The Power of your 3rd Place

The book “The Great Good Place” introduced the topic and power of everyone’s 3rd place. Let’s talk about how to maximize that today!

In this LiveTime with Alec edition…

  • 3rd place isn’t what you think it is.
  • What your 3rd place is…?
  • Is everyone in that place know you and what you do?
  • You’ll realize what missed opportunity you have by serving your community

Episode Transcribe

All right, we’re done with that. Welcome everybody. What’s up?

Thank you guys for hanging out with me this morning. It’s fun.

 It’s about 9:20 on a glorious, glorious Thursday. Hope you’re having a good day. I’m excited to bring another live cast, you guys, today across LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube. Talking about all the crazy stuff we do in our industry. It’s radically changing, it’s radically exciting. And for those of you that have questions, that have already joined and hanging out on LinkedIn, I got you over here. For those of you that are going to hang out with me on Facebook, man, drop the comments and same with YouTube. I’ve had some people on YouTube, it’s crazy. One of these live has went … like, I don’t want to say it went viral because that’s not true. But it had like a thousand views on YouTube just while we were recording, so something happened.Man, we talk a lot about digital marketing, don’t we? And I do, at least. Branding, digital marketing, social media. I want to pivot a little bit and talk about something really cool. There’s a really hardcore reality that local professionals don’t take advantage of enough, in my opinion. And I’m going to break down some of the things that I think are the most valuable that really separate and distinguish the absolute advantage you have in being local to your community. And by the way, I don’t care what business you’re in. If you’re in mortgages, if you sell insurance or if you sell financial services, don’t really care. I think this all kind of translates and connects together in the same beautiful synergy. So let’s break it down.Hi Oscar, nice to talk to you. Hey, good to see you, buddy. Excited to go talk to your group in a few weeks. All right, 1989, a book called the great, good place. That is the first time I was introduced to the concept of a third place. Now, if you’re like me, you’re like, “What does that mean?” And so let’s go in there. The third place, the book says every single human being on the planet has three places we go in life. We have our home, we have our work and we have our third place. And the author describes it as kind of a connecting environment of humanity where influences spread, conversations occur, relationships deepen. All this really cool stuff happens in the third place. And so for those of you that are hanging out with me right now, I want you to type in and comment, what is your third place? I want to hear it.And so for example, give you the easy ones. The first one that no one’s going to admit is your bar. I always say that because everyone’s like, “I don’t want to say that.” It’s okay, I understand you like adult beverages. That’s okay. You can do that. So I get that a lot. A lot of people are like, “Oh my bar. Or my favorite restaurant.” Those tend to be like local establishments that you know it’s … so what is your third place? Is it your gym? A lot of people, it’s their gym. That’s okay, that’s awesome. That’s a good habit. So would argue it’s better than the bar. I don’t know.But what else we got? What are your third places in life? Where do you go? Where do you hang out? Oh yeah, CJ … I knew the gym would come. I knew it right there. Yep, yoga studio. So awesome. Let me share some more, there’s churches. There’s charities you’re involved with or maybe you’re on the board of a charity. There’s malls. I mean, I know that sounds weird, but people go to these … yeah, church. There you go. What about if you’re like me and you got young kids … golf course, beautiful one. But if you’re like me and you got young kids, guess I am every weekend? Every weekend, I feel like my third place is the soccer field or the basketball court or like wherever my kid’s sporting event is. So who feels me on that one? That’s like a real talk.So let’s kind of go deeper here. And this is where I want you guys to get uncomfortable. I want to talk about the real talk here. Does everyone in that space, is everyone at your third place, that you’re there all the time, know that you are incredible at mortgages? Does everybody there know that you’re incredible? I have a lot of people that answer, no. That sit back and go … yeah, hi Pam. The hub, the church. Does everybody know there that you do mortgages and that you’re incredible at it?Now there’s a difference between walking around at church and be like, “You need a re-fi? Can I give you a re-fi? Do you need to re-fi? You buying a home soon?” That’s not relevant. But I’ll give you a great example, I hung out last night at new hire orientation. We have a hundred new loan officers joining the company, it’s super fun. We go to dinner and we talk about what’s going on in their life. And we’re talking about this concept of third place, which is why I wanted to share with you guys today about it.One gentlemen, I can tell, I’m like, “You’re third place is a gym, right?” Because he’s just very fit man. And he’s like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” And I’m like, “Where do you go?” And he goes, “Orange theory.” And I go, “Awesome. And that’s a franchise, right? Like there’s an owner of it.” And he’s like, “Yeah, yeah.” I’m like, “Do you know the owner?” He’s like, “Yeah, of course, Jim.” Or whatever his name was. I didn’t pay attention to that part, but it wasn’t relevant to me. “How could you help his business?” And he kind of like pause for a second and he was like, “I don’t know what you’re really asking.”And I go, “Well, let’s break it down. Could you host …” Obviously an Orange Theory and some other gyms. Like I own a CrossFit gym, man like a fitness challenges, dunk tanks, body fat testing. “What if you hosted a body fat testing contest and helped the gym owner stand up a community event where LoanDepot could sponsor the dunk tank. And it could show up and this test could be given to all the members for free sponsored by LoanDepot and you at your third place. What would that do to the community? Would everyone know who you were at that point? Even if you worked out at the 6:00 AM class at Orange Theory and then the 7:00 PM class so you never see.” Now they’re like, “Oh yeah, this guy that does the 6:00 AM. He’s one of my people, he works out with me.” You guys feel me on this? Like, this is incredibly low hanging fruit.Your third place … so there’s a bunch of you that said church. I took this straight from my dad’s playbook, which is just, if it’s there, you should take it. And he said, what he used to do was he had been at the church for a long time. Like he had credibility, this wasn’t just like his first weekend there. He knew everybody, knew the pastor, knew everybody. And he said, “Look, we have young couples getting married every month. It’s like just always happening at the church. I would love to host a free, no weirdness, no obligation class at the church about how to prepare for joint financial commingling. And like how to set up a budget and how to share finances. Because it’s different. Those of you that have been married a long time, maybe forget like when you first get married and all your stuff comes together. You’re like, “How much credit card debt do you have?” The private stuff becomes super public and everyone’s like, “Oh my God.” And then do we share our counts? It’s complicated. It’s complicated.So he would have this little course and curriculum he made. And of course he would talk about, are you going to start preparing for a down payment? Like, of course, if you’re a newlywed couple that’s like something you should talk about. Obviously he’s going to get loans from this and loans opportunity. But that’s not the intent. The intent is, he’s serving and educating and loving on his community and his third place. That is the new definition of local marketing.You see local marketing used to be bus stop benches and shopping cart ads. In fact, some people are still on shopping carts, aren’t they? And every time you look at it, you’re like, “Come on, shopping cart. Not going to call.” Somebody is going to watch this and be like, “I advertise on shopping cards. I get deals.” Like fine, okay. I’m sorry. Fine. Good for you, you’re incredible. But can we just unpack for a second the fact that, today contemporary marketing looks a lot like building relationships. It looks a lot like serving your community.I have got another example. There’s some people that and friends that I know that are in run clubs and bike clubs. Anybody resonate with that as their third place? It’s healthy activity, you go to a run club, you go to a bike club. That’s awesome. So why don’t you sponsor a race? Why don’t you help them with a fundraiser? People don’t get thinking macro. Yeah, I know Justin, we don’t. We lock down. We get stuck in our offices as local professionals is really the truth. And then when we go home, we like take our jersey off and we go home and then we’d stop loving on our local community.How many human beings do you know that made a bad choice on a mortgage or real estate financial decision? I mean, if you were like me and you’re around pre-crisis, there’s like a ton. Who made not the best choice. Man, shouldn’t they have talked to you and got your counsel and your advice. And yet when they hang out with you in these third places and in your community, you don’t even show up. Look, wear a freaking branded t-shirt. Like just start different, let me back up.I mentioned the soccer field and all the sports stuff. I love this because it’s just such a … I hope it draws a parallel for you and gives you some ideas and some fun stuff to do. Is it hot where you live? And is this sun beating down on the soccer field at like 10:00 AM or 11:00 AM or whatever it is? Yes. The answer is yes for a lot of us. Someone’s like it’s cold. Okay, I’m sorry. Just go with the example, just stay with me. So if it’s hot, why don’t you bring a big old LoanDepot popup tent, whatever company you’re at, don’t care. Big old popup tent, eight by 10, 10 by 20. Lug it, carry it to the soccer field in the morning, in the back of your car. Unload it, early, five minutes early. You can do hard things. Carry it across the field. Roll it on little wheels. Pop it up, provide shade to your community. That just happens to be representing your company at the same time.”Yeah, Alec, that’s annoying. That’s hard.” No serve other people, help other people. You want influence, serve people, be in community. You guys feel me on this? Like, I’m getting some good comments. Do you guys get what I’m saying right now? This is the new way of thinking. It’s not just, “Hey, I’m advertising.” No, I’m serving my community in my third place. Yeah, Justin knows what I’m talking about. Because this title says relationship managers so you better know what I’m talking about.Guys, how about this? How about bringing a little cooler of little LoanDepot or branded water bottles to give out to the kids? Not to the adults, the kids. Because if you’re like me and sometimes you make mistakes as a parent, I’m not perfect. I didn’t bring my kid water one day at soccer. And I was like, “Oh, he’s going to die.” And he’s thirsty, he’s like, “Dad, water.” And I’m like, “I failed you, son.” What if somebody was like, “Hey dude, I brought some water for some kids just in case there’s crappy dads like you.” And handed my kid a branded water bottle. Dude, I love that guy. I’m all in. All in.I had another fun one. One of my buddies, RC car racing. RC car racing is a huge thing. I didn’t think it was as big as it is, it’s a big deal. And people build their own little RC cars and they race them around and there’s tracks and competitions and events. And I was like, “Why don’t you sponsor a kid’s LoanDepot rally event? And give a hundred dollars winner to the first place kid.” A hundred bucks. Like some of you guys spend a hundred bucks at Starbucks in like a weekend. Not judging, just going to say it’s probably true. So what if you just sponsored a rally and gave … can you imagine an eight year old winning a hundred bucks? Oh my God. It’s like they’re rich. They hit the lottery. It’s like donuts on me.So look into what you do and where you live and how you interact with community. And man, love on those people. There’s another piece of this where we can go digital, which it gets a little crazy. Like your digital community. Because guess what? How many of you guys out there are gamers? Or know online gamers? Yeah, there’s a lot. Like I always give this example of like Reddit. And if you don’t know what Reddit is, it’s like the gateway to the dark web. So be very careful with it. A lot of anonymous people on there. When you’re anonymous online, man, the trolls come out, don’t they?But there’s a subreddit on there, which is like a theme or a thread on mortgages. And there’s people in there asking questions. In fact, there are customers in there anonymously posting like their LE and asking the online community, is this a good deal? Pretty fascinating the online communities out there that are becoming third places for a lot of human beings in the online digital world. And how are you leaning into that space to serve and help and encourage those people online? So much opportunity. I want to go back and share something funny. Actually, hold on, stay with me. Stay right there, stay right there. Don’t go anywhere. Don’t go anywhere.All right. So for those of you that didn’t want to admit that your third place is a bar. I love you. You’re my people. It’s all good guys. It’s okay. But check this out. Most people … there’s a mortgage professional that works with me, his name’s Mike Stowers, he’s down in San Diego. The guy is awesome, been in the business a long time. Like super solid professional. He literally can tie like a $100,000 in personal earnings to this one bar that he has been going to forever. Because he’s done loans for like the owner and the owner’s friend and the other patriots that he sees there. And he hosts networking events there and he brings in real estate professionals and he hosts young professional networking events there. And I mean, it’s awesome. It’s a community place.So I always joke. And I’m like, “How else could you advertise there? What does that place need?” Well, they need humans to show up. So you could run networking events, bring in business owners, bring in collab opportunities. That stuff’s great. And then I was like, “What about coasters?” Coasters. Put your face on a coaster. That’s my dad, right there. Look at that guy, look at that strapping. That’s incredible. That’s amazing. I look just like him except the hair part went down here. So that’s fun.But I mean, look, life’s too short, have some fun. Invest in your third place, support your community, love on the people there. This is how you do it, guys. All right. So I’ve got like a few minutes left to hang out with you guys. And I want to just kind of share some more ideas, but specific to you. I’d love to share some that are specific to you. Do you guys have any third places that you want to brainstorm on live right now about how to maximize that for your business? Like, let’s do it. I want to help you. Let’s absolutely talk about where your third place is and how I can help you. I’m getting text messages right now. That’s okay, that’s what happens when you go live. I’m always wondering if someone going too walk into right now while I’m hanging out.But what’s your third place? And how can I help you figure out how to invest in and serve it to maximize your potential there? What do you got? I’m going to scroll up in the conversation and look a couple of these opportunities here. I got a golf course. I got some good ones for that, I can give you one. Dottie at the yoga studio is awesome. I gave some for the gym. And I also like a big macro gyms, the equinoxes and the big box gyms. That have like full on like smoothie stations and stuff like that. Like that place, you can host a smoothie hour. That’s incredible. Free smoothies for everybody on this hour and hang out and put your little poster up and all that fun stuff. That’s incredible opportunity.Since no one is throwing up a comment here, I do have a good one though. Coffee shops. How many of your third place is actually a coffee shop? I guarantee you, a lot of you have third places, it’s a coffee shop. Some of you blow right through it, like you run in, you grab your coffee and you get out of there. Hold on, take a deep breath. Let’s just pause for a second. What could you do at that coffee shop? Let me give you another suggestion. It’s very likely that you’re going to that coffee shop in the morning, right before work. If you don’t have an appointment you’re running off to then just park yourself down in that coffee shop, open up your laptop, start cranking out your emails. And how about you put a little sticker on your laptop. I got one, check this out. That says this. What if you put this on your laptop? And then you sat there for 30 minutes and did some emails, what would happen? What would happen?You know what would happen. People would come over and talk to you. They’d ask questions. They’d want to know why are you doing this? What’s going on? Who are you? If you sat there every morning for 20, 30 minutes and did your email and drank your coffee and had a sticker on your deal and talk to human beings. Man, would you deepen relationships? Would you make connections with people? The magic would happen. You know it’s true. You know it’s true.Dottie, maybe I can host a grand opening of the cafe at my yoga studio. For sure. 100%. That’d be amazing. You’re already there invested in the community. I love it. How bad ass would it’d be if every single yoga mat was a LoanDepot yoga mat? And you just donated those. You don’t have to do any of this stuff guys, but you could do it. You could have a lot of fun and you could open up new opportunity to brand and lean into your third place.Here’s my encouragement to you as we kind of wrapped down. Your third place is under leveraged, under maximized. Those are your people. You hang out with them all the time, put in the back of your head a little note of, how do I make sure they know I’m great at what I do? And the best way I know how to do that is to serve that community. Do you hear me on that? Like give me a like because you know that’s right. The best way I know how to build influence and deepen relationships in the community is to serve your community. That’s it. There it is like. If you just write that, that’s it. Just take that and you’re done, everyone’s done. That’s the game right there. That’s the game forever. It’s not bust up benches and billboards and shopping cart branding. It’s all about, so the end of it all, serving your local community. And being bold about what you do and how you’re there to help. That’s it. Does that make sense?It makes a lot of sense right here. Does it make sense to you guys? Do you feel what I’m putting down? Because I’m serious, this is the game. It doesn’t get any more crazy than this. Yes, can you do banner ads and digital media and social marketing and all this stuff? Yes. Yes, you could. For sure. Should you learn how to do that? Absolutely. Should you also learn how to serve your local community? Yes, because that is the absolute like nuclear weapon you have and advantage over the online mega platforms that are out there, smashing your customer in the face with Superbowl ads. That’s your counter move. That’s guerrilla warfare. That’s you showing up in the trenches and they can’t play. They don’t want to play there because they know they would lose to you. They know they can’t compete there. Does that make sense?You guys are awesome. I super appreciate hanging out with you. Thanks for those of you that are commenting and sending me text messages and messages for distracting me while this is going on. I really appreciate hanging out with you guys live once a week. If you have questions about stuff you want me to dive into every week, drop me a DM. And say, “Hey.” I’ve got a list of stuff, I’ve got 52 already built out for the year. But if you have something you’re like, “Hey, I’d really like to dive into this. Let’s hang out.” Man, drop me a DM. Let’s do it.I hope you guys have a fantastic day. Friday is tomorrow. We’re almost at the end of the week. Take care everybody. Appreciate you all. Bye for now.