Many of the rockstar Realtors we talk to at Follow Up Boss seem to have fallen into the game almost by accident — but not Cindy Greenya. She’s had her heart in real estate since the start of her career. And today, she has 21 years of experience under her belt and an impressive $22.9 million in volume.
Cindy got her start working as a real estate assistant and also worked in residential property management. “I eventually grew into being my own independent agent,” she says. “And now I have a team of six Realtors underneath me.”
That team — the Talbot Greenya Group — serves the extremely scenic area of Winchester, VA and its surrounding communities.
But leading her real estate team is only half of her professional life: Cindy also manages over 100 rental properties as well. “We’re very busy,” she says.
No kidding. 😅
We’re diving deep into Cindy’s story to find out how she leads a strong team while managing everything else on her plate — and why Follow Up Boss is central to her strategy for success.
Table of contents
- Real talk: Learning from failure
- Establish these 3 boundaries to keep yourself (and your real estate business) on track
- Here’s how you ace contact management and follow up
- Invest in your team, reap the ROI
- What’s next?: Leading the next generation of agents
Real talk: Learning from failure
As if running two businesses weren’t enough, Cindy has also held many leadership positions with her local association of Realtors and has a family to lead. There’s no doubt about it — she is a natural born entrepreneur.
“It is a lot, but I’m very thankful that I have Follow Up Boss to help systematize and keep my database all in one place,” she explains. “I use it for both my real estate team and my property management company.”
And that ain’t all.
“I use it personally, too,” she admits. “I actually keep my Christmas card list in there… I use it pretty much for all of my contact management and every place in my life.”
But what brought her to Follow Up Boss in the first place?
“I came to Follow Up Boss because I made a big mistake,” she says. “I didn’t stay in touch with a past client.”
Instead, another agent — actually one of Cindy’s close friends — out-marketed her and won their business. “It pissed me off because that was my client,” she says. “But it was no longer my client, because I lost touch. So that was a shame on me.”
Fortunately, it didn’t hurt the friendship... but it sure lit a fire under Cindy.
“I came to Follow Up Boss with the commitment that no one will ever out-market me ever again,” she says.
Today, that fire still burns. Cindy’s passion for helping her clients and community is what motivates her and the team at Talbot Greenya Group to constantly push harder and do better.
And while she found a way to turn an epic mistake into a whole new superpower for her and the team, Cindy also has more than a few other tricks up her sleeve to help other ambitious agents and team leaders like herself.
Partnering with local charities is just one of the ways that Cindy and her team like to get involved and give back to the community.
Establish these 3 boundaries to keep yourself (and your real estate business) on track
When you wear as many hats as Cindy does, flying by the seat of your pants just isn’t an option. Instead, she has developed three purposeful boundaries that set her up for success each day, move her business forward, and help keep her hands on the reins.
1. Control your day
Cindy’s morning ritual has been a game-changer, both personally and professionally. “I have a lot of commitments and lots of people that are pecking and pulling at me,” she says. “It’s important to me that I start my day in a centered place.”
She kicks things off bright and early with meditation and exercise. “My day starts at five o’clock in the morning. I do a little Bible study devotional, I write in my gratitude journal, and I do yoga.”
But the most important part?
“Nobody’s allowed to speak to me. I don’t answer questions,” she explains. “Everybody on my team knows, ‘Do not message me before 8:30 because you’re interrupting me and I am not going to reply to you unless your house is on fire or something really bad is happening.’”
Don’t let all this talk about boundaries fool you — the Talbot Greenya Group team are still plenty close.
2. Prospect before emails
Once the official work day begins, Cindy has created another habit, and it’s one she’ll admit is not easy to establish: No reading emails until she’s done her prospecting.
“I always write at least two personal notes every single day, and I always call at least one or two clients every day. I’ve also morphed that into texting,” she explains. “I just start going through my list and sending quick little messages.”
“Around 8:30 in the morning, a lot of my past clients are getting messages like, ‘Hey, I was thinking about you. I drove through your neighborhood and I just wanted to say hello.’ It doesn’t have to be anything deep.”
Sometimes she’ll go a little further with something like:
Hey, I have a client who’s looking for a townhouse like yours in your subdivision. If you or any of your neighbors are looking to sell, please make sure you let me know! I’d love to get their house sold for them quickly.
One thing is for sure: All that hard work (and iron-clad willpower) pays off — Cindy has great relationships with her clients. “People appreciate those touches,” she says.
It’s only after she’s finished connecting with past clients that she’ll open up her laptop and start going through emails.
3. Make your business portable
Another strategy that helps give Cindy peace of mind is owning her team’s platforms — meaning she (and not the brokerage) holds the reins for all of the software and systems that her team uses every day.
“Anybody who is using brokerage email addresses, stop, stop stop!” she says. “Don’t do that, because you need to be able to take your business and make it portable.”
“That’s another reason why I came to Follow Up Boss,” she continues. “I love Keller Williams. I love their philosophy, I love their training, I love the way they do teams. But if my broker does something that is unethical, I’m picking up my business and going somewhere else. And we can do that seamlessly because all of our systems run independent of our brokerage.”
Here’s how you ace contact management and follow up
Keeping in touch with past clients may have been a weak point in her past, but Cindy sure has turned it into a strength.
“If I could give my past self some advice, it’d be to start from day one with a contact management system. It’s the power of your team,” she says.
There are several key ways that Cindy leverages the power of contact management — and the Follow Up Boss platform — with her team. Here are her top tips:
Get your database in one place
If you want to achieve truly smart and efficient follow up with prospective clients, you can’t have those contacts scattered across your email, phone, Facebook, and who knows where else.
“I know well-seasoned Realtors that have been in the business 20, 30, 50 years that still don’t have their databases all in one place,” Cindy says. “And then they want to know why they lose contact with their sphere of influence.”
That’s why for new agents on the Talbot Greenya Group team, getting every last contact they have into Follow Up Boss is a top priority.
“It’s a numbers game, right?” Cindy points out. “We try to get them to understand that the more contacts they have in the system, the higher the probability of people doing business with you.”
Ultimately, “Consistency is key,” she explains. “The magic starts to happen just from putting your contacts in one place.”
Develop a client rating system
Let’s be honest: not every contact in your database is a gold nugget. But some agents get a little too excited and start marking every prospect as a big opportunity.
Cindy’s team has built a no-fuss system for reassessing the value of each opportunity.
“We have tags in our system as A+, A, B, C, and D. Every client that comes to us that has a signed listing agreement or buyer agency agreement gets categorized as an A+ client, and they get treated as an A+ client. They get a pop-by or phone call and one personal note each quarter. Then at the end of 12 months, we recategorize based on the behavior of the client.”
“If they refer some business during that 12-month period, they stay in A+ status. If they don’t, it’s fine. But our job in the first year of our relationship with them is to show them how to refer us business, and part of that is putting them on our A+ program.”
And if they don’t refer any business? They get downgraded to a lower status.
“Some clients are B’s — they’re happy to get pop-bys, happy we’re following up with them in the first year… but they don’t get to maintain that A+ status of our time, effort, and energy if they’re not going to send us consistent referrals.”
Set up action plans for follow up
Of course, the real goal is to get more clients up to that A+ ranking and ramping up referrals. That’s why Cindy and her team are implementing action plans in Follow Up Boss for each rating category.
“With our A+ clients, we want to make sure that they’re getting touched at least once a month with a call, note, or pop-by.”
Action plans take out all the guesswork of what needs to happen next — and help keep the team on task.
“Agents need to be able to stay on top of those tasks and they need to happen regularly. That consistency is what really brings the value of the system.”
Use robust email templates
One of the best ways Cindy has found to empower and educate her agents is through email templates.
“Just taking the time and writing out the things that you write out all the time is such a time saver,” Cindy says. “It’s so valuable and it helps you create a system that’s going to be replicable — because no one is going to provide the level of quality and care that you can provide unless you’ve written the content and your team has bought into it.”
“My new agents get to come onto my team with all of my 21 years of knowledge and wisdom,” she explains. “With my email templates, they don’t have to search to find the words, and it’s educating them at the same time. So it’s got this threefold effect where it’s part of the value that my agents get by being on my team.”
Ensure agent accountability
To make sure everything is running smoothly, Cindy keeps a close eye on how her agents — and lead sources — are performing.
“Follow Up Boss helps me to understand what my agents are doing and how my hard-earned money is being invested well and where people need better training. It’s really a very robust tool for me to be able to get that deep dive into what my agents are doing on a regular basis, and then hold them accountable.”
Cindy and her agents even have a little mantra in place to make sure they all stay consistent.
“Our saying on our team is, ‘If you don’t report it on Follow Up Boss, it never happened,’” she says. “I can’t know what’s going on if they don’t record it in there, so that becomes part of their coaching and it’s an understanding that if you’re going to be on my leads team, you must record it.”
Invest in your team, reap the ROI
Making the jump to building a real estate team is a big, ambitious move — but according to Cindy, your mindset can make or break it.
“Don’t do it if you don’t have a helper spirit,” Cindy says. “A lot of people do it simply for the financial aspect of it. But if you do it with the right heart, the money will follow.”
Of course, she’s not naive to the realities of starting and running a business. (Don’t forget, she’s done it at least twice!)
“If you’re starting a team, expect an investment period. You don’t get into this without spending your own money first,” she explains. “It’s an investment of your time, your energy, and your money. And you need to be prepared for that.”
What’s next?: Leading the next generation of agents
It’s clear Cindy loves what she does, but what’s next on the horizon for this real estate wonder woman?
“I want to be out of production in five years,” she admits. “I love selling houses and I love my client relationships, but I’m tired of the grind.”
But that doesn’t mean she wants to tap out on her team — or the industry. Instead, her own ‘helper spirit’ is driven to keep applying her experience to help her agents succeed.
“I want to help the agents on my team grow, and I want them to be able to use my reputation and my hard work.” Now that’s what we call leadership.