Episode 68 - GRIT The Real Estate Growth Mindset with Brian Icenhower

Brian Icenhower has been in the real estate industry for nearly 3 decades. His father was a real estate broker which got him exposed to this business at a

Brian Charlesworth

Brian Charlesworth

Chairman & CEO

Brian is an entrepreneur and business builder. He has built and sold companies in the software, telecommunications, and franchise space. He’s passionate about technology and focused on changing lives through driving technology forward.

Brian Icenhower has been in the real estate industry for nearly 3 decades. His father was a real estate broker which got him exposed to this business at a young age. He went into law school and practiced for a couple of years until he realized it wasn’t for him.  That’s when he decided to start a high producing real estate team in California and run a small boutique brokerage that later grew to a big brokerage. From then on, he opened a few more large brokerages in California and in the midwest, which he still owns today.

Along the way, Brian realized that his true passion is helping people succeed. So he decided to become a real estate coach and trainer where he focuses more of his time nowadays.

Today, Brian is the CEO and Founder of Icenhower Coaching & Consulting (ICC), which provides customized and structured coaching & training programs for real estate agents & team leaders, representing many of the top producing agents in North America. Aside from being an internationally recognized real estate trainer, speaker and coach, Brian is also a best-selling author.  His most recent book, The High Performing Real Estate Team is due to be out in September, later this year.

In this episode, we talked about:

02:02 How Brian got into the real estate industry 

04:12 The value of having a passion for something (other than money) that fuels you

06:20 What made Brian decide to write a book about real estate teams

09:05 Who has a better chance of survival? Solo agents or Teams?

14:44 How crucial is having a team dashboard to monitor activities that generate business

16:01True or False: Today’s market is the easiest market for buyer’s agents to operate in

19:56 The key you should be focusing on as an agent in this market

24:16 Why every agent should have their own dashboard

24:30 Why you need to focus on activities, not just results

26:32 How SISU helps in cultivating responsibility through public accountability

28:52 What Brian thinks of agents being replaced by iBuyers

35:13 The biggest missing piece for most agents

To get a FREE 30-minute consultation with top coaches from Icenhower Coaching and Consultation, go to www.icenhowercoaching.com

To pre-order Brian’s book: The High Performing Real Estate Team, go to:


Get 1 FREE course of your choice from their site if you forward your order confirmation to books@icenhowercoaching.com 

Episode Transcript:

Brian Charlesworth  0:35  

Alright, Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the Grit podcast. I'm Brian Charlesworth, your host of the show, and today I'm here with Brian Icenhower. And Brian has a long standing background in real estate. He's the CEO and founder of Icenhower Coaching and Consulting. And they provide all kinds of coaching that we'll learn more about today for teams brokerages agents, in addition to that Brian has served on numerous boards of real estate platforms. Also, I think you also served on NAR if I'm not mistaken, Brian, I read somewhere. But anyway, Brian's a an attorney, and a nationally recognized real estate coach, trainer, author. And so we're going to get into that today. And speaker. So anyway, Brian, I don't know what I've missed, probably a lot. But welcome to the show. And feel free to add anything you'd like. 

Brian Icenhower  1:33  

Oh, that's good. That's good by me, Brian. Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.

Brian Charlesworth  1:36

Yeah, my pleasure. So just getting started. So you've been in real estate a long time now and have seen changes in industry cycles of the 2008's of the world, and now what we're what's hitting the market today. But you also so I think have been around long enough to see some major changes in just technologies that are available to people. So I'd love to hear about how you got started in the industry and just maybe walk us through where you feel the industry is at today. I'd be really interested in your take of that. 

Brian Icenhower  2:12 

Sure. Well, I've been in it for about 30 years now. So it's been a long time. Yeah, I was pre-internet you know, way back. So technology was a scientific calculator back then. Three internet so if you were there pre internet, that would be pre MLS that will no MLS was around. But yeah, the online MLS Yes. We just had books, you know, with, yes, smudge marks that look like houses in them that we faxed photos in and then they got regurgitated back as inkblots as houses. But yeah, it's been a while. And I got into it, right. I mean, if I had to be honest, because my dad was a broker for 50 years before he ultimately passed away. So I was exposed to real estate that way. Early on, I took a small job. I was a real estate attorney for a few years, early early in my career, went to law school, um, did sell some real estate during that time, actually, and, and practiced for a few years really quickly found out that wasn't for me. I got into selling myself. I had a very high producing real estate team in California ended up running a small boutique brokerage, you know, later grew that to a large brokerage opened up quite a few. I'm still the owner of quite a few large brokerages in California and some of the Midwest. Along the way, I became a real estate coach and trainer. And that's where I put most of my focus today. It's our coaching and consulting and we coach about 500 agents across North America, one of the largest real estate coaching companies out there now, we have you know, very large online platforms where we have about over 100,000 subscribers to that, that go through our training materials and and are a part of our Real Estate Trainer community and Facebook group online called the Real Estate Agent Roundtable. So we cultivate that and I've been able to reach more people that way, which is kind of a big thing I learned along this now three decade journey, I guess is I really like helping people and helping people succeed. And, you know, I did that for myself. And then I did that for a small team. And then I was able to do that for a brokerage, then a bigger brokerage than brokerages and now I can get outside of my brokerages and really try to help everybody and I get a lot of value from that. And I've got to watch a lot and that's that's really what pushes me and of course, you know, success that comes with it. profits that come with that are great, but I have always found that it's good to have kind of a passion and inner desire for something other than money fueling you and that's kind of what's continued to fuel and lately it's, it's been really rewarding just because of so many changes, you know, with, you know, a global pandemic and you know, things you know, technology elevating it's such a quick, quick rate and now big shifts in the market. Get. So all of that it's created a lot of changing and a lot of needing to navigate businesses and make changes and quick shifts and pivots and businesses. And that's really fun to be out in front of that stuff and make decisions and strategize on what to do. So, for me, it's never been more fun than it is right now.

Brian Charlesworth  5:17  

Awesome. So you are not only coaching people on their businesses, but simultaneously you are running real estate businesses, you own several brokerages. 

Brian Icenhower  5:27  

Yeah, I Will say that I'm not I'm not really in the day to day of those brokerages anymore. Other people are running them, but I do. I do kind of I'm there as a consultant and a coach when needed, you know, every now and then I'll be involved in a hiring, you know, decision or something like that. But if things are going well, I really don't know what's going on. Let's put it that way.

Brian Charlesworth  5:45  

Yeah. Okay. So something I want to hit on today, Brian, I think there's no doubt, I believe that the largest book that changed the real estate world was probably Gary Keller's, The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, right. I agree with that MREA book. So anyway, that was a book that really taught people how to build a team. And I haven't seen a lot of other books around that. But word on the street is that you are now coming out with a book really focused on real estate teams. Is that right?

Brian Icenhower  6:16  

Yeah, it is. And boy, you hit it right. Wiley publications, which is a publisher, reached out to me, and I've written a few books before with different publishers, but Wiley is kind of a well known educational book publishing company. And they put a lot of great books out there through a lot of industries, they reached out to me a few years back, and we started collaborating on an effort, they said exactly what you just said, We need another book about real estate teams and updated one, and one that got a little bit more specific about how to structure how to run and how to successfully manage a high producing real estate team. So that's what we've been working on for about three years. And it's a much bigger project than I had imagined. But I'm happy to say it is now finished, it has made it all the way through copy editing, formatting, and it is due to be released on September 28. of this year. So I'm thrilled to have that come out. And I really do think that we are in need of an update. I love the millionaire real estate agent book, and I respect Gary Keller at the highest levels. I learned so much from that book. And I think I've probably read it easily over 20 times. I can quote specific pages in that book. But at the same time, you know, things have really changed over the last 20 years and things have evolved. And there's a lot of different ways to structure a real estate agent’s business. And I think The High Performing Real Estate Team book goes into a lot of those different ways, from how to structure and how to how to pay your people, how to hire your people, how to run a team, how to manage it going forward. And so it really is intended not just for team leaders, but for entire teams to read together, and help that team grow from agent production to size of the team to market share. Very excited for that one to get out.

Brian Charlesworth  8:10  

Great. Sounds like it's really targeted, specifically at the team owner or someone wanting to become a team.

Brian Icenhower  8:17  

Yeah, I mean, but you're gonna see it reinforces. It can be read by buyer's agents, listing specialists and admins as well, too. It kind of reinforces best practices for real estate teams, and everybody on it. And it's also intended for the solo agent, too, because I have found over the years that solo agents want to know if they should be on a team? Should I form a team? What does that look like? It's hard to make those decisions if you don't know what it takes. And this book tells you what it takes. So I really think if you're in real estate, it's a good read for you period, just so you uncover a lot of the myths about it and you get and you know, and can make the most informed decision on where you want to go with your real estate career.

Brian Charlesworth  8:59  

Okay, so I'd love to dig a little deeper into that. So you just said, you know, for that individual agent, should I be on a team? Should I start a team? How do I know where to end up? Or where should I just go to be a solo agent somewhere, which in my opinion, is a really tough place to be right now. But I'd love to hear your opinions and really what what the book would teach us in that in that scenario?

Brian Icenhower  9:24  

Well, I will say everyone's different. So there's not one answer here. I want to clarify that. But I can speak in generalities very, very comfortably. Because one of the things I told you about these brokerages, I had a big hand in growing them and I was very much involved in the operations of them as they were being started and formed. Okay, you know, some of these brokerages have hundreds of agents in them so I got a pretty good segment and I could ascertain which agents will get a license and come in and join the brokerage right. And after a while you start to get a feel for the chances of success. Per agent, right? So these agents would come in. And I would always say, okay, a solo agent would have a 1 in 10 chance of succeeding. And to me succeeding means, you know, you're closing, you know, 10-15 transactions a year you're living I mean, you're not, you know, flying on jets and stuff. But you're, you're surviving in real estate,right? 

Brian Charlesworth  10:24  

Survive is the word. 

Brian Icenhower  10:25  

No, we'll use it. One in ten. So many of them would join and just disappear and you never see them again, or, and these were big brokerages. So we had found that, hey, there was, it's really hard to judge a book by its cover. So until they come in, we'll see how they do. Right. And that was the idea. And we'll give everybody the opportunity to succeed. We'll be there for everybody. But it's amazing how many just don't show up. I mean, I think that the national average, every year stated by the National Association of Realtors is 33% don't make it past their first year, and a shocking 87% don't make it past five years before they stop renewing their MLS dues. And that's astonishing. So it's a very low success rate. It's a numbers game. But it is. So that's why when I say one out of 10, it might have surprised you. But really, if you look at your agent population and any multiple listing service across North America, you'll see about 50-60% of the agent population has not closed a transaction in the last year. Yes. So that alone tells you, Hey, there's a lot that still needs to go. So one out of 10 students had a project, but in our offices, they were very big. And they still are. So therefore they typically had a lot of the largest highest producing real estate teams within them. Okay, and they still do. And a lot of those teams were there because teams need agents. Right. So the value of these big brokerages, well, one of the values, oftentimes the chief value, these big brokerages provide these agents as they provide them with agents, right? Because if I'm the team leader of a team, I'm not just focused on getting listings, that's kind of playing small ball. If I'm focused on getting agents that can bring me 10 to 20 listings a year. So getting more agents gets me a lot more transactions a lot more quickly than just focusing on getting listings. So if you're playing with people as instead of products, real estate teams will grow a lot faster. And those types of concepts are why at ICC, we coach a lot of the highest producing real estate teams in North America. And they get so big and they get so leveraged. And so at these brokerages, we would see that. And I found that agents that came in, that went on one of these teams had about a one in three shot at success, as opposed to a one in 10 shot. So that means they're more than three times more likely to survive if they go on a team. That's a long way around to give you the answer. But I had to tell you.

Brian Charlesworth  13:06  

That's a great answer.

Brian Icenhower  13:08  

And I've literally, this is after watching thousands of agents, because, you know, there's a churn rate of all these new agents coming in and 33% not making it every year and all of that, you know, are leaving the business and even higher percentage leaving the brokerage or, or, or just drifting into the ether, you know, that's the big one is the drifting into the ether, I've got my license, and I don't really need to work and I don't really like you know, and then pretty soon they disappear into the house, you never seem in the office again, and they sell one house every few years. A lot of that.

So, but again, I don't call those success stories. It is not just my belief. I know. Because I often met these people when they first joined and their intentions when they first got that license and join the brokerage were to set the world on fire. But then two to three years later, they see what it takes and those intentions change, then it's like, well, I'm going to do more Airbnb, or I might start flipping homes or you know, I'm going to work part time. And so the motivation change once we see that it's not all HGTV, and we have to do some things to generate business.

Brian Charlesworth  14:12  

And I jumped into real estate because I really love seeing homes, right? Yeah, no, that's the sales game now. And that's what you were talking about. Brian, you said this is a numbers game. And it is a numbers game as far as the number of people agents coming in and surviving. But it's also a numbers game as far as what you need to do to be successful. So can you talk about that for a minute?

Brian Icenhower  14:34  

Yeah, well, I tell you what, you're gonna like this. Okay, so

Brian Charlesworth  14:37  

I'm obviously gonna like this, because, right, but yeah,

Brian Icenhower  14:41  

yeah, yeah. And one thing about Sisu and the platforms you put out there, that is one of the crucial things that we need to do to be successful and you didn't tell me to say this. We didn't talk about this, but it does tie in with my book. We didn't talk about that either. But I talked about the five key components to running a successful real estate team. Okay, they lay out these five components. Okay, I just want to talk about one of them, which is component number four, which is having a team dashboard. We have got to have something that monitors those key activities, which I call ABI's (activity based indicators). Okay, a lot of people call KPIs, some sort of activities that we do on a daily basis to generate business. And then we've got to be able to see them somehow. And we've got to be held accountable to doing them by someone so that we stay on top of it. And right now in this market, that's extremely hard to do. You know, there's low inventory, so agents are writing four and five times as many offers to do the same amount of transactions in this market. Now, even though they should believe it or not, buyer's agents shouldn't be working so hard in this market, this is the easiest market for buyer's agents to operate in. I'm gonna say it again, this is the easiest market for buyer's agents to be operating in a hot seller's market. Because you don't have to show many homes, there aren't many homes to show. So it's a lot less work right now, you only have to show three or four properties to get one under contract, where in any other market, you're showing 10 - 20, even 30 properties to get one under contract. And that's the bulk of the time spent by a buyer's agent. But buyer's agents don't think that way right now. So you have to reset their mind, if you're a team leader, or a coach or a trainer, whoever's watching have to reset their mind. So they realize, Oh, wait a minute, at least I'm not showing property every night. And every weekend. Right now, all I'm having to do is deal with the two negatives of a hot seller's market, which we have seen, I've had the fortune of seeing. This is my third. 2004, '05 or '06 was the last one. And what it means is you have to write four times as many offers, which doesn't take much time to write offers. So that's the hard part, you have to write more offers, which is a lot less time and is showing more property. But you do have to deal with the negative aspect. And there is a very negative mental aspect that is associated with all that rejection. Yeah, and not only for you the agent, because you want to get paid and you just keep getting rejected. And you just want to wring the neck of these listing agents and agents start behaving very badly towards each other because of all the anxiety and panic in the air. Because the buyers themselves are so upset. They've got no one else to be upset with other than you their buyer's agent,  because you're the person they're talking to. So they're mad at you. You didn't get them out. Yeah. Right. So then that crazy. 

Brian Charlesworth  17:48  

You're his agent, and then the buyer's agents are mad at the listing agent. 

Brian Icenhower  17:50  

Yeah, it's just like a funnel of angst running  through the entire industry. And they get mad at the lenders, they get mad that you know, it just flows all the way through. So even though it's this red-hot market that has record sales volume, and listening to this record inventory, that's the one that most people don't get to. We've never had more listings than most, but it doesn't feel like it. Because they're only here for a split second. But then you go back and look at each month and we have record numbers of sales volume. Well, if there's record numbers of sales volume there, there has to be record numbers of listings. Because it takes a listing to get a sale.

Brian Charlesworth  18:29  


Brian Icenhower  18:30  

But people don't realize that. We have more listings than we can handle. We just have out of control buyer demand.

Brian Charlesworth  18:35  

Yeah, that's a really interesting way to look at it. I don't think I have heard anybody say, this year that we have record inventory. But the reality is we do for a day, right? I mean, record number of homes hitting the market.

Brian Icenhower  18:50  

We've never had more listings hit the market. Well, 2005 and 2006 are real close, but we're going to pass them this year.

Brian Charlesworth  18:58  

Okay, so that's a great, great piece of advice. Thank you for sharing that. I love that. The other thing you share that really stands out to me is in a normal market, you're just going to go out and you're going to show 5 or 10 homes. But wouldn't you rather write for offers than do that? Because it takes less of your time. So it's a really great way to look at it. I think just that perception of.. My wife runs a real estate team. So I see you know, sometimes the agents feel like, Oh, it's impossible to get someone under contract, right? Some of the agents feel that way. And others are like, Oh, yeah, I can go and get someone under contract. No big deal, right? It's just how do you feel about it? And are you sharpening your skills to do it but so right,

Brian Icenhower  19:38  

Think of it this way as it relates to SISU, I mean, you've got buyer pipelines, right?Where we actually are looking at all of your A leads or, your hot leadsor, your most active buyers, whatever you want to call them. And when we manage those in the pipeline, yes, in this type of market, the key that you need to focus on as an agent As an activity based indicator is not how many I'm putting under contract, it's how many active buyers do I have in my pipeline? Okay, and that should be in front of our teams every single week. Because this year, I'm using very round numbers. And it's different in different parts of the country, but it's similar in every part of the country, you might have, or what  was put this way last year, if you wanted to close 20, buyer side transactions, you probably had to work with 30 buyers, because 10 of them just aren't going to get a house. Right, they're going to be unrealistic, they're, they're going to need closing costs, they're going to have an FHA loan or something you know, or for whatever reason 10 of them aren't going to make this year. If you want to close 20 transactions you're looking at, you need to probably be working with 60 to 80 buyers, because a good solid 66 to 75% of buyers are not going to be able to get a home.

Brian Icenhower  21:18  

I mean, if you've got a loan at all, it's a red flag, let alone an FHA or a VA or you need closing costs, or you're even remotely unrealistic, or you're slightly picky about the location or the home you want. Or you're just not quick enough, all of those things. So we can't get hung up as agents on one particular buyer, or we're gonna blow our whole career, and, and we're not gonna be able to successfully help our other clients that are able to buy it'd be like a doctor getting frustrated, because he asked to tell a client that they've got cancer and then getting very sad and not being able to operate or deliver a baby. You know what I'm saying? Like, you have to be professional, and there's gonna be some people, you have to tell they have cancer, and there's gonna be some people you have to deliver a baby to, and you can't take the the mental negativity from one scenario into the other, you're going to have to be professional and shut it down. And being a realtor isn't all about happy roses and unicorns. You know, we do get to deliver babies when we hand the keys to our buyer. But then we also have to tell people, they have cancer too. And some people need to go borrow money from a family member to buy something cash, and then hopefully refinance it later. Like, we have to have those conversations now. And there's gonna be a lot of people who can't do that. So therefore, they're not going to buy a house. And if we get hung up on the one or two buyers we have that can't get a home. We're not going to keep generating more buyers that can because we have to get through 80 to get 20 type of scenario. It's a numbers game, and we have to play. 

Brian Charlesworth  22:54  

That's all great advice, Brian, thanks for sharing. It's a perspective I haven't necessarily heard. And I'm talking to people everyday in this business. So thank you, um, what is the name of your new book?

Brian Icenhower  23:04  

The name of the new book is The High Performing Real Estate Team. 

Brian Charlesworth  23:08  

The higher performing real es... 

Brian Icenhower  23:08  

The High Performing Real Estate

Brian Charlesworth  23:10  

The High Performing Real Estate Team. Okay.

Brian Icenhower  23:12  

 it's not too innovative on the title.

Brian Charlesworth  23:14  

Okay, so The High Performing Real Estate Team, you covered point number four in detail. Can you just give us what are points 1, 2, 3 and 5?

Brian Icenhower  23:23  

Yeah, and in a, in a nutshell, we're going to talk about a goal. Okay. And we call it a viral goal. It's a goal that, you know, a team goal or an organizational goal, it could be a brokerage to buy, by the way, it doesn't have to be just a totally real estate team. So it's a viral goal that encompasses the goals of all the different team members. So it actually is going to be a goal that runs virally through the entire organization. So let's say a real estate team, you've got buyer's agents, listing specialists inside sales agents, listening matters. They've all got personal goals, those personal goals are tied into the team's organizational goal. And we show you how to build that. So that everybody's vested, because too often with real estate teams, you have a high performing leader that has a goal, and that's the only person who really cares about the team's goal, the rep just want to get their money, you know what I'm saying and get paid on all body and the team's goal.

Brian Charlesworth  24:15  

Yeah, every agent should have their own goal and their own dashboard, in my opinion. So that really so they can have positive accountability with whoever's leading that team. Absolutely.

Brian Icenhower  24:24  

And it should be all aligned. Yeah, and you and your platform, and SISU does a great job of doing that does a great job of doing that. Our second key component is we're activity based, right? We have to focus on activities not just results, because too often we get hung up on the results. And that is a killer in this market. Like we just talked about. If you're all worried about, you know how many offers you write and get under contract, you know, you're going to get real frustrated in this markets. We focus on the activities, how many contacts are you making, how many active buyers are you building and we have faith that by focusing on activities, the results will follow. So our key focus is activities out in front of us all the time.

Brian Charlesworth  25:04  

So an active buyer would be basically anybody in their pipeline really that maybe it's assigned buyers that would that is signed by a broker or something.

Brian Icenhower  25:12  

Oh, yeah. Well, I like to kind of do it. But yes, you are correct. Usually, it's a buyer that we're trying to move into signed by our exclusive agency agreement, right. So we're focusing, or people even call those buyer listings, you know, so we've got this buyer inventory growing. So our focus is constant contact with our a buyers, buyers that are actively looking and would buy something, if they found the house they wanted. And they will actively go look right now that roughly is what we call an A buyer. And we're repeatedly making are focusing our most attention on those birds in the hand. And we're trying to move them into our pipeline that has signed a buyer broker agreement, whoever gets the most buyer broker agreements, that's the result, the activity that we're focused on the API is contacts made to those active buyers, and that is the most important metric to focus on

Brian Charlesworth  26:08  

the contacts made the conversations or, you know, text messages, whatever, correct? You bet.

Brian Icenhower  26:13  

And that's our focusing on those activities. And how do we do that? What are the different ways we do that? What different markets do we do that in, there's a bunch of different ways to, you know, to generate business, in, in real estate and a lot of different ways you can do that. And we talked a lot about that in the book. And then our third component is cultivating responsibility through public accountability. And that's where, you know, assist you, you know, dashboard up in front of a whole team, daily, weekly, so that everybody sees, and everybody's vulnerable to their efforts with regards to those activities. And results are also public too. So we want to make those public. That's just kind of like, I mean, that's, that's pretty basic, I think everybody can relate to trying to go to the gym by yourself, or trying to work out by yourself, or do you really go to church, if your wife doesn't make, you know, having that public accountability increases the likelihood that you're going to do something a little bit uncomfortable, that ultimately gets you the results you want. So trying to cultivate personal responsibility through public accountability is the concept that leads us into what I mentioned before driving growth with a dashboard. And then finally, the fifth one is huddling up, we got to meet, how do we meet? What are the best ways to meet? What are the best times to meet? What is that? What are team meeting agendas? How do we structure our meeting, and we call that huddling up? Okay, the word meeting, that's how we do it. 

Brian Charlesworth  27:43  

So The High Producing Real Estate Team with this book comes out set Not till September,

Brian Icenhower  27:48  

September 28. That's correct.

Brian Charlesworth  27:51  

Can I get a copy sooner?

Brian Icenhower  27:53  

I think I can get you a copy sooner. I think I can work that out. Brian, that's great. I just don't know what format it's going to be in, but you'll be able to read it.

Brian Charlesworth  28:01  

We're gonna see if we can just put a picture of each of these activities happening within Sisu. On your cover, that would be a good cover for us. You know,

Brian Icenhower  28:09  

I like that.

Brian Charlesworth  28:12  

Everything you point out in this book happens to be our focus so that 

Brian Icenhower  28:16  

I know that, I thought you'd like it.

Brian Charlesworth  28:18  

Yeah. Yes, very much.

Brian Icenhower  28:21  

So people are gonna think we planned this, but we didn't.

Brian Charlesworth  28:25  

No, No, we didn't. If it was planned, then Sisu would be mentioned on the cover. So you, you gave some great examples of what's happening in the industry today with buyers. And thank you for that just by sharing in your book. Is there anything else you'd like to share with what's happening in the industry? And I would love to get your view of where's the industry going to be in a year or two as well?

Brian Icenhower  28:50  

Yeah, I am not a big fan of doom and gloom about the real estate agent being replaced. I just don't see that happening. I don't either. I see a lot of people and companies trying to alarm real estate agents for their own personal motivations, like come to my company or you'll die because of Zillow. Use my product or you won't keep up with Zillow, you know, or things like that.

Brian Charlesworth  29:24  

Well, even Zillow is hiring agents today. So I don't know you, right? I mean, their original goal was to eliminate the real estate agent. I don't think that's their goal anymore.

Brian Icenhower  29:34  

No, now it's like we're just gonna compete with them. And you know, would you be afraid of another REMAX entering the market? Oh, it's just another brokerage, you know, so taking over I don't see it. I mean, what is their value proposition? We've got a bunch of leads that we give to our agents. Whoo. There's something novel like, it seems like everyone does that.

Brian Charlesworth  29:57  

I read an article this morning. not published by Zillow published by somebody else that said that Zillow, you know, people think it's such a threat but they're only working with 5% of the agents in the industry. And I don't know, they didn't say what percentage of the homes there were working within the industry, because it was really comparing them against a competitor moving into the space. But But you know, I mean, that was interesting for me to see that, you know,

Brian Icenhower  30:28  

we, we coach clients, we have a lot of the big big hitter clients, right? Because we coach a lot of teams and stuff and, and we coach solo agents do, don't get me wrong, but we've kind of established ourselves is the place where the big teams go. So we've got a lot of clients and sell 1500, 2000, 2500 homes a year. And guess what, a lot of them do convert Zillow leads one way or the other. It's such a small percentage of their business. And people from the outside look in and say, Oh, they get all their business from Zillow. I mean, it's, I mean, we're talking like single digit percentages. I mean, the vast majority of their business is coming from other sources, typically sphere of influence is, you know, it's just the boring old answer, no one wants to, to admit, you know, they're just working with people they know, you know, over and over and, and focusing on activity based indicators of the dashboard. And their team is actually doing what everybody knows they shouldn't be doing. Because of that team accountability. There isn't a magic pill they're paying for Yeah, you know, that does help supplement new agents, typically, until they get their own databases up and running. But that's generally speaking, what's happening here. So, you know, I'm not afraid of their emergence. And, you know, especially, you know, I buyer, again, they're buying there now that you've got a new home flipper in your neighborhood, again, is this new to you? Like, do you live in an area where there aren't home flippers buying houses directly through wholesalers? If so, I don't know where that is. But everybody's used to that. I mean, that's been around for a long time. And they're used to people buying leads and getting into their agents. So I really don't see them, replacing the agent. In fact, it looks like they're running into a place where they're just realizing, hey, to be profitable, we have to compete with them, alongside them. Yeah, and bring it on, you know, in my opinion, like, if you're an agent, and you cannot compete with an eye buyer program, in your listing, presentation script, then you do need to get a coach very, very quickly, because it's pretty easy to defeat the argument that they're using, hey, we're going to buy your house for a really low amount, turn around it, and we're not going to charge a commission, but we're going to take all your profit when we sell it. That's not a hard argument to overcome as an agent. That, you know, I think we can get around that one, it's Hey, what does make you more money by just paying us a commission and you keep the profit. So it's not frightening to me. So I don't see that one, I really do think the realtor is very healthy. We're starting to see Amazon and Google really getting active into the home search and the realtor search space now. And they both need agents for those platforms to run, especially Google. So that's with their local service ads, and, and the emergence of all of that, very much geared around the agent. And it just another way to distribute online leads, which is kind of neat. And so I really just see the agent being needed more and more and more throughout the process. It just affirms that, you know, there's been some serious, you know, threats allegedly, that never even came close to materializing. And I'm still yet to see one that makes sense that I'm really genuinely afraid of

Brian Charlesworth  33:32  

The two companies coming in. You mentioned Google. What was the other one you mentioned? 

Brian Icenhower  33:35  


Brian Charlesworth  33:36  

Amazon? Yeah. Okay.

Brian Icenhower  33:38  

Yeah, Amazon's really just in beta right now. Well, we did some work. On last year

Brian Charlesworth  33:42  

One of the things you mentioned in that answer was strengthening your database. And having worked with a lot of teams, and a lot of solo agents, most of our most of our customers are teams and brokerages like yours. But it seems to me the big missing piece for most solo agents that I know, they don't actually have a database, like they don't have, they don't pay for the software to effectively run a database where they're doing the effective follow up and touches and things like that. Would you agree with that? Or? Oh, yeah. What's your thought on that?

Brian Icenhower  34:19  

Well, they certainly don't. I mean, it's agents are hypersensitive to cost is an understatement. Yes. And and again, I think the concepts we should those five components of a team, like, if you're a solo agent, man, you need you need to stop doing this alone, like you're going to need like whether it be a coach or a CRM, you're going to need to invest a little bit in your business here. And because otherwise, you're not going to do it yourself. I've just watched thousands of agents over the years, and they're just too you know, like, even if they get a CRM, without someone pushing them or driving them forward. They're not even gonna figure out how to use it and they're gonna say it doesn't work and they don't like it. You know, that's, you know, the CRMs are fine. The user that's the problem here. Yeah.

Brian Charlesworth  35:05  

So the thing about a team, they have accountability, they have a coach, they take that accountability level way up to the next level right now. Even if you are on a team, you should have a coach, right?

Unknown Speaker  35:16  

Yeah. It really showed.

Brian Charlesworth  35:17  

Yeah. But I can totally see, as we dig into this, why one in 10 agents survives if they go straight into a brokerage, and one in three if they go into a team.

Brian Icenhower  35:29  

Yep. I agree with that one. I can, I can vouch for that one all day long. And I do like the idea of not driving to hedge your bet. I mean, those numbers are daunting. So the way that you actually improve those numbers is getting help, you know, getting a CRM, using dashboards, getting a coach, that's how you really Jimmy the odds, head your bed and make sure that you beat the odds. Because that I mean, if you look at all the top teams are top agents or what have you across the country, they've all got CRM, they're all tracking their activities, and they've all got coaches. So I mean, success leaves clues, it's up to the agents to pick them up. You know, I mean, it's, it's real clear.

Brian Charlesworth  36:11  

Yeah. Well, Brian, I know you have a hard stop. And I have a hard stop and a few minutes. I've just got a couple more questions for you. But just such a great perspective sitting here talking to you today. So I really appreciate you spending time with us. And just a couple of things on your personal side, like what kind of things do you like to do in your spare time? You seem like you're in great shape you you are coaching, but what are you doing for fun when you're out and about?

Brian Icenhower  36:40  

Um, well, I live in California, so I like to surf. I'm a runner. I like to swim. I've been a swimmer my whole life. So I'm pretty active. I've got a wife and a couple kids. My wife, like yours, sells a lot of real estate. Sells a few hundred houses a year she's got a real estate team as well too. But we're pretty darn active where we're beach people so we, you know, we like I said we serve and we stand up paddle and we kayak and, and do all that kind of stuff. We're real outdoors people. We run around a lot. She's doing her first triathlon. I've done a lot of triathlons in my life. Those are kind of exhausting. So I still do those from time to time as well too pretty active. We'd love to travel. We're big travelers as well, too, which is kind of fun.

Brian Charlesworth  37:29  

So do you live in Orange County? Is that where you

Brian Icenhower  37:30  

No, I live in a small beach town called Morro Bay, California. I'd say it's north of there. It's not as far as San Francisco. It's probably right in between Los Angeles and San Francisco. It's a good way to say it.

Brian Charlesworth  37:43  

Okay. Okay, great. So, you said you love to travel. Tell us what's the best place you've ever been? What's your favorite place in the world? Other than 

Brian Icenhower  37:51  

Wow, that's good. Um, man, I love history. So I went through Italy and I just love Italy because I like all the history stuff that goes really old there. I've been to Istanbul, I lived in Istanbul, Constantinople because of all the history. So checking out all the mosques and learning about all the different empires that ran that place was really, really cool. Those are some great places I've been to Fiji. Again, beach guy. So as far as beaches go I in islands, that's probably my favorite. I'm a big fan of Hawaii. We go there, we're in California. So you know, it's a pretty quick jaunt over to Hawaii for us. So I go to Kona. I am a big fan of the Mauna Kea area and Mauna Kea Beach. I think it's the best beach in the world. Great place to take your family. So I like that one. And next week I'm hopping on a plane and going to Key West and we're going to go mahimahi fishing because the Mahi Mahi runs this time of year between Cuba and the Florida Keys. So we're going to go try to catch a bunch of those and eat a bunch of fish. Next week, which I'm thrilled for that, because I've never caught a mighty might but I'm going to do everything I can to get one next week. Very cool.

Brian Charlesworth  39:02  

Very cool. Well, have fun. Thanks for sharing that. Brian, I've had a great time with you today. For any listeners that want to reach out and reach you guys. What's the best way to get ahold of you? What's your website, although those kinds of things.

Brian Icenhower  39:14  

Sure! You can catch us at Icenhowercoaching.com Icenhowercoaching.com is the best way to go. You can get a free coaching consultation with our head coach. We've got about 25 coaches like I said about 500 clients and we'll give you a free coaching consultation. If you just go in there and spend about 30 seconds filling out the quick form we'll get back to you the same day and schedule, you know, you get a free 30-minute coaching consultation, no obligation, and hopefully you take something away from that even if you don't want to try coaching. Hopefully, you can get some insight into your business and gain something for free going forward. But that's the best way to catch us.

Brian Charlesworth  39:50  

All right, awesome. Well, everybody, thanks for joining us again on today's show. Looking forward to next week. So make sure to join us then in addition, if you enjoy the show, go give us a review. Subscribe to the show that'll help us get more guests like Brian on the show today. So Brian, thanks again for your time. Have an amazing trip to Key West next week.

Brian Icenhower  40:12  

Awesome. Thank you, Brian, for everything. All righ

Elements Image

The best Sisu content, right in your inbox.

Be the first to hear about product updates, industry news, client success stories and more! All designed to help you grow your real estate team and business 🚀

Latest Articles

Sisu Spotlight: Mark Pattison

Sisu Spotlight: Mark Pattison

Mark Pattison is the Founder & CEO of PorchLight Realty in San Diego, CA. Learn how his lean team is on track for over $500 million in prod...

Episode 116: The Unexpected Impact of Teams with Verl Workman

Episode 116: The Unexpected Impact of Teams with Verl Workman

A long time ago, a few people believed that teams were the future of the real estate industry. And now, the industry is starting to catch u...

5 tips to make the most out of in-person events

5 tips to make the most out of in-person events

Attending events can be a lot to handle. Hundreds to potentially thousands of people, break out sessions, trying to remember names and face...