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A Real Estate Queen’s Entrepreneurial Journey With Gogo Bethke

LUNL 5 | Real Estate Queen

On this episode of the show, we sat down with Gogo Bethke, who claims that after years of hard work and dedication, she has earned the title of “Real estate queen.” Through high performance and personal development, she has been able to elevate herself to become a thought leader in the industry. But she didn’t get here alone. One of the keys to her success has been the ability to scale a team beyond herself. By building a strong network of talented professionals and staying true to her mind and personality, she has been able to expand her reach and offer exceptional service to her clients. Another tool that is key to the growth of Gogo’s brand is social media. By utilizing platforms like Instagram and Facebook, she has been able to connect with new clients and showcase her expertise to a wider audience. But most important of all, Gogo’s personal key to consistently leveling up has been a commitment to lifelong learning. Tune in to this episode and gain insights from this Real Estate Queen’s entrepreneurial journey.

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A Real Estate Queen’s Entrepreneurial Journey With Gogo Bethke

Personal Branding: Gogo Bethke’s Power Tool To Grow A Successful Business

In this episode, our guest is an immigrant from Romania who came here as an au pair with a vision to create her American dream. She has over 1,000 realtors on her team. She has done nearly $100 million in real estate transactions. In the real estate world, she is known as the social media queen. She owns Gogo’s Real Estate with eXp. Gogo Bethke, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much for having me.

If you google Gogo, you will see her come up on many different platforms. It shouldn’t be hard to find her. It’s a pleasure to have you on the show. I’m looking forward to your expertise and knowledge and being able to share it with our audience and help them level up. Let’s get started. In terms of your brand, how do you position yourself in the world of real estate?

You are your brand. It’s not like I ever overthink it or think about it too much. I sell me. My job as a realtor is to make sure everybody knows who I am, what I do and where to find me. As long as you’re selling yourself and your services, you’re doing all of the right things. It’s not complicated. It’s just this house doesn’t sell itself. The realtor sells the house. Their skills are marketing skills and negotiation skills. At the end of the day, you’re selling the realtor, not the house. That’s pretty much it. The faster you get comfortable with selling yourself and your services, the faster you’re going to create a move for yourself in the industry.

You’re selling the relationship, not the real estate. That’s incredible. I wouldn’t think that that would be the approach. I talk about it so much. Business is all about people and relationships. Whether it’s franchising or painting, the worlds that I come from, I’m not in real estate but you are. Eighty percent of people don’t make it past their first year in real estate. You’re somebody that barely spoke English and entered the world of real estate. You started with a Facebook page and began with a genuine foot forward of presenting yourself and creating relationships with strangers through social media. It was built from there. I love how you said, “I don’t think about it too much. It’s just who I am.”

LUNL 5 | Real Estate Queen

I often say that it’s hard for me to be somebody that I’m not at work. I try to be who I am in my personal life at work. I just am who I am. It sounds like you subscribe to that same approach and it all comes down to relationships. I do want to ask a little bit of some follow-up questions here. When you are thinking about posting something online, being the Social Media Queen, and developing that reputation within real estate, you know 1 thing or 2 about social media. As you’re about to post, what’s going through your mind? You’re thinking about your brand or how you want to be portrayed. What’s your approach toward creating content and posting something online from your brand standpoint?

Everything goes back to the basics when you’re true to yourself and your brand. When you’re selling yourself, every time I type, think or achieve something and I’m letting the world know what’s going on in the market or a new business that I started, it’s always coming from the heart and me directly explaining my thoughts on this specific subject. As long as you’re doing you all day every day, you don’t have to overthink it. I’m never posting something that I didn’t post myself.

Let’s say I have an event and I’m speaking at that. I’m going to type up, “I’m going here. I’m going to do an event about the subject. I would love you to come because I do love you to come. These are all the truth.” When you are building a brand around yourself, it’s very simple to stay true to your brand and come up with ideas because you don’t have to come up with ideas as things are already happening to you. That stuff is already in your head. You have to put it in writing and take a picture of it.

What you’re saying is posting the content is what matters.

Post the things that are already happening to you. It’s not like I wake up and then be like, “What am I going to post about?” It’s like, “I’m speaking in Michigan on the 23rd and 24th. The 23rd is a woman’s event and the 24th is a rewards event.” I’ll pretty much talk about that. “I’m coming to Michigan on March 23rd. It’s a woman’s event. I can’t wait to see you. Here’s the link on the 24th.” Whatever’s happening in my life to me and if I can invite others to it or if it’s a life lesson I can share so they can learn from it, pretty much, I post that. It’s that’s simple.

You’re doing that from your phone.

As long as you have Wi-Fi, you get to do it. I had to improvise the Wi-Fi that got cut in our neighborhood. I have a receiver so I had to leave. Roll with the punches and have one of these no matter where you go. I have one of these. You do too. You never leave the house without it. If you do, you go back and get it. You have what it takes. You just need to grab it out of your pocket.

You need to get comfortable with taking a picture. You need to get comfortable in front of the camera and talking on videos. The video is huge. It might take you a couple of tries to get comfortable in front of the camera but get comfortable because that’s what’s going to pay your bills. That’s pretty much it. That’s what it takes. You have a cell phone with you and take it out of your pocket.

What do you do if you have very few followers? Do you keep posting and hoping for exposure?

No, that means you’re posting very boring stuff. That’s why people don’t follow so you need to post more interesting things. Don’t say things like, “Happy hump day.” Everybody knows it’s freaking Wednesday. Don’t say Happy Monday. Don’t post your lunch because we all have lunch. Don’t post your kids because we all have kids. Nobody cares about your cat. You have to make it interesting enough that they would want to follow you. If you don’t have the following, you’re doing something wrong or you’re not posting interesting enough stuff where people would want to take the initiative to follow you.

LUNL 5 | Real Estate Queen
Real Estate Queen: If you don’t have the following, you’re doing something wrong or not posting interesting enough stuff that people would want to take the initiative to follow you.

Posting enough content is 1/2 of it. The other is engaging and interesting. When you’re about to post something and you’re thinking about it, you mentioned kids, cats and hump day. Those are things that aren’t going to get people excited. What have you noticed from your experience that are themes of what folks are interested in seeing when it comes to the content that you post?

A couple of things. Anything educational. Anything that you can teach another fellow human to learn something without having to learn on their skin because life lessons hurt. If you can learn from somebody else’s pain, not your own, that’s better and you learn faster. Also, sharing knowledge like if you know something and it’s going to take someone eleven years. I have several years of experience in real estate. If I can teach you something that took me years to learn and you’re going to pay attention and implement what you learned, then you are going to catapult your business and reach that same level of success much faster because you don’t have to go through those years of trial.

The other thing is the FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out. If you can show them the good life, what opportunities you have created for yourself and what level of life you have achieved, it shows to other people that, A) It’s possible and, B) It creates what’s called FOMO so now they want it too. They’re going to follow you because they know that success needs clues. If they follow me, they’re going to pick up little things along the way that is going to help them get successful much faster.

Also, something funny. I lost my front tooth a few years ago so I didn’t have a front tooth for eight months. I have a three-day kiddy party at first. I then was like, “I can do this. I can be the social media queen with no front tooth.” I got a ton of followers in that field of my life because they saw my real self and I go through life like everybody goes through life. We all have hardships. Do funny things and then the ugly stuff too. Not just the good.

I like to see the good and the ugly. I’ll show you everything. There’s an ugly side of success, a fun side and a middle. You have to show them all. There are days that I’m super stressed out and things are going south. There are days that one good thing is happening after another. I try to even it out and make sure that everybody understands it’s not a walk in the park. Sometimes it’s a walk in Jurassic Park.

LUNL 5 | Real Estate Queen

I’ve seen this meme where somebody was laying down steps. Each step said success. They were walking each step and each step said failure but ultimately was representing success. Another example was the same steps on the same person’s head and they all said failure. It’s two representations of how to approach the failures, learnings, lessons and growth that success requires. Demonstrate that and show that over social media along with many years of lessons. Everything else that you mentioned that are real and beyond simple cliches.

That’s the beauty of social media. Right from your pocket, you can document the success stories that are required to be successful. In that vein, I would love to hear from you, what is your approach when it comes to high-performance personal development? Are there any rhythms that you have? Anything that you do to maintain a consistently high level of performance?

I don’t joke but I say all the time, “Show me your calendar and I’ll show you a bank account.” For me, my calendar is huge. I honor it. I hate when people reschedule a no-show. I have a very strict no-show policy. If someone no-shows, I will never talk to them again because they have zero respect for my time. If they have no respect for me, there’s no need for us to be in any level of business together.

I’m huge on routines too. I’m a late owl so I go to bed between 1:00 and 2:00 AM and wake up around 8:00 to 8:30. That’s not what most people do. Most people are 4:00 AM or 5:00 AM risers. I don’t do that because that’s not when my brain functions the best. My brain functions the best at night when the world is sleeping and I’m by myself and I can think. I use that time to get to the end of my phone and think my thoughts through. Eventually, I just fall asleep.

In the morning when I wake up, I’m scheduled from the moment usually back-to-back. I work Monday to Wednesday. I don’t work Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday. I took that off for the rest of my life. I retired from Thursday to Monday. From Monday to Wednesday, I hit it very hard. My calendar is my step-by-step process for the day. The night before I go to bed, I look at my calendar.

I am scheduled months out so there isn’t much that I can move on the calendar. When I look at it the night before, I know, “Do I have to have makeup on by 9:00 AM? Is it okay if I put it down during the day?” If I have a podcast sorry, I didn’t get to put makeup on or should I do my hair? Usually, I do. The whole Wi-Fi situation for me occurred. That’s pretty much it.

I am huge on doing life the way you want to do it. One of my favorite sayings is, “If you love what you do, you never work the day in your life.” I don’t feel like I work. I feel like I get to do this. I feel fortunate that I get paid for doing this. That’s pretty much it. I want everybody to find what they love to do and then get good at it. Become the best. If you decide that painting is what you want to do, be amazing at it where you cannot be replaced. People know that they’re never going to ask you to reduce your commission or your fees because they know the level of service that they’re going to get from you.

Same with me. Many agents struggle with or people ask me all the time to reduce my commission. I couldn’t tell you the last time someone asked me to reduce my commission because they know what they get. I like to say, “You get paid for the hour what you bring to the hour. The smaller that you get, the more you get paid.” As you can show your knowledge, marketing skills and negotiation skills, in your case, your printing skills, they know what they’re getting and who they’re hiring. They would never use Joe Schmo off the street over there because they’re 2,000 cheaper. They’re also going to get the type of service.

You have to become good at what you do. You’re as good as your work. We have to show up. That is my hardest part with referring painters in the past. I refer them and they no-show. That looks bad on me. They say, “Sure, no problem,” but they’ll take half the payment and begin to study in two weeks. Two months later, they’re still nowhere to be found. That is at least my experience in the past with painters. I’m assuming that is not what you guys do. I wanted to bring it into the conversation because you are as good as your word. It takes two seconds to make the first impression but a lifetime to change it.

That’s such a profound statement. You spend all this time building this relational equity and in a second, it can be gone. It’s the book Relentless, the coach for Michael Jordan. He talks about the type of winner that Jordan was and how he was different from other winners. He came out with another book called Winning. It talks about the ongoing effort of winning. It’s not just a one-and-done or a couple of times. It’s an ongoing commitment. A marathon of behavior and high-performance habits are required to earn the rent. The rent is due every month.

Success can seem so finite. You get to this point of success but the reality is that success is defined every week, every month, every quarter or every year. I love that you said that but I’m curious. The first thing that you said was your schedule or your calendar. You’ve gotten to a position where you’re working Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Was that always the case or did that change? If so, when did that change and why?

That was not always the case. Being a realtor, we work all the time. We work evenings, weekends and holidays. We work Mondays to Fridays. We work all the time. Even when I got my husband out of Corporate America and he got into real estate, one day he looked up and he goes, “Let me get this straight. I came from a 40 hours work, regular job, 9:00 to 5:00 with a matching 401(k), a great salary, holidays off and vacation time. I come to work for myself 90 hours a week with no guaranteed income and matching 401(k), I have to work weekends.” I was like, “Yeah, that’s being an entrepreneur.”

Several years in, I get to choose who I work with and when I work. I worked very hard in the last few years and I can say that we have financial freedom and location freedom. I do run a team. My real estate team is in Michigan. I’m licensed in Michigan but I live in Florida. I’m not licensed in Florida. I’m not planning to be licensed in Florida. I moved down here so I can enjoy my life and the weather year-round. During COVID, we learned that you get to do business from anywhere as long as you have Wi-Fi. I’m working on Starbucks to get on Wi-Fi. It taught us a lot of freedom.

One of my best friends passed away. When she passed away, I realized we lived about 8 to 12 minutes from each other, plus minus the traffic. I haven’t seen her in three months because I was so busy. I said, “This is ridiculous. I am making all this money but I don’t have time to spend it. I don’t have time to enjoy life, go out to dinner and go on a girl’s trip with my girlfriend. It has to change.” I made the decision that I’m no longer going to work Thursdays to Mondays but I am scheduled once out.

This was in May of 2022. My first non-working Thursday was in November because I was already so far scheduled out. Even when I make a decision, it’s going to happen sometime in the future. Sometimes it’s not instant because you’re as good as your word. If I give my word to these people up until November that I’m going to be there, I have to be there. The change is going to have to happen in the future when I don’t have to say and cancel on people.

I used to work like a mad woman. Don’t get me wrong. I probably work more in the three days than an average person works from Monday to Friday because I squeeze so much into those days. I also have seventeen assistants so it’s not a one-man show. I have a lot of help. I have the most amazing team. They help me with anything from my DMs to social media posts, scheduling my flights, you name it. They’re running all of my businesses. We have multiple businesses. It is a lot of work for a while so you don’t have to work for the rest of your life.

You’ve built your lifestyle over time. It’s been several years of building your empire but realizing, “What do I want to do with my time? How do I want to live my life?” You have built a team and an infrastructure. It’s what you set out to do. It’s many years of putting in the grind, work, sacrifice and investment. I didn’t take a Saturday off in my twenties. I looked at that as an investment. COVID hit. As opposed to taking time off or being at home and letting things blow over, I work harder than I’ve ever worked in my life. I woke up at 3:00 AM until 8:00 PM for all of 2020. I did it and I enjoyed it.

I didn’t do it begrudgingly. I did it because I knew I was getting ahead and I was investing in my future. That future self will thank you for that investment. Much like your husband, he went from a secure job, 401(k) benefits and time off, to “Wait, hold on. You’re telling me I get none of that and I need to work harder than I’ve ever worked before?” That’s not indefinite.

Being a franchisor in the world of franchising, as you’re talking, I’m realizing it’s very similar to what you do in real estate. You’re giving folks the American dream through entrepreneurship. In franchising, we do the very same thing. What’s similar is entrepreneurship. You have to break in, put in the work and invest in your future self and the future lifestyle that you want. I appreciate you being an example of what that investment in your future self can look like. That sounds incredible.

LUNL 5 | Real Estate Queen

People think it’s an overnight success. It’s a lot of work over the past twelve years to be an overnight success. One of my favorite sayings is, “Nothing will work unless you do.”

Behavior equals outcome. That’s beautiful because you control the outcome through the behavior. Unless it’s the wrong behavior, then you need to level up and learn the right behavior. You’re in that world. You’re teaching others the right behavior. You’re demonstrating the FOMO of what your hard work has done in your career. I’m sure that’s a great demonstration to the folks on your team that have joined your team to have what you have as the leader of your organization.

I do want to talk to you a little bit about when it comes to posting FOMO and some of what you mentioned, what are your pillars of social media when it comes to building your brand, creating a certain perception about who you are and what you represent? Do you have some pillars around sharing that with your audience?

Everything in my life is an open book. I post whatever I want. Some people are like, “Yeah, but I’m private.” I am also. You only see what I allow you to see. You only see my comfort level. We all have different comfort levels of what we are comfortable sharing on social media. Maybe push that envelope a little bit. Don’t get me wrong. If you follow me, you’re barely ever going to see my kids. I have two boys. I’m not going to pimp them out. They’re a part of it but they’re not a part of my business life.

With that, you’re very seldom going to see them there. Maybe you’ll see them on Mother’s Day or Christmas when I post a family photo. Other than that, they’re not in my feed almost ever. In my story, it’s very seldom. You get to control what you want to post and what you want your brand to look like. Over time, you’re going to feel more comfortable with the level of how much you want to share with the board. Even then, do we all have skeletons in our closets? Absolutely. You’re just not going to share that. You get control of how much the world is at still again.

I appreciate you saying that. I’ve thought about it. Do I include my kids in social media or even in my world as an entrepreneur? I wanted them to catch a glimpse of my world. I’ve been realizing that they frankly don’t know what I do. I’ve enjoyed that. As they’re getting older, I am curious about how much I want to include them in my world from a professional standpoint. I’ve been thinking about social media potentially being a fun way to include them and maybe do some spiffs around kid questions when it comes to business or our space in painting. To your point, that’s all personal preference. You choose what you put into the world.

I love that idea. That could be super cute. You could use it for marketing purposes. I would probably play with that and say, “What does daddy do for a living? When I leave the house, what do I do?” Listen to them, see what they think that you do and then post that. That would be adorable. People would love that. What I mean by that is I’m not putting my kids’ soccer games on the internet. I’m not so much showing my kid. It’s for safety reasons too. I don’t want anyone to be able to tag them. I don’t want them to be like, “Your mom is Gogo.” I want them to have their childhood and have their experiences without people putting together who they are. That’s why I keep them aside.

I am a huge believer. This might sound weird out there for some people but I’m not huge on education. I’m self-taught. I don’t have a college education so I don’t think my children are going to go to college unless they want to go through college. I’m not going to force them. Self-education, choosing what you want to be, going down that path, going to events, going to camps and those kinds of things so you can be surrounded by people who have the same interests is very important. We do take them.

We came to Tony Robbins. I try to lay the foundation for them. If entrepreneurship is genetic, then maybe they can get the bug earlier than I got the bug. I didn’t get the bug until I was 29 years old. I’m thinking, “What if they could get the bug when they’re fourteen?” That’s a different future than I had to start at 29. I do believe that involving your children that way is important. I just don’t want to have them necessarily public facing all the time.

I want to change it up a little bit. Being a painter, I’d love to shift into some of your perspectives on relationships with painters. When it comes to real estate and somebody buying or selling a home, from your standpoint, what role does a paint company play, if any at all?

I tell myself all the time that a $40 paint is going to make a $4,000 difference in your price. Painting is very important. We have an amazing relationship with painters but we have what’s called the preferred vendors list. When a new client comes to us, automatically, the very first email that we send to them is a preferred vendors list that goes out. We have multiple painters under whom we have worked in the past. For every agent, if you don’t have a preferred vendors list, you need to start working on that. It’s an Excel sheet with sections of lenders, appraisers, title companies, painters, plumbers, electricians and moving companies, anything that somebody buying or selling a home could need.

LUNL 5 | Real Estate Queen
Real Estate Queen: A $40 pen of paint will make a $4,000 difference in your price.

Being the realtor, we’re not allowed to steer so then we have to have multiple of the same. If I have 1 painter, I have to have 2 more. If I have 1 lender, I have to have at least 2 more. At least three of everything. Most of our vendors give some discount to our clients. The very first email that goes out to the buyer or seller, we pretty much welcome them to work with our team and are so excited they’re thinking by buying their selling. We also introduce our preferred vendor’s list and say, “Save this email because you’re going to be coming back to this preferred vendor’s list during the process of our transaction when we go from start to finish.”

Anything you could need during your real estate transaction is already on the preferred vendor’s list. On the vendor’s list, we have a list of painters. You’re going to give us your company’s name, company’s website and company’s email address. If you can give any type of discount, they might say $200 off or those real estate team people that they refer us. It’s all kinds of descriptions and then our clients get to choose who they want to work with from those painters.

In return, what happens is if I keep sending guys clients and you’re like, “Send us another one,” people start feeling like they owe you and then it’s going to reciprocate. It comes back the other way around too where next time you’re painting someone’s house that they’re thinking about putting it on the market and they’re one step ahead. They’re already painting it but they haven’t talked to a realtor yet. You’re going to be like, “Gogo’s Real Estate Team is the best here locally. Let me make the introduction.” You’re going to feel like I sent you 3 painting clients so you need to send me 1 or 3 too in return. It goes both ways.

What’s most important to me is the way how vendors make it to this preferred vendor’s list because not everybody’s nice to them. They’re the only people that I prefer to work with. I worked with them, I trust them and I recommend them to get on that list. What’s very important to me when it comes to painters, what I learned in the past is that we recommended them but they didn’t show up. Not that they would’ve not done a good job but they didn’t show up. They cancel or maybe schedule with them three times. Each time, they had a flat tire and had to reschedule or something. For me, anybody that makes it to the preferred vendor’s list is people that have the same work ethic that I do. If they’re flakes, they’re not going to get on the preferred vendor’s list because it’s my reputation that you’re messing with.

Accountability is an extension of your brand and customer experience. It’s paramount that that preferred vendor’s list represents you in a way that is reflective of the quality and consistency that you give to your clients. You had mentioned, “These folks on the list have been vetted. We trust them. We know they meet our standards.” Whenever you do have somebody retire or move for whatever reason, you have some turnover.

Let’s say specifically with a painter, how are you approaching finding a new painter? Where do you start? Where do you begin that process? I realize it’s probably not you anymore. It’s someone on your team. How are you teaching your realtors to find a new painter when there’s been turnover on the preferred vendor’s list?

It’s very simple. We post it on our Facebook page and say, “We’re looking for a new painter. Who do you know who comes highly recommended who does an amazing job and who has a great reputation?” If that’s the case, my team would meet you. First, we’ll check out your online reputation. We’ll see your reviews online in Google My Business or those type of things. My team would meet with you to see if you guys hit it off or if they have the same vision of how we like to conduct business and how we work with each other. We then would ask you to fill out the preferred vendor’s list and if you have anything that you can give to our clients as a reason why they should work with you versus working with anybody else. That’s pretty much how it works.

You can have multiple. You might have lenders who specialize in certain types of loans. One lender might specialize in doctor’s loans while the other lender specializes in door development. We have multiple in the same category because we know we want to service all types of clients. It’s the same with painters. You might do outsides and they don’t do outsides or you might paint cabinets as well in the kitchen and they only do walls.

There could be all kinds of things or you might have a much larger team with a much quicker availability than Joe Schmo over there who’s a one-man show who does an amazing job but doesn’t have any good deal for the next three months. We have to have multiple of everything in there to be able to service our clients because some people are rushed like, “Should we need to paint now? We need this now.” It depends on what the needs are but we change our product all the time.

Is there an element of the colors or the transformation? When you’re selling a property, if someone’s buying it, there’s probably one perspective on the colors on the outside and inside of a home versus if they’re selling it. Preparing for sale versus buying it, owning it and making it yours are two different situations there. Is there any element of the colors that come to mind from a conversation standpoint with a customer? Is that something that you don’t necessarily come across very often as a realtor?

We do. There are always trends and the grays came in. When I got into real estate, initially it was the browns, the reds and the yellows. Now, if you try to paint a yellow wall or a brown wall, they’re like, “What is wrong with you? That is so 2008.” Color is very important and you do have to be up at the chance. I cannot tell them what color I prefer for the paint. At the end of the day, it’s their house. As the expert, I can tell them, “This one, I’m going to have a much easier time to market than I’m going to have this one.” The issue is the foot traffic. My job as a realtor is multiple calls but one of them is to market it properly. The better I market it, the more people come in the door. The fast possible way, the more offers we’re going to get and the more opportunities we have.

LUNL 5 | Real Estate Queen
Real Estate Queen: As a realtor, one of your jobs is to market the property properly. The better you market it, the more people come in the door the fast possible way, the more offers you’re going to get, and the more opportunities you have.

If the photos are so bad, then no matter how much I work with it but the colors are hideous, I’m not going to be able to get them in on the door. If I can bring them in on the door, I can make them make an offer. They can put on lovely colors. Color is very important. I agree with you. When they are coloring it because they want to live in it, it’s very different than they’re coloring it because they want to sell it. Painting the house for resell purposes, you don’t have to like it but your idea is to sell it fast. You’re going to move out of there, y collect your money in your bank accounts and stay out of the way.

Having to live there is different. I moved into my house and I’m European. I had those shiny cabinets. They were almost like mirrors. It’s not normal in the US. It looked European and everybody was like, “It’s going to hurt your lease value.” I’m like, “I’m not building the house to sell it. I’m building to live in it.” When I want to sell it, then I deal with the idea that I still own that same house fifteen years later.

We own our Michigan house and now live in Florida. It’s important for people to understand, “Don’t take things personally.” Design a home if you want to live in it to your liking but if you want to sell it, then have it painted and decorated for what’s trending. Even if you hate it, it doesn’t matter. It needs to be trending so people coming in the door are going to buy it.

Do you help with color designers? Is that something that your clients have designers? Is that part of your vendor referral list? Does it help if a painter has a design team?

I’m retired. My team does all the active selling. Even when I was still legs on the ground, I would be picked and stuff like that. I live in a lease and sold it within the lease where it’s not a New York high rise or Miami high rise. It’s not even a board in Michigan. People decorate their homes the way they like them. I might move the couches around or tell them it’s not in anymore to have the couch pushed up to the wall. I’ll try to organize that.

Down here in Florida, having decorators and designers is normal. That’s how agents sell homes in the market. They have a designer come in. They stage their home, put it on the market, roll on it and then it’s sold. It’s very market-specific. If I was to try to start doing that in Pinckney, Michigan on a level that they do it here in Florida, it would be a huge expense to me and I would never make that money back. It’s a different market.

This is more of a market-specific question but if you have a design team that can give free advice, then I don’t see why that couldn’t work. I also did three-dimensional designs, meaning that the home was vacant but when you first get in, it looked like it was decorated. It was decorated three-dimensionally via computer but you can tell. They did such an amazing job. That’s also an option. It’s a surprise for the people when they show up that there’s no furniture. It’s for them to visually be able to see the space without having to spend the money and all the furniture that needs to be moved in and then moved out when closing happens.

Many of those suppliers developed some pretty sophisticated tools for these color visualizers and creating this three-dimensional space that gives you a good representation of the furniture, the colors and how everything comes together. You mentioned that your team is the feet on the ground. I want to transition and talk a little bit about your team. You have over 1,000 realtors on your team. If you had to build your team all over again, what steps would you take?

People ask this all the time and I wouldn’t change anything. I feel like wherever you are in life, it’s because of the life lessons that you have learned. If you change something, you’re going to have a different outcome. I am happy where I’m at and I’m happy with the life lessons. I want to know more about what I know now. I know how to answer the question of what steps I took and what steps wouldn’t take again based on the lessons that I learned but not necessarily if I would change anything. I wouldn’t change anything.

LUNL 5 | Real Estate Queen
Real Estate Queen: Wherever you are in life is because of the life lessons you have learned.

I’m with a company called eXp. It’s a very different brokerage than other brokerages on the market. People are familiar with the RE/MAX, Century 21 and Keller Williams because that’s how they always run real estate. If you have any clue about the real estate market, you’re familiar with those names because you see them driving by. You probably closed with one of those offices when you bought your homes.

When it comes to eXp, we’re a cyberspace company so we don’t have physical locations. You’re not going to see any eXp office unless a big team joined and started an eXp office. Other than that, we don’t have physical offices. We are not tied to a location. Even though I’m licensed in Michigan, I live in Florida and I have a team up in Michigan, I have agents in 46 different states and 6 different countries. eXp is national and international, meaning we are in every single state in the US and multiple different countries. When I joined this company, I knew that my location limitation is removed. I can build a team and partner with agents anywhere in this country and anywhere in 24 different other countries.

I lived at every opportunity that this company do have and I built the infrastructure. I love people. I talk to people all the time, random people on the internet and that’s pretty much how I built my businesses and how I built my eXp organization as well globally. There are over 1,050 of us. They pretty much all reach out to me. I have built my name through Gogo’s Real Estate on Instagram. I have a verified account. I go and speak. I built a good reputation for myself in the industry.

When agents follow me, they see what’s going on. They see that I have things in the real estate industry that they’re not able to do the brokerage. They cannot build a downline on an international organization. They can’t collect revenue share. They don’t get ownership in the brokerage. As showing the day-to-day in my life, they see, ” I don’t have that. Let me talk to talk to Gogo and ask her how can I have that, then I have that.”

That’s pretty much how the conversation starts. They reach out to me and jump into my calendar. I end up telling them everything that our company offers, what it’s like to partner with me and what it’s like to have me as a business partner. I don’t charge or take I cut. They owe me nothing. I have all of my training for things and my boot camp. Everything is free to everybody in the team’s local organization. It’s pretty much what we offer but the idea is that they find it and raise their hand when they’re ready.

They come to me. I’m not convincing anyone to change brokerages when they’re ready for something new or at least open to something new. They come, jump into my calendar and have a little conversation. If they decide they like what they see, they end up joining us. Through the process of this, I had to build websites. infrastructures, systems and processes. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t. It’s those types of things that you change over time.

As for the whole, I would never change anything because they would have to put a different result. I look at every failure setting life. I don’t believe that there are failures. They’re just ways that didn’t work out. I look at every single one of them as a lesson. It’s like Edison said when they asked him, “You failed 1,000 times making the light bulb.” He said he didn’t fail 1,000 times. He just found 1,000 ways that did not work.

You have to have that mentality of optimism and be solution-focused. You can develop some paralysis by analysis and not even take the action or be so fear-driven that you don’t take the action or you give up because you “failed” versus being optimistic in the pursuit of success, which is filled with many different learnings that get you to the right answer. You then get good at not repeating the same mistakes. A lot of what you mentioned there was building authority within the industry and leveraging social media to put that authority on full display. Have the right funnels and places to be seen so that you can give the opportunity to others to join your team.

You can then share your lessons and the learnings that you spoke about. It’s so many years of mistakes. If you can have them in a playbook and shortcut your path to success, that is a winning formula. It’s very similar to franchising. It’s business and scaling. What we’re talking about is building a team, creating the authority and having the systems and processes. To that point there, how do you create consistency in the behavior of your team as a representation of yourself and your playbook?

I have 17 assistants and 2 in-person. One is technically in person at my house at all times. Christy, my other American employee, is up in Michigan. Everybody else is a virtual assistant from another country. The way we do it is that in the first 2 or 3 months, they usually follow me everywhere I go on Zoom calls. Every Zoom call I have, no matter if it’s their job or not, they come to the Zoom call because they need to understand who I am, how I work, what I stand for and what kind of things we do.

I run multiple companies. We own multiple companies so they need to understand the big picture first and then they start putting together the picture of how they fit the mold and the puzzle. They’re then going to start training specifically for their job. Pretty much, I have my executive assistant, Lindsey and she goes everywhere I go. Every online appointment, she usually comes to these shows too. She sits in the background in case we need her. Her assistant, Carol, goes everywhere Lindsey goes. I technically have two people go everywhere I go at all times.

I’m not good at the links. I don’t have the patience to find them in Google Drive. If I’m talking about my favorite book or a tracker, whatever I’m talking about in the background, they’re looking it up and plugging it into the background. It’s very important, especially for your social media game, for the people that work with you to understand who you are, how you think, how you work and how you would respond to things.

For a while, I have had multiple social media assistants that help in specific platforms like Facebook groups, emails, LinkedIn or whatever the job is. For a while, they asked me, “Gogo, how would you answer this?” If they don’t know what I would say, they didn’t respond until I tell them how to respond. I’m huge on voice notes. They would send me a screenshot. I’ll send them a voice note like, “This is what I would say.” They type it up and say that.

Next time when a question similar to that comes in, they don’t have to ask me anymore because they know how I would respond. The idea is not to lose yourself and your brand in the making. When people represent you, they have to walk and talk like you do. The receiving end doesn’t need to know it’s not you. Sometimes they disclose when they’re talking to one of my assistants but most of the time, they think they’re talking to me.

Leveraging assistants, I’ve heard you say that since the beginning. Seventeen assistants are incredible but they’re an extension of yourself. Following you for 2 months, can you believe that onboarding? That is a thorough onboarding. I’m sure they’re thinking on the same page, most certainly. I could talk to you for another ten hours but I know your schedule and my schedule. We’re making it happen and leveling up.

Gogo, it’s been a pleasure hosting you and having you on the show. I’ve learned so much. I’m sure our audience has learned so much and is inspired by what you’ve done, the American dream that you’ve created for yourself. I admire your story and who you are, what you represent and how you do business. Keep doing you. I know you don’t need to hear that from me but just know you have another fan. I’m sure you captured some more by being on the show. If anyone would like to reach out to you, how can they do that?

The best way is @GogosRealEstate on Instagram. On there, you get me personally. Everywhere else, you’re going to be talking to one of my assistants. You can also find me anywhere under Gogo Bethke so We also have a TV show that’s called Gogopreneur. That’s coming out on Roku. Pretty much, if you go look up Gogo Bethke, Gogo’s Real Estate or Gogopreneur, all of these different Gogo brands, you’re going to find us.

You have it right from Gogo. Go check her out. You have plenty of places to find her online. I guarantee you will be inspired by her lifestyle. You may have a little bit of FOMO but please, like this show and subscribe. More importantly, please comment and contribute to the conversation. We’ve covered so much in this show. We’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, level up.

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About Gogo Bethke

LUNL 5 | Real Estate Queen

From Romania to the US in 2003 Gogo decided to pursue the American Dream. After several failed attempts at finding the right career path, she was recommended by her neighbor to become a Realtor. With no SOI, experience, and barely speaking English, Gogó turned to social media to jumpstart her real estate career. Her honesty and authenticity garnered tens of thousands of followers and earned her the nickname “The Social Media Queen.” She worked with three different brokerages before finding success with eXp Realty, where she has built a team of over 1000 agents and is expanding nationwide and internationally.