Agent Spotlight: Cory Mortensen
Hey, I'm here with Cory Mortensen and he is somewhat of a new agent and Spyglass. He's been with us for the since January. He’s in our agent spotlight video because Cory has just been really killing it here at Spyglass and he went through our dynamic selling. By the time that this we are still in shelter in place and still taking precaution so we're doing this one a little bit different like on Zoom instead of in our office. Cory, first of all tell us what did you do I know you're new to Spyglass, but you're not necessarily new to real estate. What did you do before you came to Spyglass starting your journey into real estate?
Coming out of college, I graduated May of 18 from Texas Tech and the finance and real estate program that they had which was really great, but straight out of that, I moved to Austin and started as a commercial real estate appraiser for Travis County. The appraisal district did that for about nine months and then wanted more of a challenge that I could be more around people. So I switched over to the brokerage side of commercial real estate at Weitzman where I was part of a three-man team basically heading up their investment sales division and doing that, but even that wasn't getting me in front of people I had originally wanted. I kind of felt like I needed a switch. And that's when Caitlyn introduced me to you and Spyglass and we had a meeting and the rest is history. It's been great.
You're educated formally in real estate and then you worked for the appraisal district. What exactly did you do for them?
That I was they were to kind of just get me trained up. It's a lengthy process, you have to get licensed by TDLR to do that, so that was their first steps was me taking all the training and the classes appropriate for that. Once I got my license in September, that was pretty quick after me getting hired, then it was just attending conferences and then taking some of the work that they were doing. I was in charge of populate so on the small office portfolio, so I was aggregating data on those and getting things prepared for tax season, to be protested and dealing with that. So basically, just getting that data in line, and then sure everything was prepared for protest season.
I think that in a sense, like with most real estate agents, what happens is, you know, we're we pass the test and the school In real estate is to teach you basically how to not get sued, right? You don't really learn that much. You learn very little, even when you first get into real estate brokerage about the analyzation of property value. So would you say that experience kind of gave you a heads up when you're actually determining value pulling comps for a buyer or seller?
Absolutely. I mean, everything that I've done to this point has been centered around analysis in value. So the biggest thing is the earth triangle, you've got income value, and then your rate, which is your cap rate, on commercial, that's how most commercial is valued. And so you're really picking you want to find the income, find what your cap rate, but to find that cap rate, you have to know what similar buildings are going for what similar buildings are earning and what they're trading for. It's a lot of analysis and it's definitely helped me. It's given me a value, a mindset going into real estate and looking at these almost always as an asset and seeing how investment in people's lives and even outside of my work in commercial real estate, I had dreams of being a real estate investor. That's a huge goal of mine.
As soon as I landed in Austin, I just started networking with people on the residential side to do flips or wholesale or whatever I was just trying to get my hands on everything. So I very quickly began to learn how to analyze single family residences and neighborhoods and see what the inch levels of interest were in two parts of town. It really gave me a great feel for how to look at other properties and see we're focusing on is going to trade for where and what the value is in that.
Gotcha and so you know, moving into residential, one of the things that we teach is, when you're talking, you got your different personality types your right brain, left brain analytical, you got your people that just fly off the seat of their pants kind of like me. The idea is, when you're in a sales presentation, a listing presentation, buyer presentation, you want to determine what type of personality you're dealing with, and then cater to that. One of the interesting things about that is, I'm your type, if you show me a bunch of analytics, I just don't really care, right? Not that much. But you have a whole segment of people, like, my wife, and accountants and engineers who definitely want to see that. Do you think that that training in that education is has helped you deal with this type of people?
I don't think that experience has done that for me, but I think another experience that I've had in me just being a people person and enjoying being social, that kind of bridges the gap for me in between being and having the analytical skills, and being the social person that can relate to the emotional side. That's why I liked the idea of doing residential and commercial at the same time. Because like I said, I wasn't getting the emotional part and the social part from the commercial from being strict because you're only dealing with people who only care about the bottom line, only care about the numbers. If those don't look good, you're not having much of a conversation at that point. So I was really craving having real conversations with real people again, and so it's been great but yeah, it's kind of difficult for people that don't have that skillset and don't have the interpersonal skills to come off of being purely data and try and make it into residential which is very happy. Shake conversational and emotional.
Let's talk about your what you've been doing. You’ve been doing a lot with social media right now, what are your some of your experiences and growing pains with that so far?
I hated social media. Going into, I am very passive on it, I kind of just get on there, see what my friends are up to and that. But this year, I've really taken it upon me to use social media as a tool. It's been really difficult to try and figure out how to get the content that I want. Having graphics on there, getting good editing, and you think it would be easy just to sit there and do a 30-second or a 60-second video, but you end up taking like five takes and you feel goofy.
So it's been interesting getting in front of the camera and being able to talk to it, but the biggest thing for me is when I actually know what I I'm talking about and I've done the research and can have a conversation off the cuff about it anyway. That's what makes the videos so much better and engaging because you can tell I'm not reading off the script. It's something that I just know so you have that before you shoot the video. I think you’ll have good social media posts if you're doing video. A lot of the growing pains have just been trying to figure out how to get content to all my platforms the same way, the right way where it looks good and the copy is good, and it's engaging. So it's right now and I'm just trying to make a habit of it.
Yeah, and you know, that's something obviously we push in Spyglass Realty, I've been doing video for years. And I think that you just got to get out there and do it then you get more comfortable every time you get on it. What I posted that I use says that, my city video will outperform your non-existent video. 100% of the time, right? And that couldn't be truer words, just making sure that you're speaking about things that you know, and just press the damn button. We've tried to outline we try to lead by example, in the sense that like, we try to give you guys things that we've used in the past that work. Hopefully that works well for you. Let's talk about your accountability group you went through, is this your first one or second one?
This is my first one outside of the dynamic selling, which was kind of a big accountability group on its own.
What’s your experience with that so far? And how do you think has helped you with the accountability group or the dynamic the accountability group?
I think it's awesome. So I was planning on doing that with some of my friends before you guys suggested it again. So it's been awesome because that's a big thing for me. It is very competitive. When I don't have a benchmark, to really look at and shoot towards, it's hard for me to come into a kind of running my own business now, not having a boss anymore. It's a huge transition to be able to hold yourself accountable, set milestones, and reach them every single day when you've never really done that before. It's the accountability group is a big point, too, for me to look forward to and to hit my goals every week.
For those of you guys that are listening to this, what accountability group is, basically, we have a group that we will use for six weeks at a time, you should take a two week break. Not everybody enjoys it, it's voluntary. It has to be you know, really it has to be voluntary because it’s the only way it works right? And then we find the best path for a salesperson. Really anyone to make themselves better is through self-discovery and the way we do that is through accountability groups. We meet with our agents and try to find out their yearly goals are, and kind of break them down into what are your lead sources? And what are the actions that it takes to complete those lead sources? And what we found is that it all comes down to micro-commitments where you're gonna make one little micro commitment that is going to move that dial.
At our accountability group, we pair off into groups of two, we switch every week, we pick three micro-commitments. Two of them are professional, one of our personal. I'm a participant in this group every time and it's been immensely helpful for me in the sense because like, when you succeed at a micro commitment, then that leads to confidence and confidence leads some momentum. And I think you just kind of hit the nail on the head right there and that you know, we have been competitive, being accountable being having a partner in this journey. Like I don't want to go into that group and have tell everybody's a, Hey, guess what? I didn't do shit this week, right? Like, you know, you got to publicly declare what you did and what you didn't do what you will get held away. Good help. So I appreciate your insight on that.
You also went through Isabel Affinito's dynamic selling class tell me how was that for you?
That was awesome. That was a great introduction to residential real estate and what it takes to just stay on top of things weekly. We had small, small goals in the beginning. And then each week, I think there was six weeks of its total. Where the call numbers we had to make got bigger and bigger. We had that large list to go off of and that was great. And then everything that she was talking about was really insightful because she started every meeting with a big mind. That piece, which is huge, and it's not really your typical humdrum mindset thing that you, anybody could kind of go into it was very personal, often.
I really like that because that kind of sets the tone for the rest of the game, and it gets you engaged instead of, okay, who made their calls and just kind of going into what did you do and so it's nice. I like that personally. I enjoyed that quite a bit. After that got very technical and her talking about her experiences and actual buyer and seller interactions. That was good for me because I'm visual, and it helps me a lot to be able to see and hear exactly what's going on. Because when I'm just left my imagination, I got lost, right. So yeah, it's really good to have and then there are experienced agents there as well. They're putting their input in there as well and me being a rookie, in that sense. It's good for me to be able to ask those rookie questions because sometimes it gets lost in people's experience and it's good to bring it back to that point and then hear what they're saying and their responses are so I loved it. I would do it again.
That's awesome man appreciate that. Isabel Affinito gets all the credit for that because she's just an amazing teacher, instructor. What made you decide to checkout Spyglass. Was there any other factors if you look anybody else? Did you mention any names here, obviously, but like, what was the deciding factor and coming over to us?
When I was kind of looking to make a switch from my commercial brokerage, I was kind of upset. There was no culture. I didn't feel like anything I was doing really contributed at all. Nobody really cared. I just kind of felt like another cog in the wheel. So I was kind of starting to look around and, and think well, I really need a set of the culture around and having That environment. As I went had lunch with Caitlyn, and she had just switched over and had nothing but great things to say about it. She's like I moved there because of the culture, they're all that's just about perfect. Let me check it out. That's when we had met and I met with another friend of mine who has a brokerage in town and just kind of It was a tough decision because both of I knew the other guy and but I really liked what you had to say about the culture and how involved with your agents you are and how invested into the training. Obviously, it's true because of the accountability groups and us having this meeting right now and then the dynamic selling course. So all of that was straight up and true. But it just came in and your interest in the technology of things because real estate broker does wonders for by technology companies. It was just all the pieces just fell into place for me to pick Spyglass.
That's awesome. What questions would you tell people to ask a broker when they're thinking about choosing a new brokerage? Either leaving their existing brokerage? Or, you know, just starting from scratch?
That's a good question. Um, I like to ask…I kind of like to pry a bit when I'm doing interviews, I like to get into how they deal with failure and how they deal with people not meeting expectations. So I would ask, how do you deal with agents who aren't performing? How do you deal with failure? How do you deal with a loss client or something like that. That kind of just tends to pierce the basic run of the million questions and what's your commission split and things like that? We're gonna get to all that stuff. That's gonna be the first thing it's spoken about. But when you are interviewing you need to figure out, is this a good fit for me my personality, and my skills? And am I going to click with the other people around me? Because for me, that's huge. And like I said, I was looking for culture and a good environment. So that was the very top of the list for me, the questions you got to ask are very personal. I think the interview process has been very, I don't even know what the right word would be. Corporatized. That's not a real word, but I'm using it.
This is now coming back from our interview, you actually had all that? And you know, I think the interesting thing about it is it really shouldn't like the commission's slip things should be one of the last questions you have and like, I don't even want to answer that question until I know that the agent is going to get back You have what? What I proposed, right? You know what we offer? Because if they don't get the value out of the commission split, so no matter and all they care about commission splits isn't that we're not the people for them. Because we're not expensive by any means but we're you can go pay $150 a month and get, you know, all, completely a flat fee brokerage with no support, no technology, no culture, no extra, no training. I've looked at the numbers on these guys, I'm not hating on them at all. But if you look at a lot of the vast majority of some of these flat fee brokerages, salespeople, they have low numbers, and we don't want that. We want to have quality agents and I think that because we've been very careful to hire agents. And then we'd like we almost never hired new agents. We've got a really good quality of agents and you're a perfect reflection on that you're doing a great job. You've been highly impressive from start to finish. We're just glad to have you onboard.
Wow. Thank you. Yeah. I appreciate that a lot. Thank you.
That's all I have for today, and we'll see you soon.