Podcast 251: The One Thing with Jay Papasan

How did Keller Williams go from a small real estate agency to the largest in the world? They focused on The One Thing and author Jay Papasan shares his insights…

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Jay Papasan is the best selling co-author of “The One Thing” and he shares his thoughts on why multitasking is a myth, why willpower is limited, and how to structure your goals.


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Show Transcription:

Eric Worral: 00:00 Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of Rentprep for landlords. landlords. This is episode number 251 and I am your host Eric Worral and I’m really excited for this week’s episode. We have a great guest on the podcast. His name is Jay Papasan of Keller Williams. So if I’m being honest, this is probably like the ninth time. I’ve already recorded this intro because it’s kind of tough to put up a Jay’s career in a quick highlight intro. So what I’m gonna do is I’m going to read from his website, give you a little bit of background on Jay before we have them come onto the podcast here. And Jay is a bestselling author, an executive at the Keller Williams Realty, Inc and co owner of Keller Ink, Color Capital and Papasan properties group. His most recent work with Gary Keller, The One thing has sold more than 1.5 million copies and been translated into 35 languages and appeared on more than 500 national bestseller list, including the number one on Wall Street Journal’s hardcover business list.

Eric Worral: 00:56 So the message of the one thing has resonated around the world. Professionals everywhere, searching for meaning in their work, clarity around their priorities and everyday productivity without stress and complexity. So I’m really excited to have Jay on and selfishly want to pick his brain because we’re going to be launching a program here at rentprep on the Rentprep for landlords Facebook group, kind of a accountability program for people to be able to focus on one problem, one issue, one thing they want to get done that week and I want to pick his brain on the psychology behind it. Uh, why is focusing on one thing and then how do you find your why behind it. So, uh, without further ado, let’s roll some of that sweet intro music and then get Jay on the podcast.

Music: 01:38 00:17 1,2,3,4 ya ya ya…. Welcome to the RentPrep for landlords podcast. And now your host, Steven White and Eric Worral.

Eric Worral: 01:45 All right, so we’re going to kick off today’s podcast here. I’m really excited to be here, joined with Jay Papasan of the one thing and Keller Williams. How you doing Jay?

Jay Papasan: 01:54 I’m doing great.

Eric Worral: 01:55 Thanks for joining us. you know, you’ve been that somebody on our list of people we wanted to contact with and I kind of pick your brain a little bit because your book has been such a huge success. And when I say your book, I mean you’ve had multiple books that have been huge successes, but the one thing I feel like changed a lot of people’s lives and the way that they approach their day to day, whether it be their personal or their business. So when I’m hoping to to do here today on the podcast is to be able to pick your brain, kind of look at some of the insights that you have from that book, but also kind of selfishly use you to help us with a project we’re working through here at Rentprep. So how does that sound?

Jay Papasan: 02:28 Sounds great.

Eric Worral: 02:29 Okay.

Jay Papasan: 02:30 I am one of the people, no, I mean transparent. I mean just researching the book changed mine and my wife’s lives. So I’d spend a huge book for us.

Eric Worral: 02:37 Yeah. And researching on this interview. I mean you guys, uh, you put what, like four or five years into this book before publish.

Jay Papasan: 02:43 A little less than five years. That’s right.

Eric Worral: 02:45 Yeah. That’s pretty crazy to think of. Like now the book is about one thing if somebody hasn’t read it, uh, basically it’s really about like stop multitasking, stopped spreading yourself thin, really be able to do deep work and focus on the things that matter. When you were writing the book, like how many other things did you have going on besides writing the book?

Jay Papasan: 03:04 Oh Gosh. We actually got distracted halfway through it and read another book. The great real estate recession happened. Okay. And that we felt like our one thing changed and we wrote a book called shift and that was really how real estate agents can navigate that. So it took us off the case for about six and a half months, which is one of the reasons they did take so long. But yeah, it happens. So we always had something else going on. That’s one of the big misconceptions about the book is it’s not, you only can have one area of primary focus at any given time, but we all have lots of plates that we are spinning, right? We’re parents, we’re sons and daughters, right? I’ve got aging parents, I’ve got teenage kids, I’ve got a job, I’ve got multiple employees. Like you do have conflicting sometimes priority. This is a book to try to help you identify your number one and give that more time and energy.

Eric Worral: 03:56 Okay. One of the things in help teach this to our audience, I know in the intro I did as well, but one of the things I want to get out of today is we had this great Facebook group called Rentprep for landlord is nearly 10,000 landlords in. And one of the things that I want to do is kind of create more of a, uh, kind of based it on the one thing and be able to help people just kind of, uh, having an accountability program within the group so they can declare on this weekly posts, monthly post, wherever it may be. Hey, this is something I’m working on and this is something I want to, you know, work on in my own life. So that’s kind of what I want to pull away from this conversation today is get some of your insights on that. But before we get to that, I’m curious about your own story, how you got to where you are today because I did a little bit of you know, Internet sleuthing, read your Wikipedia page. And from what I understand is at one point you were in New York City working, is that correct?

Jay Papasan: 04:45 That’s correct.

Eric Worral: 04:46 And then you moved down to Austin, Texas and you’re writing the newsletter for Keller Williams. How did you go from that to the point where you now have your own real estate agency, you are doing speaking gigs, you’re writing these bestselling books, like where did that come from?

Jay Papasan: 04:59 Well, the short answer is one thing at a time, but the long version is after I graduated from NYU and with the publishing masters, I would work in publishing. And that’s where I met my wife. So I was working at HarperCollins for the last, I don’t know, five and a half years or so. I was in New York and met my wife. We got married, she’s from Fargo, North Dakota. I’m from Memphis, Tennessee. We both love New York, but we were ready for a change. So we used our marriage as a jumping off point and we put our jobs through everything in storage and went backpacking for about five and a half months. Um, super low budget, but we had no rent to pay and we decided where we were going to live. So out of that we narrowed it to two destinations. One of them being Austin. We came down to Austin in January of 2000 from New York City and New York City in January. It was cold and wet. Austin in January can be chilly, but it was like 80 degrees when we got here. We moved here without jobs. And so I’m getting to the how I got into the job that the newsletter writer I was freelancing for actually we got married, so I was freelance magazine writer, travel writer. And needless to say, that time in history, it was a very hard way to make a living. I was not contributing a lot of money to the bottom line. And so my wife just said, you know, you need a job. And I was like, I do because I’m bored. Like I can only call so many editors and pitch so many projects and I didn’t know anybody here. So I took the newsletter job as way to get some steady pay and I thought I would still be a freelancer. And back then Keller Williams was really small. There were 6,700 agents in 27 employees though I was like bumping into Gary Keller all the time.

Jay Papasan: 06:39 That was kind of how a succession of things happen and that company was on a growth mode. So in just two years I had multiple positions. I launched their support desk, I launched their research department, I got to work with Gary on different projects. And then I found out he was writing a book and that’s where I was like, Hey, I used to work in publishing and we connected in the summer of 2002 and in about, I want to say a little more than 90 days. We wrote our first book together, the millionaire real estate agent, we self published, sold 100,000 copies, which blew me away. I told him we might sell 50,000 if we were lucky. That book has gone on to sell over a million copies. So that’s kind of the point where we started working together and I went from being an employee to kind of being a writing partner. That led first to my being made a partner in the publishing company. We formed a company. I became a partner. We’ve now produced about 11 different works, not all of them with our names on them and that led to other opportunities. I’m parts of two coaching companies and my wife and I started real estate investing because we wrote the later real estate investor, which you probably know about, right? Uh, we started our own investing and that led her to start her own real estate team. That was my lucky break. I was like, Hey, I’m writing about all these real estate agents and you’re really good at the investing side. Like I was helping a lot, but she was having to manage our flips because she was a stay at home mom. I was like, you’re good at this. You should be a real estate agent.

Jay Papasan: 08:08 So in 2009, I believe it’s been just under 10 years, um, she started a real estate career and you know, last year she did a little over a hundred million in volume, 300 transactions.

Eric Worral: 08:21 So it sounds like a lot.

Jay Papasan: 08:22 It’s a lot. I’m like, she’s going to be my sugar momma someday. Uh, we actually compete now all the time, like who’s going to do bigger? And it’s great to entrepreneurs in the same family, but that’s kind of, when you say it all at once, it’s like that it feels like a lot. Uh, but it happened over time and each time it just felt like that’s the next logical thing. I get back to work, why don’t you get to start a real estate company? That’s what our company does. That’s what I’ve been writing about. So it all felt very logical as it happened. But you look up and you’re like, wow, we kind of got a few things going on.

Eric Worral: 08:56 Yeah. When I was originally recording the intro for this podcast, so I was trying to say what you do and I find myself tripping up and rerecording rerecording cause I’m like, wow, there’s a lot of stuff to mention here. And it Kinda got me thinking about an aspect in the book that you talk about, which is the domino theory because it seems like you have some of that going on in your own career where you just said it. You’re like, well, I did it one day at a time. Can you explain to our listeners what domino theory is and why it’s advantageous for people to understand that when they’re looking at their own career and what they’re trying to do with their own goals?

Jay Papasan: 09:25 Absolutely. And um, so this is like the, my kids’ favorite part of the book. They actually remember it. So we were trying to explain this idea that you can only have one thing at any given moment. One priority. The word priority needs actually first in Latin. So it’s kind of weird when we make it plural first, like I, it’s hard to even say, the metaphor we came up with was like everybody’s listening to this as lined up Domino’s as a kid. And if you line them up just perfectly, what happens when you knock over the first countdown.

Eric Worral: 09:56 Get a little bit of momentum going into the rest of them.

Jay Papasan: 09:58 That’s right. You can knock them all down if you line them up, right? Yeah. So the idea here is the battle cry is to line up your dominoes and if you get your priorities in the right order, that first thing creates momentum. And next, the second thing and the next thing easier and easier. And in the book we kind of had some fun with it, right? The world record, and I haven’t checked on this and about 12 months, but it’s been about 4.5 million dominoes. And that dates back almost 10 years to the Netherlands. Um, it was a huge endeavor. And then there was a guy, uh, Lauren Whitehead in 1980s who wrote in the American Journal of physics at a two inch domino can knock over a three inch, can knock over four and a half. He essentially proved that every domino can knock over one that’s 50% bigger. And that’s the graph that’s in the book, right? Where if you took a domino, let it grow that big find the 23rd domino, it would not cover One is tall, is the Eiffel Tower. You know, just 30 or so into it. It would be 3000 feet taller than Everest and 57 dominoes. It would go from the earth to the moon. And that shape looks like a hockey stick on its side. And anything that grows at a geometric rate, we’ll create that shape. And the metaphor for us is when you focus on that first domino just every day, um, not only are you getting multiple Domino’s every time, but they get bigger momentum builds and it grows in unexpected ways. And we’ve graphed lots of businesses and careers and really extraordinary ones tend to kind of follow that path. It looks like nothing’s happening until things start happening at a pretty crazy rate.

Jay Papasan: 11:28 So I’ll take that to a career. Gary Keller very early on love to teach. He also enjoyed real estate. And so the number one way he grew his personal real estate business was as a teacher. And when he started Keller Williams, he didn’t do one on one recruiting as much as he would go and teach continuing ed classes. And he became their reputation is the number one teacher in Austin and he created this talent that started opening other doors for him. And most people don’t know, like he wanted to be a rock and roll star, right? He went to college right at the end of the seventies. Um, is getting out of college in 1979 he’s got the, the Fu Manchu, the whole nine yards, right. He wants to be one of the rock gods and not that good though. And His parents actually rolled him in college, which I just can’t imagine that he was not even focused on that at that time. Knowing the man today.

Eric Worral: 12:23 Yeah

Jay Papasan: 12:24 They rolled him in college and he got a real estate degree and today you look up and because he focused on being an amazing realtor and be an amazing teacher, he’s created with the largest real estate company in the world now. We have 180,000 associates in 34 countries that, you know, compared to the 6,700 when I joined. So it’s grown at this phenomenal pace. And now every year has, you know his private band, right? It’s just a bunch of guys and a couple of ringers. They play in front of an audience of about 20,000 at our convention every year. So like other thing that he wanted to have happen, actually, it is kind of happening in its own way. When you really stick to that thing that makes you special, it opens up a lot of other unexpected doors. I’m a French English major, but the thing for me, I said earlier is writing that book with Gary and when I approved that I could be a great writing partner and help them develop, you know, help him teach a larger audience through boats that’s opened up doors. I’ve been made a partner in a private equity company. That’s where a lot of the other equity opportunities has shown up in his world. He brings me in as someone that can brainstorm, create ideas and get stuff done. But I still can’t neglect that first domino. If I become a poor writing partner, I can almost guarantee you that those opportunities will not keep showing up. Um, it’s by focusing on that first domino that you keep making those things happen. And I could give you a thousand examples, you know, where would Google be Alphabet now without search. Right. That’s, you know, that thing, that center of excellence opened up all of those other doors for them and they’ve managed to a why and a lot of them in crazy ways.

Eric Worral: 14:02 Yeah. Yeah. Uh, one of the things I found interesting too is a researching for this interview. You had said that when Gary like really first interviewed you, he asks you to see your calendar.

Jay Papasan: 14:12 Yeah.

Eric Worral: 14:13 So he was kind of vetting you with one simple question, but it seemed like he could see that you’re a guy that had things scheduled out so you understood that you had your, uh, you know, you were able to have your priorities set for you. Right.

Jay Papasan: 14:25 A big principle in the book is that really successful people don’t just use their calendar to meet with other people. It’s not, it’s not an appointment calendar and that it’s appointments with other people. The most successful people, the first things they put on their calendar or appointments with themselves to do their work. And so when Gary asked to see my calendar, it looked like a checkbook. It was one of those week at a glance that you’d stick in your back pocket. I’m an introvert. That’s one of the reasons my wife kicked me out of the house. Like go get a job, meet some people because I’m an introvert, right. I can sit there with the book and my cat and be happy, my dog. Now I don’t need to be around a lot of people. And so my calendar always has to reflected what I’m doing a lot more than who I’m meeting with because without my wife’s, I wouldn’t meet that many people.

Jay Papasan: 15:08 Right. And so when Gary looked at my calendar, he, it was kind of a setup in my favor. You know, he’s used to working with realtors, right. The most social animals on the planet. And he sees my calendar and it’s like Monday, write this Tuesday, write that. It was like, it was all task oriented and that’s magic to him cause he, that’s how he wants people to start their calendars.

Eric Worral: 15:30 Yeah. So when we’re talking about the domino theory of like how you can get things done in momentum, curious through your career, I think that’s helpful for people and myself included because I think of my personal goals and sometimes they can become overwhelming and you can kind of see, all right, this is a day by day process. Uh, but one of the things that I personally struggle with is multitasking. I use Google chrome. I have an extension on there that stops my tabs from opening up at 20. Right. You know, and then sometimes I find that I ended up having two windows. So now I’m at 40 and I’m like stop it Eric. And I had to sit there and just close things out and have to focus on one thing. Uh, why do you think that people have this propensity to multitask? I mean where does this come from? Cause I mean your book is pretty much saying do the opposite of that. Stop doing that. Why is it that people do this?

Jay Papasan: 16:17 Okay, so it’s hardwired for start. If we multitasking fundamentally is your ability to notice something happening in the background, right? So you’re focused on this, but you are aware of this other thing. It might be an idea, it might be something literally in the background and that draws your attention. So go back, you know, to win are, you know, for fathers and mothers were marching through the savannas, right? With their children on their backs and hunter gatherers. If you could notice a saber tooth tiger creeping through the grass, you didn’t survive. That is hardwired and that’s that instinct, you know, squirrel, you see it. So we don’t tell people to necessarily shut that down all together. I don’t know that that’s possible. And I’ll just say that there are engineers that make the apps that go on our phones. Right. And they’re paid a lot of money to find new and crazy new ways to distract us.

Eric Worral: 17:11 Yup.

Jay Papasan: 17:11 Right. There is kind of a counter movement now for focus. So I usually say when you start your day and you hopefully launch your day with your number one priority and so that would be your work priority. Or if you’re at home on a Saturday, you know, what’s your number one priority for being with your family when you’re doing your number one priority in those big areas? Don’t multitask that. I usually like if you’re in line for the movie, go at it. Yeah, it’d be cool if we could all be focused all the time. It’s very hard to do. So I usually pull the partition a very small period of time and be really focused and see what kind of results in. I find that it’s fairly addictive. When you do focus and you get a lot of work done, it’s very rewarding. And you want to repeat that?

Eric Worral: 17:56 Yeah, for whatever reason it seems like there’s a, uh, people want to be known as a good multitasking. You bring it up in your book and like it’s taught at a very young age too. I mean, if you just look at the school systems, you go to school and you learn about seven different subjects and even within those 45 minute classes, you’re a third grader, you’re learning about five different things and then you have four minutes to get to the next class and then you’re switching gears. And it’s kind of an interesting, uh, you know, problem that maybe needs to be solved still, you know?

Jay Papasan: 18:23 Well, I mean, what I know is about 28% of our day is lost to multitasking and effectiveness. And that’s on the low end. If you’re bouncing between screens, there’s this idea that you see the new idea, you do the new thing opened up the new tab. The reality is when you switch from one task to another, your brain has to go through this process of switching to the new roles. And if you’ve ever liked, been focused on something, you’re working on a spreadsheet or you’re reading a book or maybe you’re watching a sports game and someone walks in the room and starts talking to you and you know they’re talking to you but you’re not processing it and you’ll kind of shake your head and go, I’m sorry, what were you saying? And that was real orientation. You know, we’re rarely aware of it, but about 28% of our days lost to it.

Jay Papasan: 19:05 I mean, how much could we do if we got more than a quarter of our time back? Yeah, we can take more vacations. We don’t even have to use that time for work. So it costs us a lot of time. Um, there is good research that shows that your IQ is severely impaired. People who are multitasking scored lower on an IQ test and people who were stoned. So it drops your IQ pretty effectively. Um, so it makes us dumber. It makes it cost us time and that, I love the tab analogy. That’s what I use in my speeches a lot of times that the moment you get switched from a primary to a secondary task, the longer you’re on the secondary, the less likely you are to get back to the primary that same workday. So multitasking’s how loose ends and extra tabs show up in your life. There are these thoughts that you never quite finished cause you’re skipping sideways and unfortunately, you know, your chrome browser or the Internet, it’s made for shallow skipping and you’re just surfing from one link to the other and it, it really is conducive to a lot of that. So controlling it, it’s tough. I get it.

Eric Worral: 20:13 Yeah. I don’t remember what episode it was, but it’s a podcast called hidden brain by NPR.

Jay Papasan: 20:19 Oh yeah. Great stuff

Eric Worral: 20:20 Yeah. And I think one of the episodes they were talking about the issue that the brightest minds in the world, these incredible engineers are getting hired by Facebook to keep you on their platform for half a second longer. So it’s like you do have this device that’s so seductive that sitting in, you know, it’s usually within arms reach all the time. So…

Jay Papasan: 20:40 Well think about Youtube, I was just um, I’ve been reading a measurement matters by Jonathan Doerr, which is great book by the way, fabulous. And it winds up a lot with our philosophies and that one of the case studies is Youtube and they measure their success in watch time. One of the things that just stopped me, the guy gave me an example. If you want to tie a bow tie and you type that into youtube, which video serves you better. The one minute, how to, they clearly shows you how to tell your bow tie or the seven minute how to it as a joke senate. And they opted for the seven minute cause they felt like, you know, they told you what to do but made you happier. But I’m like, oh, so it’s all about how much time we spend on their platform, not whether we get what we want while we’re there. And you talk about great multitasking and they serve up your next distraction as soon as that one finishes. Right. It’s crazy.

Eric Worral: 21:31 I’m kind of laughing to myself because as I like, I guess you could call it a side hustle. I do review videos on Youtube. So all that stuff’s very relevant. So you look at somebody else’s beginning and go, all right, how could I make this longer? And keep people on it longer. So they rank better and exactly what you’re talking about. You’re throwing humor, you throwing information, education, a story, whatever it may be.

Jay Papasan: 21:52 That’s been the conflict. You know, we built a community for the one thing and we do training and the irony is our community lists on Facebook. And that’s a real conflict of interest for us because we’re trying to be about, um, focus in getting to your one thing done. And the most conducive environment for getting people to have a conversation is a great place for distraction. So working through that, like, you know, we want our videos to be shorter, not longer, and it doesn’t actually work within any of the algorithms that are actually moving your videos in front of more people because there are about watch time. So I don’t know, our world is geared for the other and it, it takes a little extra work to kind of try to live the one thing. I get it.

Eric Worral: 22:32 Yeah. I have to kind of just go in for moderating our Facebook group sparingly because I’ll just end up down a wormhole and just wonder how I got out to the other end.

Jay Papasan: 22:40 It’s like a time machine.

Eric Worral: 22:41 Yeah. So speaking of the Facebook group, one of the things that I would like to do with our group is like have this weekly and monthly post where we’re asking people to, originally when I thought about it, what I was thinking, have you ever seen the show modern family at all?

Jay Papasan: 22:56 Yeah

Eric Worral: 22:56 There’s this running gag in it were Phil goes up the steps and he trips on the one step because there’s something wrong with the step and he goes, I’m going to fix that. So my initial thought with this program was why not have something where we say, hey, concentrate on one thing that’s bothering you. One of those things that just kind of orbits you and it’s just, you know, it’s a little fly but it’s not enough of a problem to really do something about it. And that’s what I was originally thinking about doing was you know what, let’s everybody comment below. Identify the one thing that you really want to focus on. You know, finally taking care of this week. But at the same time, if you’re looking at a big picture vision, like you talk about in your book and you’re looking at five years and working your way backwards, I mean those things aren’t really going to help you accomplish that necessarily. How would you recommend structuring something like this for our group without going too far into the, because we’re not doing what you guys do with the one thing at your group.

Jay Papasan: 23:48 And you’re welcome to do it.

Eric Worral: 23:49 Yeah

Jay Papasan: 23:50 The way I would recommend is, I mean, I love it if people can go out and look at their five year and someday goals and then work backwards. That means what we’re focused on today, you know, it’s the goal setting to the now principal. How do you break down this big crazy goal in the future to what’s relevant? How do I behave this week so that I’m on pace to, that’s like a, that’s its own process. But even in the absence of that, our whole culture in my company Gary’s culture that drove a lot of this, we call it the four one one and it’s just one piece of paper. And at the top you put your primary goals for the year and then each month you ask based on what I want to accomplish this year and most people get annual goal setting so we can just kind of dropped right to that level based on what I want to accomplish this year. What’s my one thing this month? Right. And based on my one thing this month, each week declare what’s my one thing this week in order to be on track for my month, which is on track for my year. And so it’s just three levels and usually you don’t need to have more than about three to seven goals Max because otherwise you’re getting in the weeds. Those are not the big ones. You’re talking about the primary goals for your business. And if you’ve got a big goal up there, know what’s number one, know what’s number two? And each month you asked for my number one annual goal, what do I need to accomplish this month? And then each week you asked for my number one goal this month, what do I need to accomplish this week? And that’s how we kind of cascade our priorities. And my team, we do a 30 minute stand up every Monday and my goal is to find out what is everybody’s one thing for the week.

Jay Papasan: 25:24 We’re aware of it and and in my one on ones with my people, we check in on how did you do, how do you feel about that? What did you learn? You know, and you’re going to carry that forward if you miss it or are you just going to write it off and it creates a discussion. So I liked the idea of if you wanted people to participate and you know, what’s my one thing this week, the key to that then as to step in the next week and say how did you do?

Eric Worral: 25:48 Yeah.

Jay Papasan: 25:49 And if, if they didn’t do it, that’s fine. The way to learn from that is to reflect on it for just a minute. All right. Did you set a good goal? Was it an appropriate goal? Was it really a priority? Cause sometimes we don’t do things because we thought it was a priority when we set it. In reality, it wasn’t nearly as important as other things. And that’s okay too. I don’t want to let people off the hook all the time, but I acknowledge that can happen. So it just creates a healthy dialogue, not necessarily a scorecard, but if every week you’re saying, Hey, this is my number one priority. I find that when people are really clear about that, they tend to get it done because it is their number one priority and they’ve already declared it. So they’re aware of it and when they’re aware of their more priority, it does get a little bit easier to say no to the other stuff. That could work.

Eric Worral: 26:36 Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. One of the questions we got from somebody in the Facebook group, I think we could probably use it as a quick example here.

Jay Papasan: 26:44 Sure

Eric Worral: 26:45 This came in from Andrew Grant and he said, for a real estate investor, what would be the first steps to be applying the principles, the one thing to achieve great results. So I was wondering if maybe we could take what you were just talking about and you might look at your year. So let’s say, he’s a real estate investor and he, his goal for this year as he wants five new properties, right?

Jay Papasan: 27:06 Right.

Eric Worral: 27:06 You would just take that and say, all right, that’s your year end goal. Now let’s break this up month by month. Or how would you go? How would you approach that goal?

Jay Papasan: 27:14 So if you need five properties by the end of the year, what do you also need between now and the end of the year? So in my experience, like if it’s a seasoned investor, they probably know this. Like do they know what their actual criteria for saying yes is? Right? That’s a very big step. That’s usually the first step when you’re serious about investing is establishing your criteria. So you know what’s the yes is and everything that’s a no, if you don’t have your criteria, it’s very hard to even find a property. But that will also dictate like how much cash do you need? How much credit do you need? Right? There’s a series of things that you’ll have to manage to buy five properties first and fore most is how many properties did you look at that we’re a match for your criteria? Because in my experience I might look at 30 maybe even 40 properties that appeared to be a match for my criteria and I’ll only make offers on a couple of those and my offers won’t always get accepted.

Jay Papasan: 28:09 So there is kind of a fly wheel for investors, right? That if you know your criteria and you’ve got a way to lead generate for properties, you’re not just staring at the MLSs waiting for him to show up. You’ve got people bird dogging your actually knocking on doors. You’re maybe putting up bandit and flyers, however you’re doing it. So I would probably say you boil down your weekly is what’s that number one activity? I’m going to look at a hundred properties a week or 50 properties a week, whatever it is that you feel will kind of kick that process. And then each month I’ll make at least two offers and maybe you’ll actually be on track to acquire six properties, not five. If you’ve got the financing, I’d rather be ahead of my goals in behind them and I don’t want to have to hit my goals in December.

Eric Worral: 28:56 Yeah.

Jay Papasan: 28:57 So that is not a bad month to be shopping for investments, right? December, January, February. But I would work backwards from the big goal, figure out what’s the activity that’s most likely to drive it, and then hold myself very accountable every week to hitting that standard. Things tend to fall behind it. It’s same in real estate sales. How many appointments did you have with buyers or sellers? Right. And it sometimes people go farther. How many people did you have conversations with in order to find x number of people who might be buying or selling in order to have x number of appointments in order to get this many contracts, et Cetera, et cetera. There’s, it’s just an economic model. So for real estate investing, it’s a little bit more collapsed because you’re looking for people who’d be willing to sell their property.

Eric Worral: 29:39 Yeah. Jay, would you say that you’re a logical person? Because that’s the kind of the sense I get as you’re talking, you’re like, yeah, you just, you start here, you work backwards and this makes sense. And as you’re saying it, it just, it makes sense. You know, it’s very simple.

Jay Papasan: 29:53 Well I think that’s what makes me a writer. I think that Gary and I both are, um, driven by data and logic. I have emotions too. I make horrible decisions all the time, just like everybody else, especially when it involves my teenage kids. Right?

Eric Worral: 30:09 Cause they’re probably emotional.

Jay Papasan: 30:11 Oh yeah. Nothing like close family to get us out of our logic brain. So if I’m going to be a good business person and real estate investing, even if it’s a side Gig, is a business, it needs to be driven by objective decision making. So remove yourself, especially investing from the emotion. You do not want to get emotionally attached to some deal. That’s how bad bad purchases are made. If there’s ever a time to be dispassionate, it’s in real estate investing. So you have your criteria. It’s either a match or it isn’t. And if you’ve got a match, you’ve got a number that you can still make money on and if they won’t accept it, you’ve got to walk. But if you do that activity, find a criteria match, make an offer that works for you, some are going to get rejected, some will be accepted. And then those would be the ones that you close on. And I’m a buy and hold guy. Those will be your future rentals. If you’re flipping, you know, it might be a little bit faster paced, right. But the offer is even tends to be lower on flips. Right. Because you have to find that margin.

Eric Worral: 31:17 Okay. Uh, we have one last question then we’ll wrap the podcast up with you. I just came from a friend Andrew Schultz. Uh, he’s a property manager and investor and he said, what do you think that the, uh, the changing role of a real estate agent is going to be in the next five years? How is it going to evolve?

Jay Papasan: 31:33 Well, I know that our company, we’ve made a big bet. We feel maybe it was four or five years ago. We were masterminding with our top, you know, some of our top 150 or so agents, and I can’t remember the context of the discussion, but Gary basically said, um, you need to look and figure out who is the company that’s going to put you out of business. And everybody went internal. You could tell they were thinking like who would put them out of business and their local market, I guess now go become that company is go do it, go disrupt yourself. And when we asked that question, um, pretty much the universal answer was going to be a tech company for us. So we’ve made very, we’ve taken a lot of flack for it. We’ve started moving that direction, but we believe that the platform of the future is going to be controlled by a company that hopefully sees agents as an essential fiduciary versus the opposite.

Jay Papasan: 32:27 There’s definitely platforms out there. Um, Uber fiduciary and that is not the driver, it’s the platform, right? So we’ve made a bet that we can create a tech platform where the agent is so fiduciary. Uh, but the platform does a lot of the work for both the consumer and the agent. So I would like me, and we call it the tech enabled agent. So we’re making a bet that agents will be able to do more volume, more transactions with help the technology, but their role is going to be reduced and their price may be reduced. We don’t know. But it would, if you could do more, even at a smaller margin, you can still build a great business with tech should enable us to serve more customers and it will focus our service more towards the things that really matter. And I’ve seen the data every year. I mean, I think it’s 98 percent of people who buy properties today, um, are leveraging heavily the internet. And that number has just gone up steadily since around 2000 and every year they’re more likely to use a real estate agent than they were before. But that tells me is when someone who only buys houses, right every 7 to 10 years and they’re buying something, this the most expensive purchase of their life, they want a trusted expert. So what is the role of that expert? That’s what we’re betting is that I’m going to want someone who shows up with our, you know, whatever their iPad equivalent it is, got an Ai hundred I’ve got the data and I can really help interpret it for you. So that’s where we think it’s going, a higher level of fiduciary. but definitely powered by some tech. I just think that whether it’s 5 years or 10, it’s going to happen.

Eric Worral: 34:06 Yeah. I love it. As you were talking, it kind of reminded me of Uber because you mentioned them as reference. I hear local radio ads for the taxi companies, which I’ve never heard before. And you know, they’re saying things like, Oh, you know, uh, drive local and keep the money here. I’m like, people don’t care. They want the convenience that Uber provides and the fact that everything’s so convenient all the way through the process. They’re not going to pick up the phone and call the local taxi company. And the other funny thing is, is they never advertised before and now they’re like, Hey, don’t forget about us. And on the way to work today, I heard an ad from a national, religious association, and it reminded me all of that ad and they’re talking about how important real leaders are and they were making all these warm comparisons to saying all these great stuff. And I’m like, yeah, same thing as Uber. People don’t care. They just want convenience, you know, not with everything, but they want what they want in that situation. And just because you say you’re better doesn’t mean you’re better you know?

Jay Papasan: 35:02 Nope. And it’s going to happen are the real estate transaction, I mean you’re an investor. We all know it’s very inefficient. There’s lots of paper involved still. And it’s, you have to go to all these different sources. It’s going to be unified. It’s going to be a lot more like buying a car in the sense that the transaction is going to be probably moved all online. It’ll happen a lot faster with less paperwork, less hassle. That part technology can help the actual decisions on what’s the best home for my family. Right. And understanding the city and the nuances of neighborhoods. I don’t see any time soon and maybe never that even AI is really going to interpret that for us. Sure. We see like reviews on Amazon and Yelp, it’s all, they’re all games like a lot of that. So you need someone who’s an actual expert who can help you for decision that big. That’s my bias. I’m sure there’s an equal number of people on the other side of the fence who said just give me the APP. But we’re, we think that the human will still be a part of it if they’re empowered and they’re are serving the customer at a high level.

Eric Worral: 36:05 Well Jay, thank you so much for your time and joining us on the podcast. If anybody’s looking to get in contact with you guys, I know you’ve got here hands in a lot of different areas, but obviously check out the one thing you Google it anywhere is Amazon anywhere is you’re going to find it. But where else should people check you guys out?

Jay Papasan: 36:21 I would just say go to the one thing.com with the number one. That’s where I live and I have for the last six years with everything else that goes on. That’s my number one, and that’s why I’m still six years later, I’m here with you focused on this book over all others.

Eric Worral: 36:34 Okay. All right. Well, thank you again for your insights. Really appreciate it. And I’m sure our listeners do too.

Jay Papasan: 36:40 Thank you.