Stay up to date

Stay up to date

Back to main Blog
Mike Simonsen

Mike Simonsen is the founder and president of real estate analytics firm Altos Research, which has provided national and local real estate data to financial institutions, real estate professionals, and investors across the country for more than 15 years. An expert trendspotter, Mike uses Altos data to identify market shifts months before they hit the headlines.

Mark JohnsonMark Johnson is the CEO of JPAR Real Estate. JPAR is a fast-growing, full-service, transaction-based real estate brokerage based in Texas with offices throughout the country. Mark has invested decades into understanding the inner workings of high-performing real estate companies, managers, teams, and agents. He is also the Host of Success Superstars, a weekly show that highlights the blueprint of real estate agent success, and he is the Co-founder of CoRecruit.

googke podcast

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Mark Johnson describes JPAR’s business performance
  • Why a live local real estate agent is irreplaceable
  • What is a reverse purchase?
  • Mark discusses the pros and cons of iBuyers and how they influence the market
  • The secret to becoming a top-performing agent: an unshakeable mindset
  • Should you consider building an agent team within your firm?
  • Real estate forecast for 2022
  • How can you find success among millennial home-buyers?
  • Trending changes that the pandemic initiated

In this episode…

The last year has seen real estate prices skyrocket and the inventory of homes diminish. The competition for buying and selling houses has never been more challenging. In this atmosphere, how can you stand out as a real estate agent?

Superior Customer Service. People can spot a salesperson a mile away. They want a genuine opinion on whether or not a home will fit their lifestyle. They need a real estate agent who isn’t afraid to say, “This isn’t the home for you, let’s keep looking,” or “Don’t sell yet. We can get you money.” Folks today want a real estate agent with hyper-local expertise who sincerely cares about their future home — otherwise, they’ll walk their feet and dollars to somebody else. 

In this episode of the Top of Mind Podcast, Mike Simonsen is joined by Mark Johnson, CEO of JPAR Real Estate, to discuss how to find success in today's tough real estate landscape. Mark explains why a live local agent is superior to any technology, top tips for becoming a superstar real estate agent, and how the pandemic has changed the industry. 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by Altos Research. Altos is the #1 market data company for realtors, title, and escrow. 

Each week, Altos Research tracks every home for sale in the country, all the pricing, and all the changes in pricing, and synthesizes those analytics to make them available before becoming visible through traditional channels.

Altos Research is a full-featured lead conversion engine. Their system uses real-time market reports to attract and engage prospective buyers and sellers. Designed to work with minimal setup, Altos helps you move leads through the funnel automatically, alerting you when they're ready to take action.

Schedule a demo to see them in action. You can also get a copy of their free eBook: How To Use Market Data to Build Your Real Estate Business.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:03  

Welcome to Top of Mind, the show where real estate industry insiders talk shop about the big trends shaping the market today. Enjoy the show.

Mike Simonsen  0:18  

Mike Simonsen here. Thanks for joining me today. Welcome to the Top of Mind Podcast. This is where I talk to the smartest leaders, thinkers and doers in the real estate industry that this episode is brought to you by Altos Research. Each week, Altos Research tracks every home for sale in the country, all the pricing all the changes in pricing, and we bubble up all that analytics to make it available to you before becomes visible in the traditional channels. You can visit For more information. For a couple of years now we've been sharing the latest market data in every week in weekly, a weekly video series. With a new Top of Mind Podcast, we are looking to add some context to the discussion about what's happening in the market. And we're going to learn from the leaders in the industry. So speaking of leaders in the industry, I am thrilled to announce my guest today Mark Johnson, who is the CEO of JPAR Real Estate, JPAR is a fast growing full service transaction based real estate brokerage based in Texas with offices throughout the country. Mark is also the host of Success Superstars, a weekly show that highlights the blueprint of real estate agents success. And he is the Co-founder of CoRecruit. Mark has invested decades in understanding the inner workings of high performing real estate companies, managers, teams agents, and we are lucky to have him on the show. Welcome, Mark.

Mark Johnson  1:53  

Well, Mike, thank you for that gracious introduction. And first I want to thank you for for what you're contributing to the industry. You know, I use your reports daily. And they Altos Research reports and the podcasts and the videos that you do are valuable to us as leading our firms.

Mike Simonsen  2:11  

That's terrific. I'm so glad that we get to work together. Awesome. Well, so you know, we talked about I talked about the data a lot. And you know, the Altos videos are me talking out. There's a lot of experience in this industry. And and I want to share it, I want to learn it and share it. And so I've got some let's talk about the market. And let's talk first before we dive into market stuff. For listeners who don't know, JPAR, why don't you give him a quick overview? Tell us about it. Tell us about the company and why it's awesome. 

Mark Johnson  2:46  

Yeah well, it's so awesome to be here and have that opportunity. So JPAR is a full service transaction fee brokerage, and were founded on three values of integrity, productivity and service, our per person productivity is approaching, you know, 10 transactions a year, which is right up there. An industry leading stat. The other thing that we're really known for is influential industry leaders, you know, we empower, we teach, we train, and we give back to our communities. And so it's just an amazing culture of like minded folks that want to serve the consumer at the highest level, and give back to our local communities.

Mike Simonsen  3:25  

That's really great. So 10 transactions average per agent, depending on the location where you are, that's great. And, and so are you and obviously, you invest a lot of training. So a lot of real estate firms are, you know, the broker is designed to just be there as a structure and knock yourself out. And and a lot of agents in the industry don't sell many properties at all. How do you organize your training and your your resources for agent? Like, is it about transaction volume, or like productivity per agent?

Mark Johnson  4:03  

We'll see it's so funny, follow the money, right? If you've heard this in so many movies, right, or whatever, follow the money. See, what's so beautiful about the transaction based model is we don't make a dime unless someone sells something. Right? If someone makes a big sale, we make the same amount whether they make a big sale or a little sale. So it's about transaction, volume and productivity. And since all of our interests are commonly aligned, that has a powerful combination of creating productivity and service in each of our local markets.

Mike Simonsen  4:34  

That's great. So and, and, and what are the big markets that you're at? You're based in Texas, but you're all over the country? Where do you have most of your effort?

Mark Johnson  4:44  

Yeah, we're in 26 states and growing, you know, soon to be 50. But but the firm was founded here in Dallas, Texas, and Frisco, which is our largest market at the moment. And that's those are company owned stores all along the 35 down through Austin. San Antonio, over to El Paso and up to Midland. We have a very large and successful franchisee in Houston, the Sears group, and they're doing very, very well and then franchisee owners all across the United States outside of Texas. Got it? That's great. How many total Agents 3500 and growing?

Mike Simonsen  5:21  

Awesome. That's exciting. Okay, so the podcast is called Top of Mind. What's top of mind for you? Right now? It's November, heading into the end of the year. 2021 has been a nuts year. What's top of mind for you?

Mark Johnson  5:35  

Yeah, Mike, what a great question. There's so many things top of mind. But the two that come to mind is, for consumers, it's never been more important in this market to work with the real estate profession. And to for the real estate professional, it's never been more important to realize, we may have to work two times as hard three times as hard five times as hard to get the same level of effort. Because as you know, the inventory has shrunk. And that is making a very, very challenging market for even the most experienced professional, much less the newer profession.

Mike Simonsen  6:10  

Yeah, so. So it's, you say it's important for consumers more than ever to work with a professional, lotta, lotta tech trends. And consumers like to be able to interface with their app. And there's a lot of companies who are trying to get the agent out of the space. Why do you what what makes you say it's more important than ever?

Mark Johnson  6:36  

Well, let me give an example. I have three millennials, us three millennial sons, two of my three became first time homeowners in October. Now, out of the 71 million millennials, which is a big trend, we had a trend to talk about. that's top of mind to me. But of my two millennials, who bought in October, they valued their real estate professional, yes, they use the technology to ease communication to make the transaction smoother, but they would not have done that transaction without the local, knowledgeable hyper local expert, who helped them navigate through all kinds of myriad of things. I was an observer, I was the dad, you know, going on the showings and you know, being that dad with these agents, and it was amazing the relationship they develop and I my oldest son fired his first agent. And finally was very satisfied with the second agent, but the the first agent was not meeting his needs. And he needed a professional who could help him navigate the first time homebuyer experience.

Mike Simonsen  7:41  

That's fascinating. So you know, I remember when I bought my first home 20 Some years ago, like, I just had some random agent that somebody introduced me for, introduce me to what what kind of thing like, makes makes a buyer fire their agent?

Mark Johnson  8:05  

Well, I call them they have commissioned breath. Their presentation needs a mint. Yeah. Yes. And so it's easy in you, you and I have been around the block a few times. We know when someone's trying to sell us something, versus when someone's trying to be a consultant to us, right. So his first agent was really salesy. And his second agent was more of a consultant trying to understand his needs and, and solve his problem with various solutions in the marketplace.

Mike Simonsen  8:37  

Right? It's the kind of I think I get it, it's like, you know, if if it feels like there's pressure for me to do a transaction that I don't quite feel ready for, or isn't quite right. For me. It's a big difference between a buyer's agent who says, who says, like, maybe even things like, this one probably isn't right for you. Or let's say that's a that's a really fascinating difference. And his

Mark Johnson  9:03  

second agent did that or the first agent didn't. So there's a difference for the sales professional listening to us. There's a difference between pressure and persistence. Yeah, persistence is different. Because when you're persistent, maybe my son needed to hear the story told a different way for maybe a different solution, where the first one was just putting pressure, right. Second one was persistent, but could adapt and had maybe a higher EQ maybe.

Mike Simonsen  9:31  

Mm hmm, that's true. Yeah, I remember I bought, I have a ski house in the mountains. And I told my agent when I hired her, I said, I'm gonna look for a long time. Uh huh. And, and if you're okay with that, like then we can do and ultimately I think I looked at 25 homes before I made an offer. And I remember one that was was like lower, it was less expensive per square foot, for example, than the competitive ones. And I went to look at it had the reason it was is in the mountains, and it had this big, steep driveway. And my agent said, Don't do it. Don't do it, don't do it. I'm so grateful that I didn't you know that I didn't do it. And it's also something I think about now. It's like, there's no technology that makes that there's not enough data in the data that like the machine learning to know that steep driveway means that even when the plow comes you you're going to not be able to take your trash cans out, because you're going to wind up, you know, 60 feet down the ravine.

Mark Johnson  10:53  

There's that there's just certain things that can humans are more adept at that computers never will. Yeah, that's fascinating. Yeah. And so Mike, I guess the other thing that's top of mind to me besides 71 million millennials is there's 73 million baby boomers 10,000 a day, according to AIG are turning 60, every day, every one of your audience may have heard of what they call a reverse mortgage. But many of them haven't heard of what they call a reverse purchase. It's a very unique product. for that age group, that could be very powerful. And a distinguishing factor for agents moving forward.

Mike Simonsen  11:32  

Tell me about that. What is a reverse purchase?

Mark Johnson  11:34  

Well, basically, you know, the concept of a reverse mortgage, this is a way they can basically do a purchase using the same product, we'll have to get one of the eight professionals on your show to kind of go through and I'll connect you with them. Because they can explain a lot better than I do. But it's interesting.

Mike Simonsen  11:52  

So this would be a product for seniors people retiring 62, and over 62 and over and they are buying their Snowbird house

Mark Johnson  12:04  

that they've sold, they've sold, let's say they're the family home, and they're moving into their retirement home where they can do that with the reverse purchase. Harness, nobody knows about it, it's a fascinating product, and it can help generate, you know, a great opportunity for some folks that that just may not know about that

Mike Simonsen  12:25  

is that like, that allows them to get equity out, it allows,

Mark Johnson  12:29  

it can allow them to buy more house than maybe they think they could typically afford it can do all kinds of thing. Yeah, you know, obviously in conjunction with your CPA or financial planner, they have to go through it, but it's, it's certainly something in the tool bag, you know, in this market, Mike, I think is you know, with with limited inventory, you have to have every tool in your tool bag that could potentially help a consumer. And the more tools you have, the more likely are you going to be able to solve that consumers problem. 

Mike Simonsen  13:00  

Yeah, so speaking of that, so okay, the the, there's been a lot of financial innovation in the space. I haven't heard of reverse purchases before. But I imagine that they are a function. It was really to my mind, it started when open door launched, you know, they're, they're buying their ibuying program in open door wasn't really a technology play. It was a financial innovation play. They had lots of cash, very cheap, and it's very easy for them to go buy homes quickly. Are there other trends like that in the financial space, they can get a really important or interesting view.

Mark Johnson  13:42  

It is interesting, we've partnered with a firm called Zavvy, and we've wrapped a thing called JPAR Sure Sale around it. As you know, about 90% of consumers want to sell their home traditionally, with a real estate professional the way we normally sell. But there's 10% of them that either for certainty or convenience, want to swap it as easy as a car or a haven't bought for them. Now that I'm confused by all of it in the real estate compute agent is really confused. So by partnering with Zavvy what they're doing is taking inventory of all these different companies, all the different offerings and providing a concierge service for the real estate professionals so they can make sense of all this stuff and stay in the transaction. We've labeled it JPAR for Sure Sale. You can check it out at but Zavvy helps us consolidate all you know everyone has their different Buy Box in a different market they're in and some are in these markets and some are in those markets and it's enough to make your head spin Zagami spends all day keeping all this stuff straight.

Mike Simonsen  14:49  

Got it. So Zavvy is a tool for your agents to work with home sellers to understand the differences between AI buyers and sellers. You know, if it's a, if it's two months ago or three months ago and they say, well, Zillow is overpaying compared to open doors, Zavvy would have told your sellers that,

Mark Johnson  15:10  

yeah, and so they can, they can they can be more of a consultant with the seller to say, here's the advantage of selling traditionally, and the financial result of that. Here's the hump swap and what that might look like. And if that works, and then here's the I buy, and let the consumer 90% of them want to sell it traditionally. Right? Are those few for whatever reason, in their, their current name, you know, they, they want to, you know, maybe take the haircut and do an eye buy? Yeah, and then the agent can stay in the middle and earn a commission.

Mike Simonsen  15:40  

Yeah, that's neat. Okay, so are your agents now? Like are your transactions when you look at the transaction volume for JPAR? How influential are the eye buyers are there are there are there are, they're doing a significant number of transactions,

Mark Johnson  16:00  

but less than 10%. And it's, it creates a lot of noise and creates a lot of buzz. Because it's different, new. But it's fairly, fairly small. And when you think about it, and you back into the need of a consumer, let me give an example. When I was first selling, I will tell you the date, way back when one of my sellers came to me. This was in Southern California, and she got engaged to a guy in Atlanta, and she wanted that house sold at all she wanted to do is cover a mortgage, she didn't care about anything other than getting to her wedding. So her financial view, and of course, we counselor to say wait a minute, you're being a little short sighted here, you can make a little bit more money, but but you get the point her need was not about her house, her need was to get out of town. Yep, there was transaction speed, transaction speed, it was convenience and certainty. So she could go up her new life. And so some people are in that situation. And that, you know, not be the situation that you and I are in, but it could be what they're in. And so with products like this, we can be a better consultant for those people.

Mike Simonsen  17:08  

Yes. Okay. That's really terrific. And then. So, you know, it's interesting that the ibuyer is like, we're financial innovation, a product of having Ultra cheap money everywhere in the world. Are there there are some other offshoots of that, like, things that the buyers can use? In that world? Are there any of those that you are finding that finding, particularly useful for your buyers,

Mark Johnson  17:40  

ones that you think are the ones one of the ones that we're finding, having the most success success with is Knock the Knock home swap? Where a seller wants to buy, particularly, it's in a new bill, and sometimes the new builds might be six, seven months out? Uh huh. Well, they can come in non contingent, and wait out why they're waiting. And then when they're ready, the home is built and they're ready to move, then Knock comes in, does the swap, the agent gets the listing gets the house market ready, and off it goes. And so they can sell and buy at the same time.

Mike Simonsen  18:15  

Got it. So what they do so what the buyer does with Knock with this with this transaction is the buyer or the seller they're selling and buying is what they're doing at the same time, right? I'm selling my current house buying and maybe a new construction or new house. And, and I it's a competitive market. So having an all cash offer is valuable. But normally, I couldn't have all cash until I sell my house. So so Knock gives me the cash to buy the new house. And then, and then we have a contract to sell the old one. Is that how that works?

Mark Johnson  18:53  

Yeah, in six months, so you have about a six month window, which in this market is you know, every home's going to sell? Yeah, in six months, so it's super cool product, check it out at, very, very viable. Offering, and it's probably the biggest out of all these alternative offerings of the ones our agents are having the biggest success with in the most leverage is the Knock.

Mike Simonsen  19:19  

Is Knock. That's really interesting. Yeah. Shawn Black, the Founder of Knock, I have to get him on the podcast to talk to you about it, because he

Mark Johnson  19:28  

would be great on the podcast. And his team has really, I think, exceeded expectations and servicing the consumer and the agent. Yeah, yeah, I have a lot of respect for what you're doing.

Mike Simonsen  19:40  

That's terrific. That's really neat. And are you is that a product that's happening at all? All the states, are they?

Mark Johnson  19:47  

No And see, that's one of the challenges that's hard for agents to keep track of because each of these offerings, you know, they're in let's say, 10 markets or 12 markets or these are they're all trying to expand all of them, but right then all of these have, they have different buy boxes, and they have different markets they're in. So for the average agent, and the average consumer, it's just confusing. Yeah, you need someone, like we found with Zavvy who can help us kind of all they do is kind of keep all this stuff straight and who works where and who does what and what their buy boxes are isn't. And it's, it's the real deal. 

Mike Simonsen  20:25  

Yeah, that's fascinating. They, they're, like, some of the other big trends and, and the ibuyers, I thought, I think sort of threatened to change the landscape, some it does appear like there's, it seems like there's a limit to the how big that they can go. In the same way. It feels to me like there's a limit to the way discount brokers can go, you can be a discount broker, some people want to cut the fees as low as possible, but most people want the full service. And, and, and so it seems like, you know, most people are okay to pay full commission price for full service.

Mark Johnson  21:06  

It's still I think we have Nordstroms. And we have Target, and we have Amazon, right. And all of them have a different target audience. And and in this case, you know, certain consumers are going to want what I call certainty and convenience. But not all of them are going to want certainty convenience, some of them want to maximize their dollar, the traditional way in this market is, you know, they can sell it traditionally. Pretty darn fast.

Mike Simonsen  21:36  

Pretty darn fast. Yeah. That's terrific. Okay. Well, that's, that's really cool stuff. So. So as you're talking about, you know, that agents taking advantage, it's like things like these tools. What are the what are the best agents that the best producing agents, the ones that get the highest, like consumer ratings? What are those folks do it right now? Like, what are some cool insights?

Mark Johnson  22:01  

I think first and foremost, what they're doing is they have worked on and they've developed an unshakable mindset. You see, it's easy for us to say we have a great mindset until it's tested. And over the last 22 months, every one of our mindsets have been tested, and either crack, or you or you thrive, right. And so all of them that I know, that are performing at a high level, have really spent time and worked on an unshakable mindset, including self care, which include working hard, you know, time off a balance where it's not 24/7 All the time. So once we see that, we go beyond that, then the trends I'm seeing is, and I'm going to use the word teams, but Tim could be defined in a lot of different ways team doesn't mean necessarily that you have buyer's agents and sellers agents, it could be that you have a number of assistants on your team that that help you leverage but but the concept of scaling of being bigger than one individual person need is a common trait among everyone. They're scaling beyond themselves, because they know that single solo agent can only produce so much simpler, more produce what a system will produce nothing less, nothing more. If I have one salon chair, I can only produce so many salon. things, right?

Mike Simonsen  23:28  

Yeah. So do you. Do you see a big trend to teams, agents forming teams? Is that happening with JPAR agents?

Mark Johnson  23:37  

Absolutely. And I have to be careful what we define a team. So I have a an agent in our firm that's going to do 100 transactions this year. She has a team but she has not one buyer's agent or one seller's agent, they're all individual administrative assistants who do certain functions. And they handle everything which allows her to be a major producer. Now she's gonna reach a limit. And, you know, and then we have teams like, like, people would think when we say the word teams, they have 10, buyer's agents and listing agents. And so there's six different types of teams and six different types of Team models. One of those might work but all of them are something that everyone should consider.

Mike Simonsen  24:19  

So there's every every agent should consider building in one of those team types.

Mark Johnson  24:23  

Yeah, depending on your long term goals, but having I use the analogy of a barber chair, if I'm a barber and I had one chair, I can only

Mike Simonsen  24:34  

You can only cust so much hair. Yeah,

Mark Johnson  24:36  

right. Now if I add three or four more chairs right now I can do so much more. And so we have to start thinking scale on all top producers that I'm working with are thinking how can I scale my business to achieve the goals? You know, the beauty of this business is each and every one of us has a different goal and the way you want to get to that goal could be differently but the Key is at the end of the day, you want to have a thriving business that one day hopefully when you retire, you can you can transfer to somebody else for a monetary value.

Mike Simonsen  25:07  

Yeah, that really is the one of the really elegant things about the real estate industry. And people hear people lament about how there's so many agents who don't sell very many homes. And it always seems to me like, that's probably okay, that there are agents out here that don't sell how they sell a couple. But that's the, that's the business they want to be in. And they are licensed for one reason or another. And we happen to have, I think, we have a record number of agents licensed right now. I think realtor is licensed right now.

Mark Johnson  25:44  

We do and we have too many agents chasing too few transactions. And that's why I started off with top of mind for me is double down, triple down, we're all going to have to work harder to get the same amount. Hustle mode on, one of our franchise owners is known as the dean of hustle. Yeah, you're not the dean of hustle in 2022, it is going to be a tough year.

Mike Simonsen  26:07  

Interesting. So let's talk a little bit more about the future. So you know, we are going into 2022 with probably record low inventory, demand is still high. What else do you see for 2022?

Mark Johnson  26:24  

Well, you know, home prices, you know, obviously, you know, you know this better than anybody, when you have that limited supply and demand. Unless we see something significant interest rates, we're gonna see, you know, some national housing prices continue to climb, year over year increases in housing prices. So affordability, our national leaders and leaders at the local city and county level have to attack affordability. And, you know, I just read an error report that that shows some of these commercial buildings and old outdated malls are being converted to multifamily and multiple use. So I think we're going to see some of these things, some creative uses of the land, that are not going to be financially viable, because there's just no inventory.

Mike Simonsen  27:12  

Yeah. And and so let's talk longer term then. So talk to me about the future of like, where do you see agents and brokerage? And where does the consumer go? Like, what does this look like, over the next several years?

Mark Johnson  27:36  

Well, I'm pretty bullish of the next three years. I don't know if I'd go beyond three years. But the next three years, as you can see, at the current pace of building according to NAR and some of the other economists, it's going to take three years just to catch up. And so I'm really bullish on that I think the power is going to go to those that are the most flexible, the power is going to go to those that have the most hyper local expertise. The only competitive advantage we have right now is superior customer service. What's the experience like to work let's say with a JPAR agent, with your agent with with your company, if that experience isn't exceptional, the consumer is going to walk with their with their feet and their dollars to someone that's going to deliver them a great experience. So we're working on in every aspect of our business, what's the experience like to work with us? And we secret shopper own selves?

Mike Simonsen  28:36  

Do you secret shopper.

Mark Johnson  28:38  

We Secret Shop at our own self to say okay, what was the experience that was like to join our firm? What was the experience like to work with one of our agents, and, you know, feedback is the breakfast of champions. Like one of those old TV commercials from somebody was the breakfast of champions. And so we get a lot of feedback from you know, secret shopping from serving our consumers and our agents and our, our key customers. Yeah, in our business to business partners.

Mike Simonsen  29:03  

You do that that secret shopping starting at the lead conversion level, like when they first contact? Because that's always one of the complaints, right? It's like, you know, I, I was on Zillow and I asked for, you know, in information and nobody ever called me back or, you know, somebody called me back 14 times and yeah, whatever the things

Mark Johnson  29:27  

were you call someone in the agent says, well, that sold and they hang up the phone. Right, right, we know that when sold, we might be able to find one like that, you know what's important to you. And like one of the things we found the leading indicator of closing an online lead is getting a first buyer consult. Either getting them to agree to come to your office and do a buyer consult meeting, or getting them to show a home and then do a buyer consult.

Mike Simonsen  29:58  

Oh got it it's so so

Mark Johnson  30:00  

Some type of first time meeting, yeah is a leading indicator of whether you're going to do anything with that lead or if it's just going to waste your time.

Mike Simonsen  30:08  

Right. The the initial close is the close for the meeting, the first meeting for the

Mark Johnson  30:12  

meeting, and we can when we Secret Shop, folks, we can see those who have a skill of doing that if you don't, it's a real skill. Yes. And it's a skill that everyone listening can develop. Our good friend David Knox in the David Knox library has an amazing module on how to address online leads and in video trainings and those kinds of things.

Mike Simonsen  30:36  

Cool. That's interesting. So let's, let's talk a little bit more about the millennials that so there's a bunch of them, and more than more than more than boomers. million, I believe. Yeah. And so they've got things like, there's concerns about things like student debt, and, you know, down payments, what do you think about, you know, those things in that demographic like, and what should i the things that I should be paying, or we should be paying attention to that you say, well, like, determine the success?

Mark Johnson  31:14  

Well, well, you know, we used to think these millennials, were just going to drive around the country and take pictures of their food and their trips and post them on Instagram, right. But what we're finding is they're, they're starting to settle in there, they're, you know, if they're blessed to have a great job that gives them some good income. They're starting to settle down and have families. I have three millennials, one just had their first son, I've now grandfa for the first time. That's great. And, you know, we're starting to see that and, and, yeah, they're strapped by some student debt. And that's an issue they have to get through. So they're delaying, like my three sons delay there. They're a little later in buying their first home than I did. I bought my first home almost six years earlier than they did. And I think that's because of the economic factors and some of these things, but so it took them a little longer to get there. But what we're saying, Yeah, my firm, I have five agents. I've got lots of millennials, but five of my millennial agents bought in October as well, they're first time amazed, they're becoming products of the product. I have a pretty young brokerage, and my average age in the brokerage is 40 years old versus the NRI average of 56. Yeah.

Mike Simonsen  32:31  

Oh, that's, that's really interesting. What do you attribute to that? Is there is there an attraction that they're they're looking for?

Mark Johnson  32:39  

Well, we started the firm, exclusively working out of licensing schools and attracting new agents that were maybe switching careers, or coming into the industry, from, you know, maybe their parents were agents or those kinds of things. Uh, huh. It just, you know, I don't know if it was by design, it just happened to happen, they

Mike Simonsen  33:02  

happen to be that way. And then you gain you gain some momentum with that space, and then

Mark Johnson  33:06  

snowball. But the point is, whether they're a real estate agent, and you're a millennial, you need to be a product of the product. It's kind of hard to sell the housing. And then someone says, Well, where do you live? Well, I rent over it, you know, the apartment complex? Yeah. And you may have to start that way, obviously, but you want to become a product of the product in any way. But, you know, I think they're, they're coming of age, they have the money. And they're wanting to to kind of settle down and not be so nomadic.

Mike Simonsen  33:36  

Yeah, for sure that I mean, it's been such a good deal to be a homeowner over the last 15 years for many more than that, but really, the last 10 years have been so good. That it's hard to ignore that.

Mark Johnson  33:53  

Yeah. And you could probably speak to it better than I can. But if you go into an inflationary environment, which is probably where we're headed, real estate has always done well in inflation inflationary market,

Mike Simonsen  34:04  

especially if you're, you know, if it's good if we get inflation that stays at five 6% or more, and it but your mortgages locked in at 3%, forever. Like that. That's an incredibly good deal. I told a story on our webinar last week of a friend who had in LA who is planning for exactly that. And he he said he's always been super conservative with debt, always had, you know, one to one cash for debt. And during the pandemic, he says, I see the inflation coming and I bought a two and a half million dollar house because I want to pay back that loan in future dollars that have been inflated away. It had and it's it's it I understand his logic, and it's it's, it's I could see there are some risks to it. Because if, if the economy tanks and demand for the high end homes, falls, he could be, he could be, you know, lose value, but he at the same time, he's still, he's got to sell, he's locked in at this price that he can afford forever. And he could be paying it back in dollars that have been a flight away. I only wish I had the skill, you know, the, the, the fortitude to go do that kind of transaction.

Mark Johnson  35:32  

You know, uh, you know, Mike, the other trend is, and I don't know if you see these stats, but there is some migration going on in the United States. Again, some of his logic for you know, people coming from cold winter states to warmer states and, you know, maybe the west coast to the South and Central. But there are some some states in Massachusetts and Maine, Portland is one that is attracting quite a bit of net migration in. So there are some outliers in in Boise city, Idaho is one that is seems to be attracting folks, you know, as well as the ones you would think like short Charlotte, South Carolina, and Jacksonville, Florida and those kinds of cities, but there are some in the northeast and in the West.

Mike Simonsen  36:19  

Yeah. And I think a lot of them have, they have you know, affordability in common, especially if you're moving in the northeast, if you're moving out in New York, or Boston, or, you know, in the West, you're moving from Boise to from from LA to Boise, or LA to Phoenix, like, everything feels super affordable. And you get a quality of life change. Yeah, to do you think the trends, the pandemic, some of that is driven by pandemic change that work remote? And, you know, like, you know, the, the like, no longer being tied to the city, we call them zoom towns, right? And you get your kid is zooming remote. What do you think of it? Tell me what you think about those treads for their long term. And he difference what anything you're seeing currently?

Mark Johnson  37:11  

Yeah, I think it's a long term trend, we're finding that our productivity, in fact, didn't drop and our satisfaction of the employees went up, because they now have a whole lot more flexibility.

Mike Simonsen  37:26  

But you guys are you guys are doing you're doing fewer offices?

Mark Johnson  37:29  

Well, now that now see, that's agent. Yeah, there's a difference between w two staff, and independent contractor agents, I want to talk about that. So we're out offices in 2022 for the agents, but but our agents use their their office in a different way than they used to, it's not like you're going out there to hang out there to meet a client get a contract signed, get some work done, and they're out on the street, out on the paper. But but the corporate offices, the staff offices have totally changed. And I think potentially forever have changed, where the employees are get a greater sense of satisfaction. They're having more productivity, now they're losing some connectivity. And there's ways you can do that through, let's say, quarterly meetings or monthly meetings, or maybe you come into the office a couple times a month kind of thing. But so I think you're going to see that shift, continue for a significant period of time.

Mike Simonsen  38:29  

And you're in Dallas, do you and I'm in San Francisco. And of course, those two cities have had very different reactions to the pandemic. In San Francisco, I'm starting to see, you know, leases being signed, like corporate leases, and getting a little more flow back in the downtown areas. What do you see to Dallas?

Mark Johnson  38:55  

Oh, absolutely. But But what we're saying is, you know, maybe maybe we're looking to do your corporate headquarters at 10,000 square feet, and now you're going to do 5000 square feet instead. And you're going to have some shared office space, almost like we work for your employees at work from home to come in a couple of times a week, maybe changing the composition of some of the commercial space, definitely we're saying smaller versus bigger and more and reconfigured in a different way that would accommodate both day workers. And maybe like in my corporate office, my accounting people need to be there every day. And they want to be there every day. Yeah. Many of my other folks who do other tasks may only need to be there once a month when we meet for for a meeting.

Mike Simonsen  39:45  

Got it. So you have a mixed you have a mixed office attendance now.

Mark Johnson  39:51  

Yeah, we have a distributed workforce and a mixed attendance and many of the CEOs and others I'm talking to inside and outside the industry or seeing many of the same trends. 

Mike Simonsen  40:03  

Yeah, interesting. Well, that's, that's super cool. You know, before we go, we should wrap up pretty soon here. But before we go, what's something that you're working on at JPAR that you're most excited about something you can share with us that to look forward to?

Mark Johnson  40:20  

Well, we're always working on something, we're a continuous improvement company. And we look at every process and the company, inside out, and we Secret Shop ourselves. And so right now we're working on our team process to make sure our team experience is is up to date, relevant and smooth as as it can be, whether that's onboarding a team or supporting a team through their growth. So that's one of them. One of them is really equipping our associates to earn, gain and market more listings. 2022 is the the the winners are going to be the doers in the listing game.

Mike Simonsen  41:03  

Do you see a ability for JPAR to take market share?

Mark Johnson  41:06  

Absolutely, we can gain a bigger piece of a maybe a smaller pie, you know, if the market shrinks a little bit with depending on where inventory goes, we can absolutely gain a bigger piece. You know, I don't know that that drives us. What drives us is the per person productivity. And that's naturally going to lead to wherever that leads to right.

Mike Simonsen  41:30  

Yeah. So that's how you think about his per agent productivity

Mark Johnson  41:36  

per agent per everything we think about as per agent productivity. That's great. And how do we help not only our agents and our firm grow, to be top producers in each of the markets that we represent?

Mike Simonsen  41:50  

That's terrific. So where can people go to find more about JPAR, and you mentioned that JPAR Sure Sale. So that's that the product for sellers that allows them to see all the different options with all the the financing things going on? Now

Mark Johnson  42:09  

they can go to JPAR Sure Sale, and they can go to our website, And, and check us out look at that. And, of course, there's so many amazing brokers out there and broker owners who I respect all across the country. You know, we're all in it to serve the consumer, serve our agents, and make a difference in our communities. And there's, it's just an amazing industry that I'm glad to be part of.

Mike Simonsen  42:34  

That's great. Do you see that in the future? Or in this? Do you see that consumers do you feel like consumers are better served than they were 10 or 20 years ago, with the latest trends being technology being financial things be being but it's still in the face of, you know, a shrinking available inventory is better off now.

Mark Johnson  43:03  

I do believe they're better off and they're better off, particularly in states like Texas that have a pretty rigorous licensing and requirement process to first even get your license. So some states like Texas have a pretty high barrier. And once you're licensed, you have to get basically the equivalent of your GRI and continuing education. Some states still have a pretty low barrier, maybe those consumers aren't served as well. But I can tell you in Texas, that the quality and the professionalism of agents is amazing. And with the technology and the training and everything that's out there today, consumers with a real estate professional are in really, really good hands.

Mike Simonsen  43:48  

Terrific. Where, where should people look for you on social media or other places?

Mark Johnson  43:54  

Yeah, they can find me on LinkedIn. I'm on LinkedIn, just look up my name Mark Johnson, JPAR I'm on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, you know all of the lawns. I do a weekly blog on And, of course, you can find our weekly Success SuperstarSeries on YouTube.

Mike Simonsen  44:13  

That's terrific. And so agents of all all stripes should check out the Success Superstar Series, and you will occasionally see me there.

Mark Johnson  44:22  

Yeah, you're, you're on there. And you're gonna be on there again pretty soon.

Mike Simonsen  44:25  

I hope so. I look forward to that. Okay, Mark, thank you so much for joining us on the Top of Mind podcast.

Mark Johnson  44:32  

You're welcome. And thanks for allowing me to contribute can't wait to contribute again in the future.

Mike Simonsen  44:37  

Looking forward to it. So thank you all for listening to the Top of Mind Podcast. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast so you don't miss any of the future episodes. Visit to get local market reports for your area or schedule time with our team. There's plenty of links. We'll include links and details in the show notes for the show. So thanks again, everyone. and be well we'll talk to you again soon.

Outro  45:04  

Thanks for listening to Top of Mind see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.

Get the latest articles directly in your inbox, stay up to date