Jay Bourgana from Homearly Real Estate Group talks about his first years in real estate business and how he built up his individual practice to eventually need teammates. Jay discusses an important skill each agent should master – pattern recognition. Jay also deep dives into the evolution of teams. Jay talks about the impact of technology in the real estate market and also the importance of the agent in the process of buying/selling. Last, Jay discusses what an agent can do to double their production this year.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
D.J. Paris 0:00
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Hello, and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real, the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Parris. I’m your guide and host through the show. And in just a moment, we’re going to be speaking with Jay Morgana from the home early Real Estate Group. Before we get to J, just a couple of quick reminders. First of all, if you haven’t yet signed up for our email newsletter, you can do that right on our website, which is keeping it real pod.com Every time we publish a new episode of course, we send an email announcing it just in case you’re not regularly checking your podcast app and of course on the website you can also stream every episode we’ve ever done right from your browser. And also please tell a friend think of one other agent that you know that could benefit from these the show these episodes of talking to top producers like Jay and asking them how they built their business so that you can hopefully replicate or even exceed their level of success so please tell a friend just think one other agents shoot them a link to our website keeping it real pod.com Oh, yeah, one more thing please follow us on Facebook. I’m asking for a lot in this episode. I apologize. But we do a lot of cool stuff on our Facebook page every single day we find an article that was written online and we post it there specifically it was written to help agents grow their business and so it’s all good stuff. So again facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pot and now thank you for listening to all that we love you having you as listeners and viewers and now on to our interview with Jay Morgana.
Today on the show we have Jay Morgana from formerly home early first team real estate in Orange County, California. Jay is a recovering management consultant turn business owner. He has had experience in banking, manufacturing and management consulting including yours in China and Europe. Jay started the home early Real Estate Group, which grew from zero to 150 million in residential real estate sales in less than five years, subsequently acquired by the $5 billion first team real estate company. Jay loves building businesses teams and investing in growing or mature small and mid sized businesses Jay was born and raised in Morocco. He currently resides in Orange County, with his wife and his two children. He loves to spend time with his family travel and is passionate about engaging in the community, developing young entrepreneurs mentoring local businesses and volunteering with local nonprofits. Jays, life’s purpose is healing ill businesses thus creating opportunities for people to transform their lives. Everyone who is listening and watching please visit Jays website, which is home early.com. That’s H o m e r a r l y.com and homararly.com I keep wanting to put a second e in there to apologize so early with one e.com. And by the way, if you’re an agent in Southern California, and you’re looking to see what other firms offer, take a look at home early we’re going to be talking about what they offer here shortly. But they are they are a huge powerhouse in Southern California. Jay, welcome to the show.
Jay Bourgana 3:54
Thank you for having me. I really appreciate the warm intro.
D.J. Paris 3:57
We’re excited to have you and would love to we always start off our episodes really the same way. Maybe I should come up with a new strategy after all these years. But our agents always love to hear about how, you know, owners and top producers got into real estate. So if you don’t mind telling us about that.
Jay Bourgana 4:15
Yeah, absolutely. I actually took the longer route to real estate. I grew up I was born and grew up in Morocco. I worked for a French bank there and then worked in Europe as well for that same company. After about five years, I decided to come to the United States. I worked for a mutual fund for about a year and I didn’t like it very much I went into manufacturing because I love to travel. And the company that I worked for the production in China sold to all the big retailers from Walmart to target to bed linens and things and Bed Bath and Beyond. And, and I loved doing I love working with manufacturing things and selling things and, and and get involved in in the operations. In the manufacturing side of it, and I spent about three years in China, helping with that as well, right after the recession, in 2007, I came back to the US, I started working as a management, consulting, working in manufacturing, helping manufacturing companies and distribution companies go from losing money to making money and fixing their operations, fixing their culture. And it’s fascinating. As you travel across the world, you see that most people are all the same. We’re all similar as much as you’re interested in how we’re curious about how different and how are stories are different, we’re all the same. And we’re all you know, desire, the same things and hopefully the same things dream the same dreams and, and haven’t traveled for about five years, 100% of the time, I kind of got old and got tired a little bit. So I decided to kind of take a year where I’m staying in one place and took a year off were started buying properties around the Long Beach area. And at the time property, the real estate market was just coming up out of the deep of the recession, around 2012 properties was still cheap. And I was buying condos, two bedroom condos are blocked from the beach for $50,000. And, yeah, something that sells for about 450 now, and you know, and so I bought a few I’ve fixed them up by and I saw the value go up and I got really excited about that. And I wanted to learn more. So I said I’m gonna go take get my license and join an office. So I joined the century 21 office, a local one. And, and I went fresh, and you know, as someone who doesn’t know anything ready to learn, as a student, I didn’t bring my, you know, years of management skills, whatever. I was just like, I’m a lonely Asian, so I’m here to learn. And, and the broker showed me where the phonebook was, it showed me where the phone was. start dialing. Yeah, so are the pages scripts were and and I hit it, you know, there were people that would come in, come into the office once a week, I was there seven days. I was there from in the morning till probably about 7pm In the evening, you know, so and I was, you know, I was hitting it hard, you know, just doing what they told me to do. And it’s funny because the broker that I worked for did not like working with homebuyers. So only focused on sellers. So we only had like two scripts, seller scripts, and either call circle prospect or your call and expireds. And he gave you a hint, you know, a handful of objection handlers and just do it. So after six months, I got my first transaction. It was a short sale. I didn’t know anything about short sales. So I learned everything on the job. I helped the family through a really stressful situation, just because I really cared. And I really wanted to help them. And essentially, that was the launch of my solo real estate agent career. I did about 10 transaction my first year. And I moved into the second year. So I essentially went hard for about 18 months. And then and then I kind of burned out in a way. And what I did, essentially, I found a local agent in my office who I liked who I trusted, and I hand them the phone, and I handed my transactions. And I told them okay, I’m going to Paris for a month. You take care of it by then I had about you know, 25 I was I was on track to do about 30 transactions. That’s amazing. Yeah, yeah, that second year, I was on track to do 30. And I handed them my phone and I left for a month and a half. And then when I came back, that was essentially the inspiration to start the team. And so you’re you’re halfway through year two, I recruited a couple of my friends, to work as buyer’s agents. I hired an operations person I hired a marketing person. And that year to when I did 30, the year three we did 90, your year four, we did 180 transactions. And essentially we start growing year over year. And in about a year, halfway through year five or year four or year four of the team year five of the my career, we were approached by an independent, local independent, they were essentially looking to buy independent brokers but we were we were we had our own. We were at the time we were at Keller Williams, and we had our own mega office, and we had our own brand. And we actually had two offices. And we were branded separately. So they saw the name. They thought we were kind of independent. They approached us we start talking and even though they found that we were a team and not a brokerage, they still pursued us and we ended up closing we started competition in April we closed in July and and then so yeah, and then we went on to grow even more after that.
D.J. Paris 10:00
Okay, congratulations on that success that is truly remarkable. I’ve interviewed hundreds of top producers, and very few of them that I’ve ever interviewed over all the years have had that kind of success as immediately as you did. So I’m super curious to dive a little bit deeper to find out maybe what you did that you think contributed to that rapid? I mean, you weren’t kidding. Rapid growth is really your specialty. And, and, you know, first, I just find it so amazing that even in 2008, when you first started that, you know, it was still here’s, and this is after the Do Not Call list, this is this is when cold calling was really, really well still is really, really hard, you know, pre 2001, it was a lot easier because there was no Do Not Call list. And people were still a little bit more used to taking those kinds of calls. But in the mid 2000s. Boy, that is a rough way to start. But I bet it just builds such muscle, because you’re not afraid of anything if you’re pounding the phone or all day long.
Jay Bourgana 11:00
Absolutely, yeah, absolutely. It builds instincts, it builds pattern recognition, I think that’s the most important part where you the more you talk to people, the more you start recognizing the different profiles of you know, sellers and buyers, you know, you understand their objections, you see that, if you do it consistently enough, the profiles will start repeating themselves, and then you will know what, what is the value that you can deliver to each unique, different profile. And, and I to me, that’s the most valuable element I don’t need. Like right now, with my team members, I honestly sometimes don’t even need to know the story of a seller, I can see I can get a lot of information from the phone number from the email address, and from the city where they’re at. And that’s it. And I know exactly the whole story, how it’s gonna go. I can tell the conversate how the conversation went? Who had that sell it?
D.J. Paris 11:55
Yeah, you see at AOL email address, you know, a little bit about the demographic of that person probably a little older. Probably not as sophisticated technologically Yep,
Jay Bourgana 12:06
yes. And I know exactly where they’re going to be. I mean, that’s just the the zip code, the email and the phone number. And I know where they are, and how that conversation what value proposition we should go, you know, offer to be able to get their, their, their, their business.
D.J. Paris 12:22
That’s, that’s incredible. You know, nobody, I don’t think we’ve ever talked about pattern recognition on our show. And it really is, especially if you’re not exclusively working with friends and family, which, of course, pattern recognition probably isn’t as important because, you know, those are people who are going to work with you regardless. And you know, you’ll be able to take great care of them. But when you’re dealing with somebody who you don’t yet know, you really do have to very quickly be able to assess, what does this person need? What are their motivations? What are their fears? And then how do I? How do I solve that? Well, look, you’re a consultant. So you’re all about assessing and solving. Right? And that is, can you talk a little bit more, because we talked about the shift from consulting to being a real estate agent? But can we talk about how those skills may be transitioned to help you even though they’re totally different industries?
Jay Bourgana 13:12
Oh, yeah, no, absolutely. They’re, they’re, they’re completely irrelevant. Because essentially, the, you know, in my consulting career, I’ve worked in a lot of different industries. I work in plastic injection molding, and I worked at a chicken farm, I worked the lettuce Packing Company, and you know, in aerospace, so there are different industries, but the parents are the same. So the way I figured kind of like, a formula that worked for me across all industries, and the formula goes like this, find out who the intended client or consumer of that service is, find out what their expectation is, what is it that they want? So I actually the first thing that I do, I go and talk to maybe the Walmart buyers, or the Boeing or whatever, I talk to the purchasing manager, and I say, Okay, what is it that you want, you know, so I want this product I want, I want it on time, I want it with this spec, I want it this color, I want it this way. And these are the challenges that I’m having right now with the company you’re working with. And I need this fixed. So these are the things that I want, these are things that I need to fix, fantastic, something to kind of go for to aim for. Then I go back to my operation and say, Okay, let’s figure out a process that’s going to deliver this no matter what the key is, no matter what, because it can be expensive to deliver. It can be not profitable to deliver it but I just want to deliver it first no matter what. And then so I put a process in place that delivers that value, no matter what. And then I go back and look at that process and say where can I take out costs? Where can I take things that are still deliver that value, but allows us to make money and so now I laid out the process. Now the next thing within the Identify the roles with job descriptions. So let me identify the job descriptions. And then once I identify the job descriptions, I indentify, the personality profile that fits within that job description. And then once I identify that, then I figure out what is the technology that I lay on top of that, that process and then people to be able to help them do their job faster, better, lower cost. And then once I have put the technology next, then the next thing after that is what accountability do I need to put in place supervision, where are the supervisors that are gonna make sure that the people and the technology are doing what they’re supposed to do? And then the next layer is identifying what is the culture of this group, so we can keep them together. And we’re not we don’t have this high turnover, and that we have to teach people over and over and over what they do. So we gotta have a culture to keep it sticky. And then what I’ll do after I figure the culture, then I go back, and I amp the challenge. So we started with this list of things. Okay, now we’re going to do double that. Let’s figure out how we do it. Right, once. Once we do that, then we go back and figure out okay, who is the top leadership that needs to keep it all together? Who’s going to understand the culture, understand that people understand the technology and deliver the value proposition to the to the end consumer?
D.J. Paris 16:19
Wow, you just said a tremendous amount of really how to grow really any business, quite honestly, not specifically, just being a real estate agent, or building a real estate brokerage or just even a team. But what you really are talking about is systematizing. This business, you’re a systems guy. And in fact, I have to I have to really compliment Jay, because he didn’t just, he obviously just gave us a lot of great information about his process. But he went through the same process with me about a minute before we started, because he said, Okay, tell me about the demographics of your listeners. He said, the first thing was, what’s the intended audience? What do they want? What do they need? And he said, Okay, well, and he started thinking about how he could provide value to our show, based on it. And he could and I said, Well, I don’t really know that much about our demographics. And he was like, You need to know about your demographics. And he’s absolutely right, because he’s right, we in order for us to deliver the best product to in this case, our listeners or our viewers, we need to know everything we can he goes, You need to put out a survey and you need to find out about your listeners. And he’s so absolutely right. So I might even hire you as a consultant for our show. But But, but But back to back to real estate. This is so important, because so many agents right now are either thinking I want to join a team. I’m an independent person, I’m just working on my own. I’m a solo practitioner. And, you know, maybe there’s value in joining together with an existing team or, you know, in your case, building a team. And can you talk a little bit about the role you think teams are playing these days in real estate? Yeah, you know, go ahead?
Jay Bourgana 17:53
That’s a great question. That’s, that’s a wonderful question. So because teams kind of get this, it’s kind of like a vague description. And that I mean, a husband and wife is a team, you know, when agent has a title rep, and a lender, their team, so unfortunately, it kind of gets diluted, but to me, the main value. So let me go back historically, historically, real estate brokers used to be, they used to be in the real estate brokerage business, meaning they would have, you know, education departments, they would have coaching, and their managers were actually connected their coaches and their accountability, you know, trainers, accountability partners, the, they would have a marketing department that will actually market to the community, you know, from through all different channels, and do events and be close to the, you know, the business community be close to the consumers, and to kind of like, you know, make sure that the brand is, has an impact on the community. And so these, these companies were running like businesses, but I think over time with competition, and with cost cutting, companies tend to become now more of like a multi level marketing kind of setup. And unfortunately, we start losing, you know, we’re losing a little bit of marketing or losing a little bit of the training or losing a little bit of the quality supervision or the quality accountability and, and so, little by little, it started becoming like, you know, after many like ALA, carte kind of industry. So what teams do essentially kind of brought back the all inclusive package, and that when an agent’s comes through a team, they get it all, you know, and they get everything they need, they have to have, you know, because you don’t, you know, you want to eat, you have to have good marketing, you have to have good training, you have to have good accountability. You have to have mentorship in that accountability. You need to have a culture and an environment that allows you to succeed and thrive. And essentially that’s what teams deliver for those of you People who really want to do this as a career as in I mean, obviously, not everybody’s in for this. So they’re, they’re, you know, I think half of the population of real estate agents do this part time, you know, probably the other half, there’s just want to do as a side hustle. But there’s a small percentage, maybe maybe 10%, maybe 20%, that do want to do it as a full time career that’s grown up that’s growing. And I think that’s where teams come in place where they fill that gap, and especially on the accountability piece, because when a team leader is investing, you know, you know, hundreds of 1000s of dollars a year on marketing and on on things. There’s a there’s a level of alignment of alignment in their goals. You know, the agent, the team leader wants that thing to close, same way as the same intensity level as the agent needs that thing to close. So there’s an alignment, there’s a success in alignment between the team leader and the agents.
D.J. Paris 20:56
Yeah, I think you’re so right. And I believe that that, you know, mentioning at the beginning of what you just said, how that so many brokerages are stepping a little bit further away from accountability, training, marketing, and and you’re right, a lot of it’s becoming more ala carte pay as you go. Which, which, you know, I guess works for some agents for sure, who are more independent and maybe want to make their own decisions. But there’s a you know, I know a lot of our listeners are new to the business, and really want and need accountability, they need, you know, a mentor, they need coaching. And, you know, I think that’s where as so many of the people we’ve interviewed on the show over the years, started out with a mentor, or they were on a team, and then maybe they left to go do their own thing later or build their own team. But that that just mentorship from somebody that’s already walked the path and sort of says, Here are all the mistakes I’ve made. And here’s patterns to help you grow in systems to grow your business faster, is really lacking, it’s really lacking in a lot of firms.
Jay Bourgana 21:59
Yeah, and you can see that obvious in the, you know, when you look at the average age demographic of the real estate agents, and then the same way, the average age of the brokers is very high in our industry, you know, I mean, I’m in the 50s, you know, so I think 50, and then 55, for brokers. So what it says is that we’re not attracting enough young people, and then we’re not creating openings for them to access the, you know, to access the ability to succeed in our industry. quick enough, and are easy enough. So this is why, you know, we’re not attracting the best talent, you know, the the most talented people. And we should, I mean, no one should be working as a bartender for 12 years, right. And there are a lot of young people that are super talented, that are just wasting away, you know, serving drinks at bars, when they could be helping clients and building a career becoming managers becoming, you know, a lot of things within our industry. So that’s, you know, my little my little rant here.
D.J. Paris 22:57
So it’s a good rant. No, it’s an excellent rant. And I think it’s right, and I think it’s right now to it, we’re in January, it’s 2021. And, you know, we’re seeing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for what we as a as a, well, the whole globe has been, of course dealing with. But it’s also that time of the year where people reflect on 20, you know, the New Year and saying, Okay, what, what can I do differently? And is it time to to join a team? Is it time to look at a new firm? You know, and how do I want to proceed with my business because it is, it is funny, like, at some point, you only have so many hours in the day, there’s only so many dials you can make. And as one person, you know, you will come up across a barrier, at some point, there is a ceiling for that. And it’s a very possibly lucrative ceiling. And you could be perfectly comfortable being a solo practitioner, and making a certain amount of money that you’re comfortable with. And but you’re now still also doing probably most all of all of the responsibilities, which as a business owner, and you’re a business owner, as well, of course, you know, just how many of those hats a real estate agent has to wear. And so I think having those those teams with those specific roles in place really helps just delineate out you know, hey, I’m gonna focus on what I like best, or what I do best and, and then focus, let the other team members take over.
Jay Bourgana 24:23
Absolutely, yeah, and there’s definitely power in number I do believe in the one plus one equals three. It’s so it’s so powerful. And you know, if we learn anything from this COVID-19 situation, that anything can happen at anytime, anywhere, and you can build a career, you know, we got lucky in real estate this time, because we were we kind of benefited from the fact that more people needed bigger homes and you know, there’s lack of inventory and they’re more people demanding need housing, but it could have been a different type of recession or a different type of economic crisis that made it that our industry had a hard time maybe rates gone up 10%. And it would be in a different situation. So people have to prepare for those things and have to be in it, we’re living in multiple economic cycles are coming faster and faster. And so we have to be prepared for a down cycle. And one way of preparing is being around, you know, your own tribe that, you know, support each other that can alleviate some of that risk.
D.J. Paris 25:30
Yeah, and also technology comes in and changes the game as well. And, and I would have guessed 15 years ago, when I was I was a marketing person and in different industries, not real estate at all. But I would have guessed 15, maybe 20, maybe 20 To 15 to 20 years ago, I would have thought, oh, you know, in a few years, real estate agents just won’t be necessary. Zillow was just coming on. They were obviously disrupting the market and changing the way consumers shop for properties. And I thought, Okay, well, the real estate agent, just it won’t even be an industry in 10 years. And of course, it is still important because what technology hasn’t yet solved for and maybe they will one day, but they haven’t yet is how do you deal with the emotional side of the home buying and selling process, which is has, you know, obviously, we all know all everyone who’s listening, just how much fear, sadness, anger, the difficult feelings come up when people are going through transactions. And and technology hasn’t yet solved that. And hopefully, hopefully won’t, anytime soon, so that agents can still provide those, those services. But it’s really, I think, also, technology has also helped agents not have to deal with a lot of the busy work that used to be necessary. Now they can focus on the human side of the transaction.
Jay Bourgana 26:50
Absolutely, yeah, technology kind of allowed good agents to deliver their value at scale. And that’s what essentially, it’s helping speed up the process of elimination of like, people who don’t deliver value. And so the people who are delivering the most value are going to be able to do it at scale with technology. And people that don’t are not going to be around that long. I think that’s created transparency. And, and essentially are allowed for, for us to kind of dig deeper and find new ways to service. You know, the client also technology’s changing the consumer behavior, consumer behavior. So as consumer behavior, our value proposition changes, our value proposition changes, so we have to match a lot. I always love how, you know how Amazon thinks of this, you know, they think of the think of it, they’re always competing for that client, the client always wants it cheaper, faster. Sure, you know, they want it for free yesterday. And so how can we kind of, we’re always competing with that the consumer can change his mind, all the time. They don’t, they don’t owe us anything. You know, they used to like us to do certain things yesterday, or last month or last year, they don’t like that anymore, they want something else. And we have to adjust and adapt and react to that. And we have to deliver that value. So essentially, technology, also speeding up that process of change. And creating, you know, a little bit higher, like a, like a higher hurdle for people to be able to, to succeed in our you know, in our industry in IT people who are essentially paying attention being intentional, focused on the client first focused on the, you know, focus on delivering value to the client, like we talked about earlier, the first thing you focus on is the client. If you’re focused on that, you’re going to find ways to deliver value, no matter what, and you’re always going to be around in and you’re always going to succeed, you’re going to be around in our business in our industry. Yeah,
D.J. Paris 28:52
I think I think you’re right, and I hope so because this are both of our industry. So we’ll hope that technology doesn’t get too advanced to take take over the human side of it. And it doesn’t appear that anyone has figured that out, other than agents and the
Jay Bourgana 29:06
way that the way, the way I explain it to clients as well, like we get this question all the time from clients, and we asked him listen, if you if you’re, if you’re about to invest 10,000 20,000 $30,000 in stocks, you know, you’re gonna get an app or you’re gonna get a free account Schwab or whatever and, and you’ll do your transactions there. But if you’re gonna invest a million dollar inheritance, you’re not going to go and try to do your investing on your own. You’re going to find a financial investor, a fiduciary, someone that’s gonna, you know, have you’re going to have a lot more knowledge is going to be able to give you tax advice or give you financial advice or give you legal advice or connect you with people with that, you know, good advice, to be able to put a plan for you. And that’s what we do this real estate transaction is a big transaction that doesn’t happen that often in person’s life, and there’s a lot of uncertainty or round it, plus the fact chain things change all the time. So even when the buyer has bought six years ago, it’s not the same market that it is now, it’s not the same, you know, process that it is now. So they’re always going to be need for human beings to guide other human beings through this journey.
D.J. Paris 30:16
Yeah, and the financial advisor example, you gave us a good one, because those are those, those professionals typically also earn a percentage, in this case, assets under management. But it’s very similar in some ways, it’s less transactional, I guess, to a real estate sale, however, it’s paid out very similarly. And, you know, a good money manager or some financial advisor will be able to say, sure, you know, to Matt, to manage your money, I’m going to charge you 100 basis points, or 1%. But here’s why it’s worth paying me 1%. Because I do, I can do all of that I have all the experience and knowledge that you don’t have, and this is a lot of money, and you probably want to make sure it’s done correctly. So 1%, you know, seems pretty fair. Real estate agents also have to be able to, to answer that exact question is, can’t I just sell my home? Can I list a home on my own? And the answer is, of course, you can. And I know even when I went to, and I’m an I’m an eight, I’m a broker, and I went to sell my own property. Many years ago, I overvalued my own property, and I knew better, and nobody, I didn’t have any checks and balances, and nobody said, you know, I’m gonna, you’re too emotionally tied to this, because I was gonna lose money on it anyway. And I was still so upset that I was losing money, but I wanted to value it higher than it really was to minimize that loss and the pain. And you know, what I needed to lower the price. And finally, I did, but if I would have had a consultant, or an agent, actually probably would have been smarter to have someone else sell my home, I would have got it and sold a lot faster, because I needed that expertise. And so the public, it obviously is even less knowledgeable than than we are, and it’s still going to need assistance. And so I think you’re right agents that can demonstrate and provide value. You know, that’s why calling expired listings and for sale by owner, it still can work. It’s difficult. It’s certainly not the easiest way to grow a business. But there’s a lot of people out there who are trying to sell their homes by themselves and not having a lot of success.
Jay Bourgana 32:20
Yeah, absolutely. And I one of the things that I that’s even harder on the buy side, one of the things that I tell my my agents is, whenever you’re traveling in New Town, try to go shopping for home spend, you know, do a couple hours where you’re in that town, try to look properties online, and try to go through that process of like finding an agent, and then go shot you always learn so much from that process. You know, I mean, go on on any of the platforms, you can click on this, see, see who calls you who doesn’t call you in the how, what their conversation is, like, what questions they’re asking you? Do they show up on time, do they show up lay that address properly or not, you could tell a lot and then just from us starting to search for, like, the information that you get from local agents is so rich, and it’s so good that you you would never, you would never buy something on your own. Because you don’t know, you know what I mean, there’s so much knowledge within these agents that that you know, so a lot of times our agents because they’re in, they’re in the water all the time, they don’t see the water, so they’re in the market all the time, they don’t even see their own value. And, and they don’t have like a way of kind of like communicating value to the consumer. So when they go, you know, maybe a state down to Las Vegas, and they go around and the tour prop tour a neighborhood with an agent, and that agent gives them like everything about, you know, the development is happening, the the taxes, the history of the area, the demographics, and all that stuff. This is Oh my God, that’s what I do. But now I’m hearing someone else do it for me. And I’m like, I find it so valuable. Yeah,
D.J. Paris 33:54
yeah. And even if even just to learn what not to do, it’s you know, but but but more importantly, also what to do. And there are some great agents out there. And you know, you can always also, but But yeah, going through it as like I was talking about this the other day with with another agent on our show, and we were talking about how so much of the business is about alleviating client anxiety. I know I’m in the process of closing on a home right now. I’m completely stressed out about it, even though it’s all going to be fine. Everything’s good. We’re pretty much set. We don’t know exactly when the closing is going to be so. So there’s a little bit of fear of the unknown, but, but really, everything is in place were good. And I am still completely stressed. And this is the industry I’m in and I should I shouldn’t be, but I am and I thought boy, I wonder what the average consumer would be going through in my scenario, and it’s a very simple transaction. It’s a new, it’s a new development. So there’s a little bit of a complication there with when we can move in. But other than that, it’s a really relatively normal transaction and even I am completely stressed out. And I thought, oh boy, if agents really can realize that there are buyers and sellers which good agents are usually know this, but are just going through an emotional roller coaster as they go through the transaction. And they can if they can solve for those issues, boy, they’re so incredibly valuable. And it’s worth, you know, the percentage that you’re charging, you know, to the client?
Jay Bourgana 35:15
Yeah, absolutely the best learning you have is to go through a transaction you’re so I tell the guys as well as like every two years she’d buy a house just to remember how it is go through the lending process, get your pre approved, you know, lender sends you a list of documents every two days, then just go through that frustration. And that will give you a lot of empathy for buyers and sellers. And you’ll it’ll make you a better agent.
D.J. Paris 35:40
I just it You’re so right. And I’m telling all of our listeners, I’m supposed to be closing on the 15th. That’s not going to happen, because I don’t know why it’s not going to happen. I just know that. My attorney doesn’t know when the lender doesn’t know when the developer doesn’t know when. And I’m not really asking a ton of questions. But I’m just I’m a consumer at this point. I’m like, wow, it is really complicated. And I And boy, I wish I had an agent. I mean, obviously I’m an agent, but I wish I had somebody doing a lot of this for me because it is super confusing. I don’t know what’s going on the lending part of it. That was the easy part. That’s all solved for but but everything else, you’re absolutely right. It’s a great idea. I wanted to ask you here, too. And just to switch gears for a moment, because you have scaled you’re you’re somebody who knows how to scale with the systems you’ve put in place. Anyone who’s listening and you started out, you know, really with zero, you know, you were pounding the phones and getting clients the hardest possible way. But but also, you were able to scale year to year and really an amazing numbers even going from, you know, from for sales your first year, all the way to 90 sales within within a few years from there. What What advice do you have for even if it’s just a solo practitioner, somebody who wants to not 10x their business? Because of course, we know that’s the been a huge buzzword for a long time, but even just 2x I just want to double my production over the next year. Do you have any suggestions about what they can start to do to think about what it would take to get to that level?
Jay Bourgana 37:15
Yeah, I mean, it’s identifying first identifying what you’re good at what is the best thing you can do, obviously, in the beginning, you try everything. And then you know, you know, and you try everything at scale, like you do a lot of activities. So earlier, we were talking about, you know, pattern recognition, when you make a lot of calls, when you do 500 dials a day for seven days, you know, over, you know, a year and a half, it’s a big sample size for you to kind of recognize what works and what doesn’t. And sometimes you might spend a lot of time on one thing, and it doesn’t give you the most results. But it’s going to open up other things that are gonna allow you to find out what what’s going to work for you. So whenever you recognize that these two things work for me, whether it’s circle prospecting, or expireds, or door knocking or open houses or Zillow, or realtor.com, I don’t like I wouldn’t recommend someone brand new to invest in an online leads. Unless it’s not it, they need to know how to convert offline leads first and then go invest, you know, so they can get a higher return on investment. But if you’re once you’ve kind of like figure it out, figure out what you’re good at, then you’re you go all in on that one or two things, and then you could part of what you have to do you have to think as an owner, like a business owner, they don’t want to think as like a solo practitioner, because solo practitioner is just a self employed person. It’s like you’re, it’s almost like you’re an employee to yourself. So there’s a big inner people think that they’re working for themselves, it gives them freedom, it doesn’t, it’s actually actually the opposite. So it doesn’t give you any freedom at all. So you want to think as as a startup, as you know, as a small business. And then every your goal is to increase your income as quickly as possible. And then invest part of that income into growing the business don’t spend, don’t go get a new car, don’t get get you know, get the new peloton, go invest that money into your business and, and grow, help help it grow. Give it a little bit more fuel. That way you can you can create more opportunity that you can handle yourself. So you can you have you have opportunity to bring other people into, you know, if you and then the one of the things that a lot of people make a mistake because a lot of people that are that were successful that there are successful, that were successful maybe 1520 years ago, and they’re still successful now, but they were not able to make that transition from a solo practitioner self employed to owning a business and having you know, having a scalable business and they essentially gave themselves a ceiling. And the problem was is that they try to maximize for their or their profitability to their, to their pocket to what? What’s the disposable income, how much this cost seller disposable income, what is how much money can I take out of that business, and when they maximize for that, that means they’re not investing in the business. So they’re almost sucking the energy out of this tree that’s supposed to grow. And so instead of like taking too much, take as little as possible and reinvest back into the business, to allow it to grow. Because, you know, if you’re, you know, if if even if you do a million dollars in GCI, and you’re spending, you know, 900, there’s not much left for you to run that business or grow that business. Now, this is not gonna go that far. So and in for someone who just started and the numbers are pretty much the same. It just have to, you know, you have to just don’t, don’t grow your expenses. As your income grows, keep your expenses low, grow your income, reinvest back in reinvest back in reinvest back, and your goal is to create opportunity for other people who come into, so they can help you build it out.
D.J. Paris 41:06
Wow, boy, I think I think you just said it all. I think those that’s really, really great suggestion in the last, the last section I really want to talk about is home early. Tell us a little bit about the company. And I know you guys are in Southern California, you service, you know, huge area, you have lots and lots of agents, can you talk a little bit about why agents don’t join home early, what you guys provide and what you offer?
Jay Bourgana 41:29
Yeah. So we cover about three counties in Southern California, Orange County, LA County, and Riverside County. Agents join us because of what we talked about opportunity. So we we’ve created, you know, an embarrassment of riches in terms of leads, and in terms of referrals, and in terms of strategic relationships that we have with, you know, banks and investors and stuff that send us these opportunities for our agents to convert. So we just have too many opportunities, and we have agents coming to us. And the other, the other. The other side of is our culture. And our culture is based on two elements, growth and contribution. So we’re always seeking people that are growth focused, that are learning based, they’re not here to make a quick buck, but are here to grow to become a different person to become that person that you know that their potential to meet their potential. And so we’re very focused on personal development, we’re very focused on team development, we’re very focused on sharpening our mastery of our skills, we’re very focused on, you know, understanding the market, understanding the economy, understanding the consumer behavior, understanding the psychology delivering because the more we the more we deepen our knowledge and our growth, the more we can deliver better value to the consumer. And, and then we can, we can generate that, you know, that wow factor, and we can generate that returning clients over and over, and then their contribution and growth in terms of financial, so we want them to grow financially, year over year, to reinvest in themselves, you know, buy property, buy, you know, assets and create opportunity for their family create opportunity for other people. And then the contribution piece, which is essentially giving back, you know, giving back to the team giving back to their families, giving back to people close to them, and then giving back to the community in general, where we do a lot of, we participate in a lot of charitable events, we raise money, we go build houses, we do a lot of stuff for within the community, you know, and for us is just about people growing to a higher level, and then throwing the rope to someone else, and helping them grow back up that’s essentially is grow, rise up and then throw a rope to someone else. And essentially, that culture is ingrained within our team. And it seems to attract a lot of people.
D.J. Paris 43:58
Well, and we’d like to attract even more people to your firm. So any of our listeners or viewers who are in the Southern California area, and are interested in seeing what you know, other firms are offering, this is the time of year to do it, when typically business is a little slower. And we’d encourage you to check out home early, what’s the best way that an agent should reach out to you if they’re interested in exploring what you guys provide?
Jay Bourgana 44:20
Yeah, we have a joint home early.com page set up. It’s an easiest way my phone is probably showing on the screen they can call me as well text me, but yeah, and I mean, our website, our social media, where we’re available, it’s home early with 20 That’s it. I think if you if you make a mistake and you put home URL, AJ will show up. And Saba and, and yeah, and we’re happy to to chat.
D.J. Paris 44:46
And it’s also a good thing too, because they are what what Jay has really done is if you look at the home early.com website and join home early.com They are branded very specifically a lot of time and thought went into do branding is very different from how 99% of firms are out there either recruiting agents or just projecting an image to consumers as well. So I want you I want everyone listening and watching, even if you’re not interested in joining an iPhone, take a look at these two websites because so much it was there very intentionally built, where most realtor websites, whether they’re consumer focused or their recruiting focus really are kind of built the same way. And they all look about the same Jays websites really don’t. And you can see what the kind of person is looking to attract. There’s a culture of fun that that is very evident there. And it’s bright and fun and exciting and very different from what what most real estate websites look like. So go to home early.com And get home early with one E. And also if you’re interested in looking at to see what is for offers as a as an agent, go to join home early again, also with one join home. early.com. Jay, thank you so much for being on our show. You’ve given us so much incredible value during this hour here. So greatly appreciate your time and energy. And I want to thank for having me. Oh, you’re so welcome. I want to, I want to also remind everyone who’s listening or watching if you want to help our show continue to thrive and grow up, we asked you to do just two quick things for us. One, tell a friend think of one other real estate professional that could benefit from having heard this great interview with Jay and send them a link to our show. Easiest way to do that, send them to our website, which is keeping it real pod.com We have every episode we’ve ever done, they can stream it right there from their browser, or if they’re a podcast person haven’t pull up a podcast app, look for keeping it real, and they’ll find us. The other thing is to please follow us on Facebook, you can find firstname.lastname@example.org forward slash keeping it real pod every single day we find an article online that’s written specifically designed to help agents grow their business. And we post that there. And we also post all of our interviews live so you don’t have to wait for us to produce them. As we’re recording them. We broadcast those on Facebook. So again, facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod. Jay, thanks. Once again. This was wonderful. On behalf of the audience. We thank you for your time, all your wisdom, and also on behalf of Jay and myself. We want to thank the audience for continuing to support our show, and we will see everyone on the next episode. Jay thank you so much.
Jay Bourgana 47:15
Thank you it was a lot of fun.