Is Flat Fee MLS The Future Of Real Estate? • Ryan Cherney

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Ryan Cherney from Circle One Realty talks about the beginning of his career in real estate and gives advice to new agents on their journey in this profession. Next, Ryan talks about why he switched from a traditional agent to flat fee. Ryan and DJ explain what flat-fee means and how it’s different from traditional services.

If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!

Ryan Cherney can be reached at 630.528.2300 and admin@circleonerealty.com


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 Ryan Charney from circle one Realty about flat fee MLS. Before we get to Ryan, I would like to remind everybody, the best way you can help our show continue to grow is by telling a friend to think of one other agent in your office that struggling or maybe they’re maybe they’re doing well, but they want to be doing even better. So anyone that’s looking to increase their business should probably check out our show because we interviewed the top 1% of Realtors in the country and ask them how they did this. And of course, if you’re listening, you already know that but not everyone knows about our show. So please let them know you can send them over to our website, which has every episode we’ve ever done, you can stream it right from the browser. You don’t even need a podcast app so you can find it at keeping it real pod.com Keeping it real pod.com And if you’re going to tell somebody about our show and they are a podcast person, just have them pull up any podcast app and search for keeping it real they’ll find us and hit that subscribe button and now on to our interview with Ryan Shani.

K today on the show we have Ryan Cherney from circle one Realty here in the Chicagoland area. Let me tell you a little bit about Ryan Ryan has been a licensed realtor since 2004. And for the first 12 years of his career, he was a traditional Realtor with Coldwell Banker in the western suburbs of Chicago. And then he decided to start his own full service flat fee brokerage in 2017. Now, Ryan has grown his business every year and was just awarded the Main Street realtor associations platinum top 1% sales award for 2020. And his goal is to revolutionize the Chicagoland real estate market by providing excellent customer service and guidance while saving sellers 1000s In realtor commissions, please visit Ryan at his website, which is circle one realty.com Ryan, a super excited to have you on the show. Thanks for being a part of it.

Ryan Cherney 2:59
Thank you for inviting me I am excited. first podcast ever so nice. We’re for the conversation.

D.J. Paris 3:08
Well, I before we dive into your business model, because I’m super, really, really wanting to talk about that. Let’s I would love to hear the journey about how you got to where you are right now. Can you take us all the way back to 2004

Ryan Cherney 3:21
Sounds great, you know, got married in two 2000 and was you know, working just a sales job and long story short, my, my wife at the time her father got his real estate license. And that was really intriguing. You know, 2004 if you remember, that was certainly a hot time to be at this date. Time 2004 through seven and just came out of the gate. I didn’t have any children. And so you know, you could work every single day. And you know, we were the attorney team with Coldwell Banker. And, you know, we marketed ourselves to two agents for the price of one basically because we are husband and wife and, and really shot off to being number one, two in the in the Coldwell Banker office that we were in. And, and so that was that was intriguing. That was you know, so again, father in law got his license, that’s what started it.

D.J. Paris 4:18
And then, you know, and I actually wouldn’t want to start back when he first started in 2004. And just ask because we have so many listeners or viewers to our show who are new to the business and are always like, what should I be doing? So I’m curious, I know, it was a different time, you know, 1516 years ago or 17 years ago now. But But what advice do you have for new agents that are really trying to make it these days and maybe they’re new and their sphere of influence isn’t so big, they have all these, you know, buys and sells right now. Do you have any suggestions for newer agents?

Ryan Cherney 4:51
Well, back then, you know, we still had newspaper ads. Right? So So forget all that. You because that doesn’t work anymore. But I would definitely recommend nowadays, joining a team, you know, I that is a very popular, you know, something that’s going on right now. And so somebody new either have another agent that you can sit at open houses and it’s it’s the old adage, right farm and area, Senate open houses, you’re going to get buyers before listings. But everybody’s going after the listing, I would still say, at least I go after the listing. So so do open houses and hook up with somebody. And honestly, yes, the team, you know, they’re going to take probably half of your commission, but you wouldn’t have all the leads without? So that’s my suggestion.

D.J. Paris 5:50
Yeah, I think it’s a really good suggestion. I think it’s a great way to just get experience and yeah, like Ryan said, you might be giving up more of your commission than then you would be on your own, but the leads are worth it. And what do they say 100% of zero is still zero, right? So it’s better to have something than nothing. But you know, and I know you’ve had this evolution in your business, too. So you know, three or four years ago, you decided to sort of make a change. Can you talk a little bit about sort of what that change was?

Ryan Cherney 6:17
Well, the change was this. And it goes all the way back to 2006. So I was in the industry for two years, again, a top producer in my office. And I had seen I actually took a buyer to a property, it was in Aurora. And I walked in the the owner was there, which again, we advise, don’t go don’t stay at the showing, you know, especially with COVID. It’s frowned upon but but right, but even back then, it’s just makes it uncomfortable. Yeah, at the end, my buyers definitely have an interest and we’re going to write an offer on it. And so leaving the home, I had just told the seller, I said, you know, thank you so much for letting us show you the the home, I’m gonna I think there’s some interest and I’ll reach out to your agent. And so suddenly, I’m sorry about this. That’s okay. And suddenly, the the seller went ahead and told me, Hey, you know what, I’m actually you just reach out to me. And I said, really, um, you’re listed in the MLS, so you have a realtor, I’m gonna reach out to that. Yeah. And he goes, No, I have a special type kind of realtor. And so I said, Okay, I had never heard of what I now am, which is a flat fee broker. Yeah, back then we call them discount brokers. Sure. That was just really the term. And so I dove into who he chose as a listing agent, and I looked at how many listings they had. And we’re talking that 600 Why, yes, they had 600 listings. And at that time, I was like, wow, that seems really cool. You know, $500 per listing, you know, you do the math and like, seems like he’s killing it. Well, then, this is a true true story. And you asked me to tell you the guy I love so here Yeah. Still, just really recent. Right after that. I got a nice listing a half a million dollar listing in the far west servers, which was that was pretty big for us at the time. Sure, and went into my broker’s office at Coldwell Banker. I won’t tell you her name, but she was in the industry for 35 years. Now, I am a preppy kid from the 80s and 90s. And so, you know, there’s, I got a lot of listings, because I know the lingo I know how to, you know, talk to people and just to my different clients, and, but also I was a clean cut guy. And so I got a lot of listings, got the listing went into my, my Kabul banker office, and I told the broker at the time, and I’m like, Carol, we got this awesome new listing. We’ve got the loons ordered for the open house, I’ve got food for the broker luncheon. And I was literally in the middle of saying something and she was older than me. She was in her 60s and she just reached her hand over over the desk, put it on my hand and said, Oh, Ryan, don’t you know the MLS sells the listing? Oh, wow. It just I was crushed. I was crushed. I had drank the Kool Aid back then. I thought I was super special. And that’s why I’m getting listings. I’m gonna do all of these things. Now at the time still newspaper and, again, the realtor.com was, was really bigger than Zillow at now. Oh, sure. I remember.

And so um, so that’s what she said, and so that I went to my wife at the time and this time also plays into why I became a flat fee broker is I went to her and I’m like, Oh my gosh, I want to be a flat fee broker I want to, and she goes, charge people $500 For a listing, we’re killing it, you know, we’re making two and a half percent, and we’re top producers, we’re making really good money. I don’t want to do that for $500. And also, all of our friends are realtors, they’re gonna hate us. I don’t want to be hated. And so I listened to her. And then just to finish the story, I was married for 16 years, and then we got divorced in 2016. And so at that time, is when I go, You know what, I’ve always wanted to do flat fee, I think it is truly the future of where real estate is gonna go. You don’t necessarily have to pay a listing agent, two and a half percent with what the internet has done to our industry. So you always always I don’t see how it would change, you are always have to pay out that two and a half two to a buyer’s agent, you know, they’re looking the buyers around, they’re working really hard. And I’m not downplaying it. Because, you know, I work very hard for my clients. And that’s why I have five star reviews on Google. But it’s, it’s a lot of, it’s still a lot of work. But it’s not, you know, it’s not rocket science.

D.J. Paris 11:19
Yet, let’s define what flat fee is. And I’ll say it as I understand it, and then you can correct me or add to it for anyone who’s listening. You know, Ryan’s basically talked about it. But just to really quickly define what this is. And I’m not sure that this exists in every market in the country. I know here in Chicago, there are brokers like Ryan who do this, I’m not sure if it’s everywhere. So there might be some listeners or viewers that aren’t familiar, but basically what this is, and traditionally, this this works most commonly with sellers is, you know, a seller needs to be on the MLS or just as the story you mentioned from that agent at Coldwell Banker saying hey, you know the MLS is what sells the property. And you know, obviously a for sale by owner. Seller can’t of course get on the MLS unless they are connected with a realtor. So what what Ryan does is he for a flat fee, instead of a percentage says, Hey, I’m gonna basically do most everything. And Ryan, you can talk a little bit about what you do and what you don’t do. But we’re only going to charge you a flat fee. Yes, yes, you’re still gonna pay the buyside commission of two and a half percent or whatever, but you’re only going to pay me you know, X amount of dollars to get it listed on the MLS syndicated out to 300 websites or so and and I’m still going to be with you every step of the transaction. So can you talk a little bit about what you do with and what what you don’t do as a flat fee broker. I,

Ryan Cherney 12:43
as I tell every single seller that finds me on Google, or is referred by a past client, I literally tell them I do the same thing I did for 12 years as a Coldwell Banker edge and as I do now, you’re just never going to meet me and I don’t go to your property rights it. I do everything else, we I get the offer submitted, I discuss our options with negotiating with my seller. Nowadays, it’s like well, let’s wait for that second offer because we’re going to have multiples because this is the day and age of multiples, share. And and just I do the same thing that I’ve done, always I I negotiate on their behalf. I just have a really nice headset, not these that I wear and I walk around my home office and I talk that’s the that’s the true luxury of what I do is I don’t go out, basically and go show homes to buyers. That is not my forte, I’m a 99% listing agent. I don’t go traveling across Chicagoland going to listing appointments. I stay in my home office, and that gives me the ability to focus all of my attention on all of my clients. And yeah, and you know, I do have you know, this, I’m a volume based business, I have to sell a lot of homes to make a decent living. And I do, but it is a lot of work. And you know, I literally work from seven until 1130 at night. It’s because there is a lot of paperwork, there is a lot of emails, there is a lot of a lot of phone conversations. And that’s really what I do most of the time texting and, and phone with with all of my sellers, because I’m really I am their full service, realtor. But I really tell them, I’m the real estate adviser, I tell you what you need to hear not what you want to hear, because I will say this when I was a coal banker agent, you know, at the end of the rainbow at the closing table is when we make our big commission. Right and sometimes, you know, not in this type of market but in a steady market. You know, sometimes we have to have that heart to heart and say, hey, you know what? The market is not loving us. We’re not getting the showings. We’re Getting the offers, you know, guess what, we’re gonna have to do a price adjustment, we’re gonna have to lower it. You know, sometimes you kind of put a lot of sugar on that because you don’t want them to not like you or fire you. I’m paid up front. So I literally do, it’s a freedom that I have that I get to tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear, because they pay me for that service. So,

D.J. Paris 15:22
no, I am a huge fan. And I know that there’s probably a lot of people listening, who are sort of confused by this and sort of saying, Well, okay, you know how, but really Ryan’s doing everything except the showings, so there isn’t any. And he’s able to do it all from the comfort of his home. Because people find him online. And you know, these are our people, oftentimes, these are sellers, who aren’t going to pay a two and a half percent to a listing agent anyway. And Ryan says, hey, I’ll do it, I can do pretty much everything except the showing, I’ll get you, you know, I’m a full service broker, except for the showings and you know, only for $500. And then if you think about it, I mean, think about you’re like a hero to that you can be a hero to that seller, you know, you’ve now explained to them why it’s important to be on the MLS, you’ve given them a very cost effective way to do that. And then guess what, they’re probably buying a property. And then I imagine that happens, where you oftentimes get a lot of by side business as a result of working on the left side.

Ryan Cherney 16:21
The answer is yes. But I actually turned down more people than not just because my time is valuable, right, then you’re out and about again, yeah, yeah. When I get taken out of the office, I need it to be worth my while. And, and honestly, there’s, there’s like, I’m in the west suburbs, and I have a lot of north north siders that, that asked me to show their homes and I’m like, I’m sorry, I just, it’s not worth my time driving an hour, hour and 15 each way, right? Because then I’m going to have to pay for it. When I get back. Seven o’clock at night. I’m working till two in the morning just to catch up. So sure. It’s, it’s, uh, I mean, I’m at the point where I am going to start, you know, maybe hiring some some agents as by side for the north side, south side, west suburbs and do that. But again, I’m really focused on the list side. So

D.J. Paris 17:15
you just said something sort of subtly that I want to make sure people understand. And this really Ryan says, Hey, on the buy side, I’m kind of limited because I have to, I have to service all these list side clients, I can’t really go out as easily and drive around helping people on the buy side because I’m so busy. But what he can do is take listings from anywhere that is in, you know, his MLS area, which is the entire Chicagoland area, because he’s not going to the property. I mean, I’m assuming you know, you probably in most cases don’t need to visit the property. You’re sending a photographer there, you’re getting all of the all of the sign is being installed for you. So you can take listings from anywhere, which is amazing.

Ryan Cherney 17:56
That is correct. I have sold horse properties, condos, multimillion dollar properties, and they only pay me $495 And they get a professional yard sign. I mail out a lockbox they get showing time to handle our Realtors showings. And the big thing is professional photographer. And I think I have the best guys in Chicagoland. Because surely you know, there are photographers, there are good ones. And I have the best, because when you’re flipping through photos, you know, Whoa, that’s a hot looking house, because those photos are really, really hot. So. So that’s what I do. So when I sell it for 495 I’m not netting that at all. There’s a lot of overhead. Sure, I’m just I just have to do a lot. And you know, some people I will say a lot of people, even some of my flat fee competitors, they you know, they don’t do what I do. Yeah, because you are going to get burnt out like nobody’s business. I have a perfect storm. Because or I’m the perfect person for this is because I’m divorced. I’m 47 I have no life. For when my 12 year old is here on Wednesdays and Thursdays and I do every other weekend. So that is when I do avoid, you know, hold off on returning phone calls. When When I tell all my clients say this is what I’m going to be with my son. But they never see a dip in my service. It’s just but you know, for the Family Guy, which I’m I’m not I don’t have a wife. I would be divorced in a second. Again. If Yeah, if they had to live with what I what I do. Sure. It’s a lot of activity. Yeah, it’s a lot of activity. It’s a lot of time away and honestly, I am married to my job and I’ve even told people that I go, you know, I have I have I have this wife will never cheat on me and never leave me. As long as I do a good job, this circling Realty will be here for him.

D.J. Paris 19:56
And imagine to so you know, for everyone listening in Imagine if if you decide to go this route and try to do this flat fee business, which by the way, is not as Ryan said, for the faint of heart, it is a complete commitment. And if you’re not looking to do tremendous volume, do not do this because you’ll just be up, you’ll just be disappointed and upset, because you’re going to be trying to be, you know, we’re out and about broker and and a flat fee broker at the same time. And it’s just too difficult to do both, you really have to commit one way or the other. But what there are, you know, flat fee brokers in almost every market that I’m aware of, and they are crushing it with volume. And yes, it’s a tremendous amount of activity. But let’s let’s just be honest, like, is, this is not going away. In fact, flat fee has been around for probably about 30 years, so far, it is not going away. And in fact, it’s just going to become more and more popular. That isn’t to say that traditional full service listing agents are dinosaur dinosaurs. I mean, I don’t know that that’s necessarily the case. Because, gosh, I hope not. We’ve got 700 brokers at our own firm that are traditional realtors. And of course, most of almost all of our listeners are traditional brokers. But that being said, I think there’s a place for the flat fee model for the full service tradition. I mean, your full service, I shouldn’t say that. But for the the traditional listing agent model, I think there’s room for everything everyone and and and imagine you do this for a listing, or you do this for for a listing where you do a flat fee, my imagine they’re going to be telling other people, you’re not going to believe I found this great opportunity to sell my home, I got a full service experience. And it was only $500. That’s amazing.

Ryan Cherney 21:36
Yeah. So So I will say in the very beginning, when I when I made the switch, my mother was absolutely against it, she did not understand why I would do this for such a small amount. And I told her I go this is the future of where real estate will be maybe in 10 years, 15 years, I don’t know. But in the very beginning, and now of course she’s she’s like super happy and because she sees that I’m successful. But um, but she does worry that I stress out a lot because I’m always working but but in the very beginning how I got my listings were for sale by owners. They don’t for sale by owners do not like Realtors I know right? Yeah, they don’t. They think we’re all overpaid. And, you know, it was an easier sell for me because they’ve been hit up. I mean, nowadays everybody’s cold calling for sale by owners or expires and stuff. So I don’t hit the phone anymore. But that first year I called everybody that was the first albite owner and they were about to always hang up on the Hang Hang up on me because they go if you’re the 25th reefer that’s calling me today. And then I say, but I’m the realtor that they don’t want you to know about and then like

D.J. Paris 22:49
I love that

Ryan Cherney 22:51
I say I’m the secret the secret is the MLS you need to offer out a commission to an agent because 95% of buyers are going to use a licensed realtor and so you need to tell them bring your buyer I’m willing to pay you and I always advise them to pay two and a half percent certain areas I do advise 3% I have been told by some local I won’t tell you the towns but I’ve literally had agents tell me they want they want they expect 3% wow hmm antitrust but that in my head I’ll pass it on to my sellers if they decide to do that then they just decided to do that. So that’s how I started off and because they go well you know what? I guess you’re the next level up from being a true for sale by owner paying zero commission then exactly. So at least I can save them half minus what they pay me. But now I don’t make cold calls. I do I don’t get them all. You know people will find me on Google or even some referrals though granted referrals are pretty much a lot because you know they have somebody a friend or a family member that’s telling them all the things that I do for them and how much money I save them. But but you know, there are people especially millennials, they realize that you don’t need to go old school which is traditional route but but I don’t get them all you know some some really kind of go Alright, well when are you going to come out to see me and I go No, I actually don’t come out to see you in there, you know, then I lose them because they really do want that. That touchy feely, you know in your home giving your presentation and all that stuff. You know, they sometimes can’t believe that I can price a home and get a proper CMA based on quality photos and in diving into the MLS. You know, I’ve been doing it for 17 years. Yeah, it’s, it’s, you know, I will say I’ve sold horse properties. Those are a little harder, you know, you know Anything, anything out of the close suburbs where you can, you know, take some real good comps, oh, a three bedroom finished basement unfinished basement, three car garage, two car garage. You know, specialty properties do take longer. But again, I’ve done it long enough that I’m pretty good at it.

D.J. Paris 25:20
Yeah, and I just I just always go back to this idea of it really makes you look like a hero to the seller, because you’re coming in and saying, I’m pretty much still doing everything except the showing, and you’re paying me a fraction of what you’d be paying a traditional listing agent. And I think that’s I think that’s really very, very interesting. And, and for anyone who’s who’s may be uncomfortable hearing this flat fee has been around forever, like I said, at least 30 years. And so it’s not, it’s not a new thing. And like I said, I think there’s room for everyone. But I mean, what Ryan’s really done is enable himself to streamline his business. And he’s, it’s a lot more predictable. Because you you have I mean, you’re able to physically be in the same location all the time, and just power through and do pretty much everything right, right from your home, which I think is super cool.

Ryan Cherney 26:09
You definitely have to have a system and I have, I have now a system, if I was to show you my office, I have a file system where they move from files yet negotiated to I’m in the midst of negotiating to, you know, I just sold, they need to get out of AI move into pending. So I have a filesystem that rotates around my office. So I can I’m a visual guy, so I, I need to see it, you know, so. So you got to happen?

D.J. Paris 26:40
Well, and I’ll tell you, so the firm, the firm I work at, we’re what’s called like 100 this is a commission conversation not not related to what Ryan’s doing, but just to give everyone an idea of, of, of how I got into this industry. So anyway, that the firm I work at, we offer basically the highest commissions and lowest fees, or we have, that’s our model. And about 10 years ago, and we started that model, I thought, okay, you know, we’re gonna do this, and we’re going, there’s 44,000 realtors in the Chicagoland area. And as soon as we launched this, you know, we’re gonna get every single realtor because they’re all going to leave their traditional firms come over here. And that is not exactly what happened. So we have about 700 realtors, which is quite a bit, and we’re very proud of that. But what we what we thought is, oh, we’re gonna completely just completely destroy the traditional, sort of brokerage model. No, they’re doing just fine. So it’s kind of nice, because we can exist, they can exist, we can both coexist. So I kind of feel the same way about flat fee. And traditional listing is like both can coexist. And and yeah, there’s a little competition between the two, just like there is for the kind of commission structure that our firm pays versus a traditional, you know, more franchise split model of commissions, but both can exist, both can be successful. And, and I think, you know, as long as you’re doing the right thing for the client, like, that’s the most important thing, and I imagine you get to go to sleep every night, really feeling like I am doing an amazing value proposition for your clients.

Ryan Cherney 28:10
It does feel good at night, you know, most of my clients, you know, when I get the contract inked, and we you know, get it close, they, they seriously just go Ryan, two things. I can’t believe you did all of this for a couple 100 bucks. And secondly, why isn’t everybody selling their home this way? And I said, well, I need more money to advertise it. But that’s okay. Thanks. So that’s, that’s really it. You know, you know, when you advertise on Google, there are people specifically looking for flat fee brokers. Yeah, exactly that and that’s where I put my money into advertising is is going after those people that are looking for it. Because I will tell you the big difference between me and the other flat fee guys in Chicagoland are I am full service, I do pour my heart and soul I am doing everything where my competition and this this comes from past clients that have jumped from them for me, is they literally throw them in the MLS and say see you later give me a give me a call when the broker and you negotiate the contract. So I can update the MLS. Now even though we have a minimum service line, say yes or no, I tend to have 75, which you have to but they say participate in negotiating the contract. And they do this and you can even look at my competition. They think participate is send me the the offer along with this other email address or I’ll forward it to them and say what do you want to do? So this comes from past clients that have told me that’s what they do. They have I call them and I’m like I just reviewed the offer. It’s pretty good or it’s a lowball offer. You know, let’s see if we can work it out. My job is to get the most money out of this particular buyer. Because as we know, a property is is worth what somebody is willing to pay for it and us as listing agents, our job is to negotiate the most out of that buyer as possible in that particular case. So, you know, the market is going to dictate the sales price. We just have to listen to how the market reacts to putting in the MLS, which is the center of real estate universe.

D.J. Paris 30:19
I imagine too, that you probably bump up against sellers who might be wanting to go with a with a discounted model, but more still traditional discounted model. Like for example, Redfin is popular for having their 1% listing fee. I don’t know what it is, these days, maybe it’s still 1%. And Ryan can come in and say, you know, we actually think that’s a little too much I can do it for this, this flat fee amount 500. Or, you know, Ryan has different tiers based on the the level, the different accoutrements you need for your property. But I think the top tier is still what five or $600 is still remarkably inexpensive, and a heck of a lot cheaper than even, you know, paying 1%, which is you know, what, some of these, some of these tech disruptors, you know, are trying to do and so you’re basically doing the exact same service if not better, for for a more inexpensive price. And of course, that’s going to be attractive to sellers. I mean, that’s a huge.

Ryan Cherney 31:13
Yeah, I think Redfin also ties that 1% into if you purchase your next home with them as well. Right. So So there’s, there’s always that we’re where I go, you don’t have to use me, actually, you probably I don’t want to, I don’t want to I don’t have time to do that. But so yeah, I when I’ve lost two red fin on one particular case, actually, in the last month, and they were a referral, a neighbor told them about me, but you know, you can’t win them all. And if you if you know, but I do have a steady book of business that keeps coming in, and, you know, but in this in this market, or as a realtor, you always have to save your money, you don’t know what tomorrow brings.

D.J. Paris 32:03
But But I love it too, because you’re now in a position to where you’ve been so successful with the sellers and done such a great job that you’re now like, Yeah, I’m going to start hiring some buyer agents, and you’re essentially going to be able to give them some pretty high quality leads, if not slam dunks. So you’re really building a business, versus just your your own personal production, you’re really building a structure to then be able to sort of be able to scale up from from the future, you’re looking I mean, this is this is the, this is exactly what teams offer, you know, is the opportunity for leads and education and, and you’re now creating that that structure that’s going to allow you and really force you to do that, which is a great thing, and your business will continue to build.

Ryan Cherney 32:46
That is a goal. That is the goal. I’m on basically a one man shop. And you know, like I had said, I was in the top 1% last year, and I literally worked every day from seven till 1130. And, you know, I had no life. I didn’t go on vacation, though. I don’t know how many people during COVID went on vacation. But right like I have a ski boat up in Michigan, and it just was in storage the whole year. I like to go fishing. I like to go waterskiing. I like to have fun. But I didn’t do any of that because I was addicted to the sale. Because I was literally for the most part, you know, selling one home a day. My most was five homes in one day. Oh my goodness that I negotiated. There were a lot of weeks that I sold three a day. Wow. And and it’s, it’s so much work because all the traditional agents know how much paperwork there is to make sure and you know, get it off to the attorneys. And then and then you know, we have, we have to have that communication and make sure that everything again, I have a system so it flows. But it’s a lot of work.

D.J. Paris 33:59
Yeah, it is we’ve had I was telling Ryan, before we started we have a few agents at our company that that do flat fee. That’s what they decided to do. They both been doing it for years. They’re not to the level of volume that that Ryan is it by any stretch. But they will also tell tell you, which I’ve not had them on the show. But Ryan is actually the first flat fee broker we’ve had on the show and I’m so so glad he decided to come on. But our two agents wouldn’t even say oh my gosh, it is again it is not for the faint of heart because it is a tremendous amount of work. Obviously for you know, less income than then you would be doing a traditional, you know, two and a half percent listing fee or whatever the listing fee might be. So it is it is a real a real decision for so if you’re thinking about it, it can be it can be tricky because you are going to be working nonstop, but you’re going to be able to at least know where you’re working and, and it’s a you know, there’s a fairly predictable path to get there but it’s not easy. And a lot of times you know agents might I’m sure you, Ryan, you’ve seen this, a lot of people think the flat fee is the way of the future, and I’m just gonna set up a flat fee shop, but they’re not really understanding all the work that goes into it, you obviously are living it. So you know, and this is why you’re so successful is that either people do it and they do maybe a less than ideal job for the client, or they just get burnt out and and and aren’t able to really service the clients.

Ryan Cherney 35:24
That’s correct. I mean, like I said, I have the perfect lifestyle for this job. Okay. I have talked to other agents that actually own like, oh, gosh, I forgot what the name of it is. But it was a offshoot from Keller Williams. And, and they started that it was in Orland, and the managing broker used to be a flat fee broker, probably back in 2007. And he had said, I just burnt myself out. My wife said, Either we’re getting a divorce or your staff doing this, because you have I have to do so much volume to make a standard a normal income, right? Because when I charge 495, you know, I’m paying for a photographer, I’m paying for the yard sign to be installed. I’m paying for the lockbox. I’m paying for postage, I’m paying for showing time. I have no insurance. I have my LLC, there’s a lot. So in the beginning of the year, I’m negative a lot, right? And then you just have to do you have to do a lot of business. So pay Google. I mean,

D.J. Paris 36:33
right? Well, that’s true advertising. Pay per clicks. Yeah, it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. But I really just, you know, part of me just absolutely loves that model. And I’m saying that as somebody who works in a traditional office with traditional brokers, and again, I just think everyone can, can can thrive right now. So I don’t think there’s any need to, to feel threatened by flat fee, but to understand it has a place and it is actually you know, and if you ever have a client, as a traditional realtor, who doesn’t want to pay a full commission, to a listing agent, you know, you’d be probably well off to say, Well, look, I understand that, but you still need to be on the MLS. So here talk to talk to him. I know a guy who does the most amazing job Ryan, and send, you know, the lead over to Ryan and he can take care of it because it is not going away. And it will become I believe more and more popular. I believe my my book, my thought is, and I hope it’s not true. But I suspect that Commission’s will will start, you know, compressing a bit as as we’ve seen them already start to do. And over time, it’ll it’ll be it’ll probably happen more and more unfortunately, for everyone listening, but that’s just what happens sometimes with technology and progress. So you know better to get ahead of the curve and start looking at this this option because it’s here to stay. And, and I’m I’m a big fan of just anything that’s that’s people are doing that are different that are working. And and like Ryan saying he’s like, oh, you know, don’t please understand he is working the 80 hour weeks just to get maintain. I mean, how many listings on average Ryan, are you are you dealing with at any given moment?

Ryan Cherney 38:14
30 or something 30 for why? But, you know, I’ve known other people and other states that have way more than that. And you know, I just started three and a half four years ago. But to get back to a point where you said true story. I have listed and sold more than three licensed realtors that were in other brokerages and I listed and sold their homes because I was less expensive than the large surance or in brokers cut. Okay. And also, I got hot. This was last year I received a listing and my contact it was I was very I was it was strange because the sellers name was a certain name and it was a $1.7 million property. And but my main contact was a agent. She had represented this, the seller of mine on a few deals to purchase and he liked to do some flips, so she was happy getting the buy side sure that listed his property. It was a little overpriced, and she said you know what, you need to save as much money as possible

D.J. Paris 39:35
Oh, we might have just lost Ryan. Let’s see if he pops back in in a sec. If If not, we will. We’re gonna wait just a few moments. Isn’t it? This is technical. Oh, there you are. You’re back. Okay, so, yeah, you’re just like we didn’t lose yesterday.

Ryan Cherney 39:51
Okay. Oh, my internet connection is unstable. So you’re okay. All right. So I’ll just speed it up. So my contact was alive. Since the agent, she wanted me to list her clients home, because she liked the buy side. And, and she knew that they had to be a little more aggressive on price. So they needed to save them on commission. So you know that and I sold it.

D.J. Paris 40:15
That’s a really, really important point that I wouldn’t have thought about. So if you’re a traditional agent and probably 99.9% of our listeners and viewers are if you’re in a situation where you have a listing that is overpriced, and you know, you’re going to get the buy side on the way out. It might make sense to say hey, look, you know, we do need we should save you I mean, think about what a hero you’d be to the seller to say I’m going to save you what like 50 grand or whatever that you know whatever that amount is because now you can take that money and become more aggressive in the pricing. So that is point that is such a smart idea. So you know traditional realtors to you know if you if you have that situation consider big friend you know, becoming friends with a good flat fee broker in your area and that way you can start referring business back and forth to

Ryan Cherney 41:02
each other. And I promise I won’t take your buyer.

D.J. Paris 41:06
There you go. I love it. Oh, that’s well Ryan, this was such a such a fun time. And I want anyone who is who is interested, you know, maybe you’re a buyer or a seller Investors love flat fee investor clients are love working with flat fee brokers, they love it all day long. So if anyone out there is in the Chicagoland area who’s looking to work Ryan directly with you, on the left side, or possibly even on the buy side, although I know you don’t have time for that now. But if they’re interested in learning more about what you do offer with circle one Realty what’s the best way they should reach out to you,

Ryan Cherney 41:41
the best way would be to give me a call 630528 2300 Go to my website, circle one realty.com Or just go to Google and my best sales employee would be read my reviews, my Google reviews, my Zillow reviews, basically, there are about the same about 100 of them. They’re all five star but go to Google put circle one Realty, hit enter, you’ll see the front of my home office because you know how that goes. When you search for Panera and Hinsdale or something like that, you’ll see the front. So you’ll see that click on reviews and those are not paid for those are, those are clients that are just blown blown away by my service.

D.J. Paris 42:20
Yeah, and I again, I just love learning from agents that are doing things a bit differently and really having successful that So Ryan, we congratulate you for all your success and and obviously your business is booming. And that’s amazing. And hopefully, hopefully you’re able to take some time for yourself in between all these all these amazing Are these just constant barrage of activity with all your listings. And obviously now you get to continue to build your business with with additional realtors, which is awesome. So for everyone that is listening and watching on behalf of Ryan and myself and want to thank you for continuing to support our show. Easiest way to continue to get our message out there is to tell a friend, think of one other agent real estate professional that could benefit from hearing from top producers like Ryan and send them a link to this episode. The easiest way to do that just go right to our website keeping it real pod.com Every one of our episodes is there, you can stream it right from the website. You don’t even need a podcast app or just ask them to pull up a podcast app on their phone and look up keeping it real and subscribe. Also follow us on Facebook you can find us@facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod not only do we post all the episodes we do there but we also as we’re recording the episodes we broadcast it live so you don’t have to wait two or three weeks for us to produce the episode. You can actually watch it as we’re recording it so subscribe to us on Facebook facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod and behalf on behalf of the audience and myself Ryan once again we say thank you for coming on and talking about flat fee and and I agree it’s here to stay and I always think agents should are better off learning and understanding it and and you just gave us a great education on it. So thank you very much.

Ryan Cherney 44:00
Thank you

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