Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Sherri Johnson is a proud single mother of two whose parents taught her how to be a successful entrepreneur, along with the importance of hard work and providing value. “I’m a product of incredible dedication, drive and confidence in a humble way,” says Johnson, who credits her success in business, and life, to her mother and father’s constant efforts to instill a strong work ethic and the belief that she could do anything with purpose.
Taking the sentiment “go be a leader” from her mother, and regularly instilling this in her own children and clients, Johnson has built a successful real estate coaching and consulting firm. Today, Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting is a top-tier real estate coaching company, pushing agents, brokers, managers and company executives alike to new levels of success and greatness through real value, accountability and hard work.
Paige Brown: Sherri, you’re known to be a very passionate coach in the industry. Where does that passion come from?
Sherri Johnson: To me, coaching isn’t making people great, it’s bringing out the greatness they already have inside of them when they don’t know they have it. Taking an agent who was making $40,000 a year to making $200,000 a year is a life-changing experience for both of us. It’s not about the money. It’s about the financial freedom that comes with being able to send their kids to college, move to a different school district or raise the environment for their family. That’s what it’s all about.
It’s also about raising the bar for the entire buyer/seller experience. I’m helping agents, brokers, managers and companies be better while increasing the level of service they provide the consumer by adding more value. I want my clients to know that they aren’t just selling. They’re solving problems and helping people. I’m about helping agents build real relationships with their clients for life, and teaching managers how to build relationships that aren’t transferable in order to foster retention.
PB: Why did you choose to start your own business rather than join an existing coaching company?
SJ: I had developed many “Sherri Johnson-isms” and strategies that were exclusive to me as I built my brand. Not only had I built all these systems, but they worked. I’ve always wanted to motivate, inspire and consult—and I had an amazing opportunity at Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. They allowed me to run my region like I owned it, and because of this, I grew my territory’s sales volume from $600 million to $1.7 billion in four years. Howard Hanna was so awesome to give me that opportunity. It was well thought-out and a true team effort led by a lot of great managers. But then I asked myself, how could I teach this to other companies? It never crossed my mind to join a coaching company because every coach has their own model and their own value proposition. I thought I could brand my own value and that it would resonate with a lot of people in the way it did at Howard Hanna.
People want a pill for success, but I don’t think that exists. At the end of the day, if you want a sustainable, pandemic-proof, recession-proof, financial crisis-proof business, you have to know how to build relationships and make it happen for yourself, because it’s not going to happen without putting in the work. I wanted to share my systems and connect at every level, which is what I do. Having a front-row seat from which to watch these changes and breakthroughs occur makes my day. Being a small part of making major differences in companies is the greatest part of my job. It’s fun to watch change happen and see other people succeed.
PB: As the one who originated and created your award-winning business, are there any programs at Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting that highlight who you are as a real estate coach?
SJ: The GoldMine Pipeline™ is a strategy that is synonymous with my existence. Most agents are talking to people who are going to buy in the next 45 days rather than filling a pipeline of future business. I created this system when I was an agent because I was always worried about where my next 10 deals would come from, so I built a pipeline of future business. Our strategy builds a monetized system so that agents can cast a wider net, create more opportunities and stay in touch with buyers. It creates a predictable and consistent monthly income, and it applies to anyone, at any experience level, with any current production levels. It’s really a way to scale and forecast your sales.
Many agents sit back and hope, but there’s no action in hope. Always have a full pipeline, always be closing, and always have added value. You have to say to yourself every single day, “I am going to list or sell a house this week, I just don’t know the address yet.” Every person you come into contact with is an opportunity, if you’re looking for opportunities. When you’re strategic, instead of just transaction-based, you’ll see success. Our job is to bring out the best in people and help them improve. The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement, and we coach our clients to recognize that opportunities aren’t lost, they simply go to someone else, so you need to push yourself. What is so amazing about my exclusive GoldMine Pipeline™ system is that we successfully coach and train managers to use this system to dramatically increase company-dollar revenue by $300,000 – $600,000 per office with 15 – 25 agents adopting and maximizing GoldMine Pipeline™ individually to increase their own listings, sales and income. It’s an amazing recruiting, development and retention tool.
PB: What can real estate professionals expect from Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting programs in 2023?
SJ: We’ve built the state-of-the-art, world-class Sherri Johnson Academy and Broker Academy, which includes 30 courses and is chock-full of how-to videos, downloadable course content and micro videos of what to say, how to say it, what not to say, etc. There’s nothing like it from any other coach out there, which makes it really unique and an unbelievable value. It helps agents double and triple their business in one year. We’re about results and getting action out of people.
We take agents who are already motivated and focused and accelerate their results. I can’t motivate a satisfied person, so we like the people who want to grow, but just don’t know how to get there. I would rather have that because the results will show if they’re willing to put in the work. We close the learning gap after setting goals by giving you the tools to achieve them. Every manager has a goal for recruiting, but no one has ever provided the step-by-step strategies for how to do it. Agents want to win more leads, but they don’t know where to start. We instill confidence and give them a script for how to approach every buyer, seller, lead and opportunity they come in contact with. To me, it’s about providing real solutions, because that’s what they need.
Next year, we’ll be featuring Sherri Johnson Live exclusive events, including two-day events for agents, a four-day destination broker university, and new certification courses for brokers. I will also be speaking at the National Association of REALTORS® Convention, Realty ONE Group Summit, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention and, of course, RISMedia’s Real Estate’s Rocking in the New Year and 2023 CEO & Leadership Exchange.
PB: You’ve participated in numerous RISMedia events, as well as taking on the role of Keynote Speaker at many other industry events. What do you love most about speaking?
SJ: My favorite thing about speaking is connecting with each person. I look at their faces and watch their body language as they listen to me. I want to know them; I want to have them feel like they’re not just being coached, but they actually have a relationship with me. They’re our clients—part of our ecosystem and environment here. I’m interested in watching people react to what I’m saying because it drives me to share more and give them a new way to add value and compete at a higher level. If they’re more strategic, use words that work, use better body language and are more engaging, they’ll have more confidence. ‘Sell more, work less’ is a great concept, but I have to impose on everyone in a room that it’s easy to get lost in busy work. We’re commission-based and bonus-driven, so you need to bring your A-game.
PB: Tell me about your podcast “YouRock! With Sherri Johnson” and how this content can help real estate professionals.
SJ: I always say, “You Rock!” It became another “Sherri Johnson-ism” that I would constantly tell my agents. It’s all about making the agent or manager better. If I can do that in one podcast episode, I’m ecstatic, because that’s my mission. I just want to connect with people and give them strategies. I interview industry experts and icons, such as Allan Dalton—senior vice president, Research and Development for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices—social media and video marketing experts, and agents from across the country to share their best practices. It’s another way to connect with people and deliver free, awesome, value-added content. I’ve been given a lot of unbelievable blessings in my life, and it’s important for me to give that back.
PB: What would you say to a new agent coming into the industry in terms of the importance of coaching?
SJ: Confidence creates confidence in the consumer, and if you exude confidence, you’ll build relationships built on trust. For a new agent, it’s important to do the following three things:
Get the GoldMine Pipeline™ form and start putting every single person on it, even if they aren’t going to buy for two years.
Focus on setting appointments every day. If your calendar isn’t full of appointments, you aren’t going to sell anything.
Focus on listings. If you get your first listing in the first two weeks or 30 days, it will all happen. You can’t sit back and wait.
In terms of coaching for a new agent, they need a plan. There are three things that make an agent successful:
Location of the office
Manager’s role in business planning and coaching
For seasoned agents, when it comes to coaching, improvement is for everybody. You need solutions, no matter the climate. You have to have accountability for closing the gap of setting goals and achieving them. Accountability is a positive word to me, not a negative one.
If you’re a team leader or broker, you want to increase profitability. Having a coach will keep you focused, keep you on track and help you find turnkey solutions. It’s about implementing priorities and action items to create more success for your teams, and learning how to add more value to your team so you have higher retention, higher loyalty and higher producing agents. We’re going to increase top-line revenue in a manner that team leaders and brokers have never seen before because we have proven systems that have done it.
PB: As we head into a new year amid a shifting market, what is your best advice for real estate agents and brokers?
SJ: The market is shifting, and it’s always changing. As real estate professionals, we have to be changing faster than the market. It’s a competitive advantage if you’re constantly changing. We should be aware that what we say is important, but how we say it is even more impactful. You can say the market is shifting and really scare people into not doing something, or you can say it with confidence, tell them what’s happening and show them why now is still a great time to be a buyer and a fantastic time to be a seller. You need to be solution-based. If you speak with certainty and ask good questions, you can survive anything.
Take advantage of this selling season and the opportunities it presents, and make them happen. You can turn any conversation into a positive one if you think quickly and speak with authority, conviction and passion about the thing we love: selling houses. You need to have both a success and growth mindset, because regardless of what’s happening in the industry, that will help make 2023 your best year ever. Mindset matters. If you have a mindset that’s going downward, you’re going downward. If you have a mindset that says you’ll have the best month, quarter or year, that’s what’s going to make your success.
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