Mark Castley, the COO of LuxuryProperty.com in Dubai goes back to the beginning of his journey in the real estate. Mark discusses the obstacles faced by top producers when they decide to start a team. Next, Mark describes how he got involved in the real estate luxury market and outlines what it’s like to work in one of the most super-rich markets in the World. Last, Mark points out what makes them stand out from other companies in the same market and the importance of building the community feeling inside the team.
If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!
Mark Castley can be reached at email@example.com.
This episode is brought to you by RealGeeks.
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 Paris I am your guide and host through the show and in just a moment we’re going to be speaking with luxury International Property realtor Mark Castlereagh. Before we get to mark a couple of quick announcements first, we rarely ever ask our audience for anything except telling a friend so please continue to tell friends about our show. But we are going to ask for one other thing just Well, probably not just this ones. But today it for sure. Which is to leave us a review on whatever system you might be listening to this episode on whether it’s Apple podcast, formerly iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher, Pandora, etc. Wherever you’re listening to us, please let us know what you think about the show that helps with our visibility, and also helps give us feedback about what you like and what we can do to improve. So please keep telling friends about us. And take three, three seconds, leave us a review, let us know what you like about the show. We really, really appreciate it. As always, thank you for continuing to support us and allow us to grow and help us get to the place we have now are worth 300 and almost 50 episodes, I think we’re been doing this five or six years. It’s all because of you guys. So really appreciate it. Thank you, thank you. And now on to our interview with Mark Castley.
Okay, today on the show, we have Mark Cassidy from the luxury property.com. Now Mark, Mark Castle has over 15 years of international real estate experience. He’s covered the United States, Canada, the Middle East, Asia and Europe, where he has coached and mentored top 1% agents. Mark is now the Chief Operating Officer of luxury property.com, he actually works on both the Dubai business and the digital side of the business, which has huge growth plans into the United States for 2022. I’d like everybody if you haven’t ever visited luxury property.com If you’re driving, pull over or wait. But if you aren’t driving, check it out. It is an amazing portfolio of High and High Net Worth sort of real estate. And Mark is sort of in charge of of a lot of the Dubai, the middle east part of it. So we’re really excited. And then all the years we’ve been doing the show, we haven’t really ever talked about international real estate. And our audience is always asking about it. How does it work? What does it entail? You know, if I have clients that are interested in sort of exploring those areas, what do I do? And Mark is here to talk about it. So Mark, welcome to the show.
Mark Castley 4:03
Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. Such a lovely intro. I like that.
D.J. Paris 4:08
I will thank you. Well, Mark has has if you’ve noticed, I’m sure Mark has a lovely British accent. And Mark is from Liverpool. And I am one of the biggest Beatles fans that I know. So I got very excited when Mark told me he was from Liverpool. But Mark has actually lived all over the world. And he’s lived the United States. He’s He’s lived, he’s moved around in Asia, the Middle East. So I would love mark to actually go all the way back to the beginning of your journey into real estate and sort of get us up to where we are today. Just because I think your story is particularly fascinating. But tell us a little bit about why real estate and how you got how you got involved.
Mark Castley 4:49
It Yeah, uh, well, it’s funny because it’s a it’s a question people often say to me is, you know, was this was this what you wanted at school and, and, and it wasn’t, you know, when I was At school, I thought I was the best football soccer player. And wasn’t. But I was confident this was me, you know, going to be a professional mom used to say to me did not Well, maybe you won’t be you know, you’ve got to
D.J. Paris 5:15
have another plan.
Mark Castley 5:17
And I was like, No, I don’t need an electronic claim about that. It wasn’t, you know, I wasn’t a right fit for a career in soccer. Dad said to me, Well, look, you’ve got a job. And I was like, really haven’t planned ahead for this. So what do I do? And he took me to a local estate agents, you know, a real estate company on the high street. And I was 16. I think at the time 70, maybe 70, more probably 60, open the door. And I remember the guy’s name was Chris. He said this, you know, he needs a job. And you’re like, well, we’re not recruiting. And, you know, he’s clearly not of the age to be working well.
D.J. Paris 5:57
We don’t need a footballer in the office.
Mark Castley 6:01
Why are you in my shop, and he’s like, Just give him a job, any job. And they gave me the tea boy job, which is, as it sounds, I was making tea in bringing biscuits. And it was, you know, the salary on it was 60 pounds a week, which is about $80 a week. And had to pay keep, and it was like, Why is this not a job? You know, that’s not real. But this is the you know, the expectation felt reality wasn’t observable. The guy who owned the company here was a franchise of a national brand in the UK. And he owned quite a bit of property. And he’s quite well being and he was, you know, he told me quite a lot. And he brought me open. And let me go into viewings. And what I realized really quick was real estate couldn’t be really easy. Because I didn’t have any outside influence, there was no market, you should do this market, you should do that. I was a door one from a t porur to a door open. And I figured out when I opened some doors, and I said certain things or have aware that something a certain way, I would do a deal. And I worked my way open with my oppa. And all of a sudden I was head of property management from tea boy and I was like, What is going on? Wow, this is great. And then from there, you know, my crew progressed into buying and selling properties. I think a lot of realtors ventured down this path of flipping homes. And I did really well. I’ve built up a deposit ended up doing we call it in the UK. They want them to get worse. So with I don’t know how I forget what it’s called in the US, but basically, by property undervalue decent work, too. And all of that was done on an option agreement as making great money. And then all of a sudden the market crashed. I said to the missus issues, only my Dell friend at the time, I said, Oh, no. What did we do? You know, the markets crashed. You know what next? So I looked at Peabody, and that was that was actually my first international stock was over into Dubai came over fresh off the boat. And the goal was to just make as much money as possible, but just had the financial crisis. It was 2000. And the 2009, early 2010 share market was like it was a buyers market. Right. So I think it’s the only market is tough, really is the plateau market. If it’s a seller’s market, that’s okay. If it’s a buyers market, that’s okay, too. You just got to adjust your game plan and your profit. Yeah, that’s it. So this was a buyers market. So we were pretty aggressive in terms of offering loan getting deals done, and there’s lots of business happening in the market picked up. And when we found out, you know, quite a long story short, I found out I was having the little one, she’s six now, when we found out about here we were like, right, we probably need to stop what we’re doing in Dubai, which is Rolex Range Rover, business class here, do this, do this, but we’ve got a little person on the way let’s rein all of that in as fast as possible, moved over to the US and I was coaching. So had quite a lot of the top 1% in Florida. And it was just incredible. We lived in in Davenport, a couple of minutes outside of Disney and we have a little tail so maybe they were just good fun. For the goal was you know, I was tasked to help real estate agents go from being a real estate agent into a real estate team. Yeah, so that’s a common problem, isn’t it with the top 1% is it’s not you know, growth, and it’s very much dependent on them doing activities
D.J. Paris 9:59
scale. feeling is very difficult when you get to a certain number of personal deals. And then you’re basically back to trading hours for dollars and trying to figure out, how do we get to that next level. And usually it involves building a team. But then then the skill set changes, right? Like now you’re managing and building a team versus just doing your own personal production. And that becomes a whole learning curve in and of itself.
Mark Castley 10:23
And that’s the thing, right? So what I find is, teachers here are teachers, to anybody that will listen to me, because I genuinely think this is the most important thing is you have to have a business model that closes strangers. And that’s if you can focus on closing people into commission checks that you’ve never met before, and it wasn’t a referral, then you have a duplicatable business model. And we can scale that. The problem is if you’ve got a network at your soccer club, or tennis club, or whatever that might be your country club. It’s hard to duplicate though, on a 10x scale, with 10 people who can’t enter that market,
D.J. Paris 11:03
right? Because you can’t just throw money at that situation, or what you can do is you have to find other people and basically duplicate yourself. But they have to build those relate. Yeah, if you’re working solely by sphere of influence, you can build a wonderful business, but it’s not really a scalable business, right? Yeah, it’s finite,
Mark Castley 11:23
you know, because there’s only so much you can do. And then the rest is help. So you bring help in and, and this was something that I realized, so a lot of the a lot of the US and Canada bring in isa services from the Philippines. So I was like, Okay, well, if this is the common trend, and we’re going to bring an ISA and from Manila, I will go. So I went to Manila, and I was training them for a couple of weeks. And it was really interesting, you know, to figure out the objections of the got that, you know, the the concerns they had around the positions and really understand everything about them. And that’s something that made me realize when I went back to the US, and I’m talking about these amazing people in the Philippines who were just so much better than me on the phone, you know, and, and that’s the goal, you’re always gonna try and bring better people in. But what was happening is people the top 1% got to that level where the credit card was able to be run for anything they wanted. That wasn’t the right move in the most part. Because if you want to do a duplicatable, Stranger business, and you’ve never made a cold call to a buyer before, you can’t teach someone how to do it. Right? You don’t. That’s the that was the problem. So I went to Manila figured this out. And it was super interesting. The biggest problem in Manila is Wi Fi could go sour.
D.J. Paris 12:47
I know this because we have help at our company, via virtual assistants in the Philippines. We have seven of them who live all all throughout the Philippines. And you’re right, we’re I mean, they’re just they’re exposed to tremendous weather. I mean, I think I think they’re considered the most vulnerable nation in the world for weather for extreme weather. So their Wi Fi, their electricity. It goes, yeah, it cycles. Yeah.
Mark Castley 13:14
And that was, that was something that was interesting, because it made me realize, I’m a forever learning of revenue, teaching ourselves and being told by others, that to be successful, you have to understand every single part of your business before you can, you can educate on it. Because it’s it’s not valid education otherwise. So you pick the phone up and make 50 calls a day for the next couple of weeks, you’re probably going to understand that a little bit better, and be able to assist. And that was really interesting, you know, in the coaching, I love coaching. You know, I say this now, my where I am now, this is my forever home. And I say that to everybody, because I absolutely, I think I have the best job on the planet. And, you know, it’s it’s one of them where I’m trying to bring the best possible people in. And I’m always trying to bring people in who are better than me. And I think I’m the best in the world at what I do. And I’m trying to find better than me and successfully over the past couple of weeks TV. I’ve brought people into our business who would just incredible, but I’ve had to go through that process, right, you know, to see what makes sense. When they come to me and asked me a question mark, what do I do? And you don’t know the answer. That’s when that’s when you’re on a rapid decline. So yes, it was really important to go through that process. And that was as good because we got to travel a lot.
D.J. Paris 14:44
I imagine. But you know, I want to just go back to something you’ve said because we talked to so many top producers on the show who work exclusively by referral through their sphere of influence. And you’re right at some point, they just hit a ceiling of of, there’s only a certain amount of transactions they can physically do in a given year. And it creates, as you said, a finite, you know, sort of growth potential or certainly a some sort of ceiling. And they then have to either find a partner, who maybe has a similar sort of business model, or maybe they start divvying up response that bringing on a team and divvying up responsibilities, and that frees up some more time for them to work their sphere more, but what we don’t talk about a lot, and there certainly are agents I’ve interviewed who do talk about it, but a lot of people don’t talk about it is this idea of adding in, you know, working on internet leads, working on on, you know, a different sort of the strangers, you know, trying to convert strangers, whether it’s an internet lead, or through some other method, or you just meet somebody out somewhere. But trying to convert those into into clients, a lot of agents have never really been taught that strategy. And they don’t realize that’s something that can be taught, like, as you were saying, to isas can learn those skills, because it’s a very sort of specific set of skills that’s teachable, it’s repeatable, and it’s something that you can invest in, and, and use to scale your business. So I just wanted to make that point for anyone that that didn’t quite catch that, that Mark was was saying, you know, that is a way it may be whether you think it’s a good idea or not depends on your own personality, and, but going through that process could really add a nice stream of revenue. And it’s something you don’t really have to do, you can hire people to assist, you can hire lead providers, you can hire isas to take those calls as qualified people and get them on the schedule. And that’s something that can sort of exist independently of an individual agent’s time and energy.
Mark Castley 16:48
Yes, it’s such a powerful growth tool. You know, we see conversion rates across the world with different people I speak to from 0.2%, right the way up to 12%. And so much higher, obviously, with referrals. So what you have to do is, I mean, I hate this profile, everybody at this profile myself, my wife, and everybody I come into contact with just to better understand how to communicate with people. And, you know, I think you’ve just got to put yourself in a position where you do something that matches your personality profile, if you’re a high day, just don’t advertise on Facebook, right? His car, you’re not going to be able to handle the hundreds of leads that you get through Facebook, if you’re right. It’s just, it’s stressful, you know, and there’s different, I mean, that’s an exaggeration, but you get it right, there’s got to be something that matches your personality profile and matches your bank balance, and then gives you the return on your investment. You know, we we want to be looking at a 10x on any investments. For every $1,000 you spend, you just have to be getting 10 bucks. And if you if you’ve got that investment, it’s not so it’s not so bad to provide in the time spent isn’t isn’t crazy.
D.J. Paris 18:08
Yeah, it’s really, really important, this idea of thinking about return on investment, it’s, it’s very easy, I think, as a real estate professional, or for our listeners to think exclusively about their sphere. And maybe that’s where the majority of your thoughts should go. Because those are people that are most likely to already know like, and trust you to use you in a transaction. And of course, that makes sense, deepen those relationships, keep keep those those people close, as close as you can. But then it’s like, okay, well, if that’s what I’m best at, or maybe I’m not great on the phone, I’m not great at you know, cold door knocking, which, you know, probably the day of COVID doesn’t really know exist, but but just this idea of reaching out to strangers, maybe that’s just not something I’m good at. So my me personally, I’m not a real estate producer myself, because I do things like this, but I wouldn’t be good at that I’m good at deepening my relationships. So what I would consider doing is just like we have for our isa team here at our company, which they actually helped me recruit agents, because I don’t want to pick up the phone and make cold calls to other agents and say, Hey, come over and join our company, we’d love to have you but those calls are really powerful. And so I have a team of people doing that for me, and they get lots and lots of appointments. So there are ways that that you know these outside and we live in this worldwide gig economy now and you just have the ability to hire people from for example the Philippines from other places in the world that would be thrilled to have this job. And you know, there’s just it’s so great because my cold callers they make hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of cold calls a week for me to realtors saying hey, if you’re ever thinking about joining another firm we’d love to chat and it’s not it’s it’s it’s that’s what they do. And it works out quite well for us. If I had to do it, I would have phone hesitation I wouldn’t want to do just I just wouldn’t want to make 200 dials a day, which is what I used to do 20 years ago in a different industry. And I sort of know, that’s not really for me, but it needs to be part of my business. So I have other people assisting and then they, they set it up for me. And then hopefully I close it. So I’m so glad you mentioned that we don’t talk about that enough on the show. But I want to talk about luxury property as well. because.com Because this is such a cool, cool company. The website is amazing. Tell us how did you get to luxury property
Mark Castley 20:30
by fate really, really was you know, when the stars align, and they really did align for this position. I had quite a lot of coaching clients still in the US. When we came to Dubai, me the missus in the little one, we were to escape the UK because it was cold, and COVID. And nobody could do anything. So it gets political party by as fast as possible. And I was dealing with my coaching clients in the UK, and I really enjoyed them. And then by chance, somebody that I introduced to real estate about 12 years ago when I was first here, reached out and was like, hey, look, you know, look at what we’re doing. What you posted a comment really good. He’s still an agent here do extremely well. He’s one of the top agents in the country. So I was like, Okay, I met the C CEO, Jason who’s genuinely the he’s just the best, his vision and everything. He’s he’s the best. And we met him you know, when you get on with somebody and it’s like instant. I want to work with you no matter what it takes, because where you want to go. And it was one of them relationships where he I think he could see incredible value in what I brought to the table. So I said, look, let’s let’s do this. So I came in, took over the sales team. And we started making incredible headway in the luxury space. So we play in a in a whole nother realm and quite a lot of other brokerages in the world to be honest. And the reason we are able to do that is we generate leads at incredible price brackets, just because of our URL. It’s It’s outrageous, you know, luxury property law calm, you expect to see luxury property when you go on there. And then when you do, you’re like this is amazing. And then if you actually want to buy it, you have that level of trust, because our brand is so powerful, you come through become a lead, and we definitely have options for you. So it’s a real nice match, that not a lot of others can compete in that space, because they’re just traditional brokerages within the region that don’t have that brand awareness, though. It’s just outrageous. You know,
D.J. Paris 22:45
it is interesting, because my initial thought would be high net worth individuals. And Oracle’s made me call the mega high net worth individuals are sort of the space you play in those, you know, the prevailing sort of common sense, or I’ll just say my own common sense, which is absolutely I guess wrong. But my my, my thought would have been as a marketer, oh, those people don’t go on the web to look at properties to the same extent that somebody who’s not in that, in that, that sort of, you know, tax bracket might. And you know, what’s so cool is of course they do they do just like anybody else. And they need a place to go and look for for these types of properties throughout the world. And luxury property.com has that. And it is amazing that you actually generate leads through that because again, you think, well, someone’s not going to fill out a lead forum who’s, you know, their net worth is, you know, three or $400 million? No, apparently that that’s exactly how it works. Because they’re human beings just like anyone else, they want us find property that appeals to them. Especially I imagine your average client when they purchase for example, in Dubai, this is likely not their first home, I’m guessing this is they have multiple multiple properties. Do you have any sort of guests on on what the average person like the number of, of homes they may have throughout the world? It’s certainly got to be more than a few, I’m guessing.
Mark Castley 24:09
Yeah, it’s a lot. I mean, just to dial back into the lead gen side of it, which is so funny, because I had the exact same outlook as you should. My business model in real estate was, if you advertise on a real estate portal, you’re going to pay a lot more for your lead, but it’s going to be a lead who wants to buy some real estate so it’s worthwhile. And that’s what we did. And that’s what Dubai is built on two major portals here. You make loads of money from them. It’s great, but it costs a lot of money. I was here. I was like, No way. I mean, I’m talking like senior politicians. But we’ve had just insane people come through our CRM and lots
D.J. Paris 24:51
of nondisclosure agreements that probably get signed,
Mark Castley 24:55
trying to not get in trouble.
D.J. Paris 24:58
And you think DLP, Ebola.
Mark Castley 25:01
So you see them come through and you’re like, really that person. And then you, you know, when the guys call and they’re like, yeah, that’s, that’s who that was. And they’ll take the call. And sometimes it’s a PA or you know, it’s not always a bullet transaction is that we do it. And it really is like, it’s absolutely insane. To go back to the question about how many homes, what we find is, and this is more of a coaching element. So the model is, in any real estate across the planet, you need to be face to face with your clients to do business. And there’s just no other way to do it. So if you if you try and do business any other way, you probably won’t be as successful as if you’re face to face. And what we found is, because it’s such a high volume area, you might speak to one guy, if it gives you one property over the phone, and maybe you sell it, maybe you rent it, whatever happens if you get face to face with them. It’s very rare, you don’t get their full portfolio from them. And it’s interesting. Yeah, and it’s very rare that less than 10. Because the people that you deal with hear us all it’s a it’s a melting pot of the world’s wealthy. So you meet people love. So I’m from Super working class parts of the world where everybody where I’m from, is from where I’m from, and nobody
D.J. Paris 26:30
moves to Liverpool. They’re from Liverpool.
Mark Castley 26:34
I’m probably the only guy to ever escape me and the Beatles. That was it. And, you know, so when you get here, and you meet these people from all over the world with incredible wealth, what you find is they all successful investing in real estate on a regular basis, making incredible profits. So it’s, it makes sense to continue to put money in but we’re very tax efficient here. Because there’s no tax. So which is great. So it makes sense to keep buying property. And then you find this, people will send you a spreadsheet and say, here’s what I have. And it may be 40 properties 50 properties, sometimes it might be six, but it’s very rarely one or two. Because once you’ve been exposed to Dubai and being successful here, you people continue to buy because it’s mostly cash purchases. Sure. Finance is super cheap here anyway, you know, we we follow a US model. So the finance in the US is super cheap at the moment. So people can buy finance, but it’s it’s pretty cash rich part of the world. And yeah, we finally, you know, we’ve got lots of crypto guys in this space of the minute, you know, the, the, probably the seven or $8 million in a both. We’ve got lots of volume in the crypto guys. They’re coming in, liquidate some crypto buying luxury assets, which is you know, which is fantastic. And that part is we cover a million dollars, right up to about three or $400 million. That’s like our price bracket. Yeah. And what we’ve found is, right in the middle of that is where the where the volume is, you know, the number of leads we get on a daily basis. $25 million in both is triple digits.
D.J. Paris 28:28
Right every day. I mean, that’s incredible.
Mark Castley 28:32
Yeah. Wow. And then the thing is, when you’ve got and this is I tell I tell my guys this all the time. Dubai in real estate model is not exclusive in the most part. So the US model is everything’s exclusive exclusive. Yeah, you will exclusive and very most for 99% of the time you take the listing that you always think that it’s all here, it’s you can have those things if you want no problem. So you know, stock is king if you’ve got good stock price correctly with great images, great description, video drone, and you’re driving traffic to it. There’s there’s buyers out there at all price points.
D.J. Paris 29:19
What’s it like to to work with somebody in that mega High Net Worth space? Meaning how often is it a team of people that you now have to sort of win over not just the principal person, the the, you know, the high net worth individual, but then also maybe a surrounding team of advisors of accountants of attorneys, maybe even a publicist? Does that come up a lot where you’re dealing with with now a group of people who support that person? You know, I imagine in those types of clients, the there are teams already in place and you get added to the team.
Mark Castley 29:57
Yeah, that’s right. So there’s The hierarchy to work through what the truth is if it’s ever, ever not an investment property. So the second, third, fourth home, this holiday home was a weekend home, because there’s people in Dubai, who buy weekend property, or live somewhere and buy some somewhere for the weekend. And that might only be 10 minutes away, but a weekend property. The truth is, and it’s the same in the US as the same everywhere in the world. That decision maker is the wife every time.
D.J. Paris 30:32
So she’s the one going over.
Mark Castley 30:35
So we’ve had we’ve had full teams come to market, and there’s a due diligence process as a legal team reviewing contracts. We’ve had press people, we’ve had security teams for top level politicians who are checking the access with the elevators and the escape doors and all this type of stuff. Sure, then, if she doesn’t like it, no, get on board. And that’s that’s it, it’s the same every time.
D.J. Paris 31:02
So so it’s it’s a meet the Meet the spouse as quickly as possible and try to win win over their, their their approval, and trust, because they’re the ones that are going to pull the trigger. That’s, that just makes your right it makes perfect sense. Of course it does. It’s the same with the condo I just bought with my girl, my girlfriend who were not married, we hopefully will be. But even though it was my my purchase, I really still had to have a very serious conversation because I said, this is where we’re going to be living. What do we think? Which was really what do you think? Are you ready to sign off on this? And I had to get her I had to get her sign off? Because I know from from previous, his, you know, mistakes I’ve made that that if the partner doesn’t sign off on it, yeah, you’re in, you’re in for some trouble as the as the spouse. That makes perfect sense.
Mark Castley 31:54
And it’s funny, because, you know, when I moved to the US, what people used to say to me is the number one question I would get is, Mark, can you teach me how to sell in the million dollar plus price bracket? And often I would say you already are, it’s literally you’re doing the same thing. There’s nothing different at all, it’s the same process, the people are the same, this is nothing different. You I would prefer the $10 million dollar price bracket or the 500 Grand because the 1 million is there’s a lot of ego there. Sure. And I don’t mean this negative because I love everybody. However, there’s a lot of ego around that million dollar price bracket, and depending on your location may be slightly different. But when you then go into the ultra high net worth levels, these guys are the easiest people to deal with, you know, the super chilled about decision making, and there’s no there’s no stress around the low offer. I mean, I seen a property in the US today, you probably seen it was dropped $30 million, or went from 110 to 80 million. anybody doing anything like that it’s not that stressed over losing $30 million on real estate. So it’s actually a much easier conversation. The million dollar price point brings egos and it’s a bit of drama. And then the sub 750 grand price point is I think is the three because you do that small, you know, I don’t broke up because I think it’s a conflict of interest of I do. Because I take out a lead. So you know, you don’t want to be in a position where I get
D.J. Paris 33:39
the boss is taking all the leads.
Mark Castley 33:42
Right? So I don’t do it. But if I did, I don’t think I’d work with sellers and I still think I’d probably sit at the half a million dollar price point because that’s the type of people that I like to deal with. You know, so and you mentioned this before, but you’ve got to find the people that you really want to work with. So you find the lead generation system that works for you find your niche in the market, that should be duplicatable, but for me, it’s like you know first time homebuyers mover OPERS little kid that’s like, that’s who I am. You know, I’ve got a little kid you know, so that so it’s easy to talk to, it’s easy to relate to. And they were the easiest people I thought to deal with. And you play at that the million dollar price point is too funny place to tender. Yeah. Because it’s
D.J. Paris 34:33
it’s probably people who have earned their way up to a million dollars and they are very, you know, there’s a lot of fear about keeping it and moving it up when you play in the ultra high net worth space. As you said, there’s just less fear there’s, there’s more teams in place. They they’re people that you know, can maybe they’ve had generations of wealth so it’s really not something that concerns them on. On it. You know, a level of one transaction isn’t going to make or break them. So that makes perfect sense. But you’re right. Like, once you get to that million space, you again, you might have people who are easy and wonderful, but you also might have people that just got their way there. And I’ve been moving up. And now all of a sudden, you know, I have I have family members like that, that, that have the few that have just incredible estates, but not in the ultra high net worth space, these are people that have started from nothing and move their way up. And, and they’re cash poor, just like the rest of us, or, you know, their house poor, I guess you should say, and they’re stressed because they have to work, they have to keep their mortgage going, they have to, you know, pay the taxes, which might be, you know, $100,000 a year. And so, so these are, so you’re right, I totally understand that. With these family members, I used to talk to them and say, Wow, your life is when I was younger, so wonderful. They go, Oh, no, I’m as stressed out as anyone who, you know, it’s they don’t live month to month necessarily, but there’s a lot of fear of, if I lose my job, this all goes away. That’s obviously a different type of fear that somebody in the high net worth space as. But I guess on the flip side, you then also have to make sure the team is on board with they have a team with with that particular investment or purchase. And I imagine things fall apart sometimes because of that
Mark Castley 36:18
all the time. And I think you know, that’s when the stress really comes in on the broker level sharknose give me no control over that. Yeah. And if you’re in a position where you have a deal to go through, and you will, you’ll make $100,000 $200,000 from it, and some cases, four or $500,000 commissions on transaction, which doesn’t go through. You know, it’s like we, our training system, and within our company is really robust. So we can bring non experienced younger brokers through the ranks and have them top producers really quick. But for a 24 year old kid fresh off the plane, who’s older, you know, maybe making $100,000. And then they’re not. It’s an emotional roller coaster,
D.J. Paris 37:05
Mark Castley 37:07
It really interesting.
D.J. Paris 37:08
Well, and there must be tremendous competition in Dubai as well, on the on the broker side. I mean, there has to be because, of course, the the sort of amount of commissions that are at stake. So you have tremendous competition, I’m sure. What do you think it is that luxury property, again, also, aside from having an amazing ly user friendly website with with really cool properties to peruse. But what is it that you think your team does differently than some of the other shops out there that are trying to capture that same business in your area?
Mark Castley 37:39
So we do a lot of ongoing personal development. And that comes from not not a lot of other companies have somebody in post with experience across the world who can handle objections? Because if you think you know, let’s say you’re a British guy, who moved from the UK to Dubai, and set up a real estate company, and you do really well not great, but to develop your agents and, and the types of clients that we get in Dubai, a multinational, so we do business all over the world, coming to Dubai. So the fact that I’ve been able to travel across the world, the fact that the organizations traveled across the world, and quite a lot of our brokers have allowed us to put ourselves in a position where we don’t lose deals because of lack of education. And in the most part deals, that’s why they fall off, right? Sure. You must have seen so many times buyer wants the property seller wants to sell agent messes the deal up deal doesn’t happen. It’s insane, right? So we don’t have that problem with the company because we have daily personal development. So we just launched something called the 5am. Club. Now, I live out on the you know, the Palm Island, as you’ve seen, it’s called Beautiful. Yes. So that’s I live out there and 5am. Every Monday, the whole office is invited to my house, we all get changed. We go on a run, we do some exercise, we get breakfast, and then we have a mastermind. Now. Let’s go it takes so many boxes. It’s great for retention. It’s great for team morale, but the truth is what the what happens there is anybody who’s willing to give me a 5am start and come and run with me. They deserve to mastermind with the best in the business. And what you find is you get the brand new rental agents who are hungry, and we’ve got the number one two and three brokers in Dubai work in this office. So if you can have breakfast with them every Monday and pick their brain and that’s the type of thing we do that others don’t. We also do something really cool. We did it today called deal clinic, where I bring as anybody’s welcome in the office over 65 brokers. It’s an office based job so you know people come in normally 2530 in the room. What I say is Okay, pick a deal. So somebody will We’ll be working on a deal. And I’ll write it out on the board. And we’ll say, Okay, tell me about the buyer. Tell me about the seller, what’s the dynamics of the deal? Are over the line yet? But instead of me just answering the questions, everybody in the room does, what? Why don’t you do this, or I remember I said this one time. And what that does is built community within the team, which is, which is amazing. But also it gives peer information, this guy is really good. So there’s a referral to pass out a huge issue. And then all of a sudden, we do multiple transactions that I genuinely don’t believe would have happened if we didn’t have this ongoing personal development. And what that ultimately result in is great service for a client. So if somebody comes through whether they’re ultra high net worth or not, they have to get the best possible service from us. And if we’ve got all of this going on in the background to help, they should, you know, they should look at this world class service from us, because that’s what we’re set up to do. And all the little details we do in the background really point towards the success of the agents.
D.J. Paris 41:10
And it’s probably I’m guessing, no different than most of the brokerages here locally in Chicago, at least that I’m familiar with, which are lovely firms, there’s lots of great firms with wonderful resources and great technology and great brands. But that idea of ongoing actual skill development, I won’t even call it Training, because training is too generic and training. Everybody says they do training, but offering skill development. And like just this idea of once a week we get in a room and we talk about our deals, if nothing else, and somebody says Well, here’s the sticking point with this one transaction, here’s where I’m stuck, I’m not sure where to go. At the very least you’re going to get as you said, you’re maybe find a referral partner. But even if not, if you don’t find that you’re gonna get options, because people are gonna say, well try it like you said, Try this, try that. And if nothing else, it just builds more more quivers in their in their in are more arrows in their quiver. Sorry. But again, just skill development is something that I have found to be at most firms severely lacking here, here in our local area, not to here to criticize any firms, because there’s lots of great ones, but it is shocking how rare it is. And then how for the firms that do offer it. A lot of agents don’t participate in it. And it seems to me like boys skill development is, well, you know, you were on your way to being a professional football player. I mean, you know, discipline and skill development is everything.
Mark Castley 42:37
It’s everything. And the thing is, and this the harsh truth, is the only reason that other companies don’t do it. And I never say anything bad about any company. And of course, everything is everybody wants their own business separately, but the only reason you don’t do skill development is if you can’t, right, exactly. And that’s it right you know, so it’s not a negative, really, it’s a different business model, they
D.J. Paris 43:00
don’t have the staff in place to do it. Or
Mark Castley 43:02
that’s probably the reason why because if you have a business, the best way to make money is have skilled employees. So if you’ve got a real estate company, and you’ve got skilled real estate agents, everybody makes more money. So if you have the ability to empower your agents with new skills every week, you would tell me why. There’s no better feeling. And you’ll you’ll back me on this, I’m sure. Then if somebody offered me $100,000 cash, or the ability to see one of my agents make $100,000, because of me helping them I would I would take the agents every time, every single day of the week, I would say I want them, I want them to make money because of something I’ve helped them with Beats 100 grand every day of the week. And when people come in to me and say, Mark, what do I do? And I say, here’s what we’re going to do. And then I bring the top performing agents in Dubai and say, What do you think we should do? And then I bring the CEO in, and he says something, and then we bring everybody else in. And all of a sudden this person who had no access to education was good. Some of the top people on the planet held the number the rental contract. It’s just outrageous. And the difference, right is that that feeling is just cannot beat it. When somebody says thank you. I made money because of you. Yeah, you win.
D.J. Paris 44:30
What’s it’s that expression? Similar? Not not a perfect corollary to this expression. But But I think it makes sense where you say like a rising tide raises all ships, right. So this idea that everyone in the firm comes together to help the agent, maybe it doesn’t directly benefit that top producer to help you know the new guy, but it really does because if that little if that new guy can get some deals close that helps the brand and that’s going to help the top producer all of it all that works together and there’s again there’s There’s a lot of joy in helping somebody and seeing them be successful. And it’s great that you foster that sort of environment where it’s not so much about competition, because you were sort of saying this earlier, when you said other other businesses, other real estate brokerages in your area, like, hey, there’s room for everybody. There’s room. Yeah. Like, there
Mark Castley 45:19
really is. The space for everyone is now that’s the thing, seven and a half 1000 Real estate agents in Dubai, it’s a pretty small place in comparison to the actual available units that are here. But there’s still space for us all. And and that’s, that’s the thing, isn’t it, you know, you just got to make sure you take your piece of the pie. And you’ve got to make sure that piece of the pie is big enough for it to be worthwhile. And that’s it right, you know, that this space forever.
D.J. Paris 45:47
So I love in this conversation, you’ve done a few things. Number one, you’ve reiterated the importance of coaching, or skill development, which I mean, if we think about, you know, you You’re, you’re a former athlete, and obviously still a very fit person, you know, the importance of coaching, right? Every athlete almost on the planet has a coach, whether they’re amateur or professional, you know, certainly the professionals all have coaches. And then we also talked about this myth of that you really busted or, you know, sort of really got me my mind is almost a little scrambled. But this idea that high net worth people are in some ways, just like the rest of us, they’re going on websites or looking at properties they’re submitting requests to to see a property or to learn more about it. That blows that blows my mind. But of course, that makes perfect sense. You know, they’re human beings, just like the rest of us, they have their internet on their phone, just like the rest of us. So they’re just playing. They’re not going to Zillow, because Zillow doesn’t really, I mean, sometimes they might be, but that really is catering to their particular needs. And then this idea of also treating your business like a business and finding other ways to, as you were saying, like to 10x. You know, we hear about that a lot. And there’s a lot of gurus out there talking about scaling and how to get 10x or 100x. And it’s like, well, if you’re if you’re trading hours for dollars, which is really what most Realtors even though that’s not exactly the job, but at some point, you do sort of just hit, I’ve only got so many hours in the day to stay in touch with my sphere to meet new people. And then you can say, Okay, well, that part I can’t really duplicate, maybe that’s just, it’s too, it’s too intimate, I have to keep those relationships. And now I can add, you know, this other thing where maybe I’m buying leads from a lead provider, or maybe I’m generating them through through my own website, like luxury property.com, which again, it’s just blowing my mind that you guys get that kind of that kind of client that visits the site and also raises their hand to say I want to learn more, I just assume people don’t play in that space. Of course they do. And so I want everybody to check out luxury property.com Because not only is it a great search engine for properties in that whole ultra high net worth space. But notice how its laid out what I particularly love, and just from a user experience perfect perspective. I love this because all it has on the what we call above the fold, which means when you visit a website, and you just see what you see without scrolling, so simply called above the fold or above the scroll, and you have nothing in there other than a search engine and a lovely picture of Dubai in the background. And that’s all you need. Because if you’re at luxury property.com The of course the URL says what it is I don’t think there needs much explanation. You don’t need a tagline above the search bar that says find your next luxury property because of course, they’re luxury property.com. I love the minimalism of that above the fold. And it seems sort of silly. And maybe a point not worth mentioning. But I assure you, if you make things easy for people to search for whatever it is you’re selling, then you’re going to just have people use the website more effectively. And I love that you guys went real minimal above the fall below the fold. There’s all sorts of information about who you guys are and what you do and, and your leadership. And that’s wonderful too. And there’s just amazing things but as you scroll, but I love the fact that you very intentionally put nothing almost at the top other than please search for properties is essentially what it’s asking me to do. And of course, there’s no real other option I’m either going to search or I’m going to scroll and learn about and I’m going to go back up to the top and search. And I want to make that point because Realtors oftentimes build really extravagant websites with really cool cutting edge sort of features that don’t necessarily translate into leads. So I love the fact that you guys went really and I don’t I don’t want to say simple because simple sounds like it’s unsophisticated it is not but I just love that simple almost always wins the game or I should say direct direct wins the game.
Mark Castley 49:50
It does my I think you know, that’s something you see. Not just online. You see this with real estate agents, newly licensed or trying to reinvent when they If they find things to do that don’t result in commission checks. And that can be, hey, look, I’ve got the best website in the world and say, Okay, did you get any traffic or any leads from it? Not yet, we’ll look what I can do. And I say, okay, and then they say, Oh, I’ll look at my business card. If you scan it, it’s a VR of media. That’s amazing. Don’t get me wrong, that’s amazing. But if you keep it simple, and you go, you will meet a buyer face to face, and you show him a property that he wants to buy. That’s where the value is. That’s it, it’s all in you keep it as simple as possible. And that’s the same here. You know, it really is, that’s the same here the goal is, keep it as simple as possible, don’t show somebody something they’re going to fall in love with, and get an offer accepted on it and move on to the next.
D.J. Paris 50:50
Yeah, it makes perfect sense. And for everyone listening, if we think like, okay, what are the action steps here? Well, if you do have clients in this sort of ultra high net worth space, you need to be aware of a website like luxury property calm, because even if your clients are only moving within the United States, and if they have properties throughout, you know, the the coasts and wherever else they may live, they are might not think about international as an investment or having a weekend home. And as an agent, you have this amazing ability to visit a website like luxury property, find some of those ideas and say, Hey, I was thinking about you, Mr. or Mrs. Client. And I just saw this and I don’t know if this appeals to you or not, but I just wanted to let you know, I was thinking about you check this out this, this might be something that you want to take a look at. And if nothing else, that makes you look incredibly valuable to somebody, because I know at some of those high net worth levels, they love people bring them ideas, whether it’s a business idea, or something. So you as an agent, have this great ability for any of your clients that that play in that higher space to be of be visited of luxury property yourself, luxury property.com, and take a look and see what they offer and then pass it over to your clients. And then remember, you can then submit, if you wanted a referral, you would Mark’s team has some of the best agents, a of the top three agents in all of Dubai and they only have 65 agents out of 7000 something in the Dubai area. So obviously their team can take great care of your client, but you need to be the one to facilitate that. That idea. And what a great website that anybody can use. It’s not behind a paywall. It’s not limited to, you know, some sort of anyone could access it, and your team will sort of take it from there. And I just I just love that.
Mark Castley 52:38
Absolutely. I mean, when, whenever I speak to guys in the US, I always say it’s insane how much traffic we get from the US. So there’s clearly a demand there. So if you have clients, you know, typically a million dollars plus bought in the most part, it’s it’s $10 Million and above. You will have clients like that and if you do we will be happy to help my what’s okay with you, you can share my email. Please. It’s just mark ma RK at luxury property law calm. People send me stuff every day. Whenever I do podcast, I get the best replies from people. I absolutely love it. I was on a podcast a couple of weeks ago, somebody listened and jumped on and said, Mark, I’m moving to Dubai next week. This is this is awesome. I tell you. This is why video is so important. She said to me, Mark, I’m moving to Dubai 14th of February. Rather than send you a long email. I’ve done a video for you. Okay, clicked into the video. Hey, Mark, I’m moving to Dubai wants to come and work for you. And I was like, yeah, that’s just the meet. She was on a zoom. And she starts next month. I was like this. That’s why video is so cool. Isn’t it? Like it’s so cool. It’s the best way to do things. Well. I always meet great people gonna do podcasts. So I would love for anybody to reach out. Even if you’ve just got questions on Dubai. Like some people just say, tell me about Dubai I’ma you know, because it’s, it’s an unknown stone. People know a little bit about it, but it’s still an unknown, right?
D.J. Paris 54:13
Well, I’ll I my girlfriend will probably I know she we’ve mentioned going to Dubai on a trip at some point in the future. So we’ll maybe we’ll come on a Monday and do your 5am Run asleep and but but, but I love the fact that you have that and that you you know, this this ongoing skill development and giving people things that will help them that they can say yes to you know, they they can choose whether they want to be there at 5am which is not an easy ask. And but but the people who show up, you know, that demonstrates a level of commitment and that’s the team that that Mark has built and continues to to build and thrive in Dubai. So for everyone listening check out luxury property.com It’s just a really cool resource. If nothing else to see how the other half live, right There’s that. And then also, it just expands your own understanding of what real estate at those price points look like. So that if you do come across high net worth or ultra high net worth individuals, you now have a conversation starter, you have something to to bring to the table, because of course, you would need to be able to play in that space, or if nothing else, I’ve got a great team over in Dubai, that would love to chat with you. That’s the way I would present it. And that sort of lets you off the hook, knowing some of the intricacies around taxes and rates and you know what’s a good deal and what isn’t. But you can be the the matchmaker, so to speak. So Mark, I would love to thank you for being on our show. This was really a lot of fun for us. And I’m so grateful, by the way we should mention. Mark is doing this really late at night, he’s in a suit looks great. And you know, he was he started this at 9pm. So what a great guy for staying on being part of our show, really, we appreciate it on behalf of the listeners, thank you for staying up and giving us some some great advice. It also by the way, Mark’s a real estate coach, he has lots of great things to say. So hopefully you guys got some great actionable steps. I also will be summarizing those in the show notes for everyone listening. But on behalf of the audience, we thank Mark for staying up late. He’s got a little one at home, he’s got a wife, they would prefer that he’s home and he took time out of his day to do this weekend, hustle home spend time with them. And also on behalf of Mark and myself, we want to thank our audience for continuing to listen support our show, we’re just asked that everybody do two quick things, actually three quick things. One, visit luxury property.com. Get familiar with their website, bookmark it, make it check it out at once a week, go in there, take a look, see what’s available. See, see how those properties look like see if you can step up your own listings with some of the ways that they you know, showcase the the or highlight the benefits of certain properties, you can take that and distill it down into your own market. And number two, please tell a friend about our podcast. The best way that we grow is by agents telling other agents what we do. So if there’s an agent that you’re aware of that could go to that wants to go to that next level isn’t quite there yet. Send him over to our website, keeping it real pod.com Every episode we’ve ever done is you can stream right through there. If they’re already a podcast listener of sorts, just have them pull up a podcast app search for keeping it real, hit that subscribe button. And I’m sorry, the third thing we’ll ask is please leave a review. Let us know what you think of the show. Let us know what you like what you don’t like. So if you’re on iTunes or now called Apple podcasts, or Spotify or Pandora or Google Play or Stitcher, anywhere you’re listening to podcasts, let us know what you think of the show. This helps us continue to improve and also gets us more visibility to reach more, more realtors to learn from from top people like Mark. So Mark, thank you so much. On behalf of everyone here at the show. I really appreciate your dedication and time. We were wonderful guests, and we will see everybody on the next episode. Thanks, Mark. Thanks, Ben.