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Shop Talk - The Real Estate Agent Podcast


Real Estate Agent Podcast Episode 84: How to Scale a Brokerage During Hard Times

Episode 84: How to Scale a Brokerage During Hard Times
January 26, 2022

Justin Bosak started his career in real estate as an inside Sales Agent, but today he’s the Owner and Partner at REMAX Revolution, growing his small brokerage from three to 130 agents. Bosak and his team are the second-highest-ranking real estate group in New Jersey, and he gave The CE Shop the lowdown on scaling his brokerage so that you can grow, too.

 
Our goal is to take care of our people, grow the systems and just keep it moving. And then wherever it takes us, it takes us.

Justin Bosak

About This Episode

Justin Bosak started his career in real estate as an inside Sales Agent but always knew he wanted more. He began grinding out phone calls and eventually found his opportunity to flourish. 

Since 2005, Bosak has been recognized as one of the foremost real estate agents in the Jersey Shore market, closing over 500 properties for over $150 million in sales over the course of his career. Given his work ethic, it’s unsurprising (but quite impressive) that he’s been awarded the NJAR Circle of Excellence Award every year for the past 16 years.

He is currently the Owner and Partner at REMAX Revolution, growing his small brokerage from three to 130 agents, and ranking as the second-highest ranking real estate group in New Jersey.

Learn more about Justin Bosak at his brokerage’s website. You can connect with Justin Bosak on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.

Ready to Get Started With The CE Shop?

Whether you’re a new agent looking to start award-winning Pre-Licensing education or an experienced veteran wanting to finish your Continuing Education, we’ve got a 100% online curriculum that’s one of the most diverse and groundbreaking in the industry. And if you want to network with your peers, join our Facebook group and get connected!

Episode Transcript

Intro: Hey there and welcome to Shoptalk, the real estate show. I’m Brett Van Alstine and on today’s episode, we’re joined by Justin Bosak. Justin started his career in real estate as an inside sales agent, but, by proving his hard work ethic he worked his way into outside sales going on to create his own team.

Bosak is the Owner and Partner at REMAX Revolution, growing his small brokerage from three to 130 agents and earning the rank of the number two team in New Jersey.

Brett:

Justin, thank you so much for taking the time and hopping on the podcast today.

Justin:

No problem, Brett. Thanks for having me.

Brett:

So for our listeners that don't know before Justin got started with his coaching, training, and, operating his brokerage, he was a struggling inside Sales rep that went from setting appointments for Brokers to creating and operating his own brokerage. He did this all during the 2008 recession, which I think we can all imagine was pretty difficult. But before we jump into, you know, where you're at today can you tell us a little bit more about your previous experience, leading into this position?

Justin:

Sure. Before I got into real estate, I was in management. So I worked for a company called Aldis kind of reached the ceiling really quick there, and then, you know, decided to jump into real estate. So the first endeavor in real estate, just literally answering phones, phone calls that came in you know, buyers looking to book appointments worked for a discount brokerage called Foxtons a real big company over in the UK. They had a home base here in New Jersey, New York area. From there started working on setting and scheduling listing appointments for listing agents for the company. Our listing agents carried in at a time, which is madness. And I was booking those appointments in the New York area. So, you know, how, how successful they were becoming and how great they were doing was learning a lot. This was in 2003, 2004 and you know, wanted to get into outside sales which wasn't something that was available. I had to grind, I had to work hard, had to prove my value, you know to the company and to those listing agents. And eventually and for about two years I became a buyers agent in the Jersey shore region, which is like mom Mouton, ocean county here in New Jersey.

Brett:

Awesome. Awesome. So during that, you know, that kind of transition for you wanting to get into outside sales was there a point where you kind of had that aha moment of, you know, I'm in this transition, this, I know what I want to be doing, but ultimately I want to have, you know, more responsibility, more kind of control over this where you wanted to, you know, pursue your own brokerage and building your business.

Justin:

Yeah. So so the path was always met with resistance. I mean I didn't wanna put, they didn't wanna put, I was so great on the inside and I even wasn't necessarily like, Hey, I'm great at cold calling. It was just, I worked hard. I, I stayed later. I made more phone calls. I wasn't the best. I was never the best. They wanted to keep me in that position. I was like, I don't see myself doing this long-term. I wanna be an outside agent. They resisted, I kept pushing, kept asking, kept saying, I gotta, I gotta get outside. Eventually, they did it. And you know, I don't know if it was that they didn't think I was be going to be successful as a buyer's agent or not. But to me, it was just a lot of work ethic.

Justin:

I, and, you know, over the three years that I was a buyer's agent for that company I was one of the top buyers agents in the entire company just doing anywhere between 50 to 60 deals, not knowing that that wasn't normal, I guess, as a, as a realtor. We were a little spoiled because we were just getting flooded with leads. And there were only about I think, eight buyers agents in my territory. And I was just picking up the phone and going and literally living and working out of my car seven days a week. It was insane. I had a printer in my car, it was printing, you know, sheets and, and printing stuff for people, as I was showing them homes to show them other homes. It was absolute madness and chaos, but I loved every minute of it.

Justin:

So the company actually ended up shutting down in 2007 almost as a precursor to the recession as you spoke about. I guess they caught wind that, Hey, this is there's something wrong here. They surprised us all. I had 20 deals in escrow at that point when they, when they closed the doors and I received a $1,200 check which is, which is insanity because, I mean, that was a lot of money. We, we actually were getting like a base salary. We had a company car laptop, all that fun stuff, had to Sue them to get that 1200 bucks. So it was literally nothing at that point in time that had to start over. Right. Knew at that point only, Hey, I'm a buyer's agent I'm depending on listing agents and leads coming in.

Justin:

For my deal flow, I had a couple of people that I was working with and I put those deals together, but I knew the long term, you know, I need to surround myself with those listing agents that we were working hand in hand with. So we can all kind of work together. And we kind of came up with that team concept that I actually ended up hacking into our system in the database because one of the vice presidents never changed his, his password from password and got all of our, got all of our client's information and database, and I literally shared it with everybody in the company. Here are all your valuations, here's all your contacts because they had locked us out of the system. And then I said, listen, you know, we're all kind of, you know, I, I met with six agents, we're all local.

Justin:

Let's, let's see if we can kind of combine and leverage our power of, Hey, six agents. We're all doing a ton of deals, ton of business, and leverage ourselves into a brokerage and get a good deal. So we did, and we know by happenstance to be formed a team before teams, I guess kind of really existed never heard of a team before that, but we just knew we kind of had a, a, a team dynamic already. Right. And you know, we had two people that were amazing at cold calls. We had me and another gentleman that were agents and then two listing agents. And that was kind of the start of where we got to today. Only three of us ended up sticking, you know, sticking with the team.

Justin:

My partner, Tom, and my partner, we all complimented each other, you know, throughout the process, you know, things, you know, things happen. You know, people, people ended up you know, not being able to, to kind of stick with it, but you know, we, we were, we started to grow a team under, you know, that dynamic too, and, and hired agents and about, I think, 2016 we had out 15 agents total, and you know, we were looking to possibly make a move. We're talking about maybe leaving REMAX. We were at REMAX at that time to go to another company then made a deal with a broker, ended up staying, ended up opening up an office that we were co-owners with them on then another office then that didn't work out.

Justin:

We ended up, we ended up getting one of the offices and you know, we had about 20 agents at that time. We were kind of new to running a brokerage. We didn't have the back end set up the finance department and, you know, things like that, that the other Broker had the exp with. But we knew we had to know how to get agents from a, a to Z. And we knew we, we had some things that we had built into the team that we were trying to roll out to the office that the other Broker wouldn't let us do, because they were like, well, our other offices don't have that. You know, simple things such as an assigned guy, you know, field service somebody that's doing matter ports for the office, somebody that's doing drone for the offices, you know, different things that we were putting on all of our listings and knew that there was an added value for us to have that in-house to reduce that cost.

Justin:

And we knew, you know, again, those are the things that drive your ability to, to market and advertise and to get, you know, repeat clients we, we always find value in just doing, you know, professional photography. We've been doing that since 2008, before rarely anybody in our market really did that always pushing the envelope, always wanting to spend money and invest. And then I think just over time, I mean, we were just focused on our, you know, little office here just focused on our agents and growing and, and building the foundation out and, you know, making sure that our agents were getting paid in 24 hours, cuz that was an issue with the other brokerage. And then from there just word of mouth got out and just agents started coming. I mean, so we grew that in a matter of I'd say, so that in started in 2018, we're almost, you know, three, three full years.

Justin:

We now have 130 agents and wow. We're not, we're not recruiting, which is all word of mouth insane. Wow. It's a lot of word of mouth from the agents. Yeah. So we're now working on the second office. So yeah, I mean it's, it's, it's been a wild ride. I mean, even going into COVID at that point, we only had 60 agents, but we had doubled in size from the year before. Again, just, you know, just word of mouth. So I mean, cause we're all just we're, you know, two of us are in production me and Abram we're doing a lot of like-new construction sales, a lot of luxury sales, a lot of waterfront sales. We're also running a team inside the brokerage, the team's now 20 and then our business partner, Tom kind of runs the office.

Justin:

So it's almost like a divide and conquer mentality where we said, Tom, all right, you're, you're at a production. You're gonna focus on running the new office and being great at that. And we knew he was the best fit to do that. And he's killed it, me and Abe worry about the new construction and a team. And now we're getting to the point where, you know, we're starting that back off of production because we just need to work on a business and expanding the business because we have so, so many, you know, agents that are coming in and there are things that we wanna do with them to kind of help them grow their business. So sure. It's been you know, now 18, 18 years in the business, it kind of gave you a nice little summary of what can happen in, in 18 years.

Justin:

But I think at the end of the day the best thing decision was, you know, when that company closed was saying that I'm never going to be fired or let a company close again, I have to take control. You know, that's what they're doing and what they decided to do. That's, you know, I can't blame them for doing it. I’m thankful for it, if that had happened because, you know, I probably would've stayed there a lot longer. But we were able to kind of build what we built now and today. And I, I still feel like we're just getting started, which some people may think that like, this sounds great, like 130 agents in two offices and you know, this is, this was, this seems easy, I guess, but it was because cuz of a lot of the foundation and hard work and, and things that we put into place and, you know, hiring a lot of staff, I think we have a lot of staff com you know, compared to, to most offices as well as we have 10 Penn staff pretty much full time, but it's a lot of services we have you know, marketing person you know, that's just dedicated to marketing for the agent.

Justin:

We have transaction coordinators that are just there to help our agents take deals from you know, attorney review to closing. So we've kind of built-in all these little assistance to help with the day-to-day grind. Because I'm sure as, you know, just dealing with, with agents, you know, some agents aren't good with marketing, some agents aren't good with social media. You some are terrible at paperwork, so you can kind of fit in, you know, where you want, if you wanna do everything, you can definitely do everything. But these are ALO carte services that the agency offers that allow you to not have to worry about getting to the point where you feel like you have to hire somebody full-time and then train them to do the things that you're not even good at. That's where I think the issue is in, it works, a lot of agents is, you know, once you get to the capacity of maybe doing 40 or 50 deals, you should have an assistant and, you know, you've gotta figure out how that works and you, you gotta take a step back in order to take a step forward.

Justin:

And I find that's where a lot of agents kind of stumble and it's whether it's building a team or just hiring an assistant or whatever it is. I mean, there's different, different ways to do it. You know, we now have like six teams that are all ranked in the top 50 in in New Jersey. So we're helping, you know, agents actually be old teams as well. And it's all because of our experience and we know it works, you know, we kind of know what doesn't work we've was a lot of money so there's some benefit there for our agents to say, all right, what are you, what are you doing? What's working, what's not working. So yeah, I mean, you know, we're running the number two team in, in all the New Jersey and that's not a bad thing cuz the number one guy is like, you know, number one in the world, so right. We're gonna be number two, we're fine with being number two to that guy. But yeah, I mean it's all works together. Great. but like I said, I think we're, we're, we're just starting, there's so much things that we're doing the kind of behind the scenes now to make it even bigger and better.

Brett:

Wow. That is pretty remarkable. And it sounds like at this point it's a well-oiled machine that has all these tools and resources for your agents to, you know, help them be the best agents they can be and the old adages time, these money. So if you're spending time on, you know, all of these little administrative things, marketing, whatever, that's time that you're not spending, you know, getting leads and ultimately growing the business. So one of my questions was going to be, how did you, you know, how did you connect and recruit all these new agents? But it sounds like ultimately it came down to word of mouth from you guys, you know, doing the right things every single day and building up your brokerage to be one of the best in the state. And certainly some, one of the best in your markets as well.

Justin:

Yeah. I think the services are focusing on the services and, and focusing on the things that agents can actually tap into and have a reason to, to actually come to your company and, and be successful, not just saying like, Hey, if you come here, you're gonna do more business. Right. It's Hey, you're gonna come in here. Here are all the things that you can tap into and then it's like, oh wow. Now I can see why these agents are so successful. Right. We've made it easy. We've put the experts in place, something that's just as simple as like the, you know, the sign thing that's free. We don't charge for that. Up your open houses from entering into the system to printing the brochures, to dropping off the installing the directionals. We have a signed guy that does that every Friday and he picks everything up every Monday.

Justin:

So that way you don't have to worry about running around the streets and crossing highways and stuff, you know, before an open house and then taking it down after an open house. No, we want you out showing homes before the open house showing homes after the open house and we're spending quality time with your family right. We have a guy that's gonna set it up and a cool thing too, is we set it up on flat. The signage is, you know, literally blitz along both of the counties that we cover. You know, which is good. That's good, you know, thing to see that's branding, that's marketing versus just having it set up for a couple of hours. We have it for, you know, almost, you know, three full days. Wow. So, so yeah, it's taking those things that we call, you know, they're the 15 to $20 an hour tasks off your plate.

Justin:

And literally showing the agents like you guys are worth $50 an hour, you're worth a hundred dollars an hour. You're worth $150 an hour to get them to that point where they understand like, oh, I can't do that anymore. If I want to make it to $200 an hour, you know, you've gotta take those tasks, you know, and it, and it's, it's gradual, you know, maybe it's not working with buyers under a certain price point. So you have more time to chase buyers at a higher price point. That's how you get a raise, you know, so it's, it's always a mentality and we go through this every single year with our agents, it's, it's almost like an accountability thing with them goal setting is, is what we call it, going through all their, their, their leads and, and their closings and how they got them and, and just see like, how is each agent successful?

Justin:

Cause every agent's different, right? Every agent has a different sphere. They have a different way of getting their business. One thing may not work for another agent and, and you know, three things might work for one agent, but only, you know, one of those things would work for another agent just because of personality or where they live, or it could be anything. But just, just how aiming down on what people are successful at and, and making them double down on it. And then just seeing them grow. I mean, everybody just continues to do more deals we're as a brokerage, our agents are averaging 15 deals which is like way above and beyond the industry average. And that's with us bringing in new agents, you know, we also bringing new agents to the team, if you're the right fit, if you're ready to grind, you know, we've hired probably 12, you know, brand new licensed agents.

Justin:

One of the agents joined us just a year ago. Just fresh outta school. She's closed 35 houses in her first year, you know, but we knew she's, she's got the personality's got the grind, she just needs the support. And she could have probably done 10 or 15 deals in her first year on her own, which is amazing. Cause she's got the good network, you know, but why wouldn't you do 30 to 35 set the foundation for the future, right. And get more referrals. That's like how you get that quick head start in the business. And if the great thing is, if she just sides in year two or year three, I want to go out on my own. We still have the brokerage here, whatever you want to do, you can come, come onto the, you know, on, on the brokerage, off the team build your own team, whatever you want to do, you know, we're, we're here to support you.

Justin:

You know, we're not trying to tie people down to, Hey, you have to work, you know, for the team. So you know, so that makes us more money. It's not about that. You know, it's about personal growth. It's about teaching agents, how-to, you know, save and invest for the future. We have a lot of agents that are, that are buying and, and we support that and we don't charge them any commissions on any of those deals. They get a hundred percent of the commissions on those deals. And they're flipping homes and we know it takes time away from actually doing like the real estate side of the business, but right. You know, Hey, we, we wanna support you. And we want you to grow with the company and if that's what you want to do, you know, we'll, we'll get behind you on it. Right.

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Brett:

And it sounds like, and I'm sure you and your business partner would never say this, but a lot of these agents are motivated to work hard because they trust their leaders and their leadership is showing them that you are taking the time, taking the money to the energy, really, to, you know, invest in them and support them one a hundred percent and not kind of keep them in these boxes, but really allow them to have the flexibility to be themselves and let you know their, let their own unique characteristics work for their business and work for their success, which is awesome to hear. Because you know, I'm sure on your end, you've heard so many cases of, and you've also experienced it. Just having restrictions that don't allow you to kind of meet that full potential.

Justin:

Yeah. A lot, a lot of brokers or a lot of leaders, team leaders, you know, you can see like they're, they're in it for themselves or they're in it for the money. The aspect of it when I just think long term, if you're not in it for the people it's just not gonna, it's not gonna end well. Right. You know, you, you may be able to fake it. You know, for a little bit you might be able to make the money or, or, you know, you know, floss a little bit, but in 20 years, what are you gonna be left with? You know? So you know, the good thing about me and my partners is none of us are like that. Like we find another, are we probably make, you know, or, or take less money out of the company than a lot of our top agents are.

Justin:

I'd say probably the top 10% of our agents are, are cashing more checks than we are, but we're reinvesting back into the business because we know you know, why pay tax on that? Right, right. Like, reinvest it back into the business. Let's make it bigger. Let's make it stronger. You know, we just bought a building in a, in a town that, you know, we probably don't belong in like literally it's, it's a town that has an average sale price of like two and half million, which is wow. Insane. I grew up in a town where, you know, even today the average house price is, you know, probably $225,000. So yeah. I didn't go to college for a little bit, you know, not like a, a super educated, you know a person, but you know, it's more like just hard work, you know, street smart just care about people wanna work with people advocating and you know, doing fundraising and I'm on a bunch of like different boards and stuff.

Justin:

And it's not anything to say like, Hey, like you know, to boast about like doing that, but it was almost like, it's just thing. That's the thing that I enjoy doing. Sure. And, and when you enjoy doing things like that, you still meet people you to will get to network and by happenstance, they see how you are and they want to do business with you. And that's not necessarily what, I'm, what I'm there for. And I tell my agents of that all the time. Like, and, and I learned this when I was young when my son and, and, and this is when I was struggling in, in oh eight and oh nine my son wanted to get into baseball and I'm like, I always wanted to coach, you know, I was, you know, big into baseball when I was a kid.

Justin:

And I knew the time taken away to do that. I'm like, Ugh, like I gotta make money. I could barely, you know afford to pay rent, but I was like, I'm just gonna do it. I'm gonna see how it works out. Like, I'll just, I'll figure it out. I'll find a way. I always find a way. And I did it and, and happened to just meet, you know, just different people. And did a couple of deals just from like being a coach, but it wasn't necessarily like, Hey, like I'm in real estate, like, you know, buy a house with me or sell a house with me, you know, it was just like, it's very casual, not appreciate. And they just, yeah. And they just see like, oh, this is, this is a good deal. Like I could actually like, trust this guy.

Justin:

Just be yourself, just be natural. You know, it wasn't like I was branding the team with, you know Hey, we're sponsored by REMAX or anything like that was, it was, it was, it was nowhere. It was just connecting and, and with good people and over the years you're gonna do business. If you, if you just find common bonds with people. Sure. and, and then from there, I was like, that's awesome. Like, and I started saying yes to everything, like volunteered for the church, the, you know, board of directors for the building committee, like, you know, cool. This sounds like fun. All right, I'll do it. To right now we're doing something which is gonna be opening pretty soon. It's a special needs park called the Toms Riverfield of dreams. It's a $2.5 million park that probably would've cost the government $5 million to build.

Justin:

Right. And you know, we, we took a sponsorship, but I was also on invited to be on the board of directors and had been helping that for the last, you know, three years, which is the fund and different events and things like that. And you know, again, you meet, you meet some really good people. You, you, you form some good tight circles. And again, I mean, and nothing, nothing that I volunteered for has ever negatively impacted my business. Even being out, you know, protesting and, and T Trenton at the state capital for, for different things. It's, you know, again, you, you just meet new people. So that's one thing that I always tell my agents, just, you know, there are other things that you can be passionate about. It doesn't just have to be real estate, you know, your hobbies, you know, whatever it may be. It's just, again, finding common bonds, finding good people, helping people, networking with people. That's what this business is all about.

Brett:

I mean, that's amazing you know, the fundraising you were just mentioning about for the park that you guys are working on, but at the end of the day, this is kind of the great thing about real estate is that you can volunteer and be active in your community, in all these different groups. And obviously, you're wanting to be around like-minded people and what you are both interested in, but at the end of the day, everyone needs a home. Everyone needs to buy a home at some point or sell a home at some point. So, you know, naturally that might kind of come about. But I think at the core, and you were touching on this earlier, is that when you are truly about helping people, people can pick up on that genuine aspect of yourself, and you just kind of always wanting to be a helping hand and, you know, and all the avenues that you're volunteering in. I think people can just easily see that and kind of read that off of you, which it just resonates, which is awesome. And it's, it's almost natural.

Justin:

Yeah. And I think a word of advice. So the first thing I do when I train the new agents that are coming in, I say, listen, you're gonna show a bunch of homes and you're gonna, you're gonna tell the clients what's wrong with those homes. You're gonna tell them not to buy certain homes. And, and, and listen, you're gonna, you're gonna feel like this is weird. Like, shouldn't, I will be trying to sell the homes. It's like, you should be trying to sell the right home for the client. There's an education process. That's that should be part of every showing. What's the age of the roof. This needs to be replaced with the windows, the HVAC like, you need to be the expert in picking up on all those things. Because what happens is a lot of these agents are just pushing people in the houses and then they find out later on well, this house needs $20,000 worth of work.

Justin:

I wish I knew that. You, you could have known that if you had an agent that really took care of you and, and took the extra time, to point those things out, you know, and I always tell the agents, you, you know, they shouldn't like the first house that they walk into. They probably aren't going to, it's very rare that it happens. Don't be afraid to point out the negatives in the house because they can see the positives. But when you balance that with the negatives and listen, at the end of the day I don't care what people actually like. Like, I may not agree with buyers, want to do, I want to be here to help them and kind of be their guide. They're the hero. This is their story. This is their life.

Justin:

This is their family whatever they want, you know, they wanna be in a certain spot or, you know, whether you disagree, agree or have an opinion. A lot of that stuff doesn't matter. It's just to the facts educate about the house, educate about the process, give them a lot of information so they can make a decision. And then, you know, like that deal is locked. The house is worth it. The house is not gonna have major inspection issues. Because I pointed out all those issues and they know about it and they're okay with it. And they made an offer. That's reflective of it. You start doing that long term. I mean, you're gonna have so much success because that buyer's gonna be so happy. Just with the process, because most people think, oh, dealing with the realtors, like dealing with like a used cars salesman and not to say that all used car salesman are bad, but you know, they, they need to sell something off their lot.

Justin:

They can't go down the street and sell you another car off somebody's lot as a realtor, you can sell them any house listed by any realtor that's listed on the market. So do that, like just finding the best house, finding a house that's right for them. And, you will get so much referral business in the future. And at the time when I was met, I just felt like that's the right thing to do. And I wasn't thinking about referrals cause I was so early on in the business. Right. And then it started happening and happening and over and over. And it's a compounding effect. And not only that, the greatest thing about it is that if you're working with just good people and good buyers, guess who they're referring you to, they're not referring you to, you know, the guy that, you know, he's, he's a, he's difficult or you know, he's an a-hole or something they're referring to you more good people.

Justin:

They're gonna make your life so much easier. And if you've been in this business for a while, you know, you should know like certain people, it's just like, oh man, this guy's killing me either gonna stress you out, give you anxiety. Yeah. Do you wanna lead from that guy long-term? You probably won't. I mean, I'll help him out, but there are certain people like, I don't even want to answer the phone if they call me you know, and if they do, it's like, oh, all right, like I'll maybe refer to one of the younger guys. I'll let 'em know, you know, Hey, like this is how it's gonna be tough, you know, dealing with this guy. But you know, you can pick and choose though, you know, over the years, five, your, your five years in you'll, you'll start seeing it. You'll start seeing all your good clients refer you to more good clients. And then just life gets way, way easier when you're in real estate when you're working with good people.

Brett:

Right. Yeah. And I think that that's a lot of so many agents fall into that pitfall of feeling like they have to accept every lead that comes their way or not being so choosy when, you know, they find a client that's gonna be a little difficult to deal with. You know, and me, like you just said, it's really not worth all of that frustration and anxiety and stress that they put on you and you could be doing, you know, almost double that work with people that you actually enjoy being with and working with.

Justin:

Yeah. Yeah, I think that's why early on try and try and work with everybody, you know what it's, it's just gonna sharpen your tools and you know, what else are you doing? You know? Right. Yeah. If you're not working another job, like yeah, like this, the guy's an idiot and he's driving you crazy. That's fine. Go show some houses, get out there, get active, talk to agents network, you know, it's, it's gonna be good for you. But then yeah. And in fact, you're gonna see that you're taught. But yeah, if you, if you have the foundation the right way and you're, you're treating people the way they would wanna be treated or the way you want would wanna be treated in that process of buying anything, you know, like, do you actually care about me and my family?

Justin:

Are you actually listening to me? Right. And what my needs are, or are you just trying to push me on to, to, to get me to buy anything, something, buy anything. Like I need to make it like, I don't, I, I never even looked at what the co brokes were. And I hear this, I used to hear this all the time. Like, oh, they're only co-broke in this. It's like, who cares this? So shortsighted, it's so shortsighted because that's a client again and that's referrals. And the li if you treat a client, right, there's no reason over the course of 10 years that you can't get at least five different deals from, from working with that client. Now compound that by like 20, and over the course of time, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, you just keep compounding it. And you're just gonna be doing an insane amount of business.

Justin:

You're not gonna be working with buyers in year 10 as much. You're gonna be focused on listings cuz all those people that you sold homes to, it's gonna be time to sell, you know? And, and you're gonna eventually have that bandwidth to, to get to the listing side where you can do a hundred transactions. If you're working mainly on listings, you can't do that with buyers unless you have other buyer's agents. Sure. But as a listing agent, we have the bandwidth to do a hundred deals. It is crazy. Yeah. It's, it's crazy. It's a lot of hours you work on the weekends and stuff like that, but you can do it, you know, that's, if you wanna do a million dollars a year, you know, without a team or on your own, it's possible, but you gotta build a foundation. Right. Right.

Brett:

Right. So let's circle back. To, we were talking a little bit about how you had met plenty of resistance when you first got started. Can you think, of some examples of resistance that you had met either when you were first starting or even when you were trying to scale and grow you know, during the recession, because I think there's probably a lot of kind of overlap on what's going on today with the pandemic and people that are kind of feeling overwhelmed or think that it's not really past during times like this?

Justin:

Sure. So I mean getting into the business, I was young and I, I looked even younger than, than I was you know, I'm, I'm 40 now. I started the business. I was what, 22. But I looked like so you know, you had that always helps with this. Yeah. You had that like now it's like, okay, cool. These, you know, good jeans it's, it's working out cause I'm 40 and people think I'm 30, but yeah, when, when you are younger in the business, you know, people are, you know, people that are 40 or maybe have done this before, they're looking at you weird, like, you know, all right, am I gonna take advice from this guy? Right. But that's when you gotta show improvement. Right. If, if you, if you can show like I'm knowledgeable about this area, this community, and just houses general, even if I didn't know the area I knew about houses.

Justin:

I did construction for a little bit and I did a ton of research as far as what, what to look into, and then on every single inspection I was focused on the inspector and what he was looking for and what he was picking out so that I could pick out the same things. Right. You know, during the process. But yeah, as far as other resistance goes yeah, it's just you know, right now I think the biggest issue is, is, you know, buyers, like you said, feeling that anxiety or seller feeling that anxiety. And it's always about solutions. I tell everybody even, you know, in real estate or even outside of real estate, just telling someone that was going through health issues today, it's not about problems. It's about solutions, just focus on solutions and just keep it moving.

Justin:

Right. you know, so it's a lot of, a lot of troubleshooting and I see a lot of my agents and I hear 'em and they're like, like ready to give up. And it's like, no, there's always, there's always a solution. You just have to plug in. You gotta put a ton of scale back and just kind of figure things out. That's why you get paid a lot of money as a realtor. When you think about the size of the checks that are getting cut, you know, for you to possibly sometimes do, you know, 10 hours worth of work, 15 hours worth of work with one client and close a deal and make $10,000. I mean, I know that's not every single deal, but you've gotta really be sharp. And to close more of those deals, you gotta be able to troubleshoot. You gotta be able to find solutions, offer up suggestions.

Justin:

You know, which is a lot of agents don't do that. They just kind of take the feedback and just hang up the phone you know, from their clients I'm super creative. So I know like not everybody kind of can look at things the same way, but you know, like I tell my agents if you're running into any issues, whether it's you have an inspection issue or appraisal issue or anything like that, call me, it's nothing that I've been through, you know, all these issues before. Right. It's all about just offering up solutions. So yeah, even, you know, the issues now, you know, finding housing and the shortage of housing and just the madness and the chaos and everything like that, it's, it's your job to find a solution. So, you know, we were, I was selling my client's houses and having the buyers agree to rent it to them for six months to a year, sometimes at no charge, you know?

Justin:

So that way they can get out there and, and put offers out that were noncontingent. I was doing this literally months after the pandemic, you know, started when things started getting hot. And eventually agents kind of, you know, were like, oh yeah, like I heard about that, you know, how do you do that? How do you do that? And it was just something that like I had done it in, in years past, in certain deals, higher-end deals like 2016, 2017, you know? So it was like a, been there done that that's easy, you know, most agents from like, oh man, I wish I thought of that. A lot of its experience or talking, you know, or just again, maybe you talk to your attorney and you just again, find out solutions. There's always an answer for everything, you know, it's just, how hard are you looking for that answer and how willing are you to just dig in and not give up? You know, don't, if you don't give up on your client and you're at least all offering solutions, whether they take it and run with it, and that's the answer that they needed, at least they know like this guy's fighting for me. This guy's in my corner, he's gonna be there and, and I've offered solutions and, and they don't always work. And sometimes people will need to take a break or whatever the case may be, but they're gonna come back to you when they're ready. Right.

Brett:

When, you know, even people always, they don't want to hear like, just about the problems they want, you know, the positive side of it, having that negative is never gonna, you know, accomplish anything. So having someone in your corner that really wants it and is willing to give up solutions you know, like you said, even if they don't take it, it's still something that in the back of their mind, they're thinking, you know what, at the end of the day, you know, we're running into these problems, but this guy or this girl, they really wanna help me out and they're gonna try and find something. So I think people really respect that. And that's how you kind of build that trust. And that sounds like something that's almost natural for you and kind of what your future agents are that comes down to building that trust in that relationship.

Justin:

Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, another thing too is, you know, when bad news comes, how you delivering that bad news, a lot of agents just call yeah. They kill the deal and that's it. What is your client supposed to do with that? Right.

Brett:

Do you think that that's what they want to hear or do they want to hear, you know, there's certainly you can deliver that same information in a different way, but then also present a solution, following that, instead of saying, Hey, it's killed. We got, we're done here. Nobody wants that.

Justin:

But I made, but I made five calls in, you know one of those buyers that, that came through they made an offer and it's higher than, you know, what you had. Exactly. Yep. So, so did you take, the, you know, the time to, to take that news and say, what can I do? Let me get to work like right away and just, you know, make something happen. I've had those calls and a client's just like, what? So, so you called the, give me bad news, but gave me greater news.

Brett:

That's how you

Justin:

Do it. So, so you could really set people off. I mean, you know, you can lose clients by delivering bad news with no solutions. So why do that, you know, why not offer up solutions? And again, you know, that example that doesn't always happen, you know, but again, it's, what are the solutions like, what are you gonna do? Like, Hey, but you know, I got an open house set up for this, for this date called all the agents already. I've got somebody that that's maybe willing to come for a second showing, like, you gotta keep 'em going, you know, because if you get off the phone with them and you give them bad news, that's gonna spread to their family, you know? They can take it out to ex you know, somebody at work or something like that. Right. you know, don't call somebody with bad news at like nine o'clock at night before they're ready to go to bed.

Justin:

Do you want them to sleep? You want 'em to sleep well. You know what I mean? Like, call 'em in the morning. Don't because that's, it's real, you're dealing with people. And I think that's what kind of people don't understand that. Like, what if your doctor called you at nine o'clock and said like, Hey, yeah, you've, you've, you've got an issue that test result came back like right before you you're, you're ready to go to bed. Like how much sleep are you gonna, yeah? How much sleep are you gonna get that night? So there's this little thing was just dealing with, with people that, you know, just kind of respecting emotions and sure. And again, you know, providing solutions and answers. So if your doctor calls you the next day and says, Hey, I got bad news, but you know, here are the solutions, this, this, and this. How do you feel? Do you feel a little bit better? Cause you feel like, all right, he looked into solutions. He didn't just call me nine o'clock and said, Hey, yeah, you got a major issue. Like you got a, you got audit issues. And then, eh, that's it, you know, imagine that that's how people treat their clients. That's nuts

Brett:

To me, but I'm sure that's, you know, that's not, you've seen that plenty of times, which is I'm agonizing at some points.

Justin:

Yeah. They just don't know any better. You know, they just think that, Hey, like I gotta call 'em right away. I gotta let 'em know right away, you gotta stress 'em out right away. Like, there's nothing that, there's nothing that, that they can do with that news. That's gonna be good at, you know, nine, nine o'clock at night. I can assure you that. So so just take the time and then of time to come up with some answers and, and solutions and, and you think on it, you figure something out. You're the key, you're the one that's gonna get 'em from a to B, you know, so you need to be the professional, so, and you need to treat every situation like that.



 

Brett:

So I think throughout this conversation, kind of the I'm picking up overall is that you know, you need a hard work ethic. It's not always just pure talent or skill. It needs to be hard work ethic, you know, treat people like they're almost your family treat people cuz they're people and you want to, that's what the business is about. But for our listeners and any other real estate agents out there that are kind of pursuing, you know, building their brokerage or overall just kind of wanting to expand and, you know, get bigger. What is one piece of advice or piece of advice that you would have for those individuals?

Justin:

Yeah. Just figure out how you want to build it, like see in the future, like what you wanna offer to, to your agents and where you want to go, and just focus on that aspect of it. I think again, too many people just focus on just growing it big without having the substance of the foundation behind it, like, oh, I just need a big team. Well, why do you need a big team? What do you have to offer? What do you have a big team? You know, because there are things that come along with a big team that you're not thinking about, you know, how are you gonna have time to manage a big team? And then also do deals? Like how are you making it? Like a lot of people, again, don't think long term same thing with the brokerage, you know, just work on the foundation, build the foundation for us.

Justin:

We weren't looking to grow to. We had no goals, honestly, of growing to 130 agents in two years that wasn't the goal. The goal was to build the foundation. And then once you build the foundation, just take things from there. And, and however it grows, it grows there, there was no number, you know, there wasn't like, Hey, once we reached this number, that number it, Hey, we're just gonna focus on the business and help the agents do more business. And whether it was, we had 40 agents and we just helped them grow their business. Like that was fine too. But your focus really has to be on the agents that are coming in because retention is CA like we also don't lose agents. The only agents that, that, that is no longer with us, they weren't doing business. They just couldn't hang in this model.

Justin:

You know? So that's fine. We had a couple of agents that left because they thought something was better. And then they came back. They were like, yeah, they, they lied to us and you know, it just, wasn't what they said. It was. Wow. And that's the thing is, is what's here and what's built and what can help you out. It is what it is like, we're not telling you something, and then it's not the case. It exists, it's here, it's built. And I think we're just way beyond what most agencies are doing. And again, it's a lot of time and it's a lot of investment. It's training the people and putting the money out, to do that. And it's, you know, you're taking losses when you're, when you're doing those things and you're not making as much money as, as you could be making, but that's that, wasn't the goal, you know, that wasn't the goal like, Hey, we have to make X amount in, in year three, you know, sounds weird.

Justin:

I know a lot of people have goals like that. Yeah. You know, like they wanna put numbers on things, but to us, it's just like our goal is to take care of our people, grow the systems and just keep it moving. And then wherever it takes us, it takes us, you know, if we're 500 agents or a thousand agents and four buildings or whatever in 10 years, like, okay, cool. Yeah. But to us it's more about like along the way, how did you help those agents grow? Be a resource for their family, you know hire other people so that they can grow, have a retirement plan. Like we're working on something right now where we're gonna have agents being able to invest, you know, with us and have ROI and not really pay, pay anything into it. So, you know, you take care of your people, you know, whether it's your agents or your team or your clients and the rest will take care of itself.

Brett:

Yeah. I like that mindset a lot. And I think that more people would subscribe to that. Obviously if they, you know, had positive experiences, like, it sounds like your agents do weekly or even daily for that matter.

Justin:

Yeah. And it, it, you know, listen, it may not be the method for, for everybody. There are people that definitely are successful that go about it the other way. And it's about, you know, Hey, we gotta do X and X and they just drive and drive. And, but I see it, I see a, you know, some of those agents are there that were at those companies and that's how they were people they just blow out, you know? And, and they burned outta that kind of stuff. Yeah. Yeah. It only wears thin. So for us, it's just, you know, again, retention quality of life. I mean, literally the top agent in our office, we told her like, you gotta take to days off. Right. Like we're gonna, we're, we're gonna help you do it. Like, we're gonna get you to the point where like, you know hiring an agent underneath you to do, you know, different things and hiring an assistant.

Justin:

Like we're like, you can't sustain him. Like, why are you even doing this? You're at a point, like, what, what do you need, what do you need all deals? And it sounds crazy as, like a brokerage, it's like, you know, 200 intuitive to do more. Right. But it's like if you don't allow them to take a step back, to build it so that it can be sustained, then that person's gonna blow out, they're not gonna be able to sustain it. And it's our job as a Broker to understand and see, like, what are your goals? Like, is your goal to sell a hundred houses or is your goal to like, you know retire at some point, you know, let's like, we gotta Mel that together, you know, because both things don't necessarily work together. Like, you know, my goal is not to be shown houses at 70.

Justin:

Like if I choose that, I, I want to do that. Like, great, but I don't want to have to do it. And it's getting the agents to kind of, you know, see that and it's again, building systems or building a team or having something that you can scale or investing in properties and, you know, so that way you're just not on that, you know, that treadmill and just burning and burning and, you know, for what, you know, money's great, but what do you need? You know? And, and invest some of it keep some of it. So that way you can retire at some point.

Brett:

So the last question, this is one that we ask all of our guests and it's kind of tricky, you know, most people have the same answer, but if you could go back and change one thing about kind of your journey to today, what would it be and why?

Justin:

So I would've come to the REMAX sooner. We went to century 21 in 2008, not knowing kind of different models and, you know, just thought, Hey, that's a big brand. Let's, let's just go there. You know, that, that was a, a speed bump, unfortunately for us. And we learned the hard way just wasn't the right fit for the team. Okay. To work under. But we corrected, you know, it took us a year to figure that out. Other than that, I mean, you know, the journey's been amazing, you know, it's been a lot of people helped, you know, a lot of, a lot of agents, you know, that have been helped and, you know, taking people that literally were making nothing and, and now are making hundreds of thousands of dollars in the business. And again, not necessarily to say it's you know, about the money, but it's just the potential and the systems and everything we built in.

Justin:

Like you could literally, you know, go from working at McDonald's to, you know, having a career and having something for your family. You know, that, that was one of the jobs I had was my first job I had is working at McDonald's and the people that, you know, grinded and worked and Hey, you're a manager or whatever, and you have good social skills. Like a lot of people could be successful in this business, you know, it's, it's not necessarily like, Hey, you need all these degrees and stuff like that, which is great. Cause I was hitting that, those ceilings, like I said, in my last job, where was like, Hey, if you want to be promoted at supervisor, you need a four-year degree for what? This is like a, I have the skills right now.

Justin:

Like I know more than the supervisor, like what do I need a four, four-year degree too, I mean, and that's, that's the thing about like college like it's great for certain things, but you know, for, for real estate, there are some things that, that you can learn in college that are gonna help you. But honestly, the best thing about college for real estate is that it allows you time to grow up and get older. That's it? So I wouldn't spend a hundred thousand dollars, you know, to go to college then to become a realtor. I know a lot of my business partner, you know, he was one of those guys, he went for accounting and, you know, ended up here. He was doing stocks and stuff for a little bit, but you, you know, the quicker you could figure out what your passions are and where you wanna be, you know, the better.

Justin:

So, I mean, you know, if you are 18 or, or 19 thinking about getting your real estate license, you're probably gonna wanna do some administrative stuff or maybe work for a team, not saying that you can't be successful. It's just, you know, you're at a time in life where it's gonna be a little bit more difficult just because your sphere, you haven't built that up yet. You don't have the network, you don't have the experience. And there are people that have been successful at that age. Don't get me wrong, but it's definitely, you know the odds are a lot less perfect.

Brett:

Sure. So thank you so much, you know, for taking the time again, to hop on this call, is there anything you know, I, on your website, you guys have a plethora of resources for agents that are wanting to kind of educate themselves and, you know, better themselves. Is there anything that you want to, you know, point our listeners to go check out, download anything along those lines?

Justin:

Yeah, I mean, if you wanted to chat with me, I mean, I have agents from across the country that kind of check-in and, and pick my brain here and there. And I've got no problem doing that. I, I love talking to other realtors, especially ones that want success and are willing to work hard, you know, feel free to reach out to me on Facebook or, or Instagram. My name's Justin Boak. You can, you know, find our company REMAX Revolution on those social channels as well. But yeah, I mean, if if, if you are not in the area or if you're in the area or whatever, the case may be more than willing to, to have conversations with you and, and help you get from a to B. That's

Brett:

Awesome. Well, thank you again, I'll make sure on our, on our end too, you know have links out to all of these so people can get in contact with you and kind of see what you guys are building over there. Cause it's, I think it's pretty remarkable.

Justin:

Yeah. Like I said, just the beginning, you know, we got a lot of cool things coming up, you know, production in video, social, like I'm gonna be a producer at some point, you know, just, wow, just by, you know, like we, we gotta do it. You know you gotta stay fresh, you gotta do different things. So, so we're shooting a TV show now we'll be on HT TV at some point. So, I mean, it's amazing. Just, you know, you just put yourself in good situations and just things like that just start happening. So you gotta grind though.

Brett:

That's awesome. Well, I'm really excited on my end, you know, follow the journey and I'll watch this show when it comes out and I just can't wait to, you know, see more success from you guys. That's awesome.

Justin:

Sounds great, brother. Thank you again.

Brett: That’s it for this episode, thanks for listening! If you enjoyed the podcast, you can subscribe to us and leave a review on your podcast player of choice. Shop Talk is a production of The CE Shop.