Inman is interviewing top producers in real estate. Here’s Brian Talley, broker-owner at Regent Property Group.
What does your administrative support team look like, or do you have one?
I used to have an assistant and sold higher volume. Now I sell fewer homes at a higher dollar value and do everything myself. My higher-price-point customers expect and deserve my hands-on involvement.
What areas of your business do you pay personal attention to? What have you outsourced?
A few years ago I built a custom CRM using the Propertybase platform, which is built on top of Salesforce. The system has allowed me to manage my business efficiently and do just about everything related to my deals and marketing on my own. I usually sell two to four deals a month, so it is manageable to do it myself.
If the volume increased, then I would hire an assistant to do the administrative work, which I have done in the past.
What sets you apart?
I care about people and doing what is right. I work smart and hard, and have a marathon mentality to success. I mind the details and do everything possible to please the customer. And I’m constantly learning.
Describe your job.
I live and work in the heart of West Austin, Texas, in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. I typically sell homes over $500,000 into the millions. My customers are mainly referrals and occasionally out-of-state buyers who find me online.
Where did you start?
I was one of the fortunate few Texans who got a job in Austin, Texas, right out of college. I worked for a developer leasing commercial space. I worked my way into corporate real estate where I leased and sold 575,000 square feet and 37 acres of office, industrial and residential properties around the country. I started my own brokerage, Regent Property Group, after nine years on the commercial side of the business.
Did you imagine when you were younger that you’d be a top producer?
I wanted to be an inventor or a rancher when I was young. I never thought I would sell homes, but if I do something, I want to do it right. I am my own hardest critic.
How did you get where you are?
I started by finding a job out of school where I could learn and pay my dues. Something with growth potential. I worked my tail off for years and then pursued growth opportunities as they presented themselves. I took a big financial risk to start my own business just as the economy was starting to tank in 2007.
With the help of my wife, we were able to push through the recession and first few difficult years of our business to then enjoy the ride of the wave of the recovery. Staying in one industry and becoming the expert in that industry has been a good decision.
Are you part of a team or are you doing it solo?
I’m a solo agent, but I manage 14 other agents as well. Some of my other agents will gracefully help me on occasion if I’m busy.
Who are your heroes?
My wife, mom, and all the mothers out there doing so much for their families and others. There are so many women out there raising kids and working, which can be incredibly hard. I couldn’t be nearly as successful without the support of my wife. And my own mother gave me incredible support and love growing up and taught me a lot about responsibility and money.
I’m so thankful for both of them and for all the women out there who are doing so much for their own families.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning? What’s the last thing you do before you leave?
I prioritize my to-do list and tackle the top two to three priorities first thing. It is usually customer- or new business-related. At the end of the day, I’m knocking out all the knickknack items I wanted to get done all day — like answer these questions!
What’s the first thing you do when you’re off work for the day?
Run or exercise. Read the paper. Do an activity with my wife and girls, who are 8, 5 and almost 1.
What’s your favorite place to unwind?
I don’t get to do it much, but I love water sports on the lake. We currently have a club membership at the Reserve on Lake Travis where we can swim, ride horses and enjoy views of Lake Travis.
What do you think is the biggest barrier to success in today’s real estate industry? How have you overcome it?
People seem to get in their own way of success. We are in a competitive environment in the USA, and people expect high-quality customer service, responsiveness, professionalism and results. If you are not willing or able to give this to your customers, then you will not succeed. To overcome, learn to put ego aside and work your butt off to learn, serve and achieve results.
How do you deal with stress?
I exercise as much as possible and try hard to eat healthy and sleep well. I take two or three one week-plus vacations a year and try to take weekends off as much as possible. It is amazing how much more productive one can be by taking care of their body and mind.
If you could change anything about your career path, would you?
I believe one can take many paths and be happy and successful. That said, I believe that I’ve done the best possible with the opportunities presented to me over the years. I’m happy and proud to live in Austin!
And I’m really pleased with the residential real estate agent culture here in Austin. There are some difficult people, but for the most part there is a really great group of Realtors living and working here.
Are you a top producer who’d like to participate in our profile series? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.