’re at the final line, almost to the finish line where it’s going to go to underwriting and everything went to hell in a hand basket.

We had some trouble with the HOA not getting us their documents back, and then the lender dragging their feet and kept asking for more.

I then went to Hawaii for two weeks.

It’s hard.

They were going to send the papers to Hawaii to get them signed though. That was part of it. It didn’t happen though.

There’s a lot to coordinate there. When you have a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent, there’s a layer of protection for both parties, but there’s also a communication layer too.

You were talking about the emotions. I was having this conversation with Lisa. There were so many times where my husband was like, “Forget it. We’re not buying this.” He was ready to walk away, throw in the towel, and Luke was like, “Dude, we are almost to the finish line. It’s going to be okay.” He was good about listening to my husband and then talking him off the ledge. I was so grateful for that.

The sellers too were ready to pull it over. They would give us a deadline and we were going to make it happen and it didn’t happen for one reason or another. I felt like every day I was having to go back to this agent and say, “I’m not making excuses, but this is what I’ve been told.”

He’s going to the HOA with donuts like, “Can I get this form? Here’s some parlor donuts. Can we work this out?”

We don’t take bribes, but we like donuts.

Sometimes it takes that. One time, I had this old school agent when I first started. When I first started, I was 30 years old. The average age of the real estate agent was 65. This gal, she knew how to handle people. I was representing the buyer, and they pulled out of the deal during their contingency period. There was something about the property that the contract was contingent on, and they had every right to pull out, but emotions happened.

The seller’s like, “I’m not giving them their money back.” You are contractually obligated to give them their money back. They still wouldn’t. She brought over some hot cinnamon rolls and chatted with them for a little while. She’s like, “We can sit here and we can have cinnamon rolls, or this can become a legal issue. Which would you prefer?” I think I’ll dip them into milk and sign my name.

It’s funny how you can get a lot done by building those relationships. Which is why I think it’s important for us to build relationships with our colleagues. In fact, what I used to do is there was another real estate firm in town, and they had the idea, and they said, “Let’s go to lunch with one of our colleagues once a week and get to know people on a personal level.” That helps when things when everything hits the fan. It’s like, “Let’s work for our clients here.”

It's really important for us to build relationships with our colleagues. Click To Tweet

He’s not the enemy. He’s our friend. What can we do to help this long?

Springfield, Missouri agents are jerks. For the most part, they are absolute. They think they’re attorneys. This has been my experience. If you’re a kind, passionate, caring Springfield agent, we want to hear from you. We want to know that. We just don’t hear from you. We do business with all. We do want to work with you. In my experience, they feel like their attorneys. We’re not attorneys.

I had a transaction with a Springfield realtor. We were going to lose the contract over $600. I said, “I’ll take $300 off my commission and you take $300 off your commission, and we’ll get this thing settled.” She said, “I don’t take discounts on my commission.” I’m like, “It doesn’t sound like you’re putting your client’s expectations above your own. They’ve already spent the money to have the inspections and all the process happen.” She was ready to kill the deal to not take home $300.

Never would negotiate my commission with the seller upfront. It’s because sometimes when it comes to negotiations, everybody has a line they’re not willing to cross. I always, as an agent, if the deal was $50,000 grand apart, I could always massage that into place. There’s sometimes when you can’t. Sometimes it comes down to $600. That’s when you need to have the freedom to be able to negotiate and say, “I’m going to pay for this out of my business expenses.”

In fact, that’s what I think a lot of people don’t realize, especially when everything’s in the news right now about realtors making too much money. I think realtors have been, the image of real estate agents has been poorly managed over the years. I recorded this in another show because everybody’s talking about it right now. If you’re tuning into this and you have an opinion, it falls under the category of, “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.”

What’s interesting to me is that you guys were both real estate investors who became real estate agents, and your overall awareness of the transaction level has probably skyrocketed. You realized how much work that goes into serving your clients. Now, there are real estate agents like you described out there that don’t know. They don’t know what they don’t know, but there’s many that do. I think those are the ones that are truly going to survive.

I don’t think this is about how much money we earn. I think it’s about how much relationship capital we have with our clients and how much service we provide because you’re always willing to pay for somebody who’s going to represent you. Honestly, I hope the ones that are jerks leave the business because it makes it harder for the rest of us when you’re trying to get an HOA document signed or you’re trying to manage somebody’s expectations on a timeline.

You're always willing to pay for somebody that's going to represent you. Click To Tweet

Your client has to either exit the contract because the deadline is approaching tomorrow or decide to go ahead and perform on the contract knowing that their earnest money is at risk because the other agent won’t get back to you. They won’t answer your call. It’s up to the investor to say, “I have to cancel this contract now because my earnest money is not protected.” You’ve had a conversation as a buyer’s agent with your investor and said, “This is the situation we’re in. We’re not going to hear back from this person by tonight. Here’s the risks. If you move forward, how can I advise you at this point?”

Our jobs as real estate agents is to explain the situation and then let that person decide how they want to proceed. Good real estate agents have been in the mix, and it was always interesting for me to talk to our clients and say, “This is when you need to worry. I’ll let you know when you need to worry. I’ve never been in this situation before, but we’re going to figure it out. I’ve been in this situation 50 times before, this is most likely what’s going to happen.” That’s the situation you guys are in now. Talk to me now about, Satirah, your journey into deciding to become a real estate agent because you have this marketing channel. Did you expect it to be a marketing channel? What was your hope with your TikTok channel to begin with?

I wanted to show people things to do in Branson, what I was doing when I was up here. A lot of people think that Branson is Vegas for old people and Christians, and that it’s all fogies that are here. I wanted to show people it was more than corny country shows.

What is it? Talk to us about what you discovered.

We have margarita flights and we have Silver Dollar City. You can look at the Christmas lights on a golf cart in the middle of the country. There’s all these incredible things to do here.

It’s like a fishing mecca.

Surrounded by three of the most beautiful lakes you will ever see. There is so much to do here. We have 11 million people who came here last year, there’s a reason. There’s something for everybody. If you like the corny country shows, we have those too and they’re great. There’s nothing wrong with them, but there’s so much to do here. I wanted to show people that. As it progressed, it became meeting business owners and seeing what I could do for their business. I can’t tell you how many people that I did a video for, and then they’re like, “This exploded. This was totally insane. I had 800 orders off of your video.” That’s always a good feeling to know that I’m not just helping the people who are coming here on vacation, I’m helping the small business owners as well.

When you watch a TV show on Netflix or when you’re searching through Netflix, how often do you look at the reviews? Do you pretty much know what you want to watch?

I look at the reviews pretty often. I want to know what other people are saying. Before what my wife prefers to pick, I would definitely check the reviews.

It’s the same on Amazon too, isn’t it?

Yeah.

Yeah.

We are totally dependent on each other, aren’t we? I think what you discovered is this review marketing is huge right now. What are your plans to do with this channel as you enter the real estate business? Are you going to keep it Branson business-focused?

This channel will always be about Branson businesses and showing people things to do see and eat in Branson. That will never change. I might throw in, “This is what I do.” Sometimes I’ll do a video that shows like, “What I did this week in Branson.” I might show like, “Look at this house that I was showing. Look at the view.” I might throw things like that in there. I don’t ever want to change the current social media channel that I have from what it is now. Will I probably start a second social media channel to channel some real estate stuff and show people houses and talk about real estate? Yeah, probably.

Satirah Loves Branson Real Estate, maybe.

Satirah Loves Real Estate.

Now, you could grow your team pretty much anywhere around the country. That’s pretty phenomenal too. You could teach all of the people in your organization the way of TikTok.

For many years, I homeschooled my kids and then I taught at co-ops and did different stuff there. It’s natural for me to show people.

You’ve taught me stuff on TikTok like, “Scrub that image off there. Nobody on Facebook wants to see that.”

Nobody wants to see that and Facebook is not going to pick you up if you do that. I will never be the person who gate holds the recipe for the secret sauce. That’s not who I am. I can’t keep a secret to save my life. Don’t ever tell me valuable information that’s a secret. I do definitely think that I’ll be moving forward teaching and doing stuff like that as well.

Seems like it would totally fit you. It seems like you love it. Even we were talking upstairs about you’re going through our contract training process. You seem to be very engaged in that. Not challenging, but asking questions and like you said, you were on page 9 when they were on page 2. Your thought process is already there. That’s a sign of a super intelligent person. Somebody who’s already anticipating what’s next. That’s cool.

Let’s talk about this. What are some major a-has that you’ve had now switching over from? Luke, you contribute to this too. and I’m starting this discussion for this reason because a lot of my agents will come back to me and say, “I lost a great client because they got a real estate license.” I’m like, “Congratulations. That’s what happens.” A lot of real estate investors get a real estate license. 1) Because they want to save some bucks and they want to do it themselves. 2) Because they love real estate so much, they want to put the other foot in real estate and be in it all the time. It doesn’t surprise me that you guys both became real estate agents. What are some a-has that you’ve had as you transition from investor to agent that maybe you didn’t realize?

For me, the first big a-ha was that I wanted to do this in the first place. My grandmother on my stepdad’s side was a real estate agent, so I grew up watching her sell real estate. I always thought it was cool. There was a time back in the day that I thought that I could sell real estate, but then I always tease people and said that I want to work at Silver Dollar City when I grow up until I met Luke and Lisa. I remember the day I called you, Lisa had showed me the condo in Point Royal.

I was out of town. I was on vacation writing contracts.

He was out of town, but he was writing the contract. Lisa was going to let me into the condo to show me. I was on a girls’ trip. I brought like my whole entourage of people to look at this condo. I remember I left there and Luke had said something to me before. He was like, “You should sell real estate.” Lisa was like, “You should come be on our team. “I called Luke and I was like, “I want to work with Lisa when I grow up. I want to work with you guys when I grow up.”

I said, “Come on, Let’s go.”

He was like, “Let’s do this.” That was the first a-ha. I was trying to move to Branson full time. I was totally burnout in the career that I was doing. I was like, “I could do this. I could help people. Everything about this is in my wheelhouse. I like buying properties. I like helping people. This makes sense.” That was the first a-ha for me was that this is something I could do.

 

CDRE 37 | TikTok For Real Estate

 

Natural fit.

Going back to Lisa, part of the reason I was attracted to her team is because she will spend as much attention on a $40,000 lot as she will a $4 million estate. She’s doing that right now. That’s like, I want to be that person when I grow up. That’s what you saw there. It’s great.

So many real estate agents are keeping all their secrets. “Don’t tell the other team what we’re up to.” Lisa is an open book. You can ask her anything. She doesn’t mind sharing. Even today, she was helping out with new agent training and she was telling the new agent like, “If you have any questions, come ask any of us, we’ll help you.” That is very unique to this office. I don’t see that in real estate. There is a lot of competition that is cutthroat. I don’t see that here. This is truly a family. Everybody’s willing to help everybody. You’re not going to let anybody drown. This is special. That was another a-ha moment for me. This is not your typical brokerage.

Thank you. I always said that if I ever had a chance to lead a team in real estate, I would never let anybody go through what I experienced, which was this uphill battle of having to learn everything on my own. I’m still doing it. Everything that I’m learning about getting private equity funds and about real estate development, I’m developing a 56-unit real estate, short-term rental development in Branson, right on the lake. I bought 20 acres and I watched real estate developers for years take advantage of buyers especially in hot markets.

 

CDRE 37 | TikTok For Real Estate

 

Basically, what that means is for the past four years, especially in the short-term rental business, there was no inventory. We have an inventory shortage nationwide in housing, but especially there was no short-term rental inventory because people didn’t know what it was or why they should build it. It was always hard for us to find properties. We would have to go find properties that were residential properties in short-term rental zoned areas, and create them. We got good at that, which served our business and served our ability as leaders to train new agents coming in.

That was a need. It was a need-based thing. New construction, having to learn how to write deals on new construction, negotiate contracts in new construction, and have the buyer handle the construction loan. There were times when builders were so emboldened by the number of buyers that if a buyer wanted to change on a real estate contract, it was like, “No. We’ll find someone else that’ll come in to buy it.” These buyers had to sign some of the most predatory seller protective contracts because it’s what they had to do. We were able to help them to say like, “You’ve got a not agree to this line.” Maybe we can get something changed a little bit. We would fight for our clients as much as we could. Back in those days, it’s what buyers had to do.

The experience that buyers had buying new construction wasn’t that great, but of course, once the property was built, then all the reasons why they wanted a shor- term rental kicked in they were able to customize the property, put their own spin on it, and add some wow factor to it. This is the reason why we get into the vacation rental business. We watched a lot of developers mistreat their clients, because there are clients too, as real estate agents, but when you hire a builder to build you a property, that’s your client too.

I never appreciated people who jumped into the business because there was so much business, they would take one lead and grab the next. They didn’t care how they treated their people. They just wanted to get to the next deal. I started a real estate development because I wanted buyers to have a positive experience, then I changed my mind. I don’t want to work with 56 build jobs all at once. I would rather do something else.

I would rather keep them and have it be a lower impact on the surroundings. I wanted to keep more trees. I wanted to do things that builders weren’t doing and preserve the natural landscape. Be a good steward of the land and build a beautiful chapel on the land so that there was this amenity where people could come together, families could come together and have reunions or weddings or birthday parties. Put a nice catering kitchen in the bottom and create some nice water features and give people the ability to walk down to the lake and go fishing with their kids right there in the development so that when they’re on vacation, they don’t feel like they have to run into town if they don’t want to.

I’ve learned the hard way on all of these things. I like to think that I’m this stern professional businessman, but I’m a compassionate guy who feels for people and I don’t want people to have to experience pain. In fact, the reason why I started my entertainer journey years ago, in my previous life, I was an entertainer. That’s how I ended up in Branson. I wanted people to experience joy. I wanted to make them laugh. That was instant gratification for me. If you laugh, I know that you’re experiencing joy. That’s why I love Yaakov Smirnoff because he’s got that same philosophy. there’s another show you can tune in to it right there. I’m not trying to plug my shows, but this show is about the things that I love and the people who I find incredibly interesting.

Thank you for saying all the things that you said, because that’s my life’s mission, is to truly come alongside people and not let them fail at what they’ve decided to do. If you tell me that you are going to succeed at this, I’ll believe in you. I’ll believe what you tell me. Be careful what you tell me. Let’s talk about that next. What is next for you guys? What insurmountable you are remodeling a massive property right now?

A massive property. It’s a 7,000-square-foot. It’s going to be eleven bedrooms when we’re finished. I think we’re on the home stretch of getting it finished. We’ve taken a Branson West commercial property and turned it into a cool vacation rental.

Talk to me about that process. What a-has did you learn along that process that you would coach people on?

I would say definitely get multiple bids for your project, because they’re drastic. You want to know local knowledge. We talked a little bit earlier about the people who are doing the work or who they like to see, and that’s the same way over here in Branson West.

You’re saying maybe budget for contingencies, like what percent would you budget? It seems like when you started tearing into those walls, it seems like, “Uh-oh, we found this.”

We had lots of wow moments on that. There was structural drywall, which my contractor said he’d never seen anything like it before.

Structural drywall.

Holding up the house. The place was built in 86 and had no wrap on the outside of it. Whatever siding was on it was what’s protecting it. There was a lot of wood rot. At one point, we had to get a new structural engineer out there to make sure the whole place wasn’t going to collapse. It’s all good now. We’re through the tough stuff and got it all approved and now it’s the home stretch of fire sprinklers and all the finishes.

What else would you say is a nugget? Definitely do this or definitely don’t do this. We’ve talked about budget for contingencies. We talked about using contractors that are familiar with that city’s code and have relationship equity with people who make decisions. What else? How did you design this? Did you have somebody help you? Did you do it yourself?

We did it ourselves. Me and my wife, it is funny because the first project, Woodlands Lodge, it was all my brain that came up with all that plan, but this one, my wife’s gone through and said, “This is where we’re going to put walls and take walls out.” She’s worked closely with Matt Lister, who’s been on this show as well. He’s done a great job for us.

She got the bug.

Yeah, and it’s funny because we have taken on different roles through both, but I think in the future, it’s going to be like, you were talking about your development. That’s what I want. I want to develop out property that is needed in Branson. I don’t know exactly what that’s going to look like yet, but its definitely a goal.

That’s a goal for you to take a piece of land and do something special with it.

Create inventory for the people that need it.

Like hospitality inventory?

Maybe. Maybe it’s affordable housing. I’m not sure. For the land around Woodlands Lodge, I’m going to do more. I’m thinking like something crazy out there that nobody else is doing. This idea is, and I haven’t put it out at all public, but it’s a one bedroom with an indoor pool.

A one-bedroom with an indoor pool.

What do you think? Is it possible?

Who would use that?

Is it going to be year-round rented? What do you think?

A higher clientele. The same people who are renting out the grotto right now. An elevated experience. People who are coming for their anniversary. “It’s my 20th anniversary, I want to stay at somewhere. It’s my honeymoon.” That’s who you’re going to market to.

I want it to be super high-end, but I don’t want, want it to be big. I don’t want it to be ridiculous. I had this thought like maybe have the grand piano, but that’s pretty out there. Nobody has that.

It’s like a heart-shaped hot tub.

Not exactly. That’s what they were trying to do in Branson. You see those rooms with the heart-shaped hot tubs still in them? There’s still some in Branson like that, but this is like that on steroids.

This is classy.

There is a place that does this that I somehow came across and I thought, “Nobody’s doing that here. I don’t think anybody has the guts to.”

What if we did an indoor pool and the whole thing was a pool? Water bed, you sleep on rads. You swim up to the kitchen, make yourself some eggs.

Woodland’s Lodge is eight bedrooms. What I thought was, if you had a lazy river around Woodland’s Lodge that was still indoor. Does that make sense? It’s out there, but nobody else has got it. I don’t know what it is.

Think about when you’re on Facebook or wherever and VRBO puts out an advertisement. It’s always the extreme houses, the experiences.

The cave.

In Arkansas, that cave. That’s what sells. If you could come up with something that is beyond cool that nobody else is doing.

Most people don’t have the guts to do that though. We’re going to buy this. because it’s an easy turnkey Ready to go, but I think that would stay there.

You were talking about having cojones earlier. If you’re going to go somewhere in life, I think you have to be bold.

Fortune favors the bold. You have to take risks to be able to get what you want. You guys took risks by becoming real estate investors.

Go big or go home. You’ve got this.

You took risks by deciding to leave your income and become real estate agents. That’s the latter. You guys did it in a different order. Most people become real estate agents first and then become investors, but you guys decided to go the investment route first, which is a compliment. You guys had great experiences with your agents, so you decided, “I want to be a part of this.” How about for you, Satirah? What do you want out of your real estate career or what’s next for you? What’s the journey here?

As far as what’s next, I think I’m still trying to baby step into this. I had this idea that I was going to come out of the gate here on fire going mocked in, and then I had a family member that got sick and I feel like God took my feet out from underneath me and said, “Slow down. We need to wait a minute.”

We’re going to force margin into your life for a minute, because that’s what’s needed.

It was. That’s been a hard pill to swallow because it’s not my style to go slowly into something. I feel like I’m still at step one. I’m still very brand new to this. I’m still putting my toes in the water. When I get around people like Luk, who have all these grand ideas, I think you texted me one time and you were like, “Josh is going to be in trouble because you’re working with people like me and Lisa who have all these ideas. He’s going to have to ring you in.” I can be that person who dreams big. I’m the person who can walk into a house and immediately know like, “I need to knock out that wall and I need to do this, and I need to move this over here.”

I was meeting with some clients one time and I had an appointment at 10:00. I was meeting with them at 9:00 to look at this condo at Point Royal. Meeting Satirah at 10:00, they were taking too long trying to figure out how they were going to rearrange this place. I thought, “What am I going to do?” It turned out like, I was like, “I have a client that’s good at exactly what you’re asking me to do. Is it okay if she comes over here and explains where your furniture should go?” They were like, “Yeah.” Now you guys are friends. You guys are talking online.

Great instincts. Seriously, we’re a network of people and collaboration is where we find the better ideas. I’ve always thought that the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. We’re better together and our team is definitely better that you guys are here. Thank you for choosing our team. Thank you for being willing to share your knowledge. Where can people go to watch your channels?

Collaboration is where we find the better ideas. Click To Tweet

You can find me online at Satirah Loves Branson. I am on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and sometimes YouTube.

I’m on all the same places. Luke Johnston Invest in Vacations. That’ll get you there.

We’ll put your contact info, if you’re willing, so people can reach out to you guys to buy some real estate in the area or become a real estate agent or get some general advice. Thanks so much for willing to share your secrets and for being open and authentic. In your current situation, Satirah, I think that’s the benefit of choosing a career like a real estate agent. A lot of people come into the business and say, “I want to do it for freedom.” The first two years as an agent, you don’t have any freedom. Think about any business that you grow, it requires all of your time for the first 24 months and you have to earn the right to take a day off.

There are so many really good real estate agents who truly serve their clients. No matter what happens to this industry, that's what we're going to continue to do. Click To Tweet

A lot of people don’t realize that realtors do work seven days a week. I’m going to continue to advocate for real estate agents because I’m in the trenches with real estate agents all the time. I want people to know that I know so many good real estate agents that truly serve their clients. No matter what happens to this industry, that’s what we’re going to continue to do. That’s what you guys are going to continue to do, so let’s go do it.

 

Important Links

 

About Satirah Moore

CDRE 37 | TikTok For Real EstateSatirah is a TikTok pro who has grown to over 83,000 followers in just two short years just by talking to people about something she loves. Isn’t it interesting that when we spend time in our passions, we have the most stamina and see the greatest results.

 

 

 

About Luke Johnston

CDRE 37 | TikTok For Real EstateLuke Johnston, a seasoned real estate investor turned real estate agent