Agent to Agent Referrals | #REalAdvice 2 with Melissa Menard
Where do you find qualified leads?
There are lots of ways that you can find leads who are ready to buy! But did you know that one of the easiest and often underutilized methods of getting qualified leads is through referrals from other agents?
We’re not talking about just getting a lukewarm contact or an email address from someone who MIGHT buy. We’re talking about quality leads, people who are primed and ready to buy. They’ve already been talking to their agent; all you have to do is show up and serve.
When you take the time to connect and build relationships with other realtors, your potential to get qualified leads exponentially increases.
However, this doesn’t just happen. You have to invest some time to get to know and connect with these other realtors. When these realtors know, like, and trust you, they can’t wait to work with you!
If you think that you don’t have the time to build those relationships with other realtors, then you’ll not want to miss this episode of #REalAdvice to get Melissa Menard’s best tips and advice.
This episode’s guest on the #REalAdvice podcast is Melissa Menard, an agent in Santa Monica, California . She employs strategic follow up with fellow real estate agents to build a strong network of connections.
Highlights of this episode:
● Jonathan introduces Melissa Menard.
● The best agents in the world are not doing crazy things. They're doing the things that are right and they're putting people first.
● If an agent were to offer a referral to me and I do what's right by that client, and they have a phenomenal experience, more than likely that agent is gonna try and get me another referral because not only am I looking like a rock star, but their client goes back to them and is happy with how I served them.
● When you meet people, have a follow-up plan! The way you follow up with fellow agents is often perceived as the same way that you will follow up with any client referrals.
● After meeting someone, Melissa contacts them within 2 weeks and schedules a phone call. She reminds them where and how they met, and they connect over how they approach the industry, specialties, or how the market is in their area.
● Follow up makes you smarter about the industry in another area, and can lead to leads because the other agent views you as an expert.
● Melissa uses checklists through the process (see below links for her inbound checklist and her outbound checklist).
● Make sure that people know who you are and what you do! When Melissa travels, she wears a shirt that tells everyone that she is in real estate, and that has lead to leads and connections.
● Don’t call just to talk; make sure to connect with intention. Bring the other person intel about your market; follow up with the information you learned about their market. Keep the contact valuable for both of you, and keep good notes to use the next time you call.
● Consider having an agent-focused brochure, that focuses on your area of expertise, recommendations from agents you have worked with in the past, and all the ways to connect with you.
● Don’t forget: every encounter is an opportunity. Don't squander it. You have an opportunity for referral business with every single conversation you have.
View and download Melissa’s A2A Referral Forms:
Special shout out to Melissa Menard for being this episode’s guest for #REalAdvice! You can connect with her here:
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Jonathan: 01:43 what's up everybody? We are back for another episode of real advice and I have the wonderful Melissa Menard with me. She's a, I'm a said Raviolis. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. We create our own words on this show. Romulus fabulous, awesome agent, uh, in Santa Monica, west side of La Sherman oaks. Anywhere that people are, she's willing to provide value and to help. Absolutely. Nailed it. Other than Matt, can you give us a couple of more sentences? Who Melissa is, what she likes, doesn't like, uh, just a little bit more about your background. Sure. Uh, I was born in Chicago, raised in Detroit. I'm a second generation, uh, real estate professional and custom home builder in the State of Michigan. I've been licensed, uh, this year, 2019 for 25 years and I know, I love it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And, uh, I moved to Los Angeles in 1999 and continued working in real estate and custom home building with the family business. So I commuted back to Detroit and then when the crash happened in oh eight, um, I immediately recognized the need to become licensed
Melissa: 02:59 here in Los Angeles because, um, what it boiled down to very quickly is that I'm a helper. I love helping people. I get great satisfaction in helping people either move on or move into whatever it is in their lives. And that gives me great satisfaction being able to help them and guide them through that process. I come. Yeah. Right.
Jonathan: 03:22 Awesome. And I think what a lot of people need to understand is no matter the industry, this is obviously a real estate podcast, but it doesn't really matter the industry at the end of the day, you need to help people. You need to put people first and you needed to do the right things no matter what. Um, we've talked about it on previous episodes with other people and we're not going to get too in depth, but unfortunately there's a lot of agents, not necessarily new agents, but there's a lot of agents that they're willing to do whatever it takes to get paid, whether that's good or bad. Yeah. And what a lot of people don't understand and they need to realize is the best agents in the world are not doing crazy things. They're not, you know, doing all these different and they're not doing everything out there. Yup.
Jonathan: 04:07 They're doing a few things, but for sure they're doing the things that are right there. Putting people first. They're putting values over commissions and in the long run that's how they sustain this. Hey, only you know, 87% of agents are out in five years. How are these people in 15 2025 years? It's like, Hey, I'm just doing the right things and those people are bringing me people and those people will bring me people and that kind of leads into our conversation which is on agent to agent referrals because I would presume that, hey, if an agent were to offer a referral to me and I do what's right by that client and they have a phenomenal experience, more than likely that agent is going to try and get me another referral because not only am I looking like a rock star saying, hey I have Jane Doe and I'm sending her to Melissa when she comes back.
Jonathan: 05:02 Like Melissa was awesome, she did this, she did that and blah blah blah, blah blah. It's like, okay, great because I know, hey I can trust Melissa, let me just send her eye. I'm going to meet all these other agents, but who cares about all these other agents cause I already know like and trust and at the end of the day if the clients do that as well, it's very easy to just continue that relationship. Give us one piece of advice that you would give to somebody or it's an agent that does not do any agent to agent referrals currently. What's something that they could do, plan, put into action right now to try and get into the agent to agent referral space? That makes sense. Yup.
Melissa: 05:42 And it's super easy. And uh, Tom and I had a conversation about this when I spoke at summit 2017 and I said, this is one of the most underrated and frankly, uh, most cost effective lead generation sources that exist. If your good with people. And like you said, if you're not about the money, I'm not about the money. I don't care. Well, okay. I'm not, I'm not a nonprofit organization and I don't say, ah, you can keep the money, but it's at the, at the end of the day, it's about helping people. I can wake up in the morning and say, all right, who am I gonna help today? And at the end of the day I can say, wow, look at who I helped today and that, that fills me up. That excites me. That's, that's what keeps me going. I'm excited for the next morning. And if, if your an agent that is interested in pursuing this line of lead generation, it's super simple because every time I go to any kind of an event for agent to agent for example, I am auditioning. Melissa: 06:49 Every time I meet you, you're going to get good eye contact. You're going to get a strong handshake and I'm going to be kind but efficient because I want to be respectful of your time and I'm gonna make sure that we exchange information. And like Tom always says, it's about the follow up. So every time we've had, I've met a person, I now have a follow up plan, a campaign if you will, to follow up with those agents. And that's a key point because if I can follow up with you as an agent and I'm not getting any business, um, right there, but then I follow up. That just is a testament to my character of how I will treat your clients when you refer me to them.
Jonathan: 07:31 And I think a lot of agents, they missed the ball on that and they missed the mark. Very huge because they'll call you, hey, I found you, you know, I'm living in Miami, you're living in Huntington beach. I want to send you a client. They send the client and then they don't, you never hear from the person again. Yup. And um, actually let me take a step back. It's not even, hey, I'm, I'm sending you a client's like, oh, you're in Huntington beach. Okay. Yeah. That's like, you know, California. Right. Okay. And then they don't understand who you are, what you've done. They don't understand your market. They don't understand the things that you liked, the things that you don't like. Because look, quite honestly, you're going to have multiple agents that you can send business to and a lot of different cities. And let's say I have a client that is a die hard football fan and I have somebody out in Miami that is a diehard football fan and somebody that tells me I hate football. Well, I now know, hey, it's probably best if I don't send that person to the one that hates football. I should send them to the person that does like, yeah,
Melissa: 08:30 exactly. And that's why, you know, um, I just, I spoke with, um, uh, a vendor last week who said there are 13,000 licensed agents in the Beverly Hills, greater Los Angeles area alone. That doesn't include the valley, the South Bay, Orange County, San Gabriel valley. It doesn't include any of that. And so I'm competing with 13,000 agents all the time. Guess we're in the business of matchmaking. We match our clients with houses, whether we represent buyers or sellers. And so my objective is again, to maximize the potential for a successful referral, not from a money standpoint, although that's nice, but from a successful match standpoint so that my clients get what they need, whether they're looking to buy or sell. So if I know several people in Huntington beach, or if one agent from Miami knows seven agents from Los Angeles, then they're going to take a look at those agents and compare them to their buyers or sellers.
Melissa: 09:34 And See who's going to be the best match. Um, Christophe Choo is a great example. He and I cover the same areas. We're two very different agents were both very good, but we're very different. And so you have to take that into account when you consider that referral. And I don't know, um, that, that all agents do that. And, and also if I might just add, um, you might have a great agent and you give them a call to offer them the referral and it turns out they're on vacation or they're, they're just, they're overbooked, they can't, they can't handle that. So they say no and then you get to move on to the next one without skipping a beat and that key. Okay.
Jonathan: 10:14 And one thing that you do different, the differently than most people as well as in, in, could you explain it a little bit? When you talk about the followup with said agent in a different market, what is your plan behind that? Like what are the things that you're trying to cover or talk about or do? Because like I said, most people, it's like, okay, yeah, you lived there. Okay, great. I don't think I'll ever meet somebody in that city, but okay, whatever. And then maybe a few months down the line, like that city somehow gets brought up, but they don't know anything about that age. And so it's like, oh Dang it. Yup. Yeah.
Melissa: 10:46 You could be at a wedding or a reunion or a funeral, God forbid, or something somewhere where you're talking with somebody that you don't know, uh, before and the topic of real estate comes up and now you've got that opportunity. Every encounter as an opportunity, whether it's I'm interfacing with a potential client or a potential referral or an agent to agent referral. So once, and let me, I'll walk you through the steps real quick. Um, I meet Jonathan at marketing edge and I get your card. You're going to get a follow up email from me, um, and a handwritten note within two weeks because I get a lot of cards. It takes a minute and that email that the card is a thank you note and the email is going to be, hey, great meeting you. This is where we met. I'd love to carry the [inaudible].
Melissa: 11:38 I'd love to continue the conversation. I want to learn more about you and your market and your approach to real estate. That's how I learn how to match, make you with clients. And thanks to Tom. Uh, I created a script for phone call. And by the way, that email includes a link to Calendly where you can have an agent to agent call and it's a 20 to 30 minute call and it scripted. And I basically, I'm sitting at my computer taking notes on Contactually and I want to know where you're from, how you got into real estate. Um, what hobbies do you have? Do you have kids, how long have you lived, where you're at, things like that. And then we also transitioned into, talk to me about the boundaries with which areas do you specialize in. And, oh, by the way, I've got a second screen open because I'm a very visual person of a map of Huntington beach, for example. And so you can tell me a little bit, well, you know, I go as far north east and south as x, Y, and Z, whatever it is, I can then, um, screenshot those boundaries and drag and drop it right into your profile within Contactually. Now I've got a visual on where you work, how you work, what your approach is, how you live your life from a lifestyle standpoint with your beautiful son and lovely dot. Uh, wife,
Jonathan: 12:53 I have a daughter. I'm like, that's fantastic.
Melissa: 13:00 Uh, and, and you've just made me smarter about your market. So when I get, um, when I, when I'm at a dinner party and somebody says something about Huntington Beach, I can say, oh yeah, I mean, oh yeah, I know that area. What part that Duh, Duh, Duh, and I can carry on a little bit further the conversation and they'll, you know, Huntington beach. Well, yeah, you know, a little bit. I do. I actually have, uh, a great agent that works there. Um, that I, that I interact with, hey, listen, you know, and then about real estate carry on back and forth. And because I know a little bit more about your area of expertise, um, you've made me smarter about you and your area and now that referral is warmer and it's more credible and it's like, oh yeah. Alrighty. Yeah, I get, Oh yeah, inner circle. Totally. Yeah, I'm in, let's do it. So from that standpoint, I think it's a brilliant tactic because it again, solidifies the potential for a successful referral. Jonathan: 14:01 And I think, you know, the reason why it's working for you is because you actually have a plan in place. You actually are trying to provide value, but at the same time, you're constantly making sure that, hey, I want to take care of these people. And when I say people, I'm saying these other agents, and you're taking care of them because you're actually learning about them, you're learning about their markets. And that gives you tools to say, hey, I just heard about this person. Oh yeah, I can actually connect them with that. And they, they're going to be perfect together. Let's say an agent does send a referral out and that client is working with the referring partner, what do you do or not do during that? Let's say the escrow process? Um, once you've referred an agent out to somebody's Archie's Mclean to another agent? Yeah,
Melissa: 14:52 that's a great question. And I actually have two checklists and I've posted them to the core and the elite Tom Ferry pages before. Um, but I'm happy to send them off to forward them to you when you can post it. Essentially what it amounts to, and it's, one is for an incoming referral and one is for an outgoing referral. And the more people that have these checklists and more agents than the more cohesive this referral system becomes. And then we all get a little more fine tuned and it becomes a more efficient machine. Um, if you send me a referral, um, I will, um, let you know the moment we've made contact what next steps are. Um, and then a week later, seven days later, I'll give you a summary Recap. I will, um, if, if they're hot and heavy and ready to buy or sell, then I'll keep you posted once a week. I call it the Monday report and if it's something where it'll take time months, then you'll get an update from me once a month. And then as soon as we are in escrow, whether it's a listing launch or whether it's a buyer, um, you will then get notified upon opening escrow and then upon all contingencies removed and then the week prior to closing. And then that's when I solidify, if, you know, my office needs your w nine, et cetera.
Jonathan: 16:15 So you're not asking every week, hey, are they, did they buy a house? Said, did she send my check? Where's my, where's my, where's my money yet? Hey, hey, where's, where's this? Where's this? Where's this? You're not doing that. Correct. You're not saying, hey, where's my check? Because I get a lot of agents that reach out to me and they'll send me a random name and email, which that's a different conversation and they send me a random, they sent me a random, don't give your your, your cold call list. Yes. That's not every for they give me their random name and email and then they messaged me the next day like, Hey, like did they buy a house? Like what's happening? Like Bay, obviously it's not the next day, but basically they're like, hey, what's going on? And it's like, wait, what? No, that's not how this works. I'm not doing prospecting for you, but you've never even made contact with the person while I like, and when I'm asking them questions about this person, like I quickly realized like, okay, you don't even know who this person is that you're sending to me.
Jonathan: 17:19 And then the next week it's like, Hey, did you guys find anything? It's like, wait, what is happening right now? And then unfortunately they think that Jonathan doesn't take care of my referrals correctly because I'm not getting, I'm not getting a check because he's not doing his job, but it's completely opposite. It's like, Hey, look, before you even try to send referrals to other agents and actually put a plan and process behind this, you have to figure out, okay, what does this client want? Who is this person, you know, do you, did I just meet them? Did I just get a phone call? And now I'm just shooting there that client information out to everybody. Like what is like take a step back. It's okay. Yeah. And, and actually learn about this person. So then that way you can actually give a qualified referral out to somebody that does have a higher chance of actually closing escrow as opposed to the random phone number and email. Right. Well, and to be fair,
Melissa: 18:21 um, my favorite referral story is when I travel, I wear a particular t shirt, uh, on travel days. This just not the travel, the travel tee shirt. It says, I like to party. And by party, I mean drink coffee and show houses. And so that right there says, Hey, I sell real estate. Yeah. And so I wear that and it, do you want a different colors or, I have to, yes, I do. Um, so that instantly gets conversation going. Um, when I'm going to the airport, I make sure that I'm, and I'm hopeful that the terminal has a nicer restaurant or a place where I can set up my computer. Um, in this particular story, it is the palm restaurant. So I set up at the Bar, I opened up my computer, I did not have my magic t shirt on, but I opened it up and I pulled up the mls and I've got houses, right.
Melissa: 19:21 So, yeah, if you sit next to me, you can't help but notice that I sell real estate. And within 10 minutes, the gentleman that sat next to me said, I couldn't help but notice, excuse me, do you sell real estate? I said, yes. I saw beautiful homes and he, he kind of looks away and he looks back at me and he says, you wouldn't happen to sell houses in Los Angeles because my mom just died. And I'm headed there to, uh, to, you know, clean up her house and, and interview agents. You want to sell the house? And I said, first of all, my condolences for your loss. And second of all, I would love to tell me, you know, tell me a little bit more about it. Turns out it was in an area of, that's not even la, it's Orange County, which is so funny.
Melissa: 20:04 All of southern California is la. Yeah. And it, and I said, you know what, that's out of my area of expertise, but I do work with an agent, a counterpart, um, that I am more than happy to connect you with. Um, you mentioned you're going there for the weekend, does Saturday at 10:00 AM work for you? Absolutely. Send her on over. And it was, um, am I, can I give the name? Of course. Okay, great. It was Kerry Craig. She was amazing and she took excellent care of them. She went over there on Saturday morning and listed the house and sold the house and um, it, it was perfect. This was a guy that I met at an airport bar, so it was a qualified lead but I didn't know them, know them right? But I knew enough to know all right, name, address, phone number, this, the backstory and everything.
Melissa: 20:58 I needed to be able to present a qualified lead and Carrie and I stayed in constant communication. She let me know when the listing paperwork was signed, when it was going to launch, when there was an open house in case I wanted to swing by, um, since it's within the area. And then when it went into escrow and when we were closing. And it's that simple. And if you have that checklist, then you can't go wrong. And okay, this is an easy for agents that should be a no brainer because everything that we do as agents is all about the people. It's the human effect. You can be as technology driven and technology forward as you want to be. You can be on the cutting edge, Jonathan Hawkins here, right there, but you also have that human component. You make it real, you're genuine, you're authentic, and you have to have that. It doesn't matter if you're a fellow agent or a client or simply the guy at the grocery store. You're real and and, okay.
Jonathan: 22:01 Again, that applies to any industry no matter what. Yeah. Let's flip the script a little bit. We were talking about a lot of things that agents should or could be doing when it comes to agent to agent referrals. What's one thing an agent should not do when it comes to agent to agent referrals?
Melissa: 22:18 I have one pet peeve that is so big. It's it. This transcends agent to agent and this is just you're a professional. If you answer the phone and you say, hello, you've lost me, you have lost me. This is a business I don't call target. You don't hear when I dial target, you don't hear him saying hello, hello and it, dude. Hi, this is Melissa. How can our good afternoon, this is Melissa. How can I help? It's especially, especially this is, especially if you've got a unique name that you have no idea how to pronounce. Oh, people say my name wrong all the time. Great. Then when you answer the phone, you should be very clear on how to pronounce it because let me tell you something. Charmaine is spelled 17 million different ways and it never comes out as Charmaine. So you should say, hello, this is Charmaine. Oh Great. Hey Charmaine, this is Melissa Menard Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah, Dah. Just if, if you're going to be a professional and you're going to sell homes when your phone rings, answer the phone professionally first and make sure you
Jonathan: 23:25 to the phone as well. Oh yes. Answer the phones for sure. But when you answer, make sure that you're answering professionally. What about, um, let's say the answer the phone professionally. Yup. You get through a conversation and the conversation finishes what, what a however the conversation goes. What should that person not do? Um, when it comes to agent to agent referrals. Because I think initially what happens is you talk to somebody, Hey, I'm learning about your market. I'm learning about the things that you like do and whatnot. And then initially, um, I guess what I'm trying to get at is a lot of agents just don't continue the conversation. They don't continue to try and reach out because they think, oh, that person never sent me a referral and they don't talk to these people anymore. They, they cut off out like this animosity of like, why did this person take up my time and then never send me anything like, so I don't understand it because um, a lot of agents just assume like, oh yeah, if we're going to talk about agent to agent referrals, like do you have a client for me right now?
Jonathan: 24:30 Something, right? Yeah, you have something, can you give me a client? Like Blah, blah, blah. And if you don't, then like instantly it's like they don't talk to you anymore. You try to engage. Like they might even say like, Oh yeah, there are a waste of time or whatever. What would you not?
Melissa: 24:43 So I asked you that question then I ask you, do you do that with buyers and sellers? Exactly. You didn't buy a house for me today. You're a waste of time. No thanks. Next.
Jonathan: 24:54 And, and so where do you put it? Where are you putting these agents that you're putting him into a CRM and you have a, a plan for the people?
Melissa: 25:00 I haven't sent you a referral or never. No, no it, it, I'm just saying agents. Right? It's not about the money. Exactly. Right. So it is about being able to build my agent to agent arsenal. Um, so that when I go to a dinner party, family reunion, whatever it is locally or out of town on vacation, it doesn't matter. I can carry that arsenal with me. It's in my head and it's also in my CRM. I use Contactually. I've used it for seven years. I think it's brilliant. It's as powerful and robust as you want it to be. And I think that that's, um, so important because you can manipulate it to serve your purposes. Um, something that I do on that call, and again, it's scripted, is at the end I'll say, hey, listen, it was really great getting to know you. Here's what you can expect moving forward.
Melissa: 25:50 Um, I've tagged you so that I've set up a task to remind me to call you. If we haven't spoken about referrals in the next six months, I'm just going to call it, take five minutes and say, hey, how are you? How, how is your market? Everything cool? You know, it's Melissa in La. Let me know how I can be of service to you and your clients and I'll do the same for you there. And then I will reference one personal note that I took six months previously. So you're going to hear from me every six months. And that I think is important. I'm not calling to shoot the shit that is not my objective. It's not like I don't have better things to do my conversation with you every time I talk with you, that's Intel. You can appreciate that. Yeah. Right? And so I'm building that arsenal of, of agent to agent power. Every time I'm talking with every single agent and I take copious notes, that's key. Take notes so that people remember
Jonathan: 26:45 and, and save the notes and put them in a place to where it's easy to access them. Again, it's all of these base and it's kind of funny, but on every episode it kind of goes from like crazy ideas and then we start talking with phenomenal agents. And at the end, at the core of everything, it's really basic, but it's strategic. It's thought out, it's deliberate, it's deliberate and it's done in a way that works for that person. You know, you can hear me say, Hey, this is what I do and we've got all this fancy stuff. If you're like, I don't know anything about that. I don't care about that. I do what I do and I do it good. Like that's okay. And for anybody listening, if you're saying, hey, you know, agent to agent referrals is not my thing, okay, that's fine.
Jonathan: 27:29 But at least you know, if it does pop up, like these are the things that I should do. This is how it works. I'm not asking or telling anybody in this episode that, hey, you need to go out now and go talk to every single agent, you know, and instantly at agent to agent referrals into your back pocket, um, of, of things that you're doing every single day. No, that would, if you've never done anything like this, if you don't have a plan like the, it's not going to work. What I'm trying to get people to understand is there's tons of different things out there and maybe you've never even considered agent to agent referrals before. And if you haven't, you should probably do so. Because like you said, it's super simple. Yeah.
Melissa: 28:10 If you've got business cards and you've got a good handshake and you can make eye contact, you've got, you've got game.
Jonathan: 28:17 Do you have a different business card that you would give an agent as opposed to a client?
Melissa: 28:23 Well, as a matter of fact, Jonathan, I do. I have an agent to agent brochure. Um, it's great that I have a business card from my clients, but I have, uh, this brochure basically all of the different ways you can contact me and connect with me on social media. A little blurb about the promise that I give to you and your clients that I personally hand sign. Um, the difference you can talk with. Like I said, there are 13,000 agents in my town, so that's why I'm competing against here's what makes me different from them and here's why. And then, um, because not everybody knows everything about La. There's a handy little map that shows the Pacific Ocean and where I do business. And then on the backside are uh, reviews from agents that I've worked with in the past that have been very pleased with my, my service.
Jonathan: 29:11 Perfect. I love it. We're going to leave this with one last piece of advice that you would give an agent in the realm of agent to agent. And then we say agent agent, agent a lot on this episode, agent, agent, agent to agent referrals. One last piece of advice
Melissa: 29:27 that's so tough. I've already given. Um, I'm trying to,
Jonathan: 29:31 did you can or reiterate one thing that you've already said? Like, just get this one thing out of this episode. If somebody were to go through the last 25 seconds and they hear this, yes. Couple
Jonathan: 29:42 of sentences, what would it be? Every encounter is an opportunity. Don't squander it. You have an opportunity for referral business with every single conversation you have. Trust me, it's there. Love it. Where can people find you? Connect with you, engage with you on social media. Sure. Uh, Melissa Menard, homes.com at home with Melissa on Twitter, and we're going to post all the links as well, so, okay, good. Just all Melissa Menard. Melissa Menard homes. Yeah, it's, it's all there. Sweet. Well, on every episode we always end with music and so I like to kind of rock out and we just go from there. So cool.