Former #1 Coldwell Banker Agent Reveals Why He Joined EXP – Jay Kinder

This Podcast highlights the problems faced by brokerages and team leaders across the States. The challenge of recruitment, revenue sharing, and retention is quite common. Jay Kinder, Former #1 Coldwell Banker Agent and Real Estate Industry Icon Reveals Why He Joined eXp Realty and how has the transition worked out for him and his team. He believes that this is going to be a ride that is going to open up new doors and opportunities and experiences not just across the country but across the world with more than 1 million agents.

Click here to listen to the podcast. Read the complete transcript below.

This is the agent revolution podcast the next evolution of the real estate industry.

Let’s get started.

Mike: Here we go again with another episode of The Agent revolution podcast. Every week we sit down with the top agents across the country who have seen this amazing opportunity to grow with EXP. As always, I’m your host EXP mega agent Mike Wall super stocked today sitting down with one of my personal mentors and industry icon Jay Kinder.

Jay was the number two agent in the world for Coldwell Banker. Today we will discuss about the time when he realized that he had found something really special and what ultimately pushed him over the edge to join EXP.

Thank you so much for gracing us with your presence this morning. I appreciate you being here.

This is extra special for me because you know you are one of my mentors and were kind of my mentor from afar when I got into to real estate.

Just a quick story on Mr. Kinder. Jay, I don’t know if you remember this man but I remember sending you a certified letter talking about where I was at and then where I was hoping to go, and that you had me back up on Twitter saying the letter was what was a good look and I so appreciate that and I’ll never forget that. But man thank you so much for joining us. I’m hoping that we can really deliver some value today.

Jay: Absolutely man. And now about that letter I really appreciate that. When you do what we do and try to help agents grow their business you never know who you’re going to talk to or whose path you’re going to cross. But it means a lot to me that when somebody said or shared something and that really made impact. And thank you so much for that. It was something I have to say, I found it the other day and it stays close to my desk because it was really a meaningful letter to me so I really appreciate you sharing that with me.

Mike: That’s awesome man. Well let’s get started. I just created this agent revolution podcast because I think that every agent has their own unique story as it relates to their move to EXP. And I want to talk a little bit about the psychology that each agent goes through. Today I was thinking that’s what we would do. I mean if someone had been hiding under a rock for the last ten years and they don’t know who you are. How long have you been in real estate now Jay?

Jay: Two decades. I was licensed in 1997 when I was 19 years old, that’s when I got into a real estate and learned a lot since then. And so, this 20th year actually marks the first year my 20-year-old son is in real estate. So kind of a couple of milestones there.

Mike: That’s awesome man. How did you how did you end up getting into real estate?

Jay: Yeah that’s a great question. At the age I was going to college, I went for a couple semesters, I wasn’t really on a path to anywhere in particular prior to getting into real estate. I made yards for my dad, actually my dad is in real estate. He owned a property management company and he bought Cole banker in 1997. He got in in 1977, the year I was born. And so, he’s been selling real estate forever. It seemed like a natural progression to get into real estate, he actually sent me to the Dale Carnegie course and at that point I started really leaning on kind of my mentor from afar kind of my mentor from afar maybe getting a real estate license and so what I decided to do was basically follow my dad into the industry somewhat blindly but it was a pretty exciting time.

Mike: That’s awesome. So, let me ask you this. How is your business and your how was your business? How was your brokerage structured before you actually made to move to EXP?

Jay: That’s a really good question Mike. Probably it won’t make sense to everybody. There’s going to be obviously a lot of advance people listening to this podcast. I know the circles that we all run in and there’s going to be some advance people. It’s all I’ll answer the question but it took a lot a lot of evolution right to get to this point where we were still trying to evolve the model. And for us we had you know we had both my reason I’m my business partner we had both had successful real estate practices for years and we stepped down. I stepped out I went independent in 2011 and you know Michael left Keller Williams at some point in there. And we both had been successful. We are number two in the Coldwell Banker. Mike was top 50 in the world or whatever for you know for Keller Williams, you get to a point and I think most people that we’ve coached over the years and we’ve all got to a point where you’re paying somebody whether it’s Coldwell or Keller or whoever you’re paying them you know we pay them more than 70 thousand dollars.

It becomes a priority to go independent and just because you’re paying too much money and that there’s not enough value for whatever the brand is that you’re at.  Our path has been that and we’d coached a lot of people through that as we had some of these mass groups with a lot of the top agents around the country doing from you know an average of about a million and a half GCI on upwards. We were really trying to do something that we could take and scale across the country.

So in 2014 we started the brokerage and we had dialed in the systems and processes so well we felt like a salary model we could deliver on a salary model so we had salaried agents and what we realized was that the number one in that business model is your compensation drive behavior. So even though we had the systems and processes it was management heavy and it was expensive to try to scale something like that.

When you’re not there every day as we all know that you’re not there managing those people. You don’t have a hard time finding the right person to manage and lead at the level that you can lead it. So we quickly abandoned that strategy although it was very profitable it just wasn’t something that we wanted to do all day every day because it was going to require our presence. We wanted something that will allow us to step away more from it and scale and do something fun, not something that was just going to take us deeper in the trenches of the organization.

We kind of abandoned that in 2014 and in 2015 we were basically Michael as a part of you know NIA and that that that company has been doing really well and that coaching training and all that. But we wanted to are really ramping up this this model and we did it through outbound sales and the promise this what we were trying to do.

I think everyone will grasp that this was we were tired of working with agents that were on our team that were not built like we were. They’re not going to make the calls like we would call they were or not they just weren’t wired the way we’re wired. Every time we do have an agent like that they end up leaving us.

So that was show that was kind of the motivation was to kind of level up on the agent that we were bringing on.

So we wanted to make a promise which again if doesn’t solve the problem of adding value to the agent in your organization then it’s not going to work.

So we knew that we had the chops if you will to deliver on marketing and Bill helping someone build their personal brand in a marketplace. So we would start we actually care about territories across all of Dallas. We also did it in Atlanta and we carved out the territories and we reverse engineered a marketing plan to go help them become the dominant agent in their marketplace with the goal of hitting 3 percent market share, focused on four listings a month. So our promise was ‘hey listen we’re going to get you to four listings per month “inbound but we were using out an outbound strategy of marketing and branding and things of that nature to generate those opportunities cultivate follow up and then ultimately deliver qualified appointments listing of appointments to these agents. Well that worked really well that sound that’s a really good offer. Okay so when you think about in terms of you know what an agent might agree to.

We were able to get a high caliber agent to buy that and actually pay us 10000 dollars to join the brokerage which is really what funded the first 30 to 60 days of that campaign.

You know we had a whole room full of you know it you know inside sales agents and we had to have a rock star that we had to put on that was managing those people. Michael wrote the book on sales predictability. They iterated on this for an entire year. Crazy thing was it worked. It worked really well. We ended up selling 274 homes and are 272 homes that for 12 months while hiring other ISAs, while building the technology to deliver on it and that was it me from you know again I was involved in the business model I was running.

So this was kind of a don’t sell pilot that was out run and on its own and we funded it for that entire year and it was amazing to see what Michael had done. I mean it was just incredible to see you know something build up that fast in the marketplace. I mean I’ve never seen a company go from zero to 270 deals in one year. So it was just it was it was exciting to see what was going on. But as far as thinking about scaling that we still ran into the problem with these agents not being happy about the splits at 50/50 even though we were doing all this marketing and super complex and you know to put in place and in all these.

I’d say they had to be managed and they didn’t have to make the call they needed to show up and get the listing. So like. And then they still were complaining about the split. We’re like gosh! dang it! I mean we still have a problem with the splits. You know then this is just going to be an uphill battle. So you know as heavy as that was the next year we decided you know what. Let’s you know let’s level well up one more time and see if we can get a little bit better. Agent will have the services but we’ll just have an ala carte and let them purchase again. We’re just trying to solve the same problem everybody else trying to solve. We iterate on your business model over and over and over.

So you think you’ve got it right, so this round we had a guy that was running the brokerage Alex Piak who’s with EXP.

He just felt like we didn’t have the right caliber agents. We still were not dealing with business people like us that we wanted to like it. If you’re going to spend the rest your life, do anything which is what we ask.

Alex you know well he would want to be doing if it would be run in a brokerage and he was like man there’s some good agents we had on board. You know but. But you know the best ones you know. You know there’s only a handful like two is the same is our typical ratio.

Right you get 10 agents which we had about 10 or 12 and only 2 we really liked them that we would be stay partners forever. Then we had the rest of them that we would actually rather never work with for the most part.

So anyways that that we one more year goes by as we start doing that and we’re finding agents on a little bit higher splits have a graduated split just trying to you know just iterate on what’s the best model. No different than probably everybody in the world is tried to do and we still don’t solve the problem of how you add the most. The agent would never leave you. You can really track top tier talent there just wasn’t anything like it that we’d seen and then you know EXP comes on the radar and you know you go through the typical stages always you asking the question I don’t know where to go.

That was our transition right.

I mean that’s it really I mean we were discussing iterate relentlessly iterating on a broken model. I mean that’s what it felt like. And I mean nobody is going as much money and added as we were because as we were trying and coaching and training people on you know there you know a lot of high level people on where you should be taking this thing.

How do you step out of this thing? Are you going to sell your business? I think that’s lie that we were telling ourselves. We had an asset that we can sell. You know the reality is it’s one of the reasons.

Even so you got to stay in it for a year two or three. So there really is no value right there and to pay you with your own money. If anybody comes along to buy it and then you step out. It’s really questionable that whether or not it’s going to stand on its own two feet. I would argue that for most of us it would not. So that was the reality of where we’re at and then you know then all of a sudden new model shows up.

Mike: Man I got to ask you like so tell me when you first heard about the EXP what was your reaction? What was the thought process? if you brushed it off or I mean tell me a little bit about that.

Jay: Yeah so yeah. So there were three interactions that where EXP was brought up to me one time it was brought to me and it was somebody that my Lindor in Oklahoma and I was actually at an Oklahoma Ohio State game. I was there with my son. My middle son and a guy named Neal Blewett from Ohio. Alma was was introducing me to a guy who lives in Oakland city now and he was there we win that game by the way.

Now that this was the year before this project right. HEADLEE. You’re right. We actually did lose Magnitogorsk they’ll thump us at home. You’re right we waited till next year until Baker Racheal. Exactly.

So yeah this was the year when we lost and to Ohio sorry over there. Well right now it’s good. I was always like we won though we lost that game. So he was telling me about it. I just totally ignore it. I mean he was talking about Stockham and my only take away from this guy who was like ridiculously excited about this company that never heard of and was my biggest takeaway was I’ve never had an agent come up to me so excited about his company.

My takeaway was he didn’t say they are redish or anything like that. He just talked about the stock Greg showed me that aren’t spoiling anything else. I was like man you’ve got to have ownership as a part of your business model at the time. It was my take away because I was looking we had a business model, I got a vision, I got 40 employees plus the brokerage and all of the team.

I was like I was trying to join some brokers. That’s for sure. So I was just hearing what was working in the business model, I ignored it. I didn’t look into it at all. it had been maybe four or five months later. I actually got a call from Chris Waters who’s not a part of EXP. He’s franchised on his business right now. I couldn’t protect that right.

Yeah. Number one agent in Austin Texas. I mean I personally coached him on because at the time I wasn’t doing a lot of coaching but I had him when he was doing about 40 transaction. He’s you know whatever he’s doing now he’s Net Net million or two.

He asks me to look at the model and I thought he was in it to me not really endorsing if he really said anything about the model it’s because he saw the model. This is real and I listened to his his interpretation he was asking questions about the calculators, about other things that was like this stuff.

No I don’t see the numbers on this because this is real. I’m not sure. I mean it can be really impressive but I think he kind of wrote it off. Right. So I kind of took same kind of position but had our CFO all the time on the airplane we were flying somewhere and I was like man I need you to take a look at this man I said this. This is this might be the model right. It really might be the model.

It was drastically different than what we had been doing. Coming from you know high Kyron I say and all the heavy lifting that we were doing to try to deliver more value to the agent and to get them to stay again.

You’re trying to really solve the recruiting and attrition challenge. So that was the problem we were trying to solve. You know when we were looking at how we might implement this. The timing wasn’t right at that moment and as excited as I got.

I kind of just wrote it off and it wasn’t the right time. Sometimes I think we all run into at different times in a lot of people come back to it when the time is right and they come on board. And we were kind of in that situation and it wasn’t until Al Stasek, a great friend of mine really our number one client. If you were to say terms of influence and just you know just a good dude relationship wise and everything else.

And he’s one of our best friends we have found at our home and we had last week video.

I’ve been on multiple calls with our and people like Andrew and Al.

We were trying to put together what’s ownership opportunity or something where there’s some savings for your agents. Something that you can get a chance to have some real value for them at the end of their career. Most of our agents don’t have much. They barely can save to pay their taxes much less for the rest of their lives and invest that in a way that’s going to be meaningful.

We didn’t have anything like that as well. Al was just really diligent about trying to solve that because he was losing top agents, leaving and things like that and at the time actually he wasn’t losing agents it was just his motivation was we need to do something that guys who are agents. what would that look like he was trying to figure that out?

Well he got pretty excited about it but he didn’t ask me about it for months. He looked at it and making good decisions by going to different people never brought it up to me and then on Riggs my 4 year old as it was his fourth birthday he hits me up and he wants to talk through it. He asked me if I would poke holes in it. I spent four hours pacing back and forth in my backyard with my wife peering out the window at me. I just didn’t have any real holes because you want to remain open minded and be open but I’m talking to my number one guy.

When he brought it up, the brokerage was in another direction. It was a big deal for me to understand what he was really doing and why?

neither were losing him is like a planner or anything like that but it was it was definitely a different step in a direction that we worked on Zope that was just you know we wanted to understand it.

So it took him a little while to kind of try. It didn’t really take me long to get it done. I mean once I saw it again I realized this really does solve the problem. If it’s real and about you know if I can meet the executive team and believe in the people behind it because I didn’t know them then you know then this thing has a shot. I mean this could be a game changer, I know because I didn’t see that disrupting the brokerage side. I always thought it was going to be disrupting the consumer side. I always thought of disruption was going to disrupt the consumer. If that was going to happen by now I just feel like it would have happened. I mean I’ve been saying that since 2008 or 2012 as we found it in an e-mail because we felt like you need to be positioned as an expert in the marketplace which we still do because we could. If somebody was going to disrupt and nobody has so that was just you know a big aha for me.

Mike: Did you ever think somebody would come up with a model that would allow you to recruit top agents to your team? I mean think about is this expansion on a grand scale.

Jay: Oh yeah. it is.

The more you get to know the founder and spend time with him and his thinking that guy sees around a corner. It was in Stanford 2007, we had multiple teams across the country. That’s back when if you think about it that’s back when we first started really doing Legion you know I’m saying like like Legian was in 2007 I think when the iPhone came out. I’m saying it’s a long time ago which doesn’t seem so long. Back when me and Mike used to fly around the country. We would make bets as to how many leads we’d have in our inbox when we landed. So like to have multiple teams across the country and be trying to solve that problem then he was really a fore thinker as it was he was expansion before expansion existed and so it was really interesting to hear that story because I go back to 07 all I remember is pain and agony.

You know that those times you know he’s Galen’s something across the country and really growing during a time where I think we’re all trying to figure out yourselves an Oreo just to save our careers back then. You know so that was.

Yeah. I never saw that coming. I just didn’t see what he saw.

Mike: Yeah. We were just looking in a different direction and that really was all it was about. So I guess you know the climax here then is this what was it that Ben actually pushed you over the edge that said you know what. This is what we’re going to do man. And you never look back yes.

Jay: So for me there’s always a couple of things that drive me. The first thing is like I’ve always said that how do we put our fires together make one big fire. I’ve always wanted to work with people like you Mike and people like Al and the great team that we built here at EXP that are getting to work together on a regular basis to do something big right and help each other and work together and like all the efforts and things that we’ve created over the years we can use the leverage to help agents grow their businesses EXP and help them to tell their friends about joining the EXP.

That’s a pretty cool thing to be able to do. But for me it’s always about where am I going to make the biggest impact? How am I going to be able to add the most value to the most people? That’s kind of where I’m always looking to go.

I really think we all have ego so you’re always wrestling with it in one capacity or another. A lot of people the only reason they are not at EXP is Ego. I am lucky to not be one of those people because you know I had to really swallow my ego and you know to go tell 40 employees that this is the new direction we’re going after.

You know all day you’re going to go do you have a clear vision and all a sudden something impacts you so much that it makes you make a hard right turn. I think the collaboration for me was a big deal with the people that I want to be able to work with.

Obviously the opportunity here far surpasses anything that I’ve ever seen in my life time. Whereas you can hang your license at any real estate brokers. There’s rarely an opportunity like I’ve seen here. For me that’s a big deal. You know it fits for people that want to do something bigger than just sell real estate and they want to make it big on people’s lives which is why a lot of the top agents are making this move. We’re joining forces and linking arms together to help grow this company and make it really make a deal in the real estate universe anyway.

Mike: Yeah. So you are making a huge impact and I think it is truly exciting to be a part of not only what the EXP is doing but what you’re doing. I think one of the things that we all think is what type of legacy are we going to lead?

Not only in our personal lives but in our professional lives. And so for you. What kind of a legacy do you wish to leave behind?

Jay: I really just want to say what I can and let other’s know about the experience and touch and help as many people as I can. I could possibly have an impact on people. They saying that I changed my business, changed my paradigm or I really learned something or you made a difference in my life.

That’s really it for me. You know the more of an impact I can make on the most amount of people. I’m always moving in that direction and there’s not a definitive number for me that is I’ve got to get to this day I’ve been impacted but I feel like in this company I’m just a good fit for that.

Being able to have the freedom to add value and try to help more real estate agents find success and not be miserable. I think that they are either struggling to find success or they find the success and then it becomes the struggle in and of itself you know that was what really drove me right like I spent the first 10 years of my career working harder.

Being away from my family and not having the freedom that I was seeking. That became the point when I decided I was going the rest of my life. I’m hoping agents to not have to to have those struggles. And you know trying to fix a broken industry. And I think this business model gives the flexibility to do you know to build a business that has more than just wake up every day go do it again type of mentality and work and every evening and every weekend it gives you the ability to build something that has some real substance and long term benefit and no passive income opportunity which doesn’t exist in any other business.

Mike: Yeah, you can just feel it every day. The excitement in just talking to you it’s just palpable. There’s so much opportunity, it’s just I mean I don’t know about you but you know for me. Every day I get out of bed and I’m excited about you know a new opportunity a new place that I can go and my business that you know kind of makes me feel like I did when I first got it and all that excitement of not knowing but knowing where we could go and I’ve got to tell you it is just.

I’m just I feel blessed I feel excited.

I I’m excited about where we’re going. I’m excited for our team and the opportunity that now we’ve given them to move forward. Here we are you know today and so for you. So what is the vision now? What’s down the road?

Jay: Yeah I think we know, it’s one team one dream but I think in terms of the people that are directly brought in. There’s someone that’s kind of our revenue sharing group. I’d like to see a hundred thousand agents across the company.

I believe this company’s going to have well more than a million agents and again this is a global company and we haven’t opened in all of the other countries but they’re quickly finishing up Canada and I think we’re one or two states away in the United States. There’s people beating down our door in Australia, Mexico and there are bullies everywhere you go. Where it’s going next and I’ve never had people in my downline and in Australia I don’t know.

People know little about how that was sold and done in Australia not that much different than us. But you that’s where this thing is going.

This is going to be a ride that is going to open up new doors and opportunities and experiences not just across the country but across the world. So I’m excited to see what that’s going to look like.

My goal is to continue you need to know to bring awareness to you know people across the country they’re selling real estate and make them aware of this opportunity and how working together is going to be better than them trying to figure things out on their own and come and join to join this great ride industry. This great company with us.

Mike: Yeah man absolutely. Absolutely. What would you tell an agent or even a who owns their own company? So what would you tell them. Someone that was listening to this podcast that just knew there was a better way to do business and they were thinking about making a move either to another brokerage or to EXP.

Jay: I would tell them to reach out to you. Number one since they’re listening to your podcasts. I would say you need to reach out to Mike Wall, ask him some questions. You need to get clear on what all of this is about and understand what I always like to do when I’m having a conversation with someone to ask them where you’re at? where you’re trying to go?

You don’t tend to know where you want to be in the next five years or 10 years. Are you on a path that you believe is going there. The answer for most people is really is a grind and either you have a lot of pain in your business model or you don’t but I can tell you this if feels like and I can’t predict a downturn but it feels like 05/06 which for me were the two best years in real estate where I didn’t have pain associated with 07/08. So when there’s a downturn, when we think about the next 5 10 years, when you’re building and you may be on the upside right now you don’t know what’s it going to look like.

You know downright these are models are going to survive that and are you 100 percent sure that what you’re doing is really going to work and it’s going to get better? Are you going to solve the problem? Improve it?

When you get real clear on where you’re out where you want to go there’s very few if any conversations that I’ve had that it didn’t make sense for you to be aligned with EXP to get there.

1 or 2 years of company was the goal as opposed to maybe I can do this in five to 10 years so that’s the thinking that I like to get people into. You seek truth. I don’t try to defend your position, defend your business model, defend your decisions that you’ve made the last 10 years. You know you don’t mean anything. Let go of all that and just be open minded and don’t listen through a filter and be open to him and you know there’s a lot of really smart people that are making this move.

Let me see if I seek to understand what am I missing. Or the that’s right questions that you should be asked.

Mike: Get out of judgment get into curiosity.

Well Jay. It’s truly been a pleasure to have you on the show man. You are a true icon in the real estate industry. You’ve given so much and I wish you the best.

Jay appreciate you as always man and we’ll talk again soon.

Jay: Sure.

Mike: So that concludes my conversation with industry icon Jay Kinder. Jay always delivers big value and he’s so much fun to talk to you.

Hey if you know someone you think might enjoy the podcast please share it with them if you like the podcast please go wherever you listen to the podcast and subscribe if you’re curious about what you can do for you and your business. Watch her short video to get more details and see EXP is right for you and your business.

If you have questions for me and you can schedule 30 minutes with me at That’s it for this episode of the agent revolution and I’ll see you again next week.