What can mindset training, personal guidance, and advanced lead gen strategies do to transform a real estate agent?
Dwayne Pano has big dreams.
A coaching member and upstart Houston agent, his vision board includes a goal of buying each of his three kids their own home that he’ll give them when they graduate high school.
“Those used to be pipe dreams,” he says. “Now it’s gonna be dope when that happens. And notice it’s not ‘Wouldn’t it be dope…’ I changed my mindset now to say, ‘It’s gonna be dope.’”
That’s not the only significant change in Dwayne’s life. In fact, the Dwayne Pano of today is someone completely different than the Dwayne Pano of just a few years ago.
Flashing back to early 2020, he and his wife had just had their third child, and Dwayne had devoted the last 18 years of his life to a role in urban camp ministry that was personally fulfilling but didn’t provide the income needed for a growing family.
COVID seemed to have ground the world to a halt and Dwayne found himself playing video games until three in the morning, unsure what moves to make to change his situation and support his family.
Over sushi one day, an acquaintance suggested to Dwayne that he should get a job at Buc-ee’s. “They have good benefits and decent hours.” Dwayne imagined (and for a moment even considered) applying to and then working at the gas station, letting the hours tick by every day. There had to be a better solution…
An unexpected answer came from an expected source – Dwayne’s pastor knew of a program that helped people transition into real estate.
Never one to refuse the call to action, Dwayne dove headfirst into real estate, and his 3 a.m. nights turned from video games to study. Several months later, Dwayne was a licensed real estate agent.
Dwayne Joins Coaching
Real estate turned out to be a better life, but one that can break anyone down if they don’t have the right mindset training, structure, and guidance in place.
For instance, his first brokerage didn’t utilize social media, and they didn’t even have a CRM.
He needed more, but still being new to the industry, he needed guidance first…
Luckily, as a coach of 18 years himself, Dwayne entered real estate already knowing the value of coaching. After doing four deals in his first year, he decided it was necessary to explore his options, and he scheduled a free coaching consultation. During the call, Dwayne got a better perspective on where he was in his business – and where coaching could take him. He joined that very day.
Working with his coach Ryan taught Dwayne how to eliminate his fear of picking up the phone and steering casual conversations toward real estate. They worked on a social media strategy, his time management systems, and a plan for working expireds. Together, Dwayne and Ryan were forming the building blocks to grow his business.
“There’s something about having a major brand name behind you that adds a lot of credibility and confidence. They had everything that was missing and gave me the ability to stay truly organized inside my CRM.”
“A lot has happened since then,” Dwayne says. “I officially changed brokerages and put more systems and processes in place. Now I can give my attention to what I’m supposed to do.”
The results spoke for themselves. After closing four transactions in his first year in the business, Dwayne did 31 deals in 2022.
Even as business picked up, Dwayne never stopped continuing his self-growth. He began attending events and opening himself up to opportunity. And as was always the case when he did this, opportunity presented itself at a Roadmap event in Houston, where a chance interaction with Tom gave Dwayne the fire he needed to supercharge his progress and live into his ambitions.
On Valentine’s Day of this year, Tom had a Roadmap event scheduled in Dwayne’s hometown of Houston.
“That particular day was a weird day,” Dwayne says in hindsight.
Dwayne had a busy day with appointments but wanted to stop in and catch as much of Roadmap as possible.
“I got there just in time to start mingling and networking with some of the other agents. Then I saw Tom there and I went up and started talking to him. We talked a little bit about my business and the work I’d done for kids. And that was it.”
Just as Dwayne was leaving in the afternoon, he had to run early, but on his way out he got a call saying, “Where are you? Tom is trying to call you to the stage!”
Naturally, he hurried back. Tom asked him to share his story in front of hundreds of top agents.
“I’m an introvert/extrovert. I can talk about myself, but I prefer to fly under the radar. But there I was, up on stage having to talk about my business in front of all these agents I admire.”
And then Tom laid down the gauntlet…
“I bet you can’t go on 100 listing appointments and sell sixty homes in the next year,” Tom challenged him.
Dwayne had already been on a steady increase in his business, but 100 appointments and 60 transactions still seemed like a future ambition, not where he was today. But he’d already learned that with faith and the right systems and guidance in place, anything is possible. This must be too, right? He shook Tom’s hand and the bet was on.
“The conversation with Tom forced me to quit coasting. Suddenly I realized that there was a different level to go to. I knew I was going to have to jump in the deep end with sharks if I wanted to swim with sharks.”
Dwayne sent coach Ryan a voice memo as soon as he got off stage. On their next coaching session, the two discussed the bet and put together a plan to win it. Here are a few of the plays that Dwayne found to give himself the edge…
Mindset Training, Lesson 1: Know Your Goal + What That Means + Where You Are, Always
100 appointments… 60 transactions…
If Dwayne was going to reach that goal, it had to start with knowing how. He needed to know how many appointments that was every quarter, every month, every week, and every day. How many phone calls did it take him to get an appointment? How many appointments did it take until he landed a listing?
Now more than ever, he needed to track and measure everything. If he didn’t feel like making his calls one day or he felt like he was too overwhelmed, now he knew that he’d be falling behind.
Today he keeps his goals in front of him in two very prominent places – on his phone and a giant scoreboard with 100 tally marks for the appointments needed to win the bet.
Mindset Training, Lesson 2: Be of Greater Service
Coming from a background in youth ministry, being of service to his community is extremely important to Dwayne. He believes in helping and contributing in every way possible to the greater good and the individual good of every person he meets.
When it comes to prospecting, he puts that same approach into play… and it’s turned into a winning script!
“I call people from my database every day and ask a very simple question – ‘What do you have on your to do list that I could help you with?’”
Some people might need a contractor or handyman recommendation. Another asked him to help them find a good therapist.
The question also serves another purpose, Dwayne explains. “It almost always leads to them asking what they can do for me. It’s a perfect opening to ask who they might know that might be considering buying or selling a home.”
As you read Dwayne’s approach, ask yourself – are you giving enough of yourself to the people in your database?
Mindset Training, Lesson 3: Be the Digital Mayor
Social media is a major part of Dwayne’s business. He’s an easy guy to get to know, like, and trust, and social media is how everyone gets to see that.
His video content consists of the classic home tours and data about the Houston market, but some of his highest-performing videos are often personal, family-oriented posts about his wife and children. He’s not afraid to be vulnerable and give people a glimpse into who he is as a husband, father, and man.
Thursdays are when he meets with his videographer to batch content for the week. Since the bet, he’s made sure to post at least one video on social every single day.
“It’s all about being consistent. Consistency is the key,” Dwayne says when asked what he’s learned in this journey. “Making phone calls. Sending letters. Making videos. Talking to people. Once I did those things for a while, the dam broke and the business came gushing out.”
Dwayne adds he’s excited to include his kids more in his marketing and plans to soon shoot a video of his son leading the camera through a listing tour.
Mindset Training, Lesson 4: Surround Yourself with the Right People
Dwayne understands that he has high ambitions, which a lot of people might not understand, especially with all the doubt and uncertainty out there in the market.
“I can’t share everything with everybody. I learned that there are certain people who I can’t have certain conversations with anymore. Even if they are good friends or my family, I will not talk about my business with people who have limiting beliefs – not even just about me, but also about themselves.”
He’ll still hang out with them from time to time, but he sets the boundaries that he won’t talk about his business with them and attract discouragement of any kind.
Most of his social time goes toward making connections with the types of people he wants to emulate – a vital principle of success.
“I’m no longer living in an area that doesn’t work for me. As a minority, it’s easy to tell yourself you’ll never get there. Now there are no limits in belief to what I can accomplish.”
Mindset Training, Lesson 5: Live By a Calendar
Dwayne’s life today is a far cry from that of just a few years ago. He’s become a first-time homeowner, and he strives every day to make the most of life with his wife and kids. But the bet with Tom quickly taught him he can’t rest on his laurels.
“I got super comfortable last year,” he admits. “It was the most money I’d ever made in my life. But then I quickly recognized there’s another level to go to.”
To achieve that work/life balance, Dwayne and his wife have a strong “family calendar” system that allows them to leave time for the things that matter most.
“My wife and I live by Google and Apple calendars. If something isn’t on the calendar, it doesn’t happen.”
Mindset Training, Lesson 6: Remember the Reason
These days, when Dwayne pulls into a Buc-ee’s to get gas, he remembers the conversation he had over sushi and imagines where his life could’ve gone. And he feels grateful.
“I’m making triple what I did at my old job, and I’m the first person in my family to ever own a home.”
But more important than his own accomplishments are what he’s been able to provide for his family. They’re his purpose, which he reminds himself of every time he doesn’t feel like picking up the phone or shooting a video.
Every day, he thinks about that goal of buying a home for each of his children while they’re still young so they can choose what they want to do with it when they graduate. It’s actually possible now.
And every day when he goes to sleep, he imagines the moment when Tom hands him that check for $10,000 on stage. Dwayne is certain it’s going to happen. And from everything he’s proven in the last couple years, we’re not about to doubt him.