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REAL Trending Special Edition: Shelton Wilder

Nov 17, 2020 6:00:00 AM

On this REAL trending special edition, we're speaking with Shelton Wilder, a leader of the Shelton Wilder Group with Compass Real Estate in Malibu, California.

 

Welcome to the REAL Trends + Tom Ferry The Thousand and America's best podcast series. Your host, Tracey Velt, editor of content for REAL Trends speaks to top producing agents and teams to find out their secrets to success, unique marketing ideas, and strategies for growing their businesses.

Tracey Velt:

This is your host, Tracey Velt, editor in chief of content for REAL Trends. Today, we're speaking with Shelton Wilder, a team leader of the Shelton Wilder Group with Compass Real Estate in Malibu, California. Shelton's team is ranked number 376, small teams by volume in the 2020 REAL Trends America's Best rankings. Shelton's diverse professional background includes an appearance on Million Dollar Listing as well as several TV pilots, a year of Improv and stand-up comedy.

Showcasing the Wilder Ways of Real Estate, Shelton had filmed a pilot with HGTV and is in talks with producers about an own show. As a Shark Tank alumni and serial entrepreneur, Shelton has gathered many successful strategies from building multiple businesses and creating a well-defined brand. Now Shelton's launching a course, Sharing Our Secrets, including branding, social media, video, marketing, and pitching. So welcome, Shelton.

Shelton Wilder:

Hi, thank you so much, Tracy. Really happy to be here.

Tracey Velt:

Yeah, we're excited to have you. So I saw that you started in sales at 16 years old. So tell me a little bit about how that early sales experience impacted your real estate career.

Shelton Wilder:

Oh, that's a great question. So I got my first job, well, I'd always babysat and other things, but I got my first job the day of my birthday, the day after Christmas and I was 16. And so I went to Benetton at the mall and I was hired to do sales.

I don't know if you all remember Benetton, but yeah, so I was doing that and it really, really did impact me. Laurie Laquerre  and John Laquerre, they were the owners of that franchise of Benetton and they really taught me that in sales, it is not about you. So no talking about me, only talking about the client and yeah, I became top sales in the Southeast in the first three months.

Shelton Wilder:

So it was really good. What they taught me was super, super helpful in really making the experience about the client and listening to them and seeing what they really needed. So yeah, it was a great experience.

Tracey Velt:

Okay, great. And you run, obviously a very productive team. You're in our America's best rankings. So let's talk a little bit about your team and your goals for growth.

Shelton Wilder:

Okay. So I love my team. It's a little family and we have three agents, myself, plus three agents. Well, we have three assistants now. One's moving to Atlanta. So we have someone to replace her. And I'm excited because she's starting her own career in real estate in Atlanta where she's from. So that's exciting. I love people to grow and to do well. And then I have a coach, she's like a business manager as well as PR marketing social, and that's who you've been talking with, Jessica.

So it's been great and are trying to grow. I'm sure in 2021, we'd like to add another agent, maybe two and productive agents. So far, we've had more agents that are brand new, but maybe we'd have some agents that have a little more experience and keep growing together. So that's where we are with it. It's really like a family. It's been really important to keep that vibe together and we have our weekly meetings and we do a lot of fun things together. So that's important.

Tracey Velt:

And so you're in Malibu. Do you have a special niche that you work? Obviously, I think real estate is pretty expensive there.

Shelton Wilder:

Yeah. We're on the Westside, we go where our clients need us. So I live in Brentwood and our office is in Brentwood, but we sell in Malibu, in Santa Monica, Palisades, Brentwood, everywhere pretty much, Beverly Hills. And yeah, that's our tagline, we go where our clients need us. So this year, so far we've sold 29 homes and yeah, it's been a great year even with the pandemic.

It's just been incredible to be able to help so many people. I feel like it's been like musical chairs this year. There's a lot of movement around Los Angeles. A lot of people moving in from New York, Chicago and San Francisco and people moving out and moving from condos and into homes. That's been a big trend too. So yeah, any of the areas where we're needed we really go.

Tracey Velt:

Okay. You said you're doing a course on branding and pitching and that. And part of that is video marketing, which is huge right now. So tell me a little bit about what you do with video marketing and any strategies or tips that you have for other agents who are maybe building that platform right now.

Shelton Wilder:

Oh yes, absolutely. So basically in 2017, so almost four years ago in January, I decided to start a weekly video series called Wilder Wednesday. So every week I would go on and at first because on Instagram, it was just one minute, it would just be a one-minute video talking about something about real estate. And that kept me accountable and I feel like that's how I've grown Instagram in to 29,000 followers. And also just gotten so comfortable on camera with doing these.

And so it's been really growing since then. It's just you can only do so many videos about escrow or title or other things like that. It's really been growing it into doing these really fun theatrical videos showcasing the team. So The Golden Girls had a house, it was actually where they used to film The Golden Girls.

Shelton Wilder:

And it was a half a block from my house and it was on the market. And I checked with the agent, the listing agent, she's amazing, she's a friend of mine. And so we dressed as the golden girls and just did a video about it. So it was just something fun, but also real estate related obviously. And LA is so incredible because it's where so many of these shows take place. So that was a fun one. Then we just filmed one, it's going to be coming out soon, like a Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming.

Just all real estate related, but also fun and trying to take shows that are relevant right now. And then we did A League of Their Own, just talking about our team. So just keeping it fresh and fun and yeah, that's our plan, just so people think of us. People are on their phones right now so much, and they want something different.

Shelton Wilder:

I mean, everybody's seen the home tours all the time and the drone footage, the same thing. Welcome, come on in. So we've tried to switch it up. So some of the videos, my son's in it and he's doing the tour of like Where's Waldo around the house or a client had their two dogs. And so they gave us a tour of the house. It's just trying to keep it fresh and different. And that's been a big part of our branding. I feel like is just doing things a little differently.

Tracey Velt:

Okay. Do you only have them on Instagram or do you have them on YouTube as well?

Shelton Wilder:

Yes. So we have them on Instagram as well as YouTube, but Instagram is our main platform, more people will watch. But yes, we do have a YouTube channel. We'd love to grow YouTube this year. That's what we're focusing on in 2021 because we've done it so much on Instagram. And the course is The Wilder Ways of Real Estate and we just finished the first one.

I'm relaunching it again on 1 November in 2021. And it was great. We had students there. It was really fun. And basically it's just about consistency. I mean, I think that's why when I put myself out there in 2017 and said, okay, I'm going to do a weekly video. My family made fun of me. I mean, I have five siblings. They were like, what is this video out on Wednesday? Who do you think you are?

Shelton Wilder:

I'm like, I don't care. I'm not listening to what you're saying. I'm going to put the video out because I want people to know Shelton is doing real estate every single day. This is what she does. She's not leaving. I'm not changing my mind. This is what I'm doing because four years ago I had said, I've only had my license a little over five years and we've grown this team and done all this, but I think it's because I let my sphere and everybody that I know, know that this is what I'm doing.

I didn't go back to styling. I didn't, halfway in halfway out. Was full in real estate. And that was so key, to not be part-time, not be half in half out. I mean, this is a major career.

Shelton Wilder:

This is a full-time business for me. And I treated it like a business, an entrepreneur versus just, oh, good, you sell one thing and then you just go take a vacation. No, it's just investing back into the business and investing in video as well. So that's been our strategy. So I hope that helps.

I feel like that's how we've been able to create a brand as well. It's through the videos and also through really high end photography. And I mean, that's been a big part of the brand and having your own logo and yeah, so that's how we've done it.

Tracey Velt:

Okay. And how are you producing the videos? I mean, do you have a team or do you have a videographer or are you just doing it yourself?

Shelton Wilder:

Oh, no, we have a videographer. Grant has been doing it. He's fantastic. He can do the drones and the gimbal and all of the stuff. Great production quality and all of the different editing. And so, yeah. When I first started, I just had the ring light and I attached my phone to it. Whatever you have to do to get started, it doesn't matter. I mean, just get started. But then we got more of a budget and so we have Grant and he's on retainer.

And then we film the four Wilder Wednesdays for the month, depending on how many Wednesdays, four or five. And then we do the theatrical videos with the team and that's just part of what we do. And then he does the videos for the properties as well. And we try to make them a little more interesting.

Shelton Wilder:

So it's been really fun and very successful. And the other thing I was going to say is if people are listening too, because sometimes you want to have longer videos for your properties, but we sometimes do two videos because the one, if you keep it to one minute, then you can promote it on Instagram.

Otherwise, if it's longer than a minute it's IGTV and you can't promote those to get the word out more. So that's an interesting tip that I always like to share with people that you can get two links of the videos. Oh yeah, we did another one that was, instead of I dream of Jeannie. I dream of Jenny, Jen's on our team. She's amazing. She comes up with a lot of these ideas too. So just taking things from other TV shows or movies, it's been fun.

Tracey Velt:

Okay. That's great. You said you grew your Instagram audience and you think that your videos were important in helping you grow. What about YouTube? Are you getting a lot of traction yet on YouTube? I know it's more difficult to really get that traction.

Shelton Wilder:

Yes, no. That is part of our strategy for 2021, is really getting more focused on YouTube because it is such a different animal. What we've done with Instagram, it doesn't work especially on YouTube. And also that's why our thing is the Wilder Ways of Real Estate is a longer version of the videos. They can be up to 10 minutes or less. I mean, you can do as long as you want on YouTube, but trying to get longer videos versus the shorter ones on Instagram. So that's coming up in 2021 and doing little episodes of day in the life of what we're doing as agents and the team and how things are going.

I mean, obviously with coronavirus, it's been a little different. We want to be safe, but we still have been able to produce content, but it just threw a little bit of a wrench in, but we pivoted and figured out how to be safe with the videos. But yeah, that's coming in 2021 for sure.

Tracey Velt:

Okay, great. And I know part of your course is pitching. And pitching services to buyers and sellers, it's a skill, a learned skill. So what do you see as some common mistakes agents make when it comes to pitching their services to buyers and sellers and what tips do you have to help them improve that?

Shelton Wilder:

Okay, this is great. I feel like I've learned the hard way. And so I want to share what I've learned and hopefully this could be helpful. So in my course, I even have where Grant filmed me doing a listing presentation, and everybody seemed to really like that in the course. But what I think is the difference is sometimes agents can come in and just come in hot talking about themselves.

These are my sales; these are my debts. This is this, about myself. And really, I think what people want is to talk about them. They want to talk about them and what they're going through and really get that heart connection. And so I bring my little pad or paper or my little journal, and I come into the house and put all of my information down and I say, will you give me a tour of the home?

Shelton Wilder:

And that's what I feel like that's when you can really bond and connect with the client. And I take my little notes about all the special things that they think about their house, and they can really explain it to you. And then you can get to the bottom of why they're selling. What is the reason that they're selling? It's not really pitching yourself so much because people want to work with people that they like, and then they connect to.

And because you're really entering a marriage when you start to work with them, if you're selling their home. Because you're in there, you're talking to them almost every single day. I mean, I talk to some of my clients more than I do my husband. So you have to like the person and I [love 00:15:28] my husband, it's just like, oh, [inaudible 00:15:32], so that's important, but also getting to the bottom of the reason that they're doing.

Shelton Wilder:

So that's like my big, big thing that I say is just really try to talk about them instead of boasting about your sales and your this and your that. And also when I talk, I mostly talk about case studies and things that have happened with experience with other homes that have sold and I think that's important too. And then we bring in and show a lot of before and after books, because people are very visual.

And so having that and letting them see why should you paint? Why should you stage? Why should you get your house ready and property prep? And we have the before and after to really show. And I think that's been really helpful too. I just think that most of our clients see Instagram, see those things. So they know who you are. Sometimes they'll research you. So it's more about connecting with them as a person. That's I think, my biggest tip I would say

Tracey Velt:

Now let's take a quick break to hear some exciting news from REAL Trends and our sponsors.

As the trusted source, REAL Trends has been offering rankings for both brokers firms and residential real estate agents and teams for more than 15 years. These reports called the REAL Trends 500 Top Brokerage Firms, Nation's Best Brokerage Firms, REAL Trends + Tom Ferry The Thousand Top Real Estate Agents and Teams, and REAL Trends + Tom Ferry America's Best Agents and Teams, offer a peek into what it takes to be on the top. To see how you stack up to your competition, go to realtrends.com/rankings/. Now back to our podcast.

Tracey Velt:

Now you are well versed in TV. It sounds like you were on Shark Tank. You were on Million Dollar Listing and you also filmed a pilot for HGTV. So let's first start with Shark Tank. What was your product? I know that the sharks didn't bite, but I'd love to know what your product was and any lessons learned from that experience that you could relate back to your real estate business?

Shelton Wilder:

Oh, yes. I mean, what an incredible experience. I mean, I feel really blessed that I was even cast to be on there. That was exciting. We actually aired about eight years ago. So it's been a while, but it's still airs all the time.

Shelton Wilder:

The product is called, it's called the shimmy and it's like a little slip and there's one, that's a romper. I call it the paparazzi protector. It's not a spanx because it's not tight. So it was just a layering piece. And I still wear one almost everyday. It's a great product. I was a fashion stylist, so that's how I came up with the product because it was something missing in the market.

And so it was just wild to be able to be on Shark Tank. I mean, I was pitching to sharks. So I take that with me when I'm going to go meet clients. I'm like, oh listen, no worries. We got this. I've already pitched you Mr. Wonderful and Mark Cuban. That was quite the audience. I was, oh my gosh.

Shelton Wilder:

So anyway, that was amazing experience to be able to go out there. And yes, I did learn a lot and I learned about the power of television. It's pretty massive. And yeah, so they did not pick it up, but then I did my own kick-starter and I raised the same amount of money, the $35,000 that I was asking for from the shark. So ended up working out. But I wanted to shift my business and I just realized it was lonely having a clothing line.

It's not being out with people so much, even though you might think so. And I love just being with clients. And so that's where I shifted into real estate. I think taking all of the lessons about running a business really helped me into seeing that this is... I was so grateful to get on REAL Trends.

Shelton Wilder:

That was so exciting. And my third full year was last year. And I think because of treating it like a business and an entrepreneur versus just you close something, and it's like deal to deal or a paycheck to paycheck kind of thing. We have to run it like a business. And I also know that I have to hire a lot of people.

I mean, we have a lot of us and it really makes a difference. You know when you need to grow, when you need to invest back in to your business. So I think that, that's a big difference and I'm glad that I've had these other businesses before. This is my fourth business. I'm like a serial entrepreneur.

Shelton Wilder:

And I think my other biggest thing and other lesson too, is if I am not good at something, I hire somebody to help me. I mean, I know that I can't do everything and that's why I have a coach and she helps run our business and I have assistants and a social media. It helps so much. I know what I am great at and I know what I'm not good at. And I get help in those areas. So I think that that's good to know about yourself.

Tracey Velt:

Definitely. Very important.

Shelton Wilder:

And outsourcing, even if it's not a full-time person, then outsource. Oh, and then we have great TCs. I just ask for help. And so I think that's one of my biggest skills, is actually knowing what I'm not good at. That's so important because it's hard to do everything. It's really hard to do everything and be great at everything.

Tracey Velt:

HGTV found you, so tell me a little bit about why they came to you particularly? And the show that you came up with is the Wilder Ways of Real Estate. So tell me about what that show was, and since they didn't pick it up, where are you with the show right now?

Shelton Wilder:

Okay. So what happened is that I met some producers from River and they're amazing. And we put together a pitch and that's how it worked at first. We did the pitch and then we were just on the video and then they took it to the different places. And then that's when HGTV picked it up to do a pilot. And then that's how it worked. And it was Wilder Possibilities.

And then it was called Blonde Entourage. And then we had our team. And so basically what the show was and what we taped was real estate in Los Angeles. But a little bit different, not really similar to Million Dollar Listing or Selling Sunset or anything. It was more about the client and how we interact with them versus just in between the agents, I would say.

Shelton Wilder:

And so it was just like, we did the full before and after we got this house. We showed the before and we completely had our contractor, Carlos come in and redid the whole house and got it ready to sell. And then we showcase that. So it was a before and after, and then we showed how we do open houses and how we practice real estate in LA and really centered around the client.

So it was really fun. It was exciting and we taped it and then where we are now is, they still have the pilot. They did not pick it up for the series, but they still have the pilot that they're shopping, the production company.

Shelton Wilder:

So yeah, we'll see where it goes. And, production has slowed down with everything changing in 2020, but you just never know. It'd be really fun if it worked out. But we're just still continuing to keep doing the videos, keep producing our own content and getting things out there. And it's always about our clients. So we're just keeping on moving forward with it and we keep having a great year and just staying super positive.

Tracey Velt:

Okay. Great. My final question is just; you said you're launching a course, who is the course available to, and tell me a little bit about that?

Shelton Wilder:

About that. Okay. So the course is the Wilder Ways of Real Estate. And it's really for any agent, if they're new, if they're thinking about it, if they've done it for a while, want to refresh. Basically, we just had our students in there, it was a big success. And I feel like they got so much out of it.

And it's really about creating a brand and getting your logo, doing your manifest board, getting your colors, getting that all together so you're a real business I feel like. Getting all of your flag and tools and everything together that you need as an agent, and then also really encouraging you to do the videos and showing you how we do all of that. And that's been really important.

Shelton Wilder:

So it's about building a brand. So videos, Instagram, and any sort of social media and then making sure that you're your own business and how you're going to present yourself to the world. That's how we're doing it and just pushes you along that path.

And by the end of the course, that was what everybody came out of it is with the brand, setting up how they're going to do their weekly videos and help with websites and all of that. So it was really fun and helpful. It's like a mastermind session too. So it was great. So any agents that are thinking about it.

Tracey Velt:

Okay, great. Well, Shelton, thank you so much. It was a very informative interview and I love all the creativity you bring to your business. That's wonderful.

Shelton Wilder:

Oh, thank you. Yeah, we like to have a lot of fun and I think that's the other thing as well too, is that the reason that I think video is so important, especially right now, because when you can't see each other, you can't see people face to face, you want people to hear your voice, and to see your personality and see who you are.

Because you're not meeting at coffee shops and some people don't want to do in-person meeting. So that's how you want to get the world to see you. So just being authentic to yourself, that's always the best thing to do.

Tracey Velt:

Yeah, definitely. Well, thank you so much for joining us Shelton. We appreciate you being on the REAL Trends, America's best podcast and congratulations on all your success.

Shelton Wilder:

Oh, thank you so much. I really appreciate you having me on I, it was so great. Thank you.

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