Alyssa Hellman ~ Conversations That Matter, Episode #6

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Meet a young powerhouse who is so settled in her own skin and her own mind that she says what she thinks and happens to be extremely grounded and clear! Alyssa Hellman is possibly THE YOUNGEST office manager at Long and Foster in Washington DC and we dive deep into dropping industry jargon and focusing on getting real.

“I pride myself on cutting through the crap and telling to my clients, friends and family straight.” ~ @AHellmanDC (TWEET THIS!)

You’ll get a great sense of Alyssa and her progressive approach to business when you land on her website and you see THIS:

Scroll down a bit further and you’ll see her professionally shot video and hear what Alyssa BELIEVES and her approach working with her clients.

We tackle some traditional beliefs about the RE business and I think you’ll truly be inspired and love listening to Alyssa’s perspective and I hope you take up her call to…

“Tell Your Truth”!


Teri:Hi, everybody. This is Teri Conrad. I am about to have a conversation that matters with a young rock star, Alyssa Hellman, who I have met through Inman Connect, who is uber-connected herself and is a licensed realtor. Also, one of the – if not the youngest office manager, I think you have a reputation for the youngest manager in an office at Long and Foster in DC, right?

Alyssa:Yes, that is right. 

Teri:That is right. I am that amazing! Welcome to the show. I hate to even call it a show. Let’s be honest, these are really about intimate conversations, and about diving in with people on purpose like yourself who I think are really real, coming through the crap, and having the balls to say what they really want to say; which brings me to why I’m wearing this lovely attire today. Let’s just go there really fast. I’m wearing a t-shirt, and I don’t know if you can see that. I don’t want to show my boobs in the show, but there you go, “I don’t always kick ass, but when I do you can call me…” Oh, hold on, time out. Look, can you see? What does it say?

Alyssa:“T-Rad. Who am I kidding? I always kick ass.”

Teri:That is a gift from the amazing Melissa and Chad, Happy Grasshopper and Dotloop, just in case people aren’t familiar with Melissa Case and Chad Humphrey. That arrived in the mail yesterday. Of course, I put that up on a little thread this morning and next thing you know Melissa’s like, “I hope you’re going to be wearing that on our interviews.” There you go, that explains why I’m wearing a t-shirt that says ass.

Alyssa:Amen to that. You can’t really see it in the shot so you’re good.

Teri:We’re good. Okay, good. Back to you and things that actually matter. You and I have had a couple of really good conversations on the heels of Inman Connect. We were both just down in San Francisco. You were up on at least one panel. I think there was a few. How many times were you up on that stage?

Alyssa:One that I had planned on, and then the other I just kind of got on stage.

Teri:Here’s the thing about you. People just love listening to you talk. I think the reason that is, is because like I said earlier, you really cut through the crap. You aren’t afraid to say what you really think. It’s not that you’re being irreverent or trying to stir the pot. You just are really very open. I think you’re comfortable in your own skin, and you just know what you think. I think it’s really refreshing in this space. I think most people really appreciate that. You wrote an article post-Connect that referenced a conversation that matters with Michael Thorne. Why don’t you tell me a little bit about that article? What resonated for you and why we entered into this conversation?

Alyssa:Sure. I guess my biggest takeaway from Connect was there’s all these things in real estate and frankly, in life, that we are told we should be saying, and these things we should be doing. There’s like this next natural step that we’re supposed to follow. What ends up happening is when you follow all of that, sometimes you lose yourself in it, and you lose your own voice.

I was in the process after Connect, and sort of at Connect, but mostly after Connect, of redesigning my website. I was reading through it, and it was one of those things where it just – well what was on my website mattered. A lot of it to me sounded like industry jargon. I hate that, and I would hate that if I was a consumer coming to my website because I would be like, “I don’t know what that means.” 

That’s been something in my personal and in my career, that I’ve always prided myself on; really cutting through the crap and telling it to my clients, my friends, and my family straight. It bothered me that’s how it read, because I thought to myself, “That isn’t very me.” I rest my belief in, while you can get clients any which way, and there’s a million different ways to do it; I think people will choose to work with you because they like you. 

We all get basically the same training to do what we do, and so people work with me because they like who I am. I wanted to let that really shine through. I basically cut the crap and just wrote what I thought, and what I believe, and I really love, and I’m passionate about. To me, that was so important because I feel like now you go to my website and you really get to know me. I think that’s important for consumers to see.

Teri:Completely agree, and it’s something honestly that I think a lot of agents really struggle with. I think there’s a lot of agents that want to be more themselves, but we’ve been sold this bill of goods; which is you have to be very professional, and you have to look a certain way. There’s sort of a formula on how it’s done and everyone sort of ends up looking very vanilla; very the same. Save a few great examples that we could rattle off that inspire us. I think that’s part of it. We reference, or I reference [05:43] all of the time, start with Y, and not even the start with Y aspect, but he always talks about, “Come from a place of what you believe and what you stand for.” That’s the sort of thing that really touches people and inspires people. 

This conversation is timely because there’s been some big news in the industry this week. 

Alyssa:Oh God.

Teri:I know. I would love to go around it, and we don’t have to spend a lot of time here. I think we have to at least address it. 

Alyssa:It’s okay. There’s no way of avoiding it. 

Teri:There really is no way. Zillow is positioned to purchase Trulia for 3.5 billion mostly stock options it sounds like. What’s your take?

Alyssa:You’re lucky I love you, Teri.

Teri:I know.

Alyssa:I guess my take really is that I feel like yesterday when this news got announced it was all over my newsfeed. I at all costs tried to avoid it, and then around 5:00 p.m. I was like, “I can’t.” I remember, I even posted, “Alright. I’ll feed the monster” because there was this huge outcry from people of like, “The sky is falling. How am I ever going to do business again?” 

We’re doing something within my office where we’re trying to learn where our agents are getting their clients from, because that’s where we want to help them invest their money. When we do that, what we’ve learned, kind of not shocking to me, is that something like 77 percent of the deals that our agents are doing are coming from some level of referral; a family member, a friend, or whatever it may be. 

Certainly, these sites offer the consumer the ability to search and whatever it may be. I guess my thing is, if as agents we’re confident enough in our service, and our value, and what we bring to the table, then own that. Be comfortable and don’t worry about that smiling face that’s sitting in the [07:48] next to the listing. If a client really is going to go after that, then they’re misguided to begin with – if you were to ask me; which unfortunately, you did.

Teri:I did ask, and so there you go. The reason I asked is because, of course, I definitely agree with you. I’ve been saying this since the very first time I ever got up on a stage and we talked about this which is, “The pie is not only so big.” It’s like Guy Kawasaki said at Connect, “Be the baker. Instead of worrying about what you’re not getting over here go and bake new business over here.” I absolutely love that philosophy. I love that you, at such a young age, have already completely embraced things that many of us at my age still really struggle to grasp. 

To be perfectly frank, I feel like it positions everyone to just focus on what matters in their business; which is, “What can I actually affect?” Instead of worrying about the things that we cannot control, we just release those things and focus on the things that in fact we can. When an agent of yours comes to you, and is all worried about missing out on business what is your answer to him?

Alyssa:My thing is, that it all roots back to this basic belief in, probably in all industries, but definitely in real estate; “Just say no sometimes, and it’s okay to say no.” I feel like it’s beaten into us – well, not beaten, but we need to go after every single deal, and when you do that you forget what you’re doing. You forget that you’re dealing with people and their lives. You start thinking of it more as a transaction, and a deal, and chasing the next deal, and I hate that. My thing is, it’s like this is a people business. It always has been. It’s always going to be. If you focus less on what might happen down the road, and less on chasing the next deal, you can focus and do some really great things for the clients that you already have. 

Teri:Couldn’t agree more, and I preach this all the time about creating that foundational base. If you aren’t sure about who your client even is, and you’re not sure about the value that you deliver – which I think is the fear, and that’s a conversation we can have too, because I know that we both identify that’s the basis of this problem which is we’re just afraid. If you have it figured out what it is that you want to do, and what you bring to the table outside of the data, outside of the two bedroom, three bath; or three bedroom, two bath – I know that’s a conversation we’ve had many times. Walk me through, you get a brand new agent in your office, and they’ve invested a lot into this business, and they want to be successful, and they really have next to no idea how to approach it. They’re looking to you as a company to guide them and help them build their careers. Where do you start with those new agents, and how do you get them thinking proactively and constructively?

Alyssa:Sure. I think the biggest thing is, it’s like when you’re a new agent – I was fortunate enough to come into the business when this was already around. I don’t know a business before Zillow and Trulia, I only know it after. Maybe that’s why I feel the way that I do. The reality of it is, whether you came in before or after they were around; they’re here now, and they’re probably not going anywhere. You need to figure out a way to deal with it and just operate your business on a daily basis without that, or to incorporate that. 

My thing that I always preach to new agents is, “We will take you through the process of learning the X’s and O’s that you need to know; so the contract, the best practices for showing property, the best practices for going through a checklist with a transaction, and dealing with clients. Really, what I can’t teach, and what agents inherently have to have is their story and the way that they are with people. People kind of dryly refer to this as “people skills”, but it’s really not just people skills. 

I know some really successful agents that are really bad with most people, but with their people, if you kind of find your tribe is how my mom used to refer to it, if you find your tribe they will be very loyal to you; if you are you. I think that’s really what people want is that authenticity, which gets thrown around way too much. If you’re really talking authenticity, and really talking about it as a value add and a deliverable; that’s something that not everybody can offer. That’s really how you set yourself apart too.

Teri:I love that. You know that I love that. Authenticity is really an overused buzzword, there’s no question. Authenticity and – there’s a few. I had a few on the top of my tongue. The point is it’s a struggle. I’ll give you an example. There’s a guy in my market who’s a top producer. He ended up becoming co-owner of my old brokerage, and he does these cheeseball, bad, coffee flyers to his firmed area. Everyone gets their little coffee coupon in their flyer, and you know what? They love it. He does killer business. His tag is, “Can’t play golf.” In other words, “I can do a hell of a good real estate deal, but I can’t play golf.” I’ve always loved it. He was a little bit ahead of his time. He has not remotely embraced tack as far as I know, or certainly not social; yet he will continue to do his business. 

Valerie Garcia would kick me in the butt if she heard me say this, because she’s like, “That’s true today, but cut to five to ten years he better start to embrace technology or he will be struggling to remain relevant”, which I agree with in terms of talking about being who you actually are, and doing the kind of business that you actually want to do. I just love that you are promoting, “Be true to yourself, tell your story, articulate who you are, and you will attract those types of clients” as long as you stay in communication. How do you advise your agents to do that? How do they foster that?

Alyssa:The best way is the way you are actually going to do it. I say this, and Val might actually kick me in the butt for this, but this is so true. The best systems that people can adopt – there’s no best CRM solution for everyone. Whatever is the best tech or the best system is the one that you’re ultimately going to use. For some agents, that would be picking up the phone and calling their sphere on a regular basis. For some, it’s going to be going to PTA meetings, and talking with other moms at soccer games, or whatever it may be. What I advise my agents to do is continue doing what you were doing. When you change how you were acting in your everyday life to mold to your business, that’s when you come off as this agent that’s always selling. That’s why people don’t like real estate agents, I think. 

Teri:It’s back to that desperation and that fear. I’m afraid I’m going to lose a deal, or I’m afraid that client’s not going to want list with me, or whatever it might be. There’s this desperation and this push, and I think that’s why we have that reputation as well. I think too, when they – not just do what you always did, but embrace what you’re passionate about. What your actual interests are. Then you connect with those people, and you just – that’s where your tribe develops. Don’t you think?

Alyssa:Yeah. I think it’s also getting to know people on a personal level. It also establishes a level of being comfortable and a level in your relationship that you couldn’t have otherwise. While you need to set expectations within that, the people that know me and know my life know I have a boyfriend and that we reserve time where we try and spend together. They know that my family’s in New York.

Teri:Is that allowed?

Alyssa:Yeah, it’s allowed. That’s my life. Yeah, it’s allowed. You know what? Guy Kawasaki said it perfectly. “Because my clients do it too and I would expect them to give me the same consideration that I would give them.”  I think that that’s something that agents are afraid to say. Agents are afraid to say, you have all these expectations of me, now here’s what I expect from you. That’s not a, you owe me something. That’s how relationships work. If I say something to you, I expect that you will respond. That’s how conversations work. 

I think that that – the agents that aren’t doing that and aren’t setting not just their expectations of what the client will expect them to do, but the expectations of what you expect your clients to do and the consideration, you’re missing the boat on a whole other level. 

Teri:I love it. I love it. A couple of words that stood out for me, one is relationship and the idea that you are building a relationship. Not a sales goal or a transaction as you had said earlier, which I love that. We are so transactional and thinking only about this deal, this moment, versus long-term. How am I designing my life and my business? I love how you’re saying, so I’m setting my boundaries up front. I’m communicating that effectively with my clients and with my agents. Here’s what you can expect from me, and by the way, here’s what I’m going to expect from you as part of this deal. I think you’re right. I think people are so afraid to do that, but it’s powerful. It’s actually very powerful. 

Alyssa:Right, absolutely. I mean, I think there’s something to that. For example, on my website, the advice that I was given of just tell your story, and so I did. The reality of it is my story may dissuade some from wanting to work with me. The first words on my website are I’m not a lifelong local. I’m not. I moved here, and I loved it, and I haven’t found a reason to go elsewhere. 

Teri:Right. Instantly, it draws you in because, wow, that’s refreshing. Someone’s being really honest. That’s that first step towards building a trust and a relationship, which is what we’re totally focused on. I love that. 

Alyssa:Absolutely. It’s an honest statement. That’s really what I would love to see more in the industry of just tell your truth. That doesn’t have to be the same thing as my truth, but it’s your truth. There’s something refreshing and just real about that that will allow people to connect with you in a way that if you’re not telling your truth right now, you’ve never been seen before. 

Teri:This is where it gets really interesting for me as a coach because we’re dealing with fears and we’re dealing with – particularly with new agents. There’s this imposter syndrome that people deal with, right? I’m supposed to be this expert when I have next to no experience. We put on airs, and we position ourselves so that you the client, or the customer who we want to be a client, can believe in me and invest in me when I’m not confident myself that I can deliver. It’s this very crazy space for people. I think one of the ways that agents can combat that is by aligning themselves, (A), with strong brokerages and having that team support from behind. I think it’s so key, so, so, so key. How do you see that part? I know you’ve witnessed a lot of this too. 

Alyssa:I guess strong brokerages is the right word to say, but I would caution any listeners to associate that with big brokerages. I mean, I realize this is the pot calling the kettle black because I’m part of a big brokerage, but I really think there’s a place for small brokerages, so my advice to anybody – or if you’re hiring, this would be my advice, or if you’re looking, this would be my advice. Align yourself with people who believe in the same things you do.

Teri:Love it. Yes. Love it. 

Alyssa: If you do that, you will never be chasing your tail. You will never be trying to figure it out because when you’re surrounding yourself – and there’s a difference between that and surrounding yourself with people who are just like you. That’s not the same thing. 

Teri:Make that distinction for us. You’re saying that’s not the same thing. How do you see them as being different? 

Alyssa:Aligning yourself with people that believe in the same things that you do, and hold the same values and morals, but aren’t just like you, are going to be the people that push you to grow, and learn, and develop. You will never stop growing, and learning, and developing with people like that around. People that are just like you are never going to call you on your crap. 

Teri:That’s so true. 

Alyssa:Frankly, if you ask me, it’s the opposite direction where you can settle in, and yeah, you’re comfortable every day, but you’re not ever really growing. You’re not pushing yourself to do the next thing that you really should be doing. I think that that’s definitely a key distinction that people should take into account. 

Teri:I love that. The key thing there would be getting clearer first. Developing that clarity around what you even stand for.  What are your values? What do you believe? Again, that’s [00:22:24] that I always love to talk about. I know sometimes people think this is so airy fairy, but the truth is I think it’s foundational. I absolutely believe it’s foundational. 

Alyssa:Absolutely. I think that that’s – it’s almost sad to look around the industry and not see it that way. When you look at new agents, the first thing that they’re coached on, nine times out of ten, is how to get their first deal. Literally, that’s what all the training is all about. If you look at – and I could be wrong. I realize it’s in three states, but not everywhere. If you look at pre-licensing training, there’s nothing about binding your story. I realize that that’s kind of floozy, and however people want to call it. It’s one of those things that I think is so integral into understanding how you will do business and who you are. Hey, cat. 

Teri:This is my cat. 

Alyssa:That’s the cat.

Teri:Can you timeout one second. I’m going to let him out since he’s clearly going to be a pain. Come on. Go. Go you. The story behind that cat is that’s my son, my 26 year old son. He moved back home a few years ago, and then the cat stayed. He’s the one that will be producing this, and he’ll get a chuckle out of that. Now he’ll have to cut all this out. 

Alyssa:Oh, good. I don’t remember what I was talking about. 

Teri:The foundational, oh, and pre-licensing. 

Alyssa:Okay. Where do you want me to restart?

Teri:Start with when you go to pre-licensing. 

Alyssa:Okay. When you go to pre-licensing, there’s, to me, this issue of they teach you what to do once you have a deal, but they don’t teach you that foundational tell your story so that you can get a deal. Really, most new agents are truly imposters. You know what? A lot of experienced agents, frankly, treat them that way because they know that. They were them at one point. Without that training on knowing how to setup your business and knowing – defining the culture of what your business is going to be, to me, you almost have no business doing a deal. 

Teri:I love that. I completely love that. I, of course, feel so bad for newer agents because, like you said, in the pre-licensing, post-licensing part of the deal, they’re so head down, and they are. They’re consuming a lot of information. I mean, heavens, today they have to learn so much more than even we had to learn when we trained because now all the new tech and everything else that’s come out just changes the game even that much more. I feel for them. I feel like there’s all this stuff to learn. 

What I think is missed is there’s literally no here’s how – you wouldn’t expect – let me back up. You wouldn’t expect to open any other business, so any turnkey business you would expect that there would be systems. You would expect that there would be structure. You would expect to invest some dollars, frankly, and time, and elbow grease, and everything else while you learn. Not just what the business is, what the product or service is, but also how to run a business. 

Alyssa:Yeah. They give you the nuts and bolts, but they don’t tell you how to put it together. 


Alyssa:They teach you how to be an agent, but not how to be an entrepreneur, which really we all are. As soon as you decide that you’re going to sell real estate, you now own a business whether you realized that or not. I think what happens is you get these new agents that don’t realize that that’s what’s about to happen and then all of a sudden they’re dealing with the running of the business part of it. They’re like, I don’t like this part. 

Teri:I know. 

Alyssa:Then they drop out of the business. 

Teri:Totally, and the truth is it’s part of our fault as an industry as we don’t articulate that very clearly I don’t think. 

Alyssa:Right. No. I totally agree. 

Teri:We could do a better job of saying by the way, this industry isn’t for everybody. I mean, I’m going to get my hand slapped for saying this out loud, but the truth is that’s not what the associations are interested in. They’re interested in just getting more bodies I think. 

Alyssa:I’m going to stay silent on that one. 

Teri:Alrighty then. Let’s go back to you did an Inman interview actually. It was a video interview, and it came out on Inman, and it was talking a lot more about the similar philosophies that we just talked about. You mentioned small brokerages. You mentioned some scrappy businesses that are opening. Are there any in particular that inspire you and why would that be?

Alyssa:There’s a few that inspire me. That’s a really good question. Definitely Zach Schabot down in North Carolina would go – I just love what he’s doing because his entire company is based on a belief that we both share of there’s got to be a better way. 

Teri:I love it. 

Alyssa:The first time I met Zach I sat in one of his presentations. I think at a reboot or something like that. That came across his slide. I literally took a picture of the slide because I didn’t know what else to do. It was one of those things where I was, oh, my God. Somebody else thinks that. It was so cool to me. I just love what he’s doing. He’s really excited and passionate about it, and he’s doing a great job down there. Go ahead.

Teri:Sorry. I was just going to say I just met him for the first time, and of course, everybody and their dog knows who Zach is, but he was new to me. I had the luxury of meeting him twice, and he forgot both times. I did get a follow up video from him, down on one knee, ala Guy Kawasaki’s, Richard Branson style. He was deeply apologetic for me being so forgettable, so there you go. 

Alyssa:No. That’s what’s so funny. Zach’s hilarious but it’s so authentic. That’s one of the things that I really love about what he does. You can tell that he really loves what he’s doing at work. It doesn’t pass anyone that knows Zach by how much he loves and adores his family, and how much he takes time for them. He also did an Inman interview a while back, and it was about unplugging. He said to me many times he takes his client – his family, sorry, sacrifices a lot so that he can be with his clients. They give him the time and the flexibility to do a lot of things. Every now and then he asks his clients to sacrifice that and his users on his app to sacrifice that. Then he unplugs and gives his family the time. 

That’s one of those things that I so whole heartedly believe in, and try my best to start doing. It’s one of those things where that’s how you continue to love what you do, by removing yourself from it every now and then. Just because you love what you do doesn’t mean you need to do it 24/7 because there should be a lot of other things that you love doing too. 

Teri:Agree, but as you know, this business can be quite all consuming. Like you said, we’re either working in the business or we’re working on the business. As an entrepreneur, you never quite feel finished, so that can be quite challenging for most people. 

Alyssa:Yeah, but I think it’s also something where we need to stop viewing ourselves in these little, tiny boxes of I’m an independent contractor. I’m the only one who could ever do what I do. No you’re not. At the end of the day, no you’re not. Nobody is. Most of us could probably figure it out. Most brokerages have a managing broker, or a manager, or even another agent who could step in so that you can unplug. When you are honest with your clients and say, look, I’ve been going nonstop, and this deal, it’s almost done. All you’ve got is a few last things, and you lay it all out there for them. They ask you to unplug. They want you to get your time for yourself because they know how much you’ve been devoting to them. 


Alyssa:I think that that’s something that so many agents are afraid to do, but when you do it, you’re like, oh, okay. Nothing happened. It’s alright. 

Teri:Hold on. You just said that your client knows how much you’ve done for them. Then I assume that you’ve been excellent at communicating to your clients what it is that – the process. I don’t think that all agents do that well. How do you do that?

Alyssa:I ask them a lot of questions so that I can find out what their chief concerns are. Then I continuously apologize throughout the transaction if I’m repeating myself. I mean, because they – and I tell them. I say, stop me if you already know this, but if you don’t, I feel like it’s my responsibility to tell you. Then I’ll layout a slew of facts and stuff that they need to know. 

You know what? This is a perfect example, and I actually love this story because I just found it out this week. I had some clients that closed while I was at Inman. I always remind my clients weeks in advance, and then a week in advance, and then the day before a settlement, don’t forget to switch your utilities. Don’t forget to switch your utilities. I tell them what all the utilities are. 

Commonly, condos cover your water, so they had settled. I was in San Francisco; I actually Skyped into their settlement. They got to the house, and no water was on. They didn’t call me. I had no idea until about two days ago when I went by just to drop in, and say hello, and see how they were doing. I asked how the move was. We had spoken in between now and then. I said, “Your water didn’t work? Why didn’t you call me and tell me?”  They said, “Well, what could you have done in San Francisco that we couldn’t have done ourselves?”  They said, “It’s not like you didn’t remind us to turn on our utilities.” 

To me, what that said – and I laughed it off, and it was a great thing. I was like, how great of them to understand that I really have done my due diligence here. They forgot something, and I’m not going to crucify them for that. We all make mistakes. It’s hard when you’re moving. 

Teri:It is hard. 

Alyssa:You forget things. Understanding that had I not gone through the process and told them all the things that I had and all of those things, they probably would’ve been really pissed off when they showed up and their water wasn’t working. 


Alyssa:It maybe would’ve been my fault. It maybe wouldn’t have been. My thing is, yes, I still somewhat take ownership that the water wasn’t on. Really, had I been here, had I called them the next day, I couldn’t have done anything that they could’ve done themselves. 

Teri:That’s exactly right. 

Alyssa:That’s how you learn to unplug. You start talking to your clients, which not a lot of people do. You start talking to them besides just the nuts and bolts. You start talking to them about their lives, and your life, and what’s going on. Then they see you as a person, not a salesman. 

Teri:Hence, the relationship.

Alyssa:Yeah. You build a relationship. 

Teri:Yeah. I completely agree. Let me ask you a question. I know you work with a lot of newer buyers. How do you think that we’ve done in terms of positioning what they should be expecting from their agent? I mean, I think we would all agree that the average consumer really doesn’t know what it is. If they were searching for a new agent, it seems like they’re – it’s the one area where the average consumer really seems fairly ignorant about how to find an agent that suits their needs, or how to build that relationship, or where they should even be looking. If Zillow really is, which I believe, probably the place where a lot of discovery’s being made – certainly in the United States; here it’s a little less, of course, because we don’t have Zillow. How do you do that? How do we do that? How do we do it better? What are we doing wrong? 

Alyssa:We’re not continuing to talk to people that we know. We are working, and working, and working, and we’re doing the job, but we’re not doing our career. We’re clawing and screaming to try and get through the day. Then you get through the day, and you still have all these people that you should’ve talked to because you just didn’t. It’s very easy to not find the time to do something, but it’s also very easy to find the time, and to connect with people. When you continue to connect with people, I believe that this whole Zillow, Trulia thing doesn’t really matter. 

I’ve had clients find a property on Zillow, and bring it to me. Oddly enough, it wasn’t a real listing on the market. I think that’s the house they bought. I’d have to go back and look, but I’m pretty sure that’s the house that they bought, but they brought it to me because they understand that my value isn’t just helping somebody find a house. It’s helping you navigate the process but as a profession, as an industry? No. I don’t think we’re doing a great job conveying what somebody should be looking for in an agent. I don’t really know how you tackle that because I think it looks different for everybody. 

Teri:I love how you just positioned that, which is it’s really our own responsibility to be educating our own people. 


Teri:If we stay in communication and connection, then that shouldn’t really be as big of an issue as it’s been. 


Teri:Maybe we don’t look to the associations and the higher levels for that sort of direction. Maybe that’s where we can take some ownership. 

Alyssa:Yeah. I mean, I think you should take some ownership. If you can’t tell me why I should work with you, I shouldn’t, frankly. You need to be able not just to know what your value proposition is, but to be able to convey that to someone who might work with you.

Teri:Agreed, agreed. Difficult to say, or sorry. Difficult to do, easy to say.

Alyssa:I was like, it was pretty easy to say.

Teri:Slipped right out actually. Yeah. I got that. Here’s the thing. Back quickly, before we wrap. All the way back to your original blog post that we touched on where you quoted Michael Thorne and something in that interview really tweaked you. Can you remember what that was? 

Alyssa:I can remember what that was. It was when he talked about his definition of success, or you actually asked him what his definition of success was. I’m sorry if I’m not getting it right. I think he told you, “The amount of hours in the day that you’re happy.”  I was like, “Hell yeah.”  Cut that out. I should not have said it [00:38:23].

Teri:No way, man. That’s why we love you because you’re so real. 

Alyssa:No. I’m just kidding. You can leave that. Good thing I didn’t say what I was actually going to say. It was one of those things where I was listening so intently and then he said that. I remember. I was driving in my car to a meeting to meet a client, and I literally could not help but smile because I was like, yes. That’s so true. Where it’s stop defining success with your bank account. Your bank account doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, if you are truly happy in what you do, that’s going to shine through in what you do, in your personal life with your family. That to me is absolutely success. 

Teri:Absolutely. That takes us to the big question that I ask everybody, except for Laura Monroe. I totally forgot to ask her so I have to go back. The really big question and honestly, why we’re having these conversations is because I believe that life is bigger than just that moment, or that transaction, or your career. The career is meaningful if you designed it in a way that makes sense to you, and you’re living a life that’s bringing you some joy. The question I always want to ask and the conversation that I find the most interesting is – you’re looking back on your life. You’ve lived a great life and you’re looking back. What were the things that were most meaningful to you? What’s your legacy going to be? 

Alyssa:I hope that this answer is the same when I’m not 27. I say that in all seriousness that I hope the answer stays the same, and I hope I don’t lose this. I guess, for my legacy, I don’t really want to be who writes it, I guess, is how I’ve left it. When I’m not around, I would rather my story be the story that’s told by those that I spent time with, and that I loved, and  I hope it’s a good one. I genuinely believe that the things that I do and the way that I spend my time will allow it to be a good one. I feel if you’re succeeding and you’re leaving a great legacy, if when you’re not around, people are saying great things about you. That’s just not a legacy for life, that’s a legacy for business. You should be providing such great service and having such a great relationship with the people that you work with that when you’re not around and real estate gets mentioned, you’re name gets mentioned. You don’t even have to know that that happens. 

I feel like that does happen when I leave my clients. That to me is extremely satisfying. It’s not just satisfying in business. I feel like people probably say positive things about me if I’m not around. I sure hope that they do. I don’t actually know that. Even if they don’t, that’s what I’m after. That’s what I want people to see. I want people to look back and see the passion in my eyes, and my love of what I do, and my love of life, more so than my love of what I do, and want that for themselves. 

Teri:I can say honestly when you came across my radar, I was like, who is this bright, real, amazing young woman who is – 

Alyssa:You forgot beautiful.

Teri:I skipped that part on purpose. The truth is that you are making a dramatic impact. I think you really are sort of – I think in a way giving permission to other agents who would love to be more themselves but are just not sure how to do that. I think that you’re setting this really fabulous example on how to be super comfortable in your own skin. Being brave enough to say what you actually think, being respectful at the same time. It’s not like you’re out there really trying to stir the pot. You’re just positioning your opinion and saying, well, here’s how I see it. I want you to know that I just deeply respect you. I think the industry is really fortunate to have your voice being heard. I think it’s powerful and important. That’s why you’re here. I really just want to support you as much as I possibly can. 

Alyssa:Thank you. I really appreciate that. I mean, I come from a family where all four of us march to the beat of our own drum. That was ingrained in me at an early age and just something that I’ve always loved to do. I mean, have you ever sat in a restaurant, looked across the restaurant, and seen someone and been like, wow, they’re having a great time? That’s what I want. I want people to be able to not know me, and see me working with clients, or see me just out, and be like, she really is living a life that she’s happy. 


Alyssa:I’m all for that. 

Teri:Me too, me too. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to get this out, and we’ll for sure be in touch. Where can people connect with you, and see the great work that you’re doing?

Alyssa:They can connect with me, really, anyway they’d like. You can go to my website,, or they can connect with me on Twitter @ahellmandc. 

Teri:Fantastic. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to get this out. We’ll have to follow up and do another one. 

Alyssa:Yeah. I’m super stoked about this. 

Teri:Thanks, sister. I’m going to say good-bye. 

Alyssa:Sounds good. 



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