Why Real Estate Agents Should Start Their Own Podcast • Aaron Masliansky


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Aaron Masliansky realtor with Dream Town Realty and podcast host discusses how he got into real estate and why. Aaron describes why he decided to start a podcast and how he built his two podcasts. Next, Aaron explains what global real estate is and how he got involved. Aaron also discusses a couple of unusual and funny experiences he’s had as a realtor and also explains how he values meeting buyers before showings and how this helps him build relationships.

Please check out Aaron’s two podcasts The Real Estate Diplomat and Inside the Skev®.

If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!

Aaron Masliansky can be reached at 847-440-4421 and aaronm@dreamtown.com.

This episode is brought to you by Real Geeks and FollowUpBoss.


D.J. Paris 0:00
On today’s show, we talk about why creating your own podcast will help you dominate your local market. Stay tuned to this episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. Their agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris. I am your guide and host through the show and in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with top producer and podcast host Aaron Messalonskee. Before we get to Aaron, just a couple of quick reminders. Please tell a friend about this show. This is how we grow and reach more audience members and we’d love it if you told every realtor you knew about this, this podcast and this episode, send them a link over to our website keeping it real pod.com Every episode we’ve ever done can be streamed right from that website. You don’t even need a podcast app. And also please leave us a review that really helps us understand what we do well on the show and how we can improve. So wherever you’re listening to this show, whether it’s on Apple, iTunes or Apple podcasts now or Google Play Stitcher, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon wherever. Let us know what you think of the show. It really helps us But enough about that let’s get on to the main event my interview with Aaron Masse Lansky. Today on the show we have top producer and podcast host Aaron Messalonskee with Dream town Realty in your in Chicago. Let me tell you more about Aaron now for the last 11 years, Aaron has immersed himself in the world of residential real estate with a specific emphasis on his community, which is Skokie and Evanston. And for those of you that aren’t from Chicago, those are the really the two of the closest suburbs to the city. So they’re you know, a lot of times people just consider them extensions of the city. But he doesn’t just work there. Of course, he works in all the surrounding Chicago areas. But after earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in urban planning Messalonskee cultivated his interest in property development, working for a developer for many years. And now he works as a realtor with Dream town Realty. He’s also established global real estate networks, and he is proud to be the current chairman of the global real estate Council for the Chicago Association of Realtors. Now to connect with his global and local communities, Aaron has established two podcasts one’s titled The Real Estate diplomat and the second one’s called inside the scab, which was featured in the Chicago Tribune and has over 100 recorded episodes. Now if he’s not keeping up with the market or global trends, Erin can be found volunteering with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center and Rotary International. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and college sweetheart, Stacy and their two children Joey and Sophia. Please everyone check out Aaron’s website, which is Aaron messalonskee.com. And I will instead of spelling that out, I will actually go to the show notes. I will have a link right there. You can go right to his his learn about what he does in his two podcasts. But Aaron, welcome to the show.

Aaron Masliansky 4:26
It’s great to be here. I appreciate it.

D.J. Paris 4:30
Well, we I was just telling Aaron that I actually had seen him in a dinner that we had at the National Association of Realtors Conference this last fall. But it was a big room with lots of people and it was my first time in in that particular room for the Chicago Association of Realtors. But Aaron is incredibly well respected here in the Chicagoland area, not just for his acumen as an agent, but also a lot of the volunteer efforts. You do and I before we sort of get started with everything else we want to talk about Aaron idle love to just hear about how you got into real estate and also why.

Aaron Masliansky 5:03
Sure. Well, it and by the way, I wish we would have met at that dinner because I am like, enamored by you and your podcasts. And it would be cool to talk. So I’m glad we have this opportunity now. But I got into real estate. You know, basically, when I was a kid, I was interested in the game Sim City. And I would play and build these cities and so much fun. And when I went to college, I thought, well, I love aviation. Also, I was going to be a pilot. So I went down to University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, I was in their aviation school, but like, I had to pick another thing for my major because they didn’t have a major yet. And I thought, urban planning, like SimCity urban planning, so cool. So I started to do that. And I really just loved it. And another thing was to my grandfather and his brother, when they were working, were real estate developers. And so I kind of bounce a lot of ideas off, Tim learned about it. And as I went through college, I interned for the village of Skokie, and village and Morton Grove in the summers loved working in their planning departments. But I love the ideas of the what the people were doing, who were bringing the plans and developers. So I thought it’d be cool to get into real estate developments, or as thinking Global Affairs like two separate things as college went on. Anyway, I got a job with a real estate developer out of college by literally looking in the yellow pages. And I guess that shows my age a little bit. But I looked in the yellow pages, dressed up in a suit, walked around one day in Evanston and dropped off a resume the real estate developers office named Tom Brozek. And he called me back and I got a job. And that’s how I got started in this industry.

D.J. Paris 6:49
Wow. And then how did you make the move from working with a developer than to being an agent yourself?

Aaron Masliansky 6:54
So I worked for him from 2004 to 2009. And kinda like, learned everything about the business, he threw me at everything, it was the greatest learning experience in regards to real estate in regards to business that I could ask for. And, you know, the market turned and I had a look for something else to do. At that time. I went and did business developments. My brother owns first class Moving and Storage, I worked there for several years, but I really still wants to get back into real estate. So I thought, okay, how do I do this? I decided to get my license. And I started as a part time agent, and I worked both jobs for a while. And and I will tell you is it is much easier to do real estate full time. But I was just trying to do it, make some extra money stay in the game. And then eventually, I was able to transition to full time being a real estate broker. And that’s, it’s been a great, great move.

D.J. Paris 7:52
Isn’t it so interesting with part time agents? I understand the idea. You know, I talked to a lot of newly licensed agents. And you know, a lot of them are like, well, I can’t, I don’t feel like I can do this full time. Because you know, I don’t know what the future will hold. But at the same time, it is kind of funny. So the irony is that doing it part time, in some ways might even be harder, right? Like, even though, you know, in theory, it sort of logistically seems like that would make no sense to sort of transition slowly. But I’m curious how you found, you know, part time versus full time?

Aaron Masliansky 8:27
Well, you know, I had a baby at when I first started a one year old, and then we’re expecting our second. And my first year in the business, I lost money. My first client actually died during the transaction. Yeah. I mean, welcome to the business, right. It was crazy. I was helping him find a rental. And then you know, just, he passed away wasn’t well, anyway, you know, it could really put a dent on your psyche, and I needed to make money. So it was hard, because as I got, you know, established and got my name and marketed and did everything, like I was busier, I needed time to be able to go show properties to, to go through inspections, to network to do all the right types of things that you need to do to be successful. But at the same time, I had to make a living. So it was very, very hard to make that leap. Also working for family. I mean, you feel really guilty the leaf. So it took it took that you know, just where I got so busy, where I’m like, I gotta make this move at some point. And it was just it was a great feeling to be able to have that freedom to be able to, you know, kind of explore what you could do within the industry at that point.

D.J. Paris 9:46
Well, I’d love to talk about your podcast because you’re a two time podcast host and not just about you know, well first. I’m curious why you decided to start to start a podcast or now Yep, Do so.

Aaron Masliansky 10:00
Well, you know I, at first I was thinking, you really you search for original content to be able to put on social media. And I was putting things out sharing different links to things and and you don’t really get engagement and it’s not original. So I was thinking how do I do this and I went to a National Association of Realtors Conference in 2017 in Chicago, and Monica Neubauer, her host the National Association of realtor podcasts center for realtor development. She was giving a seminar on how to create a podcast. So I went to my listens, and I’m like, Okay, I guess this is how I do it. And then a couple a year later, I think it was, I was I meet with coach Sean perutz. She’s, she’s a great business coach, life coach. And she said to me, because she saw this video that was produced for my business, she said, Erin, you’ve got a great Acme for for media, she said, You got to figure out how to utilize this. So I started doing Facebook Lives with, like, ask me anything. Ama is for real estate. And then like, you know what, I really should do the podcast. So I was talking with Sean. And she’s like, well, what would it take for you to do it? And I said, Well, I guess I gotta get a couple microphones. And, you know, she’s like, Haha, and what else I’m like, Yeah, it’s really not that much to do. So then I just started, you know, figuring Okay, I’m gonna do it. And then I brainstormed with people at Dream town. This one person in particular Stacy smaller, she’s in the marketing departments. We were working on the concept and I wanted to do a show that would feature my community Skokie in Evanston. And I, originally, what I wanted to do was just really feature my previous clients and help as a benefit to them to promote their business or promote their organization to say thank you. And then I’m, they’re able to share it on their social media. And it’s just a it’s an easy ask for people and everyone feels good. It’s just a, it’s a nice way to network,

D.J. Paris 12:05
may I pause you for a second, just to make sure that our audience understands, because I think what you’re saying, is, is a huge, huge piece of advice and a really smart idea, which was, hey, I just I’m working with, maybe I just helped this person buy or sell a property or I’m in the process of helping them buy or sell a property. They work somewhere, you know, somebody here in the family works, maybe they have their own business, or maybe they work for a business. And I would like to create a community based podcast for residents of that community. And I want to highlight, you know, maybe their business or some story about them as a way to support the, you know, their the community, I guess, at large, so accurate,

Aaron Masliansky 12:45
okay, that is completely accurate. And, you know, for instance, like, here’s an example, one of the first people I had on the show was a friend of mine, his name’s Jacob Shapiro, Jacob bought a house with me, his whole family has been tremendous to me, they, they refer me there, they’re just wonderful people. And Jacob owns a business called barrel design builds where he does, he’s a general contractor, he does carpentry work, he does a lot of commercial work. And I’m like, Hey, come on in. And he sat right next to me here where I am in my house right now. And, you know, we had, we had a drink, we talked, we did the I was like the second or third episode. And it was a great way to promote him. And it was fun. And then everybody else who knows him got to hear it. So as I continued to do it, I people got to know the show. And I got to have a lot of the community leaders I got. And it gave people a reason to speak with me and is easy for me to ask them. And then people started coming to me. So I’ve gotten to interview like the mayors of the towns, the heads of different businesses, the new things that are coming on. I mean, it’s like I’m in the know of everything. And it’s so cool.

D.J. Paris 13:51
And, and what’s so great, too, I just want to make this point, because it’s an important one, especially if you’re featuring somebody who has a small business in the area that that your podcast is sort of featuring is that, you know, marketers are always calling those businesses saying, hey, spend money for advertising, you know, whether it’s print media, digital media, you know, there’s cost they, you know, they’re salespeople trying to say, Oh, you need to advertise. And basically what you’re offering is free advertising for for that business. But what you’re, you’re really providing value to the community too, because I’m sure you know, your friend who, you know, probably has a wonderful business, and it’s great promotion, but it’s it’s so there’s not probably I’m guessing when you when you have reached out to people does anything you said it’s an easy, yes. Has anyone ever really turned you down to be featured on your show? Yeah,

Aaron Masliansky 14:43
I’ve been turned down. You know, and I think sometimes people, I don’t know exactly what the reason is, or whatnot, but I don’t think it really necessarily has to do anything with me. It could just be something that’s going on with them in the community or they don’t you know, they Maybe salty or whatever it is,

D.J. Paris 15:02
but or just anxiety around being on a show? Well, 100%

Aaron Masliansky 15:05
I mean, you really get to know how people feel when they’re being recorded. If because the minute you’re done recording, the best conversation happens. And I get to learn everything about what’s happening, and I love that. But I almost feel like it should just keep rolling. But because people are just at ease at that point, but it’s, generally speaking, people are happy to come on, and it’s, it’s just been really fantastic.

D.J. Paris 15:33
And you’re obviously passionate about Evanston, Skokie, or stevinson. area. It’s where you live, it’s what you know, you grew up there as well. And it’s fun. I imagine it, you’re doing a lot of good, right? By promoting these businesses. They’re having, you know, getting some advertising. And then I’m curious, not that you’re doing it as a way to get more clients. But I’m curious if it’s resulted in business coming your way, buyers and sellers who hear your show, maybe they’re exposed to it through somebody you’ve interviewed, curious how often that turns into a client?

Aaron Masliansky 16:08
Well, I definitely have had some people who have reached out to me specifically because of the show, or I had them on and they read and they either worked with me, or they referred a family member or friend to me to work. So that’s happened several times. And it’s not like, you know, all of the business by any means. It’s a you know, some people, but it happens. And then there’s just the exposure itself where people people see your name, and it may not be because of the podcast originally that they’re calling you. But they Oh, yeah, I know, you know, Skokie Evanston. So well. I even have a billboard up right now, that says your realtor from stevinson. And it’s been said, yeah, it’s, oh, my God, it’s crazy to see myself like that. But it’s, you know, I really leaned in, let’s just say,

D.J. Paris 17:00
Yeah, but it’s something that you’re really passionate about. It’s not a calculated, sort of this is going to get me a lot of business. I imagine. I mean, I imagine it’s a lot of fun for you.

Aaron Masliansky 17:11
It’s a ton of fun. And you know, it has, it has changed the perception that people have of who I am, because I have, I have gotten to interview people that I never would have had the opportunity to speak to in a million years. I’ll give you some examples. So I interviewed Alison pure Sullivan, she’s one of the village board members for the village of Skokie. So it’s like the city hall. And she is the Midwest Region head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which basically helps combat anti semitism and racism. And she was bringing in these people who are former Neo Nazis to come and now they’re peace activists, they they’ve turned, and she is bringing them into Chicago to to speak and fundraisers and whatnot. And she said, Hey, I needed a location for for this event with Tim Garrett, who’s one of these people. And I said, Well, why don’t we do it at? You know, I was over at the industrious, co working space in Evanston. I said, Why don’t we do it here, my wife had an office there. And we were able to and we put on this event, and then I interviewed him before everybody. So here I am having this live conversation in front of people to this former neo Nazi and talking to him about this experience. And never in a million years as a Jewish person, when I think I’m speaking to this person who basically started the kk k in Germany. And you know, it was just unbelievable. And then other things where I’ve gotten to speak for organizations, the JCC, in Chicago, the Jewish Community Center, they’ve had me do probably upwards of 20 or so interviews for their film festival. I’ve spoken with. I mean, this one man I spoke to once his name’s Henry panion. He’s a Grammy Award winning composer. He produced this documentary about the about basically, there’s these things called the violence of hope they cease violence that were from Holocaust victims that were then restored and sent around the world and he is in. In an Alabama, I forget exactly a town right now. Anyway, he put on this whole concert with these violins. And and he’s been involved with, like, civil rights movement. He’s composed, like over 100 songs for Stevie Wonder. And here I am having a conversation with him. I mean, just unbelievable. Like so it’s not even business. It’s just like life opening.

D.J. Paris 19:42
Yeah, it’s it is it is remarkable. You get to have a lot of these really interesting conversations with interesting people have of substance. That’s that’s what I love doing. Having I like that the most. The best part for me about the show is just me being able to talk to somebody At A, hopefully a somewhat deeper level than, than I would be if I were to meet them just at a cocktail party maybe and just have a more more of a superficial conversation and you do get to meet some really interesting people. And you’re also serving the community. So there’s, I’m sure a sense of, you know, accomplishment there and just sort of contributing to something bigger than yourself. And just doing a lot of good and we’re kind of a win win all the way around. So win for the listeners who live in that area. Win for of course, the guest who gets exposure and a win for you. Because, of course, you get some additional exposure as well. And just also you get to bring all this to life. Yeah, so must be. And so the reason we’re talking about this, aside from featuring, of course, I Aaron, and all the cool things he does is is this is an idea that Aaron had he went to, you know, a conference session at NARA in 2017. I still say now, I need to remember it’s NAR I when I when I went to the NAR conference, I kept saying no. And people were like, you really should say NAR so little pro tip for anyone. But when you were there, and he just walked, you know, went into a session and here you are now with this, you know, and you have two successful shows, actually. But we just, you know, I would just say to directly to our audience, anybody can do this, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be excellent at it right? Not everyone’s going to be good at it. But it’s something that really anybody can do. I’m curious, did you when you first started your first podcast? Did you set a sort of a commitment to yourself? I know I did, where my boss said, if you’re going to do this, you got to commit to at least a year, because he goes otherwise you’re gonna get three episodes, and no one’s gonna listen, and you’re going to be disappointed and not want to do it. So I’m curious if if you had any of those challenges, because it i We did not have a ton of listeners right away on our show.

Aaron Masliansky 21:49
Um, no, I really didn’t have any kind of commitment like that it was kind of just open ended. And I I really just enjoyed it. And just it what drove me is the, the constant opening up of different opportunities I’d never thought possible of who I get to speak to, and all these different types of things. So I just kept doing it. And then when the pandemic started, I thought, Well, I gotta shut stuff down. And then I discovered zoom, like many others, and I was doing like three episodes a week, it was just insane. And then I went on to the radio, I got contacted by a radio station, and I had it on the radio for about six months. And then after about 100 episodes, I’m like, I need a break. So I did put on pause inside the scab was on pause for about a year and I just started it up again. But yeah, it’s just, it’s just was fun. And you know, another thing too, was, I got to even speak with Monica Neubauer, who does the NAR podcast and went on her show to tell the story. And at the NAR conference in San Diego, I got to sit down with her and talk with her and thank her. So there’s some just like really cool things that really just make you feel good about, you know, life and kind of being able to be grateful to other people. And, you know, I have no media training. Either. Anyone can do this. I mean, everyone’s got a podcast, I guess. But not everybody continues to do it. So I think the commitment, and just the consistency is key.

D.J. Paris 23:27
Yeah, I think so too. It is, it is just like putting the blinders on. And just like, it’s there, I almost think of it as like exercise, it’s just, I just have to do it. I don’t always want to do it. But I, of course, always am happy when it’s when I completed it just like a workout. Like I don’t want to do push ups. But it’s a good idea. And, and also at the end of it, I always go Oh, that was five is actually okay. And I and it was a lot of fun. So we encourage our audience to to do this. Aaron and I are not, you know, we’re not communication majors. We didn’t have you know, radio shows in college, although actually I wrote for a radio show now that I think about it, but I was not on air. Certainly not trained that way. And in here, both of us are, you know, hosting shows. So, so when I first was exposed to you is at this dinner in, in San Diego last fall. And I they were introducing you with this sort of global real estate focus. And I am like, I don’t even really know what that means. So I would love for you to talk to our audience about you know, global real estate and sort of your thoughts about it, what you do there and just anything you think our audience which are essentially all realtors might want to know or might want to learn about it.

Aaron Masliansky 24:42
Well, I’ll tell you how I got started in global real estate and then get to to answer your question. So one of the things I’m really interested in is in global affairs, and I mentioned at the start of this conversation, when I was in college, I either want to go into urban planning and developments. or international development and global affairs, my, my master’s degree is actually focused on international development. And when I was in college it was during the Iraq War. And I took this class in Energy and Security. And I was like, oh my god, this is so interesting, like, I’m going to move to DC. And that’s going to be my life. But I got this great opportunity that went with it. So when I was able to go full time into real estate, it kind of gave me flexibility to be able to do things that I never would have been able to do before. One of those was to go to an event from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, which is a think tank in Chicago. They have amazing speakers that come in all the time. And, you know, it’s kind of intimidating to go to this. I had no anybody but I’m like, you know, it like Okay, finally, at the time I knew about for years, and they went, and I actually heard Garry Kasparov speak for the first Wow, my first event. Kasparov, by

D.J. Paris 25:53
the way, for anyone who doesn’t know is one of the all time great chess grandmasters,

Aaron Masliansky 25:59
yes, he’s an all time great chess grandmaster and he is also a peace activist, and vehemently anti Putin. And he was warning everybody about what can happen with Russia, if if Putin has not checked, and basically everything that he predicted has come to pass. But it was amazing. I got to meet him. I took a picture with him. I see got, he signed my book and everything. I mean, I was just like starstruck. And I said, I gotta keep coming to this stuff. So I started continually going to events there. Then they had an application for a young ambassador, young professional ambassador program, I signed up I got into it, which was blew my mind. And I got really involved in global affairs. And they, when, when the council saw that I was doing this podcast, they they invited me to interview one of their fellow senior fellows at a fundraiser events on stage. And it was great exposure. It was an amazing opportunity. And I met this person, his name’s Mark Peterson, he’s, he was in charge of this organization called intersect Illinois, which is state led organization to help bring in foreign direct investments into the state of Illinois. He’s like, Aaron, you should get involved in global real estate. I said, What’s global real estate? What do you mean? Because just like when you’re saying, TJ, so he explained to me what it was, and he put me in touch with the person who was in charge of global real estate for Illinois realtors, and somebody else who runs IHC global, which Judith Hermanson and that’s an organization that is basically owned by NAR, and they do research and different things on international developments around the world. So I learned about these things. I was kind of directed to get involved and start to go to different events from the global real estate Council at the Chicago Association of Realtors. I then joined them and started I basically what it is the idea of global real estate is that is helping bring buyers and sellers together from around the world. So let’s say I have somebody who wants to buy something in say Costa Rica, I can make the connection because you build your network with other realtors around the world. There’s a special designation that you can get called CIPS, which is the Certified International Property specialist through NAR. By the way, you could take the class at Chicago’s Association of Realtors in September, shout out for Maurice Hampton, who will be speaking of the teaching it and you you get connected this network, you can be part of their Facebook group and everything, and you can make referrals. And then on the other side, it’s people who are coming inbound. So where you are. So people may say, Well, I’ve never done a global real estate sale. And I’ll ask you, have you ever worked with somebody who was born outside the United States and bought real estate with you? Well, that’s a global real estate deal. So I certainly have done a lot of that in Chicago since it’s such a global city. And I think it just it also teaches you about how to work with different people’s backgrounds, expectations, culture, it makes you a more well rounded person. I think it’s really important in any day and age, but just in terms of understanding diversity, and it just makes you a more well rounded person. So I started going to all their different events. I applied to be part of the global real estate Council. I actually went on a trade mission with them to Thailand. And that was an incredible trip and I got to learn all about real estate in Thailand because the Chicago, Nancy’s Sumi Mandy, she is the has a strong connection to Thailand and she’s part of Chicago Association of Realtors, former head of the global real estate Council former head of the organization The president, and it was just incredible learning about that. So then I, when I came back, I got more involved in the council itself. And now I’m the chairman and we lead different programs for education, networking, we will do another trade mission likely in 2023. If nothing crazy happens with COVID. But it is super cool, very interesting group of people. Yeah, it

D.J. Paris 30:23
sounds really rewarding. And I was curious, too, because so and I’m curious to get your opinion about this. Because oftentimes, when I hear about people from outside of the United States, buying real estate, oftentimes it’s in a, from an investor’s sort of objective. And it doesn’t always, of course, somebody or anything here from another country, of course, that that counts do. But how I’m curious about did that. And again, you were sort of in the investor space, as well working with developers and, and sort of understanding that, but I’m curious, does that give you more exposure to understanding what foreign investors who are looking to buy real estate in the country in the United States, does that give you more experience and understanding about how to work with those clients and maybe what their objectives are?

Aaron Masliansky 31:14
Absolutely, because you’re, you’re exposed to their their needs, and it may be different than somebody who’s just looking to buy the house, they may be looking at the United States and several other countries at the same time. And you have to be able to understand what the differences the nuances are, and the advantages to them of buying in the US versus, say buying something in Dominican Republic or in Canada, and what the restrictions may be for them. And you have to be able to know what potential there is for financing. You know, I started this other podcast called The Real Estate diplomat, which is all about global real estate, and also takes into global affairs. And I’ll talk a little bit more about it. But I big through that podcast, somebody reached out to me who was interested in real estate in the Dominican Republic, and we got to season in Germany. So, you know, we started speaking about all the different nuances of it, and, you know, talking about different other potentials, and trying to get him information on that requires you to go outside your comfort zone, and find people who you can trust to be able to make that referral, and make sure that they’re going to get well taken care of. And, and through that you get to learn more about other countries, and you could speak about it. So you might be at a dinner party, and somebody’s talking about some country or whatever, and you happen to know a lot about it. I mean, that’s, that’s empowering. That is

D.J. Paris 32:39
that is really empowering. And I guess maybe in both of the topics we’ve been sort of chatting about was getting involved in podcasting, which was something that you did with essentially no experience or not a ton of sort of thought, or fourth sight, it wasn’t like a lifelong dream to have your own show. And then also getting into global real estate, which actually was sort of a major passion of yours. And you’ve now been able to explore both of those through real estate, which, which I think is, you know, with this industry and being an agent, which I think is particularly interesting. And you were saying that, especially with this global real estate, you wouldn’t have had the time to get involved with it, how would you have been maybe in a different different profession or different full time sort of, you know, traditional nine to five job. So I find that particularly interesting that you’ve got to explore some of these additional sort of avenues of fulfillment. Because maybe, maybe because of now your schedule is more how you make it

Aaron Masliansky 33:33
100% It would never have happened if I had a traditional nine to five job or a nine to six shop because you just you can’t get out of the office. And you can’t go down there somebody’s you know, asking you Hey, what are you doing? And it’s with real estate, yeah, I could, I could, okay, maybe I’m doing a listing presentation for somebody at two o’clock in the afternoon. I’ve got showings from four to five or whatever it may be. And then I’ve got a Chicago Council event at six or whatever. It allowed me to be able to go and have that flexibility. Now the pandemic has changed things in terms of when timing is and everything and I mean with Zoom, it was so easy, but not nearly as fulfilling. But now things seem to be coming back together. Like they used to be which is a little overwhelming, but it’s awesome to be able to see people and and just physically and learn so much more. It’s wonderful.

D.J. Paris 34:34
Yeah, I I’m enjoying it too. I had a meeting this morning with somebody who was thinking of joining our company. He was brand new agent and he came in and I haven’t had anybody physically come into the office in a long time. Just a couple of people over the last two and a half years or so. It’s everything else has been over zoom like you were saying and I had to even think and I’m sure everybody listening who’s a practicing Realtor will appreciate this isn’t Like, I went, he was here. And I was like, Oh, somebody’s actually here. And I went to go, Wait, am I supposed to shake hands I kind of forgot what the protocol are or what the maybe the most safe thing to do, of course, is not to shake hands. But I had to sort of fumble through it. Like you were saying, it could be a bit overwhelming, because I had to think it through like, I’ve never thought about shaking hands as a as a challenge as a potentially unsafe thing, right. Now, of course, we have to start and I’m sure every realtor I’m curious. Just because I’m not a practicing agent, when you meet clients now, are you shaking hands? Or what do most people seem to want to do?

Aaron Masliansky 35:33
I’m shaking hands, I, you know, I have gone through so much anxiety of the pandemic. But I’m really trying to just shift and live. Because like, going in October to San Diego to that conference. Definitely was anxiety provoking to be around so many people. But it was nice to be there, it was nice to go to dinner. And here, you know, just people kind of poured their hearts out. I mean, it was really, really kind of beautiful. But you know, and then we have more COVID cases, and now we do too. But I just need to get out there and and see people and I and if they don’t want to I, if somebody seems hesitant, I think I’ll hold off. And, you know, I’m washing my hands after too. But but it is nice to shake a hand to see people to be there in person. And, you know, the real estate diplomats, I’ve talked to people who are all around the world and people in Chicago, I’ve had some conversations in person. But one of the I, I’m not doing that show quite as much right now I’m focusing more on inside the scabs. And one of the reasons is, is because I want to just sit down and have the conversation in person with the people. And it’s it’s nice. And you know, this is great, too. You know, we’re remote right now. But it’s nice to try to get back into that swing of things and hopefully stay healthy. Yeah,

D.J. Paris 36:56
it could not agree more. It’s, it’s, it is nice. And you’re right though there I even have anxiety as well, going into public events, not not tremendous anxiety. But it’s something that I used to have zero wings, or very little anxiety about going into a public space for lots of people. But now, you know, it’s just we just took a flight last week, and you didn’t have to wear masks anymore. And we had been flying throughout the pandemic. And we were always wearing masks. And so it’s it was like, Oh, we can take our masks off. And then that felt weird. Like you’re naked is Yeah, yeah. And it just feels like you’re doing something where I felt like I was doing something wrong, like, oh, this, this. Yeah.

Aaron Masliansky 37:37
I mean, but even like with real estate, like throughout the whole time, I mean, I was showing properties like even at the start, and it was it was completely nerve racking and nobody knew what to do. But it’s just, I feel like we’re in a different space.

D.J. Paris 37:50
We are, it’s nice to start to go back to normal. And I’m going to we’re going to pause just for a moment. So we can talk about one of our sponsors. But before we do, I just want to, we always ask our guests a little peel back the curtain because I’m such I’m really calling myself out because we ask our guests to complete these these questionnaires. So we can have some stories to talk about. And 95% of the time, maybe even 99% of the time, I never get to these. And so I absolutely want to um, so I’m making a point to say it out loud so that as soon as we come back from the break, we’re going to get right back into some of your funny real estate experiences. But before we do, I do want to give a quick shout out to our sponsor. It’s actually one of our favorite companies in the real estate tech space, which is follow up boss. Now after I’ve interviewed hundreds of top Realtors all over the country for the show. And actually the CRM that is used by more than any other of our guests. Of course, follow a boss and let’s face it, following up is the key to taking your business to the next level. Now follow up boss will help you drive more leads in less time and with less effort. Now don’t take my word for it. Robert slack who runs the number one team in the United States uses follow a boss and he has built a one and a half billion dollar business in just six years. Now follow up boss integrates with over 250 other systems so you can keep your current tools and lease or lead sources. And here’s the best part they have a seven day a week support so you’ll get the help that you need when you need it. So few tech companies have weekend support and of course Realtors work weekends. Now get this follow up boss is so sure that you’re going to love their CRM that for a limited time they’re offering keeping it real podcast listeners a 30 day free trial now that’s twice as much time as they give everybody else so oh yeah, no credit card required. either. They’re so confident that you’re gonna use that you’re gonna continue to use their service that you don’t even have to pay anything or even give them your payment information upfront, but only if you visit this special URL which is follow up boss.com forward slash real wit so follow up boss.com forward slash real. That’s for your free 30 day trial. Follow up like a boss with follow up boss. And now we’ll get back to our episode Aaron I am very excited to hear first of all, I would also just like to say I love the fact that you married your college sweetheart. I only know one person that did that. Out of all the friends I had in college, and even today 20 Some years later, we it’s still just such a cool thing. So I love you met your wife, I’m guessing down at University of Illinois.

Aaron Masliansky 40:22
Yeah, she was dating one of my best friends. And I met her I’m like, Oh, my God. I was like, I’m like that. She’s awesome. And then they broke up a couple of months later, I had nothing to do with it. And then we started talking and it was like, wow, you know, thank you, Henry, for for dating Stacey. And we’ve been together ever since. And it worked out pretty well. And he ended up standing up at our wedding after a few years of a little bit tense tenseness

D.J. Paris 40:53
you still you stole his girl? Sure. Yeah, no, no, I didn’t know. I know I’m being silly. But but that is I think that’s such a cool, cool story. i We, in my high school, we only we have one couple that that got together in high school and stayed together. And so I don’t have too many examples of that in my life. So I appreciate I just think that’s really cool. But let’s talk let’s talk about, because I just love this story about an ad that you ran in the newspaper here, the local paper here. It’s called The Chicago Tribune, very prominent paper in the country. But could you talk a little bit about the experience that you had there?

Aaron Masliansky 41:32
Yeah, so I put this ad out, I think it might have been 2015 or so. And it was on the front page of the real estate section on Sunday. I thought, well, this could be a good opportunity to get my word out and advertise an open house. So I do this, and then someone I know, takes a clipping of it. And he says, you know, says something about it and posted on to Facebook, like, you know, commenting on my hair, people comments on my hair that they love, like how full it is. And I don’t know, it’s, I have good hair, I guess. So then people started photoshopping it. And they turned it into a series of movie covers. So I was in Greece, I was in Scarface I was in Terminator two. I was I mean, all these different movies, it was Howard Stern, private parts, who by the way, is an inspiration for doing podcasting. Sure, for me, but I mean, it was just crazy. It was just this huge series. And it was one of the funniest things like people totally goof that me. And I absolutely love it. It was pretty funny.

D.J. Paris 42:38
That is funny. And that’s, you know, whenever it’s funny, there’s, there’s good versions of that where your friends sort of have some fun with you and send it on social media. And then there’s the Hey, I bought the bench back ad and somebody has colored in my teeth. But so it looks like I have you know, or I’d say black into one of my eyes. And, you know, so there’s the fun, cool, funny version that we all laugh at. And then there’s that. Oh, that’s a shame.

Aaron Masliansky 43:05
That said to my billboard.

D.J. Paris 43:08

Aaron Masliansky 43:08
I got threats about that. Oh, you did? Oh, yeah. So far, so good. Oh, that’s

D.J. Paris 43:16
great. And only because I just it’s so funny, we ask all of our guests to give us like, you know, an unusual experience and, and real estate experience and almost always it’s like sexual, it’s like, well, I walked in on somebody and they were having sex or, you know, they were by themselves having sex or with someone else. And it’s a lot of like, or I found some sex toys, or it’s usually that and so I stopped sort of even talking about those because I realized like, that would be every show, I’d be giving a basically the same story. But this one’s pretty unique. This one is not a sexual story. So I love it. But but as a guy, I can just I can just appreciate, you know, the the immaturity of us guys being able to handle this, or I shouldn’t speak for you, but my immaturity I would like you to mind sharing the story of the of the squatter that you walked in on?

Aaron Masliansky 44:06
Well, I mean, the squatters one thing, and this this squatter was. So I had two stories. I think the one that you’re referencing actually was for an open house. And I was preparing for an open house. And yeah, I always want to make sure all the lights are on. Everything’s clean. There’s nothing out. I go into this bathroom. There’s a tampon, use tampon on the countertop and the vanity. Wow. And I’m like all right. What the hell do you do? just grabbed a bunch of toilet paper wrapped it up.

D.J. Paris 44:41
Yeah, yeah.

Aaron Masliansky 44:42
What’s a dedication to the craft I guess?

D.J. Paris 44:44
I think maybe women don’t always appreciate that when skies if we ever come across that which seems to be pretty rare. I’ve asked other guys. It’s like we almost look at it like it’s a bomb that’s about to go off and we have to defuse it. And we’re like not sure exactly what to do. We’re not sure exactly what we’re looking at. But it was it was scary for some reason. It’s

Aaron Masliansky 45:08
scary. It’s scary. And I have plenty of I mean, look, everyone who’s listening to this is probably a realtor, you guys probably all have these crazy experiences. I mean, I’ve walked in on a squatter, like, it’s just that was scary. I’ve seen other types of things over the years. But that was that one with the tampon that sticks out

D.J. Paris 45:27
when you walked in on a squatter. Did was there a moment of was there a safety concern as well? Like, yeah, could be a dangerous situation.

Aaron Masliansky 45:37
Yeah, I, I’m going around with my clients, and we walk into this house, they had shown like two or three times before to other people. And I knew nobody was living there. And I walk in and it’s got like, the smell like the smoke. And I’m like, I don’t recognize this. But okay, so we go on, we’re upstairs. It’s a ranch house. Then we go down to the basement, and I start to go turn on the lights, pistols on the lockbox. And all of a sudden, I see this little pop tart on the ground, and there’s ants crawling all over. It’s disgusting. I’m like, what, what the hell’s going on here? Then my client says, Dude, there’s a squatter. There’s a squatter. She said that she’s in the closet. I’m like, Oh, my God, and this woman, she must have been like, 20 pops out. And she’s like, Oh, I’m just packing up. I’m just leaving. And we look at each other like, Huh. And we decide to just, we just turn around, we leave. And I call the other agent, the listing agent. I’m like, you’ve got a problem. And goodbye. Yeah, it’s,

D.J. Paris 46:43
it’s, it’s actually like, Yeah, it’s interesting, though, because because you think like, as much as men, maybe we have a bit more confidence in our ability to handle the uncertainty of that situation. Certainly, we don’t have to deal with as much physical uncertainty as women do. Again, I’m speaking generally, of course, not, not everyone’s the same. But I always think like, gosh, women have felt so much more danger headed their way or at least possible potential danger. And I always think, you know, that could easily that could have been a dangerous guy, or a dangerous woman to in that closet, you could have been a 90 pound woman or 100 pound woman walking in there with your client. And it’s, it’s something to always think about safety. And I know as guys, we don’t maybe think about it quite as much as women do. But it is something to really think about, because I think just about everybody’s had some version of that story happen, right? Where it’s like, oh, that could have been really bad.

Aaron Masliansky 47:41
Well, you worry about it, you worry about it, you know, open houses, for sure. You don’t know who’s coming in? Yeah, I think it’s important to let your spouse or somebody know where you are, what time you’re going to be check in. I always like to meet with new buyers. First before I go show them properties. And I know that probably is cost me some business, but it’s probably not the worst thing in the world. If somebody

D.J. Paris 48:06
just by curiosity, I just want to ask you, just because I wouldn’t have guessed this in so Aaron just said, I meet with buyers first. And maybe that’s even cost me business. Just curious. Why would that cost? Why? Why do you think that’s costly business? I would I wouldn’t, as somebody who doesn’t practice real estate, I wouldn’t see that as a negative at all. But do some buyers? Just go? I don’t want to do that. I just want to go see homes? Or what are what’s the or were you sort of saying maybe they won’t like your personality or what was

Aaron Masliansky 48:34
nervous? I think, you know, sometimes when people buy ads on different websites, people, there’s a misconception to the public, potentially, that they think that you’re the listing agent, and they’re just requesting a showing, they just want to get in and see the house. I mean, quite frankly, they may really have an agent, and they’re just doing stuff on their own. Who knows. So they call you and then you say, Hey, I’d like to meet with you first at my office, or this or that. And they turn them off and be like, well, actually, let me just find the listing agent and call them or whatever it is. So I think that’s where it potentially can cost you business. But I would say as I’ve gone on throughout my career, it probably hasn’t. It’s probably enhanced my business because what it’s done is I set expectations, I learned about what the people wants, we talk about agency, I have them sign a buyer representation agreement, and now everyone’s comfortable with that. I get it. But I think it’s the proper thing to do to set up the relationship. So then you have a successful transaction where everybody everyone’s happier at the end of the day. So that’s why I do it. I mean, if I was losing business left and right because of that, I wouldn’t, I would strongly reconsider what I’m doing. But I think it’s, it’s best for the relationship. It’s best for your business, it’s best for your safety on an unknown.

D.J. Paris 49:50
It’s very much similar to a consultancy type relationship, right? So if we think like what do consultants do, they come in they interview the client, they learn about what the person’s challenges are, and then they come back with a solution. So it’s really no different from what a consultant or professional consultant does. But I am, I am amazed at how often Realtors don’t maybe look at the beginning of a relationship with a customer, as in that sense of doing discovery, right. And that’s basically what you’re doing as attorneys would call it right discovery.

Aaron Masliansky 50:26
And now it’s so easy with Zoom, you know, I have a Calendly link, I have people set up their time they want to meet at my office, they want to meet on Zoom, they want a phone call, whatever, it’s easier for them, pick a time boom. And it’s like, it just sets them up to think like, oh, this is a professional I’m working with, it’s so much better.

D.J. Paris 50:43
I love it. That is such a great tip for anyone, especially and again, if you’re buying leads. So what Aaron is really saying about costing businesses, a lot of times the lead providers, you know, will tell you just schedule the showing, even though it’s not your listing person wants to see this property they’ve shown interest, don’t don’t take them to a Starbucks and get to know them, or don’t have them come to your office because that that sort of stops them from what they want. But, and I think maybe generally speaking, that’s not terrible advice for that sort of lead. But I love the idea of pushing somebody through a more professional sales funnel or process because ultimately, I think that does, you’re right, I think that does set you apart. Like you were saying maybe they already have an agent or somebody they’re talking to. And all of a sudden now they’re with somebody who’s sitting down and really getting to know them before going, I’m gonna just open the door and let you walk in and see what tell me what you you know, you like it or you don’t. So I actually think that’s a really, really strong point. But I know I’m understanding what you’re saying because you know, Zillow, and those companies who sell leads will say, really, we encourage you not to do that we want you just to set the appointment, meet them at the property. And then you can have the sort of the meeting but but I love I love that, that you do that. Because I just I just think it’s more professional. So and then the right, the right kind of client will really appreciate that probably the client you want to work with is the one that’s going to be like, that’s a good thing.

Aaron Masliansky 52:09
Absolutely. It is. And it pushes away people who may have, you know, spent a lot of time with you who aren’t actually serious, you know, a lot of times I I see on different Facebook pages with realtors. And everyone’s saying, oh, like, number one thing, you got to make sure they have a pre approval letter. Yeah, that’s important to make sure that they’re qualified to be able to purchase. But I think the number one thing is have that initial conversation, see how you can help them how you can be a value to them? Do they? Do they need a lender to speak to? Do they have questions about this? Do they even know what the process is? Like? Are they from the United States? And Are they familiar with with how you buy property here, you don’t know that until you actually start to have the conversation.

D.J. Paris 52:53
I 100% agree. And I because you work in the global space as well as the sort of local space, I just wanted to give this piece of advice that I heard that I just realized, when you’re dealing with people who are of a different, possibly a different religion, different ethnicity, different background, culturally, different race, even, of course, there’s different traditions and customs with each sort of group of people, how we, you know, group people together, or how they identify as a group. And I was listening to someone speak just a couple of weeks ago, and they said, I had this little tip, because they work with a lot of international clients, they said, Ask anyone who has a different, you know, sort of set of traditions, then you if there are any important days in their calendar, or during the course of the transaction that are either religious themed or maybe tied to their, you know, their country of origin or, or their, you know, whatever particular, you know, their predilections, and knowing that, you know, certain religions and certain backgrounds and ethnicities have certain days that are considered holy days, and, and there’s just, you know, things that we may not know, unless we were part of that tradition. And so knowing that is like really helpful, because you’re like, well, we’re not scheduling a showing on that day, and we can’t do the inspection on this day. Like, that’s something I went that is so simple and so brilliant, and I never thought about it. So I just wanted to share that. It’s a huge, great point. Yeah. Awesome. Well, Aaron, Aaron is the podcast host of two shows, and we’ll mention his two shows, we have links to both of those in the show notes. The first one is called the real estate diplomat which is about global real estate. So definitely check that out. And you can and then the second one is called inside the scope, which is about stepping stone, which is Skokie and Evanston to suburbs that are side by side here in Chicago. And I encourage all of our audience to check out inside the SC Evanston not because you may be from somewhere else in the country and you don’t know or care about those two suburbs. That’s not the reason I want you to listen, I want you to listen to see what Aaron has built for his local community and and how it works, and then maybe even go duplicate that yourself in your own local community. So this is something that it is just a perfect example of what you can do. And it’s a heck of a lot of fun to build up that brand. And I’m curious, does anyone else because Scott Winston is kind of a known a very known term has, does anyone else have a scab instant podcast, as far as you know, are you the first

Aaron Masliansky 55:24
there was another group that had a Skokie podcast called it Skokie. And they did 50 episodes, and I was on it, and I had them on mine. We shared and there’s other people who have Evanston podcasts, you know, but not a scab instance, Gevinson is actually a part of Skokie that has an Evanston mailing address, and shares the school district and whatnot. So it’s a play on words, but no, but no one else is competing in the stevinson space with me.

D.J. Paris 55:52
And I didn’t even mean that in a in a joking way. Although I know it sounds sort of silly. No, no, but it’s a good question. Well, it’s what’s interesting is there’s so much opportunity, right to find a niche or when it comes to podcasts in your community, you know, maybe there’s a certain you know, neighborhood, in the community you work in, that’s, that you’re really passionate about, or at Aaron’s, of course, passionate about his local community. And, and so and people who live in that stevinson area are very passionate about that as well. Because I think that if I remember correctly, from what my friends told me, it’s you get the benefits of Evanston sort of their own. Is it that they have their own like police and their own public notes.

Aaron Masliansky 56:36
You get Skokie? All Skokie services. So I had it backwards. Yeah. And but you get the Evanson School District, and you get the Evanston post office. So this

D.J. Paris 56:47
is a very desirable thing for people who are looking in that area. And now Aaron has a podcast, not just talking about the benefits, but all the cool stuff going on in the area, all the local businesses, the local political players, and you now have more exposure, of course, in your real estate practice as a result.

Aaron Masliansky 57:05
Absolutely. And if anyone wants to chat with me, I’m happy. I’m happy to be a resource, as well. So feel free to reach out to me.

D.J. Paris 57:14
Well, thank Aaron, thank you so much for being on our show, by the way to learn about everything. Aaron is up to Aaron messalonskee.com. I’m going to post a link to that also in our show notes. And I will want everyone to check out you can find his podcast there you can see videos he’s done. And of course learn more about Aaron and his his passions. Aaron, we want to thank you for being on our show. This has been such a pleasure for me. And I’m really excited that we have we had you on today. And you really provided a lot of value for our audience. Before we sign off. I just want to ask everyone not only to go check out Aaron’s two shows, please, please do but also tell a friend about this podcast, just think of one other agent that you think would be would get a lot of value from listening to Aaron and send them a link. Easiest way to do that. Just head on over head, send them over to our website, keeping it real pod.com Or just have them pull up a podcast app search for keeping it real and hit that subscribe button. Well, Aaron, on behalf of our audience, we want to thank you we know how busy you are with all your volunteer effort. And also want to thank you for all your volunteer effort for the real estate community. You are somebody who truly does give back and we didn’t feature a ton of that on the show. But Aaron is just incredibly involved in the industry. And and also, of course, on behalf of Aaron and myself. We want to thank all of our listeners and our viewers for continuing to listen and support our show. And we will see everybody on the next episode. Well, thanks, Aaron.

Aaron Masliansky 58:36
Thank you. It’s a real pleasure and thanks everyone for listening

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