Ep 115: Overcoming Adversity w/ Faith & Joy

All right, ladies, welcome to this episode of The she is extraordinary Podcast. I am here with Allison Maher. She is an awesome Lady of the Lord. She is a terrific real estate agent in the metro Milwaukee area. Allison, how are you today? I am so good. Thank you for having me. I’m so excited. Super Well, it’s my it’s my honor. I actually met Allison on Instagram. And that’s quickly becoming my social media platform of choice, which, if you know me, that may come as a surprise. But it is such a great platform to reach out in a very casual, comfortable way to meet new people like I did with Allison. So Allison, you have done so much in your business? Only in less than four years? So would you start by giving the ladies a background about your life before real estate?

Yeah, absolutely. So I actually never went to college, we’ll start there. And I really had no idea what I wanted to do. And I always told myself, I just want to help people. And that was that was all that I could could really remember from, you know, my thoughts after after high school. So I went to massage therapy school. And Idid that for four years, I worked at a salon and spa downtown Milwaukee. And while I was practicing massage, I was also a part time hostess at a restaurant. And while I was there, I also learned that the owner of the restaurant also owned a title company, a real estate title company.

So he offered me a position at the title company to come over full time. So it was a perfect, a perfect timing to leave massage therapy because I really wasn’t happy. It wasn’t my passion. It wasn’t really what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So I worked at the title company as an administrative assistant at the front desk. And I was thrilled because it was a salary paying job. It was benefits, you know, all of that good stuff. And after three years at the front desk, I really, you know, I reached a cap where I’m like, I am not challenged enough, I really want to do more, want to learn more about the title industry. And so they transitioned me into the closing department, where I worked up closing statements for buyers and sellers and was able to be at the closing table and say congratulations, you own a house. And so five years at the title company, I really began to see the the possible future of of a real estate agent and how that could be a really amazing, fulfilling career for me. So yeah, I took my license or took took my test in February of 2017. And just jumped right into it in April of 17 and completely left the title company and started 100% Commission.

How was that transition? I mean, it’s a little scary, isn’t it? No, that no safety net?
Yeah, it it. Honestly, it really wasn’t scary for me because I was so confident in the decision I was making. And I felt so strongly from the Lord, that this is what I needed to do. And I felt purposeful in in that decision. So I honestly not was not worried at all. You know, that’s what you just said, there is like the target of everything that I teach with my clients. And that is whatever you’re doing, if you’ve gotten that confirmation from the Lord, this is what I am to do. These are the people on to serve, given my gifts and my talents and all that, then that can embolden you because it’s not confidence in me. It’s confidence in who Christ made me to be and he doesn’t make mistakes. So I really, really love that. And I appreciate when I looked at your, you know, your bio everywhere you say that your goal is to bring joy to the real estate experience. And then you have actually quote scripture, James 1224 where it talks about consider it all joy when you encounter trials, because you know that testing of your faith produces endorphins and all the rest. So I’d love to hear kind of the backstory on how that came to be so important to you that you put it front and center customer facing.

Yeah. Yeah, I really wanted to come up with a tagline for my business. And, and really brand myself. And so I started looking in the Bible I’m like, Well, why, where else would I look for inspiration for this tagline. So I don’t even know how I came across this verse and I had heard it before. But I just saw, consider it all joy. And I’m like, that’s it, I knew right away. And so tying it into the real estate business, you know, you’re never, it’s not always going to be a perfect transaction, there’s, there’s gonna be bumps in the road, there’s going to be some trials that we might face. You know, it’s just going to happen. But through that, I will produce joy. And I will make this an easy transition or trend trend transaction for you, despite any of the trials that may come our way.

Yeah, as an agent myself, of course, I’m no longer in production. But I got to the point of where I told my clients, buyer or seller, there will be stuff that happens, the unexpected always happens. But the good thing is, you’ve got a professional like me, or in your case, obviously like you, and says, when that comes up, no worries, I’ll take care of it. I used to say, I take your stress, I want you to relax, and enjoy. So that’s just really great. I’m all about joy. And I love scripture. When God has told you, I want to be in your brand. Like, you know, there’s so many Christian women who, in today’s political or societal climate, they almost hesitate to put their faith on their brand. And I never would say that someone needed to do that, right.

I mean, we can show the love of Christ in how we behave, not necessarily in the words and our brand. But I just I just loved your bold faith. And that really speaks to me personally. Earlier, before we started recording, you had said that you wanted to talk about struggles that you experienced in 2019. And how you overcame that, and I really appreciate your being open. Let’s let’s talk about that for a bit. Sure.

Yeah, I’m in the Lord is has really made it clear to me that now is the time to search hearing this because I know there are I mean, we all face struggle. And so I just want to be an advocate and a vessel in saying, you know, you’re not alone. And if you need somebody, you can reach out to me personally, and you will get through this, because I am on the other end of it, praise God now, but it was it was dark. So I’m going back to 2018 Actually, I was married, and 2015. And then we went through a divorce in spring of 2018. So I ended up moving out and finding my own place. And it was it was hard for me to get used to a single income again, because I just, we were such on a good schedule with financially being stable. And so being alone again, and not really being raised with financial strength, it was it was hard for me.

So I ended up buying a fixer upper in fall of 2018 and ended up basically well I didn’t budget at all for it, which was silly in the first place. But I ended up just throwing all of my commission checks to the contractors and not having any money leftover. So whenever I needed materials or anything from the hardware store, I would swipe the credit card. I would basically put anything else on a credit card because I didn’t have any cash left. And you know, in the midst of all this, I started dating somebody new, which also was a silly mistake because I knew what what he wasn’t somebody I needed to be was it in a very vulnerable state and just should have been healing from the divorce but, um, so January of 2019 I broke up with him. It was like early January and on January 20.

I found out I was pregnant. And you know, I shared this with him but I just didn’t want I just felt conviction from the Lord that He said, You know, it’s this is just going to be you and me. I don’t. And I, I told him, I said, I don’t really want any help with this process. So trying to navigate a pregnancy, and then also looking at my bank account. And seeing how bad it actually got, it was pretty eye opening. And, and really what what brought me to my knees is I want to check my accounts and I literally had no money, I couldn’t even pay for food. And the only thing in my bank in my wallets was this Lowe’s gift card. And I’m like, you know what, I’m just gonna go to Lowe’s. And I’m gonna see if, because I know that they sell those Visa gift cards. So I’m going to see if I can buy a gift card with my gift card. So I can go buy food. And I went to Lowe’s. And they said, No, I’m sorry, you can’t exchange you can’t buy this gift card with a gift card.

So I walked back to my car, and I lost it. And I said, you know, Lord, like, What do I do? And, um, that that next day, I had a call with my coach, and I just, I knew I had to tell somebody. And so I shared it with her. And I really didn’t even know how much debt I had until she laid it out for me, she said, we’re gonna get a spreadsheet going, we’re gonna take care of this, you know, we’ll get through this. And it was 22,000 in credit card debt at the end of the day. And I mean, praise God after, after a lot of accountability, a lot of you know, having a plan around paying the debt off and starting to really dig deep into my business. I was able to pay off that debt in a year. Wow.

Yeah. Yeah, all glory to God, honestly. Um, and, you know, with my pregnancy, it was, I could, we could do a whole other podcast on that. But long story short, I was extremely convicted. And I heard very clearly from the Lord that He wanted me to bless a family through adoption with the baby. So September 9 of 2019, I had a beautiful baby girl, and she’s with her, her family.

Wow. I’ll tell you, Allison. That’s, that’s such a story. I mean, each one individually would be, like, significant and just such an inspiration. And, gosh, I just thank you so much for sharing that. So I mean, III, I want to I want to just i and this, what I want to do is I want to encourage somebody who may be in that spot that can relate to either one of those spots. And they’re in that lowest moment that you had in that parking lot that day. What would you tell someone to encourage them? This feels like the deep dark, like, you’ll never get out? But hang on to this, what would you say?

Yes, I, I would say allow yourself to feel and allow yourself to have that moment of, of sadness. Because it is it’s, it’s hard and I totally get it. And you know, once once you have that moment, focus on getting out of it and focus on reaching people for help, because there are people that can help you. And praise God for my coach, and in her being there for me because it was the perfect person to help me get through that time. And so my, guess my biggest piece of advice is to not stay in that place of feeling sorry for yourself, like allow yourself to feel sad and an angry, whatever, whatever emotions you feel, go through them and then get out of them. You know, don’t don’t stay in that.
In that. feel sorry for yourself mode. Because that’s, that’s not a healthy place to be either. So seek help.
Yeah, yeah, I was gonna say number one, it seemed that you went to God first. Yes. You wallowed in it for a time and then you realize that Okay, God has more God has better I’m not going to continue to beat myself up. Yeah. The third thing that I know, it’s hard for me and I think a lot of women struggle is reach out for help. Like, you don’t have to do it alone.

Yeah. And also to trust, you know, I mean, there were days where I’m like, there’s no way I’m going to be able to pay this bill, or there’s no way I’m going to be able to eat. But I, I prayed, and I was so faithful in, in seeking the Lord, that there were gift cards showing up in my mailbox to pick and save the grocery store. And I’m like, I don’t even know. I mean, I dropped to my knees when I got those, like, praise you. Because this is just, there’s, there’s no way that
so many bad tears, but this is the way Christ moves. And you know, if we just trust I love it when Jesus says, oh, ye of little faith. Yes, no, come on. I’m here sleeping, but you think I’m gonna let something happen to you. I love you. And so, Wow, what an encouragement. Thank you so much for that. Wow. And so you’re $22,000 in debt. You’ve had so much personal stuff going on. And now there’s this thing called business so that you can get the money to get yourself out of debt and and still serve your people with a smile. So when you’re talking about like planning a way out? How did you approach your business to get out of that situation you were in?

So because I was so focused on the fixer upper, my new, my new boyfriend, and then the pregnancy, I’m like, you know what, I just have to shift my focus and get back to the basics really, and, and stay on task with my daily my daily task items that I have to do, which is contacting my database and getting on the phone and having conversations around. You know, who do you know what that is looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate, it was really getting back to those basics so and getting out there and not being afraid to show my pregnant body to people it was that was a really big thing I had to get over. It’s like, okay, Alison, you can’t stay in your house for for 10 months, like people aren’t going to know. So I had to get once I got over that I started doing more open houses. And I started just putting myself out there more in person too.

I love that I want to go a little bit deeper on these daily revenue generating activities. Because a lot of realtors listen to the podcast, because I used to be a real estate coach. So talk a little bit unpack that. What are your daily to do’s in the way of connecting with those in your database?

Yeah, so I do have a tracker that I I put in what I do every day, and the specific items that I need to accomplish are five, only five, five phone conversations per day. And that’s not a one way conversation. That’s two way conversations. And then five handwritten notes. And, really, that’s that’s it, those are my Those are my top lead generation activities that I want to accomplish daily. And, and then I have I break it up to an a weekly goal setting. So you know, a certain amount of buyer consultations, a certain amount of listing appointments, you know, referrals received, asking for referrals. So it’s quite a lengthy list that I that I have to fill out on a weekly basis. I also do market analysis reports for my past clients.

So however, you know, I look at my, my past client lists and I say okay, so they closed on their house two years ago today, I’m going to send them a market analysis report and say, Hey, guys, I know you’re probably not looking to sell anytime, but I just wanted to give you an update on your area and and where we’re at two years from from now or from your closing day. And just say your house is worth X amount if you sold today.
And do you I’m curious about that part, the CMA or the market analysis. How often out of 10 of those that you send out. How often do you hear back from them saying thank you or some sort of acknowledgement?

Yeah, I would say three out of the 10 Yeah. I actually have had to pursue selling because they’re like, you know what we were actually thinking of getting out of here anyways. And they’ve only been there for two to three years. I’m like, Okay, well, whatever. This triggered, you know that and confirms that thoughts that they were having about making another move?

Yep, yep. Okay, a couple things to follow up there. We talked earlier, before we started recording the importance of follow up and how I love how intentional you are about reaching out to your past clients and those in your database that are prospective clients. So I often hear my clients struggle a little bit saying, I don’t want to feel pushy. I don’t want them to think I’m being salesy. And you know, I try to tell them, Look, it’s about your mindset, it’s about your approach, you want to help them. So tell me when you’re sending these out, because that idea of Ooh, gosh, I hope they don’t see this as being pushy. Does that ever enter your main your mind? No, not at all. Because, because we’re I mean, to, to assume that you’re bothering them is actually a selfish thing for you. Because you don’t know what they want. You don’t know what they need. And actually, you’re helping them. So I mean, I love on my clients. And I don’t I mean, it’s not like I ask for referrals all the time. I’m just there’s nothing wrong with saying, Hey, how are you? I was thinking about you today? Is there anything that you need from me?

You know, offer it if they’re working on any projects, and the home, hey, do you need a contractor because I know a lot of carpenters are plumbers, electricians, whatever, just be somebody that they can turn to for anything, really. And it’s, it’s not. The point is to always be top of mind to them. The point is never to bug them for business, because that will naturally happen. And you just have to trust that it will. I mean, there are people that I’ve left voicemails for I’ve, they get my monthly restaurant coupon in the mail. And it’s been like three years since I’ve actually had a phone conversation with them. And then last week, I get an email from a new buyer saying, Hey, Steve, whatever gave me your information. And I’m looking for a house. Like I’ve never talked to him in the past three years. But he was a past client of mine. And he gets my my things. And he gets my voicemails. So.

Right, right. And so that’s another point where, whether it’s social, or a phone call, or a text or an email, or whatever, if we don’t hear back, I think a lot of women are thinking, this isn’t working. It’s not worth my time. But it’s all about mindset, right? I love how you said, I love on my clients. That’s my mindset when I reach out, right? I’m serving them. And ladies, I’m sure you can hear, you know Allison’s voice. It’s her sincerity, like shines through. Right? So I here to serve you, how can I help you, she really means it. So again, let’s not overthink what we’re doing. And it’s all about staying in touch and showing them that you care. Let’s talk about email marketing for a second, how often do you reach out to your database, through email, through email, it is once a month. So I actually just created a new email campaign through our Keller Williams command. And it’s actually market Snapchat snapshots of their neighborhood and it just says, here’s how many homes sold in your neighborhood. It’s actually like a mini market analysis, but on an automated system.

So yeah, those are once a month. And then I also I wanted to touch on the Keller Williams model, that is called the 36 touch. And what that is, it’s touching your clients touching each client 36 times a year. So mixing in, you know, an email campaign, phone, text, client events, mailers, you know, a football schedule, whatever that kids stick, like a sticky mailer versus a mail like a postcard mailer. Um, so I definitely follow that closely, as well.
And I know as I just said earlier, I met you on Instagram, and I know that you’re also active on Twitter. Then at Facebook, so you’re a Top Producing agent. First question, are you doing your own content posting?

I just started utilizing somebody for that, as you know, just to create some sort of consistency on my Instagram, and to also bring more education to the platform. So she came up with she’s a stay at home mom at from my church, and she’s extremely creative, and I’m not that creative. So I do my own, like fun posts, like, I don’t know, just whatever comes to mind. But she does the Ask Alison, true and false. And what else the inspirational so like, I’ll do a Bible verse. Like once a month on there. So she started coming up with her own, like fun branding. And I love it.
Yeah. That’s awesome. So So, um, what’s your favorite platform? Is it Insta?

It’s Yeah, it’s become Instagram. Because I think the followers are more are more engaged in the real estate, what versus like Facebook, it’s more friends and family. But Instagram, like I can really get more detailed around real my real estate business. And then, you know, filter in my personal life and there too, but I do want the main focus to be my business. And I just asked this last question on the Insta, how you use it? Do you intentionally communicate with prospective clients there in the comments, or the DMS? What’s your approach as far as taking it to the next level? a real relationship?

Ah, boy, um, you know what, that’s fine. I know. I’m not really that intentional about reaching out to people on Instagram. I’ve honestly have have had a lot of people reach out to me in DMS. And so I’m, I’m very good at following up with them and and then, you know, getting their phone number and email and then communicating through through that. But yeah, I mean, I definitely like if I ever do, if I ever have anybody comment or message me, I’m intentional about communicating with them. And I check my messages often.

And you know, what’s great, you had said, You’re 100% referral, at this point, not even quite four years in which is a feather in your cap. And that is where you’re devoting which again, speaks to what I always say the power of one like you should have a primary marketing tool, a marketing system that you find that works and then do whatever else you have time for whatever else you want to do to gain more exposure. But so that makes perfect sense. And I there’s no doubt you are so engaging on Instagram, that I’m sure you’re picking up clients there. So where can the ladies find you online?

Yeah, it is. Allison Maher, underscore realtor. So it’s a LY s o n m a r r underscore realtor. It’s an open page. So you just go ahead and follow me. And yeah, it’s I I do hesitate sometimes with the faith side of things and being too churchy? I guess you could say, but I don’t I also don’t want to shy away from it because it’s who I am. And it’s a huge part of I’m gonna get emotional but it’s like all you know, my business is all glory to God and whatever I do is for him. And so you know, I guess my thought around that is if that’s not received by anybody, or if I’m offending somebody, then they can unfollow me.

And you don’t need to offend. This is just it. You got to embrace who we are in Christ, right? That’s Yeah. Yeah. Okay, excellent. Well, it has been a joy connecting with you. I’m sure the ladies are richly blessed by our conversation. I want to end with this question. This is called the she’s extraordinary podcast. So tell us who and external Ordinary lady is in your life and what makes her extraordinary.

Oh, wow. extraordinary woman in my life. Well, who first comes to mind is Kimberly Krieger. She runs her own business called few. And it’s the fellowship of extraordinary women. Oh, I love it. And she created this networking group for women in business. And we meet in person in the Milwaukee area, once a month, and she has a topic that she talks on. And she is just, I mean, talk about living for Christ. Like she is that example. And she’s an amazing businesswoman. And she she just speaks life into women. So I would say she is definitely somebody that is extraordinary in my life.

I’m gonna have to look her up. That is really super well, once again, Allison, thank you so much for being here. Is there anything on your heart that you feel led to conclude our podcast episode today?
You know, I, I just want to love on these women that are listening. And I truly want to say I am here to offer I want to offer my personal information. You know, you can if you find me on Instagram messaged me, or I think my phone number and email are on there. But please reach out to me directly. If I’d love to pray over you. I love to just ask any questions that you may have any stroke, any struggles that you’re dealing with? I’m just genuinely saying I’m here for you.

What a beautiful Christ centered heart. I love you, Allison, thank you so much for your time today. I loved it.
Yeah, of course.

Thank you. All right. Well, ladies, thank you for listening. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode, where you please do me a favor, and take a moment and leave a rating and a review if you’re on iTunes. And, you know, tell me what other topics you might be interested in. Because as you know, this podcast is not just about business, it is about life, and always about what we can do to live into our purpose before the Lord God Almighty. So thanks again, Allison. Thank you ladies and we’ll see you next time.

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