Ryan Young the Co-Founder and CEO of Fello and the owner of Young Team, talks about his transition from a well-known chef to real estate business. Ryan explains how working in a posh restaurant has taught him work ethic and discipline which is now serving him in real-estate. Next Ryan discusses the importance of calling FSBO and expired leads, and how they helped grow his business. Ryan emphasizes the importance of approaching people without judgment, listening more and talking less. Last, Ryan talks about his website Fello and explains how agents can best utilize it.
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D.J. Paris 0:00
There are 36,000 realtors in the state of Ohio and today we’re going to talk to the number one team in the entire state. Stay tuned. This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by real geeks. How many homes are you going to sell this year? Do you have the right tools? Is your website turning soft leads and interested buyers? Are you spending money on leads that aren’t converting? Well real geeks is your solution. Find out why agents across the country choose real geeks as their technology partner. Real geeks was created by an agent for agents. They pride themselves on delivering a sales and marketing solution so that you can easily generate more business. There agent websites are fast and built for lead conversion with a smooth search experience for your visitors. Real geeks also includes an easy to use agent CRM. So once a lead signs up on your website, you can track their interest and have great follow up conversations. Real geeks is loaded with a ton of marketing tools to nurture your leads and increase brand awareness visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod and find out why Realtors come to real geeks to generate more business again, visit real geeks.com forward slash keeping it real pod. And now on to our show.
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 top producer Ryan Young. Before we get to Ryan, just two quick reminders. Actually three quick reminders. I’ll keep them real short. First, please support our sponsors. You heard him at the beginning of the show. We also have them throughout the interview portion, please, they are the reason we can pay our bills and pay our staff pay our team. So please support them check out their services and products we only we only promote products and services that we think are just unbelievably great for realtors. So that’s one second, please tell a friend about this podcast. That’s the other way we grow is by telling other realtors about us. And the third thing that you could do it that we think would be really helpful for you is actually to follow us on social media. Every single weekday we post a short clip from one of our episodes kind of like a best of with an actionable insight or moment we post them every day or every weekday on all the various social channels even including Tik Tok and we’re on like six or seven social channels so anywhere Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc Twitter, you can find us all those places just pull up any sort of social platform you use search for keeping it real, hit that subscribe button, we would really appreciate it. Alright guys, let’s get to the main event my conversation with Ryan Young.
Today our guest is Ryan Young from a young team with Keller Williams in Cleveland, Akron and Canton, Ohio and also the founder of fellow which is a seller lead generation tool. We’re going to be talking about that shortly. I should also mention by the way before I get into Ryan’s bio that he I think it’s in his bio but just in case it isn’t he literally has the the most successful large team in Ohio so we’re super excited to talk to him about his business fellow and also the young team as well. But let me tell you more about Ryan. He is the CEO of the young team recognized as the number one large size team in Ohio and the number 18 team in the United States by Wall Street Journal real trends, the young team this is insane. Last year 2022 completed 600 More than 600 sales transactions with over 200 million in production 600 transactions 200 million in production insane. Ryan’s a third generation real estate agent with a real estate engrained obviously into his DNA. And the team has been at Keller Williams top 100 team for several years in a row in 2019. Ryan recognize the challenges faced by agents due to national prop tech companies and founded flash house flash house was a direct to consumer eye buyer that bought and sold over 500 homes in Northeast Ohio since 2020. And 2022 Ryan founded fellow which is high fellow.com hifelo.com link to that in our show notes, which since its launch in October of 2022 is quickly becoming the most powerful seller lead generation tool in real estate a coveted coveted place to be fellow is now being used by 35 of the top 100 Real trends teams in the country, including Rob to Ken ski, Jeff Cook, Robert slack, Andrew Duncan, and more probably many of the people that have been on this show us fellow so we’re gonna talk about that. At his core Ryan is committed to empowering all agents with the tools and tech that has fueled his team’s success to learn earn more about fellow go to high fellow h i f e l l o.com. Hi fellow.com for the seller lead generation tool. And if you are an agent in the Northeast Ohio area, this would be Cleveland, Canton Akron around there. If you are thinking about maybe seeing what other opportunities exist as an agent, I know I would be reaching out to Ryan, because I’d love to get, you know, on a team that did 600 transactions and 200 million last year. So anyway, reach out to them, you can visit them at the young team.com link to that as well in the show notes. Ryan, welcome to the show.
Ryan Young 5:39
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.
D.J. Paris 5:42
excited to have you. For two major reasons. Usually guests, we have one, we have one major focus in your case, we’re going to talk about two of them. And I’m really excited. But before we get into you know the fellow and and what the technology that you’ve built does for agents, I’d love to hear your personal journey into real estate because you even though it is in your DNA and your third generation realtor. It wasn’t how you started, you didn’t start in real estate. You had a different career. So tell us about how you got into real estate and why
Ryan Young 6:13
yes, so many don’t know. But before I got into real estate, I was actually a professional chef. I graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, when I was 20 years old and thought I had a life all figured out right? Just like many 20 year olds, and I cooked all over the country and Chicago and Las Vegas in New York. And all of a sudden I got to my mid 20s and had a mid 20 life crisis and was like what am I doing with my life? I’m working hard. I’m making no money. I have no weekend’s no holidays, I, all my friends that I graduated with are all going out and doing things and visiting each other. And I’m stuck, you know, in the restaurant industry working a lot. And so I was in Vegas at the time, I think I was 26. I reached out to my folks who were realtors in Cleveland, they had a team, just the two of them. And I called them and said, You guys are going to think this sounds crazy. But what do you think about me moving back home, I was in Vegas at the time and actually getting into the real estate industry. And really what I was saying to them is I have an associate’s degree in culinary arts, I’m 26 years old, what can I do? What takes the littlest, the least amount of education littlest? Actually, that makes sense. When I’m saying least amount of education, the least amount of education. It has the most upside financial upside. And I was like, the real estate industry, you go to school for 120 hours. And next thing you know, you can sell people’s largest assets. And so they said, you know, if you’re going to do this, one of our core values is have a decided heart. And if you’re committed to it, and move back home, so I moved back with them. This is 2009 and got my license and then started building from there.
Speaker 1 8:06
It you know, you you have, you’ve made that a very condensed story. But we should I should mention that when you were working here in Chicago, at least only because I live in Chicago. Ryan wasn’t just a chef here in Chicago, he was a chef at the very number one most exclusive restaurant in Chicago, or if it’s not number one, it’s number two. And we are where I am. and I were talking about this beforehand, where you know, Chicago has a lot of really, really great restaurants. So he was like, at the very top of the mountain I’ve actually been to the restaurant Ryan was at it’s called a linear Google at some time, if you want to see the crazy molecular gastronomy stuff that they do. But but, you know, world renowned place. So Ryan was was not floundering in his career. But that’s just how difficult you know, working in foodservice can be even even at the top. And so it’s so amazing to me, that you were able to transition from what I consider I always think of chefs as being extraordinarily creative. I don’t know, maybe that’s maybe that’s not always accurate. But I always think like, that’s a different skill set than then doing real estate, but maybe it isn’t, I mean, obviously, mechanically, it’s different. But maybe the disciplines and the habits are similar. I’m not sure. So how was it making that transition from, you know, being a real professional chef to going and starting, you know, building a business from from the ground floor and in a totally different industry?
Ryan Young 9:29
Yeah, I mean, it’s funny, I owe a lot of the success I’ve had in real estate to my professional training in the culinary world. What’s interesting is the culinary world is a lot of creativity, right? It’s very hands on. When you’re working at the level of restaurants that I was working at, like the one in Chicago. It’s a very disciplined industry. And when you get to that level of elite restaurants where you It’s much more than loud music bumping in a kitchen while people are showing up hungover. It’s like, it’s a very like almost autocratic type of like environment where no one’s talking, everyone is very laser focused. And, you know, you’re striving to be the best restaurant in the world. And that comes with expectations. And so it’s interesting though, that kind of created the work ethic for me on what I applied to what I was doing in the culinary industry. And in some of these restaurants, where you’re working, you’re getting in at 10am, and you’re not leaving there till 2am. And if you apply that type of work ethic to an industry like real estate, I really do think that’s one of the things that propelled my career pretty quickly, because I was running circles around people, I was out working people in Northeast Ohio, when I first got licensed. And to me, that was not like an exhausting speed, it was the speed I was used to, if anything, it was a pretty casual speed, when you consider the nature of showing homes. And it’s, and it’s fun. And it’s, you know, it’s like it’s a little bit more informal and stuff like that. So for me, I really applied that work ethic and that preparation and how we approached being in the kitchen at some of these amazing restaurants, to actually applying that to my real estate practice and some of the discipline and how I approached our business. And I really do think that’s something that I attribute to the success we we had it early on, was the work ethic and discipline that I was taught in the restaurant industry.
D.J. Paris 11:36
Well, and in the restaurant industry, just just to sort of put a finer point on this, which I think, I think are not a finer point. But but my own little take on it, which I’m curious to get your opinion on, is when you work at the level of restaurants, and you worked with the chefs that are at that level, and the food prep and the sous chefs and the whole team. You never know when the Michelin guys coming in to do to do is do his review, right? They don’t give you the heads up. So you have to always everything is precision, right? There’s this precision model that we don’t know when we’re going to be judged on the world stage by some Bozo at Michelin, or whatever, you know, the local newspaper, whatever. So we have we and people are paying a super high premium to be here. So everything is perfect. I first out of college, I worked for well, second job out of college. But basically first job, I worked at Anheuser Busch, and I know a lot of people don’t automatically associate Budweiser, the beer with the actual beer, Budweiser with high quality. But there’s a reason why and it’s not number one anymore. Now I think Bud Light is number one. But Budweiser was the king of beers, as people know, for a long, long time. And it wasn’t just because of the marketing, like they legitimately had a precision that other beer manufacturers didn’t have an eye. I learned a lot of that from them. At a similar sort of situation, I was like I Oh, I’m working for the best or the biggest, rather, not necessarily the best. But the biggest. And I understand the precision that they played at was just a different level. So I imagine you have a lot of that as well.
Ryan Young 13:08
Yeah. And what’s interesting is before I was in Vegas, before I moved back to Cleveland, and I worked at the Wynn and Steve Wynn was notorious for treating, expecting him, holding himself accountable to the same actions that he holds all of his employees to. So you know, Steve Wynn would be walking through the casino, and if there was a wrapper, a little something on the floor, he’d bend over and pick it up. You know, it’s like, if that was his expectations of this is how we, when we are here, this is how we behave. This is how we approach the hospitality industry and how we approach every single client should feel like this is a special experience and stuff like that. And there’s a lot of you know, especially in that level of hospitality and restaurants and hotels and resorts, stuff like that, and talking about Disney and some of these other like, philosophically, just like the people that do it the best. It’s an experience and when we can apply that to the consumer experience that we have in the real estate industry. I say this, like with all due respect, but like the bar is set pretty low for our industry, which is a shame because it’s such an important experience in people’s lives. And so if you can provide a delightful experience or exceed the expectations of the customer creates long term business foundational type of opportunities that just creates so much long term business.
D.J. Paris 14:40
Yeah, I agree. I again, it’s just precision and and this experiential idea, like, like you talked about Disney. I don’t know if this is maybe this is a rumor, but I’d always heard and maybe this is true, we’ll assume it’s true for the sake of me saying it. But if it isn’t true, it’s a heck of a good idea where even the people who work in the park out with If even the people who are picking up trash even the the low the lowliest worker, maybe in the park, if they come across a patron, you know, when when a vacation or that visitor, I believe if they’re within a certain number of feet, they are expected to smile, look that person in the eye and smile, like they are expected not to be invisible, they’re not supposed to ignore the patrons are actually supposed to make the patron feel good about, you know, spending 1000s of dollars to walk in the park. Yeah, and it works. And it’s important, and there’s a precision to that there’s actually that’s just a rule, but it’s a heck of a good rule. And I imagine, you know, you’ve worked in places with those kinds of rules where, where it’s, well, hey, you know, we’re a premium brand, we’re a premium product. And, you know, if you can take that premium sort of experience and give it to the, you know, even a non premium consumer boy, you’re gonna make him feel like a million dollars. And that’s what everybody wants to feel like,
Ryan Young 15:57
in what it is, is, and you hear this term thrown around a lot, or this word thrown around a lot, but what it is, it’s a culture, it’s a, it’s a culture of, they hire to that culture at Disney or to these right, you know, it’s like, it’s an expectation, as soon as you walk in the door, it’s an expectation even before you walk in the door, in the interview process. This is what we are expecting from our team members. And when you when you create that culture, and that’s what essentially everyone is bought into, then all of a sudden, it doesn’t feel like abnormal, or it’s not exhausting. It’s not it’s effortless, you know,
D.J. Paris 16:37
standard operating procedure, at some point, it just becomes that’s how we do things. Now, I would love I would love to, to find out because Ryan didn’t just become a realtor and become successful. His team is the most successful large team in Ohio, currently, which is an insane, incredible Ohio’s not a small place. I and I would love to know how you started, obviously, you’re getting your parents video, you probably had a good sense of what it takes being around it, because your parents, I’m sure you just identified sort of the work that’s needed. And also having this incredible work ethic ingrained into you and your previous culinary career. I’m curious, though, how you started because you still had to start with zero clients. Right? And I’m curious then, like, what that process was to grow from? Just starting in 2009, I believe is around that when he said to to Now, last year doing, you know, 600 with your team 600 transactions, which is beyond it, you’d be you’d have I think here in Chicago, I’d have to look at the stats, but I think you’d be the largest team in Chicago as well. So it’s obviously a massive accomplishment. So I’m curious, how did you ramp up?
Ryan Young 17:46
Yeah, so it’s not like the glamorous story that I think like people expect I actually spent the first two years living in my parents basement. I was also working full time at a restaurant serving I need to the front of the house to make some money. The market when this was right, I moved back to
- Right when it all crashed?
Yeah, so it’s like not the best time to like get into real estate. So it’s like, I wish I could say like, my first couple years were like, you know, peaches and cream, but it was, it was raw, like, and it I was I was learning, you know, and I spent the first couple years I was doing everything from putting in science to I really wasn’t selling that much. There wasn’t much to sell, photographing houses in data input, MLS, like a little bit of everything, right. And then finally, after it, I think it was 2012. Um, I finally was like, Dad, I gotta get out of your house. And like, I’m 29 years old, like, what are we you know, and it’s funny because I, you know, in Vegas, I was living my best life bought a house when I was 22. And, you know, live, you know, live in a pretty, pretty good young person’s life. And I finally sent up like, you know, we were going to do this, let’s do this. And I moved out of their house, got my own place. And I said, let’s, let’s attack this, the market was starting to open up just a little bit. It was like, 2012. You know, we’re finally like, we bottomed out. And now I think we’re like, on the upswing. And I basically I got to coach I got super aggressive into calling expireds and fizz bows and lead generation, I got very aggressive. One of the things that I had going for myself was I was probably 29 at the time. And there were a lot of people moving back to Cleveland, my friends when you’re when you grow up in Cleveland. As soon as you turn 18 You get as far away as possible. Like, you know, it’s just one of those things like either you go to college or you move to Chicago or you move to LA or New York or wherever. It’s like you grew up in you look at this small town and you’re like, I just can’t wait to get out of here. The funny thing is, after a decade of being away, you realize how great Cleveland is. And so people start to move back just like I did, right. And so it was kind of I started getting a lot of people that were moving back. Once I started having a little bit more success. They were like hey Ryan longtime it’s In 10 years, we’re moving back, we see you’re doing well in real estate. So I started to pick up a lot of those first time homebuyers as the people moving back. But once I hit like 2012 2013, I just started out working everyone and I was in the office early, I was out on appointments late, and I was just grinding really hard. And we got to a point where I remember my parents use it sell like 3540 homes a year together,
I think, which is great, which is a great business, by the way, great business,
great business, no expenses very low, you know, high margin, like very respectable, respectable business. Um, I think after that year, we maybe sold 80 or 90 homes, and I was like, Alright, this is this is happening, like, let’s do this, right? And then we just went through the let’s hire, let’s bring out an EA, and we brought on someone to kind of hit man on demand was the
EA, executive assistant, is that what EA means executive
assistant? Yep. And then from there, you know, we, we basically started growing, kind of organically, like the, or I guess, at the time, he was an awesome, you know, person operations person. But they handled, they put a lot of things that we get away from me to let me continue to focus on selling and growing. And then before you know it, we had more opportunities than I can handle. And then we brought out a buyer’s agent. And it’s kind of like the, you know, the seventh level type of model how you continue to grow and leverage yourself more and more. And before you notice, probably 2015 2016, and we were selling 250 homes a year. And then it was like, Okay, now I started, I started hanging out in circles where people were selling 500,000 homes a year. And although 250 at the time felt like a big deal. When you’re hanging out with these people that are selling 1000 It’s like kind of suck, you know, it’s like I worthless. And so then I started aspiring to be to run a business more based on what some of these other people are building. And it kind of showed me that it’s like, Let’s be like, a big, it’s possible, let’s not be a big fish in a puddle. Let’s, you know, be a small fish in the ocean. And let’s keep growing. And so the funny thing is, we we started really growing heavy from late 2017 to I say, like 2021. And now we’ve kind of been, we’ve been pretty stable. Obviously, the launch of fellow be building a one other company potentially slowed us down a little bit. But it’s like, you know, we’ve been hovering between that five and 600 units a year. It’s a very comfortable business, our average agent sells about 45 homes a year on our team. So it’s, our agents are very high producers, very high productive. But now we’re actually at a place where once again, surrounding yourself with bigger agents in need being fellow has given me exposure to a lot of the biggest teams in the country. I see what some of these teams are building. And I realized that five to 600 units a year is nice, but we’re selling ourselves short, we can continue to grow. So we just kind of turned on that growth mode switch basically this year, to really start accelerating and expanding what we’re doing.
D.J. Paris 23:10
It’s incredible. It’s it’s I know, there’s probably a lot of our audience that feels Oh, I can’t relate to that kind of production. But I do want to say and Ryan made this very clear about outworking the competition being from his previous training of working at these high end culinary institutions and, and being expected to put in a lot of hours. But he was also not just putting in a lot of hours. He was doing the grunt work of real estate which is in you said it’s very quickly and I just want to make sure everyone who heard it understands what this is he mentioned about calling expireds and fizz bows and I always assume everybody knows what that means. But just in case you don’t. What that means is Ryan is calling people that do not want to hear from him because they have either hired a realtor who didn’t get their home sold, and they’re probably pissed off about it or it’s somebody who goes I am not going to work with a realtor. That’s the the for sale by owner I can I hope everyone knows what that means. But we’re calling people that do not want our calls. Ryan’s making those calls. And he’s and he’s having success with it. These are if you want to cut your teeth and really learn what you’re made of fizz bows and expireds are the battleground they are difficult they are tough. And these leads are sold to dozens of Realtors in your area every they get the same leads you do so it could be you could be sharing the same phone number with about 1520 other agents. So you might be the 15th phone call that person’s got the same day. So I’m just I’m making this a big deal because these are literally the toughest calls in real estate. And I think what a great place to just build character resiliency, learn how to talk to people outwork the competition, because you are definitely in competition on a Fizbo or an expired everybody’s drive and even wholesalers are trying to call them it’s just they’re getting bombarded so sorry to make such a big thing about this but it is important because It probably built a I’m curious what you learned from calling fizz bows and expireds. Because nobody talks about anymore.
Ryan Young 25:07
The I, I sound like the old guy that when I was there a guy to walk to school uphill both ways, bare feet and a couple feet of smell, like, I used to roleplay and practice every day, and I try to really, you know, press that upon my agents, the agents or the young team and be like, guys, like, I don’t think you understand the commitment, I invested into the craft of getting really good at it right. And then the second thing is, I realized that these are all just normal people. And they’re all you know, one of our core values is get out of judgment and envy, curiosity. And every time someone I talked to is pissed off, it’s like, they’re not pissed at me, right? They don’t know me, they don’t hate me. They know it’s like, but they’re in an uncomfortable situation. And the more you can approach a conversation is just the conversation. And I think I started to put, take less pressure off it and just listen more and come from a place of contribution. And trying to understand more, versus I think so many salespeople, they have these scripts, and the scripts are supposed to be a path or a guide of what you’re supposed to say. But when you’re, when you’re really, really dialed in, the conversation feels effortless, right? Like, this is what you do in your space, right? With podcasts and interviewing people, you make them very comfortable in opening up and talking. And it’s like, that’s our job when we’re calling these type of leads is to make them feel comfortable. And so sometimes if you just go through the script, but you’re not really listening to what they’re saying, it’s going to be it’s going to be, it’s just not going to end well, right. And so what I think I got really good at was so confident in my scripts and dialogues that I could sit back and actually listen and stop worrying about what the words on the paper say, or what I’m supposed to say. And actually just use those as kind of guiding points for me to get to where I wanted to go. And it completely changed the game. And it changed the game on how I approach listing presentations. And it changed the game how we approach building fellow as well, because it made me realize that like, there’s a lot of people out there that want our help. And it’s just a matter of the presentation of how we get in front of them and show them what they’re actually looking for, is how we can actually help them. And so that was that was like a, it was very big for our business for me to kind of grind my teeth on those and build our business through that because no matter what the markets doing, it could be 2010 all over again, or 2021 COVID I feel like I built the skill set to be able to go hunt, essentially and versus always just fielding inbound in nurturing and stuff like that. So it I’d say our business wouldn’t be where it was without that.
D.J. Paris 28:03
It’s an incredible growth, I think a great place to start talking about your newest endeavor. Again, it’s I definitely want to ask you about balancing your life because most Realtors I know struggle with boundaries around, you know, taking care of themselves, their families, their friends, their social, their physical health, etc. And their business. And you’re running two major businesses trying to do that in a team and you know, whatever’s going on in your personal life. And in you have time to even jump on a podcast with me. So I’m definitely would love to hear. But before we get to balance, I want to talk about fellow because this is you know, it’s funny, I’m in charge of the technology for our firm. So I get pitched by a lot of tech companies because we have about 800 agents and whatever I guess they think you know, we’d be a good sale. So I get I get a lot of pitches by different tech firms, and rarely to never do I do I hear about seller prospecting tools. We you know, obviously, the easiest type of leads to generate buyer leads. But there’s already a lot of different companies out there fighting in that space and you’re fighting in a different space. You’re playing in a different arena. I’m super excited to learn about it. So let’s talk about so by the way the website is Hi fellow.com hifelo.com But what is fellow tell us about it?
Ryan Young 29:26
Yeah, fellow is a seller lead generation platform. And I think the I always like to just preface we don’t sell leads, right? What we do is we help you incubate and help you create opportunities out of potential opportunities that you’ve already acquired. Okay, so
D.J. Paris 29:45
I want to ask a quick question. I’m sorry, I’m gonna interrupt you because I want to make this point. Why why did you decide not to sell leads? Obviously, you could have built that too. You could have built a lead generation platform and instead You said I want to build more of a sphere of influence nurturing, you know, already in your database seller lead platform, why the decision to go to somebody’s internal sphere versus the entirety of of, you know, the market?
Ryan Young 30:16
Yeah. So let me take the story back a couple of years. And I think this will help answer that question. So you mentioned in the intro, we had a company called Flash house, Flash house was a direct to consumer eye buyer that we built in Northeast Ohio. And within three years, we received about 5500 offer requests from sellers, okay. So we’re going direct to consumer, over three years, postcards, all these things, spending about six figures a month, driving these sellers or homeowners to request a cash offer. What was interesting to us was less than 2% of those people that requested an offer actually sold their home to us. So that 90 plus percent of people that were sitting there, I’m a homeowner, and I’m hands raised, hands raised, right. And so my, the young team was the beneficiary of those 98% of people, because I own both companies, right? So we realize that like, wait a minute, what are what are we doing here? Why are we trying to buy home? Why are we going direct to consumer, we feel like we’ve created some pretty powerful tools that have really helped us reduce down our customer acquisition costs. As we go direct to consumer, let’s empower agents with these tools. Right? In Originally, the whole thesis was we gave the agents the technology when we made it. And all we wanted to do is be the eye buyer standing behind them. So what it looked like was I call a few DJ and say, Hey, I’ve got a product, it’s free, all you have to do is upload your entire database, and we’re going to start incubating these opportunities. And if they want an instant offer a cash offer, we’re going to be the one to fulfill that cash offer behind you, and partner with you. And if we buy that house, then you’ll get to list it from us, you’ll be our listing agent after we buy it. So we piloted this in Northeast Ohio in June of last year. And we brought about 600 agents on the platform. And it worked. It was incredible. We started generating all these cash offers and all these people started raising their hands. But at the time, June of last year, interest rates started to rise, July they rise, Rose some more and then they kept rising. And for you know that 7%. And we wouldn’t we didn’t want to buy houses anymore, because there’s so much volatility, sure. But we found this unique tool that was driving us essentially opportunities for free, versus us spending the six figures a month going direct to consumer and trying to acquire new opportunities. So we realized that there was so many opportunities that were already acquired by the agents that were just sitting in their database that were, you know, that was stagnant that they haven’t talked to for a couple of years. And so if we can create this, essentially this engine that started to make those opportunities rise to the top, well, now all of a sudden, the agents don’t care, because it’s not costing them anything. We’re getting opportunities for free. So we have zero customer acquisition costs. Long story longer, we realize, Wait, why are we trying to buy houses, let’s just create a white labeled product and sell it to agents, essentially, to let them do whatever they want, they can buy the houses, they don’t have to buy the houses. Now ironically, you know, we launched it in October, I’d say more than 60% of our teams don’t even do a cash offer program, they just use it from the seller lead generation component. So we just realized, instead of selling leads, agents are already spending so much money trying to buy leads, let’s be a platform that’s a flat fee, that helps them actually create opportunities out of the existing database out of the prospects that they’ve already bought. And that’s where the real money is the money is in your database. And if we can help them shake that up and create the seller opportunities out of it. It’s really powerful.
Yeah, I used to, I used to have on a Coach Ryan de April, every every month on the show. And he’s I think he’s coming back shortly to for the fans of the show. He’ll be back. But He is fond of saying. So I’m just quoting him because it’s his statistic 16% of your database is going to transact and real is going to use going to need a realtor or transact in real estate in some way. Yeah, that’s what it is transacting real estate over the next 12 months. I’ll say it again. 16% of your database, according to Ryan will transact in real estate in the next 12 months. And if you have let’s just say 100 people in your database which would be a pretty moderately sized database, that’s 16 it’s 16 potential transactions but it’s really more like possibly 32 transactions because you have some people that are saying yeah, that was sorry that we are selling then buy something else or buy and sell whatever so that you know for people that are like wanting to buy leads because again the inclination is my database. I don’t have any current exciting offers coming up with within my sphere of influence, so I need to seek outside and Ryan with Say, Yeah, you probably don’t, that’s probably all going on internally, that you’re missing,
you’re 100%. And here’s what’s interesting. So we so if you do buy new opportunities that will let us help you convert those opportunities into also a seller, right. So we do three things really well, we take the client’s existing database, we plug it into our platform, and we start incubating them trying to drive seller leads, and these can be old buyer leads all paths, clients, or whatever, right? We plug them in our platform and start incubating them and basically creates a significant amount of traction on the seller side, we also take buyer leads in real time and sync them over to our platform to try to help them to become sellers, right? Because a lot of people that are looking to sell their home, first start off looking to buy. So if you’re getting a buyer lead, and that’s a predictive seller lead, right, maybe six months, 12 months out, so how can we start incubating them right. And then the third thing we do as we provide these, this marketing suite of products that are things like embeddable widgets, and landing pages and QR codes, to really help agents push it out organically, to continue to drive more people into that funnel. And what we found was, so we were doing the, you know, the ibuyer, we saw 30% of people that requested an instant offer would go to market within 12 months, right, like, so it’s a, it’s a start of if your mind is going to I wonder how much I can get from my house cash flow, you’re gonna sell the next thought you’re gonna sell in the next 12 months, what’s interesting, you’re
not gonna you’re not going to sell next week, you might you might sell and sell next
week, right, month 11. But our job is to incubate them and continue to drive them back to our custom dashboard that we built for these agents that keeps them working down the funnel. And what’s interesting is we had another revelation. The home value message is the most universal message message to every homeowner across the country, right? What’s my home worth. And so what we do is what we’ve gotten really good at is we leverage the home value message where my home’s worth to drive them into the funnel, and they land on this custom white label dashboard branded to your team and it’s all customizable. And we keep bringing them back to that dashboard every two weeks every two weeks, your home values change click here. And then there’s these additional call to actions like do you want to do a cash offer or if you want to get a CMA or if you want to sell now or whatever it is. So the goal is keep driving them back to that dashboard through the message of home value, what’s my homework, but then once they get there, try to get them down the funnel by hitting additional call to actions like as they get more serious stuff like that. And it’s interesting I’ve seen people in the young teams database seven eight months that have been incubating that finally in our clicking I want to sell my house and it’s like you know us as agents we have we’re so impatient. We just we want to attack them right as soon as they become a new lead. And a lot of times that’s not when they’re ready but then we give up on them fellow is sitting there incubating them and turning it over
D.J. Paris 37:59
to you know, it’s everything you said is so absolutely right on the money as a marketer I was I was just thinking about you know, I’m a I’m a condo owner and I was thinking the Irish I mean I’m going to use a different example so for a lot for all of us who are probably most of us receive experience monthly email that says your credit or at least I do, it’s free but I get like this thing that says my credit credit Yeah, whatever Yeah, whatever you’re getting, you’re getting that and it’s kind of I was called like the report card of life that like lets you know how you’re doing it you know that that credits the end all be all but the point is, is that every month I get an email in fact, I got it like the other day from Experian, one of the three credit unions and it said, Hey, congratulations, your score went up by three points. It’s like who cares? But it made me feel good. And and in to bring that into real estate is one thing that Realtors always forget is that even if you’re not looking to sell your home you it’s kind of nice to know what it’s worth on a monthly basis. So this idea of incubate I mean, what is Zillow? Zillow is two things. It’s here’s all the homes for sale in the area. And here’s what your home’s worth. That’s really all Zillow is, and they’re brilliant because people do want to know what their home is worth. And if you can, instead of them having to seek it out, if you can send that to them. And you can, you know, send that out to them proactively, which is what fellow does. I mean, that is significantly important. I’m in a new development I bought two years ago, I have received 00 communications from the 46,000 realtors in Chicago that said hey, you’re you bought your home for this and it’s now action while they there’s probably a reason it’s probably worth less than what I paid for it but but the point is, let’s just say that even in worth was worth more I still wouldn’t have gotten any messaging saying just so you know your your home’s. We think your home’s actually appraised by x. We’d love to talk more about that with you further. And by the way two people have already sold properties within that two years. So It’s not like people aren’t transacting in my building they are. Because you know, life events, people move, whatever. I love it, I think that is so bright. So I sort of stole your thunder there. But tell me tell me more about how fellow actually does the incubation part the, the automatic part of of nurturing.
Ryan Young 40:17
Yeah, everything is emailed lead generation. So it’s like, we have found, you know, we don’t, we completely sync with everyone’s CRMs. So if they’re doing automated texting plans or calling out of their CRM as they can, but basically, what we’ve gotten just really good at is driving that opportunity into the funnel, and then just incubating them through email and continuing to bring the consumer back every two weeks and landing on that dashboard. And like I said, I mean, it’s, it’s powerful when you when you build a database, and you realize that if they’re not landing on your dashboard, that means they’re probably going to a different person’s dashboard, or to Zillow dashboard, or realtor.com, or whatever it is, where they’re trying to essentially sell that opportunity to another agent. And so we’re really trying to help agents on the seller side, get their ecosystem, get their database back, essentially. And it’s been really powerful. It’s why we’ve grown as quick as we have, we’re working with the biggest agents all over the country. And you know, once again, the buyer side is very oversaturated, everyone is selling buyer leads, we just feel like we’re kind of playing in our own sandbox with focusing on seller lead generation. And I think now with just the climate of the market, with there being limited inventory. It’s just really
clicking. I love it, I have a bold prediction that Ryan’s company, if they haven’t already been receiving a buy offer from Lone Wolf technologies, they buy everybody who has a great product. So that is a I’ve just, I’m just being silly. But lone wolf seems to acquire really great idea companies, and this is one that I would imagine they would love to have in their portfolio. But fellow is is really cool, because you’re so right, everybody wants seller leads, because of course, those are the arguably easier of the two types of real estate leads to, to have to work. And yeah, they are the most coveted leads, and you’re there, you’re what you’re doing is you’re not selling leads, of course, because you’re you’re actually just taking somebody’s existing sphere of influence, and you’re nurturing it for them. And a lot of companies claim to do that. But I would sure love to put my faith in a company that’s helmed by the guy who runs the largest Keller Williams, or the largest team in Ohio. And and I’m not saying that to shower praise on you, but just objectively, that seems like a good idea. For me, well, I am
I am and my team is using it, my team is using it day in and day out. And so we’re building it but you know, with feedback based off of, you know, feedback based off of what my team seeing and when we’re breaking in we’re we’re having success and stuff like that. So we are the user. So this is not like us being some tech people in Silicon Valley, you know, that have no ideas what it’s like to be in the agent shoes, you know?
And you’re you’re not a tech guy, that’s not your background, how did you How and why did you decide to even build fellow?
Um, you know, we it’s all been an accident, right? Everything has been unintentional, but it’s like, we saw an opportunity. And then we saw another opportunity and then we saw demand and then a next thing you know, it’s like this is happening and like I said, it was not what it was. I was just trying to build give myself a competitive advantage. And it turns out that it we realized that it’s very, when you power it with technology, it’s very expandable and scalable and I it just kind of came organically
D.J. Paris 43:57
I think to what fellow can do which is I’m curious to hear your thoughts on is it can it’s not about necessarily waiting for somebody to say raise their hand and say I’m ready to sell. It’s actually it can be influential because I know if tomorrow if I got an email from an agent that was using fellow that said, Hey DJ, just FYI I think your home your condo is appreciated $200,000 Which by the way would be that’s a fantasy it’s not going to happen but if it did, I’d be like I think about selling Am I actively seeking out the Zestimate or what it’s worth I’m in this industry and I have no idea what my what my place is worth at the moment so I’m not looking but if somebody were to send me in Now obviously that’s an extreme example but if somebody were to just to send me Hey, here’s here’s what’s happened. Here’s what other places are going for in your area you know just updates again the surface part of this job in between the sales the here’s what’s important to you, Mr. homeowner or Mr. or Mrs. renter or whoever. This is what you’ll need today, even though you might not Lead me for the next five years, here’s what can be helpful. That’s what really fellow does is it’s consistently reminding, giving, giving the, the the sphere of influence actual value in between transactions. Yeah.
Ryan Young 45:13
Well, and what we’ve gotten good at is the what we’ve gotten really good at is actually getting them to take actionable items to work their way down the funnel to become real sellers to AI from a lead generation standpoint and stuff like that. So there’s a lot of products out there that are informative and like to incubate, but what we’ve gotten really good at is actually creating leads, and actually creating conversion, I guess I should say, out of these existing opportunities to get them to raise their hands to actually become listing appointments for you.
D.J. Paris 45:45
Amazing what everybody Ryan is gotta run. He is running the largest team in Ohio, he’s got stuff to do. So let’s support him. We’re gonna get him back on the show because we’re going to do a deeper dive into how he runs his team as well. But high fellow.com is the website h i f e l l o guys seller, lead gen seller lead gen that’s the gold those are the Glengarry leads, if you know. Yeah, those are what we call it, we call them the Glengarry leads at our. But anyway, those are the top of the mountain leads Hi fellow.com, learn about what they can do with your sphere of influence to get you more seller appointments. And also guys, if you’re in the north, if you’re in Northeast Ohio, you should probably work with the young team, let’s just be honest, go to the young team.com. Learn about what these guys do. Maybe it’d be a great fit for them. They have high expectations, so they don’t take it just anyone but their Keller Williams, awesome, amazing institution. Obviously, Ryan and his team are insanely successful, and great, guys. So please reach out to them if you think what they could offer and what you could offer them and they could offer you. So anyway, the young team.com is the place to go. Ryan, thank you so much for being on the show. I know how busy you are and appreciate. And I’m so excited to watch. Hi, I keep wondering called Hi, fellow fellow. But the websites Hi fellow.com. I keep wanting I’m excited to see the trajectory of fellow and how you continue to evolve the product. And maybe we’ll do like a giveaway for our listeners at some point or some sort of something we have.
Ryan Young 47:17
That’d be awesome. I just got I was just gonna say I appreciate I mean, it’s just cool to you know, spend time in hanging out with you. And, you know, there’s been a lot of really incredible members or you know, you’ve had a pretty strong audience on here. So I’m honored to be a part of that list.
D.J. Paris 47:37
Yeah, well, you were super easy to talk to. I feel like I feel like you and I could be could be brothers in some way. So yeah. So for everyone. Let’s support Ryan and check out hi fellow.com. Let’s also check out the young team. By the way, if you guys have clients that are moving to Ohio, or, you know, reach out to Ryan email to his, he and his team would love those referrals. Guys, last thing, please tell a friend about this show, we would appreciate it. Just think of one other agent in your office that would love to hear how somebody goes from being a top chef to a top real estate agent. Shoot them over a link to this episode, you can find us at keeping it real pod.com We are also on all the social networks. So check us out just search because it’s not always keeping it real is not always the actual handle. So just search for keeping it real podcast to hit that subscribe button. And we appreciate it. Ryan, thank you for your time. On behalf of Ryan and myself. We say thank you to the audience for sticking around to the very end. We appreciate you Ryan. We will talk See you later and we will see everybody on the next episode. Thanks Ryan.
Ryan Young 48:42
Thanks, DJ. Appreciate it.