This podcast highlights Bryan Casella’s move from Keller Williams to EXP realty. Bryan explains how the EXP model fascinated him and the fururistic cloud brokrage model of EXP where everybody wins. Bryan also talks about his experience of revealing the news to his brokerage and the smooth transition which has immensely fueled his growth. He also stresses why agents should consider to join EXP and become a part of this success story.
Click here to listen to the podcast. Read the complete transcript below.
Mike: This is the agent revolution podcast the next evolution of the real estate industry.
Let’s get started.
What’s up its Mike Wall proud EXP agent, owner and team leader your host of The Agent Revolution podcast. Today I have the pleasure of talking to Mr. Lamborghini Bryan Casella about moving over his mega team to EXP. He like me was a former Keller Williams guy and saw the writing on the wall. Thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to join us today. How are you brother?
Bryan: Things are great. Business is booming. Couldn’t be happier. How are you brother?
Mike: I’m doing well. Man so yeah as I told you in the pre-interview. Really what we want to do today is go through the story of your transition from where you were at to where you’re at now at EXP. Talk a little bit about the story behind that. So let’s do this.
I don’t like to talk a lot about your production and all that stuff but I will talk a little bit about it to set the stage for those folks listening because I think a lot of folks especially across social media platforms know you’re the dude with the Lamborghini. They know you as the dude who definitely has some success right out of the gate and I’m sure people are excited to hear your story. So, why don’t we talk just a little bit about how long you’ve been in real estate?
Bryan: Cool. I just broke five years in the business now. I got a license around this time in 2013 and before I got licensed I really adopted that old school nitty gritty mentality because the only person who I really watched and got any guidance from was Mike Ferry. I think he was the only one who was really doing anything on YouTube or any videos that I could consume and say well I don’t know what the hell I’m doing but this guy says hey just go knock on doors and make calls and you can get some business. And that’s just literally what I modelled man. Luckily my office at center 21 that I started with a couple of the top agents whom Mike Ferry had trained and it was just easy for me to absorb that model and just emulated it and that’s all I did. They literally called me the robot in my first office because all I did was call knock call knock and it got results.
I went through a period in the beginning where maybe for two or three months I didn’t get anything but then I got momentum after that it was deal after deal and fast forward now I have a team. One two three four agents, I have an admin and we have two teams working for us so it’s been great. We’re a little bit behind this year. I think we’re planning on closing 50 transactions roughly. We’ve bumped up our average price point a lot. I think our average price this year is around 600-620 around there and we put together some pretty exciting ones. I have one under contract now for four point eight in Laguna Beach and I’m working on another one hopefully tomorrow that will be around the same price so I’m excited to break into that ultra-luxury level.
Mike: Yeah dude. That’s awesome man and it is great because I enjoy doing this because I get to connect with people like you and hear your story and I think a lot about myself because I got into the business. I’ve actually had a license since 2002 but I got into the business and just I did it from a buyer agent’s perspective for a few years. Then the market crashed and I got out, I went to corporate America and in 2013 just like you and I just started watching YouTube videos and I saw people like Colin expired and stuff like that because I didn’t have a big network here in Ohio. I’m from Texas and I met my wife at Ohio State and then we got married moved back to her hometown so I didn’t know anybody.
What I did is I just started picking up the phone and in 2013 November just started making expired calls and by May of 2014, I had 44 listings. That first year I sold 57 houses. You know what I mean. Your story is no different than mine. It’s like what I tell my team “Real estate is simple but it is not easy”.
Running a marathon is just put in one foot after another for 26.2 miles but it is not easy. You got to train for it and you got to show up and take action. It sounds what you did and you definitely have some experience and success and you guys have been off and running. So how long have you guys been over the EXP now?
Bryan: I want to say about four months
Mike: Where were you guys before you came to EXP?
Bryan: Keller Williams
Mike: We came over from Keller Williams in February too. So I can definitely identify with your story. Tell me a little bit about when you first heard about EXP. Is this something that you heard about last year or two years ago. Is it something you heard about and went hey this is what we’re doing?
Bryan: Well originally for about two years, we had created the real estate hustlers mastermind. About a year ago a little bit more A.J. who sponsored me into EXP made the jump from Keller Williams. So, I heard about it a year prior to joining roughly maybe a little bit less. At first you’re a little skeptical you’re like “What is this?”. A.J. obviously we’re on the phone calls every week and he just kept sharing with us how much he was growing and all the tools and things that you get access to and what the structure of the company was and over time I started picking my interest. Then I looked I was like “It just sounds not only like a great company but a phenomenal opportunity to jump into something that’s growing and that’s new and that’s fresh”.
I think that’s probably the biggest allure for me aside from all the other stuff that people talk about rev share or stock. To me that’s just like icing on the cake. Because I really want to look at. Okay this is cloud based that’s progressive. is it efficient? Our experience thus far has been great. So the more AJ shared the more I started looking that way and then I finally made the jump. Like I said around May this year.
Mike: OK. AJ was a Keller William agent too. Is that what you said?
Bryan: Yeah he had like 12 or 13-person team and I think Charlotte, North Carolina.
Mike: OK So obviously. I do know about that Hustler’s Group too and you guys have been around and doing it for a long time and certainly obviously had a big impact on a lot of folks’ real estate careers and telling people how to grind it out I mean there’s one idea that people get repeat referral business and then there’s this other idea our umbrella that we fall under where we have just we’re just Grinder’s where we just go out make it happen. That’s not a bad thing. People run a really good business offer on referral. There are parts of me that envy that you know to me because that business just comes to us. You and I both know that it’s not really a scalable model and that grinded it out. It is more of a scalable model if you can build a skill set.
Mike: You guys have been over for four months. You did your due diligence for a while. You followed A.J and let him get the bumps and bruises and then you decided as the team leader to make the move. How did you approach your broker when you decided to move to EXP? How was that conversation?
Bryan: My Broker was cool. I was with Keller Williams pacific states over here in Cerritos California. That’s where we hung our licenses. It was an easy conversation. I had been kind of letting him know that I was thinking about it but there was no resistance there. There was no negativity. It was a simple and serial conversation and that has a lot to do with how I am as an individual. I’m very upfront with people so I just call them and I said Hey man if you want to meet me we can. I’m going to make this move. I’ve already made the decision. Let’s have a conversation about it. I want to let you know I wanted to leave and not say anything. It was a fairly easy conversation because I know that looms in people’s mind like well if I toss it to my broker, he’s going to try to talk you out of it. Now if your broker is really looking out for your best interests and you made the decision I think it should be an easy conversation for anybody.
Mike: Yep agreed. So when you decided to make the move, what were some of the emotions that you experienced? Was there any anxiety or was there any reluctance at all to make the move?
Bryan: Well, I can see the only reluctance was because it’s still kind of like a fresh company. They’re working out a lot of kinks. In the beginning we had a few issues with the cloud or agent services which now have basically evaporated and it’s super-efficient like much more than it was back then. I would say if there was any concern it would be more our perception to the public like “Oh! it is a new company”. We don’t know who it is. So maybe the customer confidence maybe a little bit lower. You can say right out the gate when they find out EXP. Never heard of it but we’ve seen as we share a little bit of information with the customers that they think it’s cool. Oh well it’s cloud based, sounds really progressive and you know new that was really my only concern because once I decided to make the job I saw the potential in the next segment I want to jump on this train right away because I support it. I think it’s an awesome idea.
Mike: Yeah. You’re the first one that said that but in reality we talked to a lot of agents in our office who say that very same thing. If they talk about that brand recognition right. That’s a very valid concern. What we find in most cases like with us moving from Keller Williams over to EXP. That’s something that we definitely wanted to pay close attention to. We found our clients weren’t loyal to Keller Williams or Coldwell banker or X Y Z realty. They were loyal to us. I would imagine that if you went back and if you’ve had you’ve done 50 deals or whatever this year if you went back and talked to all 50 those people and you asked him “hey you know what brokerage I’m with?”. A lot of them would not even be able to tell you that they want you to tell you the answer. It doesn’t mean that it’s not a valid concern for some agents. I know there will be people that are listening to us talk right now that say, you know what that’s something that I was thinking about. Our people are consumers actually going to realize what EXP is. What they’re doing it in that’s all part of what we need to do as realtors is be able to educate them on who we are and what the value that we can bring as EXP.
Bryan: Absolutely. As you said they hire us. They don’t hire Keller Williams or Century 21 or Berkshire Hathaway or whoever it is, they trust us. We’re the ones who puts in the work. And at the end of the day what you just asked is a concern for a lot of newer agents I noticed is well they are going to EXP but I want to go with Century 21 or Keller Williams because I feel like the public is going to perceive it better but it really doesn’t matter right. I think people put more concern on it themselves than the public, once you actually have a conversation with somebody and they see that you know what you’re doing. I don’t think it matters who could be with Bob’s Realty and they’re not going to care.
Mike: So you made the switch four months ago. So you made the decision as a team leader to come over. You talk to the brokerage. You had a conversation. It sounds like that went well. That’s the way you wanted to go by the way you wanted it you want if you’re brokerage’s truly if you’ve built a good relationship with your broker. They should support you in whatever endeavors that you decide to choose. They should come from a place of abundance not scarcity.
That didn’t happen with us but I’m glad it happened for you. The next thing you got to do right is you got to make the you make the decision as a team leader you then you’ve got to have the team. While a solo agent can make a decision and only have an impact on themselves and their personal business. When you as a team leader are making a decision you’re making that decision not only for yourself but everybody that works with you. That is committed to you. So I’m curious how did you arrange that meeting what did that conversation sound like?
Bryan: It was very simple. You know as I said look if I’m going to sell this idea to them. Obviously I want them to support all I did was highlight other benefits. Right. So the conversation dissed them about how it’s going to benefit everybody not just me. That made it very easy. When I start talking about less fees because I have an office and I’m agents are working in here. Let’s offer it and we have to pay a better split. The cap is going to be lower. Once I got into three or four details, there was really no resistance. So once I actually wrote it out to them, it was simple I had AJ who sponsored me in is always available. So if I need to bring him in to answer any questions he can. It was a fairly easy conversation and that meeting was more than ten minutes and everyone just like were on board with whatever we wanted to do as it sounds like it’s great. Let’s do it.
Mike: That’s awesome man. Like one of the things that I like most about being over here. I mean you’ve done what we’ve done in that. We have our own office space here we’ve kind of created our own culture. We have picked who we want in this building most of whom are on our team and so that was one big benefit for us. I was actually getting ready to open my own Market Center and J Kender presented the idea. This EXP cloud based brokerage to me. And I just thought it made. I thought it made more sense not for me but for my team because ultimately the only person who would have won if we opened our own market center is me. My team really would not have benefited much from that but in making the move to EXP we added in those additional layers of passive income opportunity in company provided stock right and then hitting specific benchmarks for stock and then the revenue share opportunity which was so much bigger than the profit share opportunity at Keller Williams. I think the biggest profit share check I ever got at Keller Williams was 336 dollars and I think it was June or July of last year. In my fourth month here I got a check for ten times that it was like 3300 dollars and some change. This opportunity is amazing and right where we’re just right about 15000 agents. In KW is like 170000. Just imagine the opportunity for people, the agents that are getting in right now like yourself and me and all these other guys, anyone else that’s joined. They get to present this opportunity and they get to be the people that are going to benefit 30 years from now when those revenue share checks are just coming in every month and you know whether they sell real estate or not. That was the big kind of “Aha!” for me to use a KW term. I would imagine that when you sat down specifically to talk with your guys and gals that had to be something. You felt really good about as a team leader because you couldn’t necessarily offer that Keller Williams.
Bryan: Huge that was huge. Guys always ask even the agent that worked for me and other agents. What’s your plan to start selling stop selling real estate. Can you survive? I think a lot of agents don’t think about that. They stay forever it’s okay and there’s no plan. If they don’t buy real estate what are they going to do. This is something that I was even telling my team I said look whether we make the move or not you guys are going to be doing you think you’re gonna be selling. So why not be in a position where while you’re selling your building something that’s going to be completely passive. What have you said maybe in 10 or 15 years. So it literally was just like a no brainer. I tell people it’s the icing on the cake because I think people have the visions. It’s going to be like you said 20 years and just like yourself. I mean the three months are like my top Rev shares or did I like 24 or 25 hundred bucks. I’ve just gone with the company. So again that’s really sweet. But I could see that being 20 times in the next couple years and I’m like well this is exciting because now we are creating a life that are really wanted without having to be stuck to selling x amount of houses every year and being stuck on the hamster wheel forever. I think that’s the vision that a lot of people don’t look at and a lot of agents aren’t thinking about that because our industry is so to the grindstone every year. Nobody really thinks about “What do I really want to be doing this in 15 years?”. They just make the assumption that they do, then after a couple years I’m sure you’ve seen people to start burning out and then they fall off on the wayside because they have no investments or something like this which is genius.
Mike: Yeah it’s great for life. I mean you talk about like recruiting and retention. Glenn just nailed it because if you got even let’s just say like you have a top producer right on your team. That’s just day. I mean that’s just crushing it right. Ultimately they decide hey you know what I’m going to go do this on my own. Right there. There’s really no benefit. There’s no reason why they would even leave EXP. They might leave your team and that’s great because that that just says I’ve done my job. I’ve created this unbelievable individual. I’ve given so much value into their life and what they feel like they can go out and do it on their own now. By keeping them in the company so if they got any revenue share at all which you know they probably have it they’re a superstar agent and then they have also agent ownership right at their best at after three years. Why the hell would they leave. They’re just probably not it. There’s no reason why they would leave so not only have you done a great thing by helping them go out on their own but then you’ve also created that revenue share for yourself and hopefully for them too. To build that and cut into that down the road.
Bryan: Yeah. You just said it goes on that up in two words everybody wins.
Mike: I’m curious like so now the dust probably is starting to settle right the transition is still new. I mean you’re four months in. What did this change anything? If we’re being completely candid did it change your goals? Did it affect your business at all?
Bryan: It seems like there’s a new level of excitement now because they know what they can do. They have the additional thing like the revenue sharing, stocks that they didn’t have before. So I feel like there’s a little extra fire under everybody’s ass right now which is awesome because then me as a leader I train my people all the time and I get that in them. To have something else do that. I think it’s just again like the sprinkles on the cupcake. You know what I mean.
Mike: Yeah. So what do you like? What is your goal with all this? You feel probably like an O.G because you feel like you’ve been doing it for a long time and you have hostile intent and that takes a lot out of you. That it is almost a natural evolution like when you’re a hustler. Hustling like that to build a team because it’s the reality of it. It’s probably not a sustainable model. It’s probably going to burn out in six years. You really want to leverage yourself with bringing in good quality people. So for you. Right. What is like what. So what’s the goal now as you’re at EXP. You have this team like Where are you taking this thing?
Bryan: Well that’s a great question. There’s so much more I can do now that I’m with EXP. By virtue of me doing what I do on social media. I naturally attract agents who believe in what I say and who are attracted to my style and what I do. Therefore, I know I’m going to attract somebody who either wants to mold themselves into a great agent or probably is already a pretty damn good agent. Now I get them to the company. I am building the Rev share because I know it’s going to explode in the next couple months near for sure. I mean already have I think mid 20s and my first level and I have another like 10 or 12 process. It’s just and it’s almost 100 percent from just me doing stuff on social media. Not me going out and recruiting. I’m going out on having coffee interviews with people. It’s just literally organically because I put out the message now. So what I see happening is like I just got back from Jacksonville right throughout spoke for a company. I’m doing that a lot more. I really want to take the social media side not only to help me grow my business which by the way every single person that works for me I’ve virtually set for my girlfriend Loida I attracted from social media as well. So I just really want to keep growing the team. I know we really want to break the 1 million GCM Mark. We haven’t broken that yet. I’m really excited to do that but I think within the next 12 to 18 months I’m going to be able to fully step out from the team and let that thing kind of just keep growing the way it is and then with the social media side now especially with EXP. I can start doing other things outside of rooms. The more time I’m creating more income and it’s just making my life easier again. Doing the same thing I wanted to do anyway which to me is a no brainer.
Mike: So essentially what I’m hearing you say is that you’re doubling down on your social media game because you know that is a great channel for you to provide value to the masses and get the word out about what we’re doing EXP. So. Tell me what does the game look like for you on social media?
Bryan: Well it’s always been this thing where I’ve just put out right in it and it’s just shifted and evolved over time because I first started doing stuff on social media just to document my journey. I was like hey I’m a young guy, I’m getting in real estate. I have no experience. I’m probably in the same shoes as a lot of you are going to be in because I have no advantages and I don’t have any connections. I’ve never done sales. It is a first time I’m really wearing a suit to work. So I’m just going to go out there and make it happen. Over time I started not only attracting a lot of consumers and building a huge referral base which I think in July I sent out six referrals across the nation but I’m also now attracted a ton of agents and that’s led to me speaking. I’ve gone internationally and spoke in Australia earlier this year. I’ve spoken with the guys from Ireland are listing three times now. Upbeat fourth time because I’m doing something for the California transition realtors in October and also spoke at the expo. So my strategy with that is just keep putting out value attracting the right people. Raise the level of the industry because I know people who follow what I teach are going to be better agents. It’s always been with us in the beginning I’m going to give value and help people because that’s what I was missing in the beginning. I didn’t have two or three guys maybe my age bracket who are doing this sharing their journey saying man I was in tears. They lost the listing but hey here’s what I learned from it. The next nominee to handle this objection or whatever it is. Now I have almost a thousand videos for free on YouTube and probably three or four hundred that I’ve done on Facebook and I’m putting out what a lot of people are going to go through. Or what they’ve been through and they can get some perspective on it. So with me just been one-word value and I just keep putting it out and everything else is just kind of fallen into place.
Mike: When did you realize the power of social media?
Bryan: I saw it years ago man like when I started documenting my journey about what I was doing. It was probably about six months since early 2014. I said I think people are sleeping on this. This video thing, this YouTube thing, this Facebook thing they don’t see what I see. So I saw that vision of what I’m doing now and what could be created. I tell a lot of agents and people even outside our real estate. I say we don’t need Hollywood anymore. You can create your own brand globally and explode it with your phone. I mean our iPhone’s record 1080P high definition you can upload it straight to YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and they send it everywhere. That’s all I did until I’ve done recently some Facebook ads for real estate actual customers. All of my brand will from media growth has been 100 percent organic. I haven’t put a penny into paid ads and that I started doing some Cliff n dale stuff on the site with another guy but that’s again that’s separate not to grow my brain. So the 100,000 followers on YouTube the 5,000 friends and 12,000 followers on Facebook you know almost 30,000 followers on Instagram. That’s just me putting out value and attracting people. I saw that years ago and I think a lot of people maybe weren’t committed or they just didn’t have the vision.
Mike: Right. In fact, I was watching, listening right now. It’s not too late to start. I think that you know while we have that summit. Some of us have those limiting beliefs that you know are you know he started that you know in 2013. Right. It’s like now it’s like there’s no better time to start than right now right. I mean as it relates to EXP we’re still the 15000 agent company. So the opportunity is huge. So if you want to be like Bryan man document your journey even if you feel like you don’t have that much to document. Just talk about the struggles that just be a real. Just talk about the struggles that you’re going through that’s exactly really what you did in.
Bryan: Absolutely. I think that’s the missing piece for a lot of individuals who get into the social media game is to show the world who I was. It wasn’t just about real estate. I get recognized everywhere now as a realtor because I’ve branded myself that way but that’s not me. A lot of people think “oh well I can only talk about real estate”. No you don’t. At the same time because what you said is I hear that all the time was too late. Let’s say Mike just copy what I did right for all the people watching. There’s going to be a segment of the people watching who are going to like him more than me and vice versa. So there’s always an audience for everybody because I like his style more, his looks more it doesn’t matter. Anybody can come into this game and they’re going to take a portion of the market because some people will relate to them more and that’s all it is. There’s plenty of eyeballs out there for everybody. Does it to take your piece of it and it’s readily available for anybody. I don’t care how old you are. where you live and what you’re doing and especially if you’re watching this and you’re in a smaller city. It is just waiting to be took over. I know some people who are doing minimal work on social media that are in real estate in smaller cities and they’re just annihilating the market share because of just their social media presence and videos like I know people like for example with the Jacksonville Florida. There’s a girl that works for the company. Her entire business is from her free Facebook videos and her Instagram. That’s it. She generates a ton of leads gets a ton of listings from that and she hasn’t spent a penny. So for all of you who are really deathly afraid of cold calling, the door knocking there you go. But again she’s been doing it consistently for about a year and a half or two years. So you have to put in the work whether you do it virtually whether you do it on the phone. It has to be done.
Mike: Right. That’s some massive value that you’re dropping brother and I appreciate that. So the goal for you is it sounds like you ultimately kind of work your way into more of a CEO type role where maybe you’re not going on so many listing or buyer appointments for that matter. You still do that some people some people do that but you want to be the visionary for the company and you want to continue to help it grow. You want to continue to help it grow you want to continue to grow your rev share group. You want to continue to spread the word about EXP. It’s funny because I asked my guy yesterday this and I’m going to start asking because I think it’s a great question. What is your rev share a goal like ultimately? Where do you want to take this thing in and hopefully you’re willing to share that number?
Bryan: Absolutely yeah. I’ve told people when I went to my first EXP event for this little mastermind they had in Vegas recently. You know if you want to I was there and I remember sitting in the audience already else telling the people around us in six months are you going to be speaking State watch. So by the end of the year, I want 100 people in my first line and I’m going for it. I think I’m pretty much on track to do that. Other people have a process but before the end of the year want to be making at least ten to twelve thousand a month and by the end of 2019 I want to see if I can crack 60.
Mike: Nice brother. That is nice. Yeah. My personal goal I’ll share is to get to twenty thousand a month by the end of the year and ultimately want to get to where I’d like. Some of these legends or make in an hour like break go and rob Fleck and these guys like to start making like a hundred grand a month I think would be a realistic opportunity.
Listen we hustled right when we did expire, we hustled what we did for sale by owners. Now we’re hustling to get agents. So it’s different but it’s the same man. I’ll wrap this up man. This has been just an absolute blast for me and I mean to connect with you.
Mike: Let me ask you this man. So that agent or that broker that’s listening to us right now who may be thinking about making the move to EXP or they’re just trying to learn a little bit more about the company. What do you say to that person?
Bryan: I would say a lot of the concerns that you have in your mind are little fears that you’re creating. Because even with EXP or any other company. No company is perfect. However, I feel that EXP is taken what everyone else has done and made it better and also revolutionized their style with the whole cloud thing. That’s actually working and it’s efficient. I mean we get paid on time. Any little detail people have asked me; I give them the answer again “It’s almost like it’s too good to be true”. No opportunity is better than now. I’m kicking myself to have gotten the switch earlier. Right. But I can tell you that a lot of the fears and concerns that you have are not there.
Mike: Make the jump. Now’s the time. Love it man. So How can people connect with you? If they want to engage you for a speaking event or they want to talk EXP or anything else.
Bryan: Yes, if they want to chat Facebook is the best. If you want to contact me at any other social media platform. It is just my name. @BryanCasella is my Twitter, Instagram. If you message me or you’ll find me then bryancasella.com is my Web site for the speaking thing. There is a little entry form and I’m on there and we can share.
Mike: Awesome man. Hey thank you so much. I know you are busy brother. I wish you the best of luck and I hope that we can connect in New Orleans in October.
Bryan: Absolutely. I’m planning on going. Bye Brother.
Mike: Man I’m having so much fun. Bryan is just a good dude. Hearing everyone’s story never gets old. I need your help.
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