Podcast

Episode 99 - GRIT The Real Estate Growth Mindset with Ty Voyles

Most real estate professionals have a sales background, which is critical especially in a highly competitive industry. While some have a knack for finding solutions to problems and implementing systems, which is essential in increasing a real estate business’ bottom line.

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.

 

 

Most real estate professionals have a sales background, which is critical especially in a highly competitive industry. While some have a knack for finding solutions to problems and implementing systems, which is essential in increasing a real estate business’ bottom line.

In Ty Voyles’ case, he had both.  Though his journey was not as straightforward as most, he was able to combine his sales skills and passion for creating systems which resulted into a successful real estate career.

 

Join Brian Charlesworth and Ty Voyles, Co-founder and CEO of Fulcrum Properties Group, as they discuss how Ty’s entrepreneurial background played a role in his transition into the real estate industry, his insights on having good and bad leads, and what he thinks is the real solution that the entire real estate industry is driving towards.



Top Takeaways:

 

08:53 What made Ty decide to go into real estate

13:49 Why most real estate agents have businesses that don’t transition

16:40 Is there such a thing as a good or bad lead?

18:43 How does Ty's team generate leads today?

20:13 Why most agents have gone away from making open houses as their lead source

21:12 Why the team model is taking over the industry

22:01 Why the real estate space needs more specialization

25:56 Why Ty prefers to automate as much as he can

35:43 Ty’s advice to young team leaders who want to take their business to the next level

36:11 The single biggest factor that held Ty’s team from moving forward

37:21 The one thing to focus on to really double your business

37:49 Why building an ISA team is incredibly challenging

40:12 What people want when it comes to their home needs



Get in touch with Ty Voyles

 

Email: ty@fulcrumpg.com



About the guest:

 

Ty Voyles came from an entrepreneurial family.  He worked as a Yellow Page salesperson from high school until a year after college.   After that, he started doing project management for a software company where they built systems that kept flight simulators and training manuals in line with production aircraft. 

 

After 7 years, he left that job and worked at the Library of Congress.  Eventually, he realized that this was not a career he’d like to pursue.  So he started doing volunteer work building sustainable roof gardens.  

 

Although Ty enjoyed what he was doing, he had to take a 60% pay cut to do so.  And he realized that there are a lot more opportunities to make more in real estate. That’s when he decided to pick up his real estate license in 2009.

 

As an agent, has earned several designations such as a Five Star Real Estate Professional, a Zillow Premiere Agent, a Trulia Top 1% Agent, the Washingtonian's Best Agent of 2018, and a Washingtonian Top Agent every year since 2016. 

 

Today, Ty is the Founder and CEO of Fulcrum Properties Group.   Fulcrum has continually been on the top 10 Keller Williams teams in the country, as well as a top 100 team across all brokerages since 2019.  Ty has also served as a Mastery Coach for KW MAPS, was a founding agent advisor for KW LABS, and has served on multiple Agent Leadership Councils. 




Podcast Transcript:

 

Brian Charlesworth  00:34

Alright, hello everyone. And welcome back to the Grit Podcast. I'm Brian Charlesworth. I'm the founder and CEO of Sisu, and your host of the show, and I'm excited today we have Ty Voyles in the house, he's actually not in my house, he's in his house and it looks like we're both in our home office today. Since the Family Reunion, it seems like we're getting a lot of kW people on the show. So anyway, excited to have Ty with us today, Ty actually comes from an interesting background. And I'm actually gonna dive into that as we jump into the show because I think it actually plays a role in his team and where they're at today. So but he spent about a decade outside of the real estate industry, and then jumped into the real estate industry, and became a very successful agent on his own, and then started a team, he was the co-founder of a team that he is now at, called Fulcrum. And you're the CEO and running the show there, and you guys now have 11 locations is my understanding, is that right?

 

Ty Voyles  01:37

I mean, it changes, you know, sometimes week to week. But yeah, we've got agents that are in about a dozen or so different offices surrounding kind of the Metropolitan Washington, DC area and stretching down to Richmond.

 

Brian Charlesworth  01:51

Okay. And so would you call those expansion teams is that I mean, I know, that's kW terminology. But is that what you would call those?

 

Ty Voyles  02:01

Yeah, they're their geographic expansion for us. I mean, there's a lot of neighborhood expertise that's built into those, you know, different spokes. And so I think the expansion in moniker works for that we really run it as one large integrated team. Yeah, I think so.

 

Brian Charlesworth  02:19

Okay, okay. Great. So before we go back in time, can you just give us like a quick summary of your business, like where you guys are at today, size-wise, volume-wise, or, you know, units and that kind of stuff? Yeah, sure.

 

Ty Voyles  02:32

We're about a house a day, you know, selling just under 400 units a year for about $200 million in volume. Okay, we've been that's kind of a ceiling of achievement for us, honestly, which is one of our challenges. Right now. We've been there for the last two years running, and are looking to kind of switch a couple of things up this year to see what we can do to break through that.

 

Brian Charlesworth  02:52

Okay, great. Well, I'm excited to hear what you have plans for, for doing that this year. And being in my role, I get to see a lot of teams your size that actually found ways to double their business every year. So maybe that's something we can talk about offline, but I'm excited to spend my time with you. And congratulations on the success. That's a huge number. For most people. I remember, for the longest time, about five years ago, four years ago, three years ago, it was like everyone's goal was to do 100 million in volume, right? And, and now I'm seeing these teams, and I get to experience these just because many of them are customers, but you know, that they're doubling every year, which they're going from, you know, I've, I've watched teams go from 150 transactions a year over the last three years to now they're doing over, you know, 1200. And so it's just, it's insane to see this kind of growth and see them actually doing billions in volume now, instead of hundreds of millions. So I think a billion is now what used to be 100 million for these teams. And it's because people like you are running your teams as true businesses, versus Hey, I'm a realtor out here selling real estate. Right. So. So as you got into real estate, let's go back to even before you got into real estate, tell us about your background before the days of real estate.

 

Ty Voyles  04:22

Yeah, I mean, I'm from an entrepreneurial family. You know, my father bought a publishing business. Back when Yellow Pages still existed. He started as a Yellow Page salesperson and stuck around in that company and bought the business and kind of bootstrapped it from what it was to a fairly large national player in that niche like it was a really small niche, but they published college and Retirement Community telephone directories. So I cut my teeth and yellow page ad sales, right like selling something that generally nobody wanted. And it was a year what you With that, by the way, this was in cuz I started doing it kind of in the mid-90s.

 

Brian Charlesworth  05:05

Okay. Yeah. Just really, as the internet was coming out, right, the internet wasn't the internet until about mid-90s. Right? I mean, that's, that's when it rolled out. So okay, just putting things in perspective for people here.

 

Ty Voyles  05:22

Yeah, absolutely. You know, so that's I cut my teeth doing that. And it was great. I got to travel a lot, you know, specifically to college towns, which was a ton of fun. And after I'd done that for a while, I did that through high school, did it through college and did it for a year after college, I got tired of living out of my trunk. And while I was in school, I worked as an intern for somebody who was a busy first business mentor to me, though helicopter, which is, you know, a government contractor that does a lot of aircraft manufacturing, helicopter manufacturing. And so I called up this mentor, and I said, Hey, I'm tired of living on the road, you know, do you have anything up where you are? And she had moved from Fort Worth, Texas, to Washington, DC. And she said, Yeah, I think I got something, you know, come up an interview for it, we'll see if it's a fit. And it was. And so I landed in Washington, DC from Texas. And up here, I started doing project management for software development, predominantly. And we built systems that kept flight simulators and training manuals in line with production aircraft. So it's a totally different system than real estate. But it all ties back together eventually, right. So I did that for, I don't know, seven years or so. And then got tired of working in the defense industry, jumped over and worked at the Library of Congress for a little while running a couple of different software projects there where they were bringing in electronic journals from different publishers across the country in cataloging those, and then that didn't really fit kind of the pace of the day that I wanted, right? You think about librarians, wonderful people, government contractors, wonderful people, both very slow-paced, though. And so it was like the job equivalent of crossing, I think, you know, a turtle in a snail together when it came to pace. And so I started doing some volunteering, and ended up building green roofs and really enjoyed it, right, I liked working with my hands, I'd always enjoy that when I was a kid. And there was an opportunity that came up there to project manage some green roofing, you know, construction jobs. And so I jumped to do that I left the library, and I took a job at this nonprofit. And I took a 60% pay cut to do so it was just, you know, I was at a point in my life where I really wanted to make a change. And that was paying, I was willing to endure to do it. But at the same time, I knew that I needed to make that up. And so I picked up my real estate license. And that's kind of bringing back this marriage of original sales, right, but kind of connecting it with project management. And so that's how I started in real estate. And I was, you know, whether you want to call it a part-time or a dual career agent for about the first two years, and then two years in, you know, realized I needed to pick a track and coming from an entrepreneurial background, wanting an entrepreneurial road ahead of me, I knew that there was a lot more opportunity, and if not opportunity, at least likelihood of me doing that in real estate than there was in you know, sustainable roof gardens.

 

Brian Charlesworth  08:18

Yeah, right. So, you know, most people in real estate, I think, come from more of a sales background, may or may not have a college degree. You come from a background of really systems, right? Putting, putting systems in place, and project management, which is, I think, a totally different mindset than most people in the real estate space. So sales, I mean, you did do sales, you were doing your, you know, your yellow pages. And so when you got into real estate, and that all came together, like what were your thoughts? When did you see the vision? What made us say, Hey, real estate's the thing for me?

 

Ty Voyles  09:02

Yeah. And initially, it wasn't there. Like, initially, I got into real estate, because, you know, I looked at it, and I did the math, and I thought, well, I need to make more money, I can kind of control my own income with this. I think I can control my own hours, right. Like, that's the force that we all tell ourselves at the beginning,

 

Brian Charlesworth  09:19

which is working double the hours that you originally that you did before you got into real estate pro.

 

Ty Voyles  09:25

Yeah, exactly. You know, I'm, I'm going to work when I want to work with who I want to work. And at the end of the day, you know, once you get in, you're like, Alright, I'm a little bit more call and response than I'd like to be, you know, and so I chased my tail on that for a little while. But as, as I built it up, I really saw a lot of similarity between, you know, an individual project, right, be it a construction project, or be at a software development project, and the real estate timeline, especially in the transaction side of things. And so I glommed on to that, and I really liked that. I was also pulled into the business by the real through that I used for the first two houses that I bought, I mean, you know, I was everybody's worst first client took me seven months, you know, to buy a house, it didn't know what I wanted and didn't know where I wanted to live. But the benefit, you know, other than buying the house was I got to become really good friends with my agent. And still am to this day. So he was me, it was my first business partner. So we started working together. And Jimmy is just an amazing salesperson and entrepreneur. And so we paired together really well, because of that, right, my systems background, his knack for sales and people and connection. And so that was a really big kind of kick to the flywheel, you know, for, for me, getting in and seeing how the business worked. And then pretty quickly after that, we had a third player kind of come into our team, which is my current business partner, Tom catalog. And Tom and Jimmy were very similar in that kind of idea structure. Right? I think that you know, they would come up with more ideas in a day than I would in a week. But you know, I could implement more than they could, you know, in a month, that or I would implement a month more than they would in a year. Right. And like, that's kind of the thought process we worked with. And so it, you know, it just kind of this yin and yang, and it paired up really, really well.

 

Brian Charlesworth  11:17

Yeah. And I think everybody needs that. What's the what's the book? I can't remember the name of right now. But you have your visionary and your integrator, right. Yeah, you are the integrator?

 

Ty Voyles  11:28

Yeah, Rocket Fuel. Yeah, absolutely. Rocket Fuel.

 

Brian Charlesworth  11:31

So you, you are the integrator. And if you haven't read Rocket Fuel, for those of you who are visionaries out there, you need a Ty in your life. Right?

 

Ty Voyles  11:39

Yeah, it's great. We actually still Tom and I still run our monthly meetings, you know, on some of the agenda, ideas that are in Rocket Fuel. You know, here's what you talk about your, so you make sure the connection is still there. Here's how you organize ideas, because you make sure they're implemented a follow-up. Great book.

 

Brian Charlesworth  11:55

Yeah, yeah, it is. So you and I share something in common here Ty, because when I got into the real estate space, you know, I had been in software and I had been invited on some franchisors. And then, when I sold one of those, my wife asked me to, you know, jump in and help her build a real estate team for a while. And as you, I saw this, like, this whole system of taking a contract from you know, that first appointment to close. There aren't a lot of systems in this space around that, which is how Sisu got formed. So you rather than forming a company, like I did a software company that does this, you said, Hey, I'm going to I'm basically going to solve this problem for our team. Right? Is that is that kind of the approach you took?

 

Ty Voyles  12:43

Yeah, exactly. And that's, that's, you know, how it kind of manifested itself. But at first, you know, the three of us were just individual agents, we shared some office space, we shared an assistant, you know, we kind of did that, you know, everybody eats what they killed, right? Like, so you, you work your own clients, you keep your own commissions, but you share expenses. And it was the way that teams kind of ran at that point. And as we got exposed to, you know, the broader real estate world, I think you asked earlier, like, how did you know that you wanted to build a business out of this? We had somebody introduced us to the Millionaire Real Estate Agent, you know, Gary Keller's book, the Red Book, and I looked up and said, Hey, you can actually build a business, you know, and there aren't many people, at least at that time, that we're doing it in the space. And here's a system for building the book, you know, for building the business, like, just follow the process. And of course, you know, we didn't at first read, like, everybody, I think starts and goes, Okay, that's great, but I couldn't do it better. And you know, so we stubbed our toes and did some things backwards. But that was basically it. We got tired of taking phone calls at the beach and covering for each other when we were out of town. And, you know, I also looked up and saw that there are a lot of real estate agents that don't have businesses that transition, you know, when they're ready to write, whether they want to retire or they pass or whatever, the business kind of goes with them. And that's a sad thing because those relationships are really important and valuable. And they should live past I think an individual's, you know, existence and then

 

Brian Charlesworth  14:08

Yeah, totally agree. So that was what year. I mean, Gary wrote the book and 2003 What year did you read that book and make that decision and start building a team?

 

Ty Voyles  14:19

Yeah, I read it. The first time I read it was in 2011. Okay, I was first exposed to it.

 

Brian Charlesworth  14:24

Okay. So prior to that you as a solo agent. I know you had Zillow relationship, Trulia relationship. Tell me about those. I'm guessing with you being a systems individual. Like you figured out how to respond and get the best response time and probably the highest conversion rate on those types of leads. And that's just a guess you tell me is that it? Was that a focus of yours at that time?

 

Ty Voyles  14:52

I think that's probably half true. Yeah. I mean, Brian, we, you know, we were really good at building systems around the low hanging fruit, which I think is was most agents, you know when with those kind of Zillow and Trulia relationships. So you know, when the phone would ring or the email would come in, or the prospect would inquire like we were on it really quickly. And we built a system on how to do that. And so we got a lot of low-hanging fruit. I think that as the search process has changed, it exposed, at least for us, it certainly exposed that we didn't have any long-tail follow-up. And, you know, that was a big issue, right? Like, I heard family reunion a couple of weeks ago that, you know, it used to be that buyers would start their search, and they would be, you know, three months, four months out. And now you're starting to see people either be constant voyeurs, right and window shop for houses, just like the window shop for shoes, or really start dipping their toes in the water with specific inquiries, you know, 18, to 24, to sometimes 36 months out. And that's where those relationships on Zillow and Trulia and realtor and a lot of the internet lead generation sites have gone. And most real estate agents, us included. We're not good at that. So, you know, yeah, it was, it's partially true that we built really good systems around the initial response. But we failed to build really good systems around the long tail. And that I think, has been something that we've been course-correcting for many years at this point and still trying to dial in really, really well.

 

Brian Charlesworth  16:27

Interesting. Thanks for sharing that. Because I think a lot of people, a lot of people still today feel like hey, you know, those are just the easy-going to convert overnight leads. Right? And

 

Ty Voyles  16:37

yeah, at the end of the day, nothing that I hear so many people talk about, specifically, whether they're agents on my team or the brokerage or agents, you know, that I run into on the street, they talk about oh, that's it, that's a bad lead, right? Or that's a great lead. It's the end of the day, they're not good leads or bad leads, right? Like that's the wrong adjective set to, you know, apply to them. They're either ready buyers, ready sellers, or they're not, you know, and they're not leads, they're people that are going to Yeah, likely buy or sell a house. It just where are they in their journey? And how do you have the right conversation with them at that point, so that when they are ready to buy or so you know, that conversation is easy to move into?

 

Brian Charlesworth  17:20

That's well said. I mean, I've seen a lot of people. I've watched a lot of agents personally with my wife running a team of 45 agents. Now. A lot of agents have it in their minds that, you know, Zillow leads are great or Zillow leads are horrible, right? They've decided that that lead is good or bad based on one experience they had. And that same agent who thinks that Zillow lead is great may think an OP city lead is horrible, even though they're the same leads right there. They're these people like you're saying they're people looking to buy a house at some point, do you understand where they're at in that lifecycle. And so, but the mindset of, you know, just your standard agent out there, as they get in their mind that this type of lead is good, this type of lead is bad. And as a team leader, what I've learned is, you have to figure out where they're at in that mindset and not give them those leads that they feel are bad anymore because they don't follow up on them.

 

Ty Voyles  18:19

Yeah, that's exactly right. So my partner Tom likes to say everything works and nothing doesn't. And he's right. But I also like to come back and say, Yeah, but you can't do everything and make it work, you know. And so this is that idea of, okay, well, if A works for you, and B doesn't do a, don't do B, but I guarantee you both A and B do work. It's just you've got to work that system.

 

Brian Charlesworth  18:41

Right. So if you guys trying to perfect this over these last several years, are you still like are you guys still working with Zillow and Trulia? And the other lead sources? Or how are you generating leads today?

 

Ty Voyles  18:55

Yeah, I mean, our sphere of influence is still our biggest source. And I think it always will be and it always should be right? Because even when you're pulling, you know, organic, social leads, or SEO based or pay per click stuff, eventually, those people need to be brought into your sphere of influence, right, and that cycle should repeat. So those are kind of the methods that you know, that we use. So there's some Facebook stuff, there's some Instagram stuff, there are some Google Local Services, AdWords, you know, those are the general kind of, you know, organic and paid sources from digital that we're using right now. And then we love traditional open houses, you know, door knocking, inviting the neighbors over stuff like that events based kind of love on your sphere.

 

Brian Charlesworth  19:40

Yeah. It's so funny because when I started in real estate, I don't know it was like seven years ago and I was only really in real estate for like a year and a half. But you could build a business just based on open houses, right? If you go do an open house or two every week, you can build us significant business around that, in my opinion, just doing that you could sell easily. So at least 40 homes a year, at least as a brand new agent. And I experienced that myself. So that's why I say that. But I think a lot of people have gone away from the open house. Why do you think that is?

 

Ty Voyles  20:22

It's interesting, I don't, I don't know, I think that what least what we're seeing locally is the inventory is so low, that houses move really quickly, I think that there's been a little bit of a shift in the industry to where there's more of this kind of private exclusive or pocket listing approach. And so there are fewer open houses to be had sometimes. And then I think it comes back to the follow-up, I mean, just, you know, as people in general, not as real estate agents, but as people in general, our attention span is constantly getting shorter. And the desire for instant gratification is constantly getting stronger, and lead follow up via open houses or online leads or any other source, you know, it takes a little bit more attention than kind of that instant gratification allows for

 

Brian Charlesworth  21:08

Yeah, it seems to me, I mean, my perception is that teams are really taking over this industry. And if you're not on a team, you're going to have a hard time existing, especially if you're a brand new agent today, like coming into the industry and not being on a team, it's going to be very, very difficult. But on the other hand, someone who comes in and is on a team and just gets leads fed to them. They don't ever learn some, in some cases. Now they don't ever learn how to hunt, right? They don't ever learn how to do open houses, they don't, they don't learn, they just kind of wait to be fed. And I'm seeing a lot of that too. It sounds like you guys are really focused on teaching your agents how to build a business themselves and work their Soi, is versus spoon-feeding them everything.

 

Ty Voyles  21:59

Yeah, for sure. I mean, that's, that's the way that we built, you know, the expansion location setup that we currently have is you're finding partners that we could work with, and by helping them dig into their existing sphere of influence be able to increase their business proportionately. You know, so I think it certainly is a, it's a business risk, right? Like you teach people to fish and they can go eat on their own. But that's where you know, the kind of the culture and the connectivity. And the additional benefit about that if the show, like value add needs to be there, to keep the relationship intact between the agents and the team. But at the same time, I think that the, you know, you talking about agents, some agents, especially newer agents coming in and joining a team are happy to be fed, and just go execute on that. I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. Because as the teams grow, and participation teams grow, I think what it does is it allows for the industry to get even more specialized. And specialization really is what needs to happen in the real estate industry. I mean, to provide what a consumer wants, and honestly, what a consumer deserves for the amount of money that they're spending and the amount of money that they're compensating their agents or teams, they really should get specialists in each piece of the transaction that communicate well, they're connected.

 

Brian Charlesworth  23:14

I totally agree with that. The agent plays a role, and so does the transaction coordinator, and so do any VAs that you might have out there. So how many agents are on your team right now?

 

 

Ty Voyles  23:37

There are about two dozen. Okay.

 

Brian Charlesworth  23:40

All right. So I'd love to hear just as you came in and started setting up this team, you being having a systems background, you're one of five now that I've met in this industry, that actually said the word Salesforce to me. So I'd love to hear from you just like what is it important, what automations are important for somebody to come in here in that in that lifecycle of a transaction going from that first appointment to closing and possibly even beyond closing? Like what automations can you do to really streamline that process of you know, managing that transaction process? Because I know that's something you're passionate about. So I'd love to get your opinion on that.

 

Ty Voyles  24:27

Yeah, it is. I say Salesforce that I use Salesforce, I think because more than anything when we started looking for a better tech solution, it was 2014 and there wasn't anything that really handled you know, a soup to nuts kind of transaction process right there was lead generation and lead follow up. But that stopped once the appointment was set. And then there was, you know, the transaction management and brokerage compliance which sometimes were together and sometimes weren't, but then that stopped once the transaction closed. And then there was, you know, a handful of relationship management beyond the transaction solutions that were there, but nobody really tied it together. And so there were a couple of real estate specific overlays to Salesforce that did that in 2014. And so that's what we were looking for. And it's, it's what we moved into. I think there's some strength in that, in the fact that, you know, at that point, especially eight years ago, we didn't have to integrate as many disparate solutions. But there are obviously some drawbacks, too, right. Like we were just talking about specialization. I think one of the things that we're seeing in the industry right now is people are building very powerful, specific solutions, and just stringing them together with API's in a pretty seamless fashion. And so the landscapes changed because of that. But there's, you know, to come back to your question, there's any piece of the process really can be automated, for the most part, you know, we're starting to see AI help with lead engagement and conversion on the front end, that never has been up until, you know, really last year or something that I felt was a viable piece, you know, for us to insert into our business. But it started really, for me, again, with that kind of transaction timeline. So once we have an appointment, or once we set an appointment, how do we create a consistent experience for the buyer, right, so which certainly helps us with compliance, but it also helps us with creating standards of performance, you know, making a client feel welcome, making sure that all of the materials are in place, all the communication is there for the agent that, you know, is interviewing for that opportunity to represent them. And then once they get into the transaction, how do we make sure that there's, there's no balls that get dropped, you know, that every I get stopped and dotted, every T gets crossed. And automation is the best way to do that, you know, starting with a checklist and turning it into a process and taking that process and putting it into a system or a tool that implements it. And then the other thing that allows for a scale, you know, I've always wanted to have a high administrative to sales ratio of people in our business, right? Like we're at about two to three salespeople to every one administrator. But that's because the amount of attention that the client gets not because of the amount of work that's put on the administrative work that's put on somebody in that operations seat. And so that I think was the really big benefit of kind of automating pieces of the process was you're free to make phone calls and care about people and, you know, set up benefits packages for agents and do things that really make the team a wonderful place to work and a wonderful place to be served.

 

Brian Charlesworth  27:42

Yeah. Okay. Thanks. Thanks for sharing that. So, you guys have been a top team at KW for quite some time, are you? I'm guessing you're in Gary's mastermind. Yeah, okay. And you were a mastery coach at maps for for a year. And this is something I want to dive into. And you were a founding advisor for kW labs. So tell me about that. Like, this is something when I guess when did Gary do that? Is that been about three years now that kW labs got got underway and got going?

 

Ty Voyles  28:19

Yeah, it was, uh, let's see. So we're 2022 it would have been family reunion in Anaheim, which I think was 20 Was it 2020 or 2019, maybe 2018, when Gary came out and said, Hey, we're a technology company, and God, you know, riddles by the industry. The labs process really started the October before that. Okay. And, you know, I had done some coaching stuff, I really enjoyed it, and realized that it was a great challenge to me, but it wasn't the highest and best use of my time, it wasn't the place where I could contribute the most. And it was actually in Gary's mastermind, that kind of the idea for labs started to pop up. And at that point, Josh had come in and was kind of presenting some ideas around command. And it just piqued my interest. I mean, obviously, the background, you know, in real estate sales, and in software development, project management, you know, felt like a really good fit for me. And I'm also pretty damn opinionated Brian, so like to sit in a room full of people, where we're given the ability to basically say, What do you want, like, what exists and what should change about it was a really attractive environment for me. And so, you know, so yeah, so I raised my hand and got involved with labs and leaned in really heavy you know, so we started with building the, the referral network that's embedded in Connect and command and then, you know, moved from there to all the compliance pieces, you know, to the contact card to opportunities to smart plans, and just really started sketching those pieces out.

 

Brian Charlesworth  29:52

Okay. So the people that I've spoken with that were also part of that, like, were you actually In Austin, on a weekly basis,

 

Ty Voyles  30:02

I was there at least twice a month for a year, a year and a half, I would fly from DC to Austin, I'd spend one or two nights there, you know, one or two days all day, and a roomful of a dozen, two dozen people, just kind of hashing out ideas, and then go home for a couple weeks.

 

Brian Charlesworth  30:21

Okay, so you have a family. Right? Now many kids,

 

Ty Voyles  30:26

I two kids, I have an eight year old son, an 11 year old daughter.

 

Brian Charlesworth  30:30

Okay, so I'm just trying to put this together. It's just out of curiosity. So you're with an, I travel all the time my wife travels. But as you were building a team, and doing that just at what were the challenges with traveling being gone while you're building a team? And maybe your partner is more? Is he more the sales lead for your team? So it allows you that kind of flexibility?

 

Ty Voyles  30:58

Exactly, yeah. So because of the split of the business, it worked really well, for that, you know, we had kind of looked at the landscape and said, you know, hey, Tom's, more connected to the sales team, right, like more directly tied to the production numbers there. So he keeps running, that he's actually way more ingrained with local relationships as well, right. So our agents, the team leaders in the market centers, you know, the operating partners that are in the market centers, and my connection was more to Gary's group and support an Austin. And so for the relationship piece that worked out really well, obviously, for the opportunity, I was super excited about it. And the transition from being a Maps coach to being involved in labs, you know, I already carved out a section of time, that it wasn't really a lot more time that I was carving out from the workday, right from running our team, it was just replacing it with something different. So that was super helpful, you know, and it was something that we certainly talked through and agreed on, right? Like Tom and I both saw the benefit that was possible out of it. And so, you know, we agreed, like, hey, use your time to do this. And so I did. And of course, there were challenges, you know, on the home life as well, right? When you're on the road, and some people travel 300 days a year, and it works. And some people travel three days a year, and it doesn't work. You know, and so that was a just a really open and honest conversation that my wife and I had about, you know, twice a month is kind of the limit. That's what we were willing to do at that point in our lives. And, you know, where the kids were in school kids are two different schools at that point, even though, you know, they're both elementary school age and drop offs and pick up some, you know, work-life balance and stuff like that, twice a month was was kind of the right speed. And I would leave really early on, you know, Tuesday morning and fly home really late on a Wednesday night, or leave really late on a Monday night and fly home really late on a Wednesday night, just to minimize that, you know, time away, so and wake up, you know, and the kids have gone to sleep the night before, and I get to be there for when they woke up. So we, you know, little things like that we work it out.

 

Brian Charlesworth  32:58

So looking at that, and Yeah, you totally figure that stuff out. But I'd love to learn like, what was the biggest thing you gained from doing that? Or biggest thing you learned? Then maybe you could share with us from that experience? And how long did you do that experience?

 

Ty Voyles  33:15

I mean, I still participate a little bit, but it's it's more of a resume based out right, like world has changed. But I was going down, I think it was it was twice a month for about 18 months or so. And you know, honestly being like being other, McGarry is always an educational experience. Being in a really small room is even more impactful sometimes, not just because you get to hear what he talks about. But you can see how he works. And I think that was a really, really cool thing. And it just made me grasp kind of the scale and magnitude at which some of the thought process exists not thinking about, you know, annual goals, or two or three-year-old goals or small sections of a project. But zooming way, way out and looking at things in five and 10-year cycles, and really challenging the idea of what's possible, right? Not even like what I can do, but what can we do? And then is that the best that can be done versus the best that we think that we can do it and where does that fuzzy line exist? And how do we say something is impossible, and then decide to do it? Right? Because it's impossible until you've thought about actually doing it. And then you start to really kind of figure out okay, what are the nuts and bolts of making that happen? So rather than, you know, having a technical answer, right, like, oh, it was amazing to, you know, see the automation and smart plans or something come together because it changed the way that your transaction management work. It was really a thought exercise more than anything else. Experience exposure like that those were the big things that I took away.

 

Brian Charlesworth  34:48

I love that. It sounds like you basically got to see Gary share his vision and his vision of the future of real estate and what that's going to look like and got to participate in making involved in that at a very close level. So is you're still in this is Gary still involved in those meetings? Or is that now more of a Chris Cox and Matt thing? Or?

 

Ty Voyles  35:09

Yeah, I mean, Gary is still there, Chris and Matt are clearly, you know, heavily involved in it as well. And David still does a lot of the agent, leadership and interaction and facilitation pieces. But yeah, that's not something that's gone away by any means. You know, it's a, there's a lot of moving pieces to it.

 

Brian Charlesworth  35:27

Yeah, very exciting. Good. Well, I'd love to get from all your experiences, like if I'm a young team leader out there, just, let's just say 10 agents or less, wanting to get to that next level, like what's the best advice you could give to me.

 

Ty Voyles  35:46

So I think that kind of coming off of this here, on the heels of what we just talked about, like thinking really big. I think that's great, I think the next piece is to really kind of sketch it out. Like if you know where you want to go. Or even if you have an idea of where you want to go start to sketch out the journey. So to look at, you know, what it looks like, in a couple of years from now, what it looks like next year, what it needs to look like next month, and don't work on more than one thing at a time. I feel like that's actually when I talked earlier about kind of our feeling of achievement that we've been out for the last couple of years. And I feel like that is the single biggest factor that's held us from moving forward is we've tried to do too many things at once. We haven't really lined up all the dominoes and said, This is the next thing that we need to tackle. And it's the most important piece. And we're not going to move on to number two until we've done number one. So really, really work sequentially. If you're at 10 team members, and you know, you want to get to 15 or 20 or 100. Understand why you want to do that and what needs to happen in your journey to get there. Right. Like there's a path for it, figure out who's done it before, who's done it really well. And who does it similarly to how you want to, you know, and then work from that blueprint or that playbook.

 

Brian Charlesworth  37:02

Yeah, there are so many people in this industry that are willing to share how they've gotten there. Don't just learn the hard way, by making all the mistakes, go, go meet with these people, like they'll they'll all let you fly in and shadow them in their offices or whatever the case is. So that being said, what is that one thing then that you guys are going to focus on to really double your business? Because I'm sure you guys have thought a lot about this. I know most people in the industry that I've met with that have really grown over the last few years at extreme high levels. Their big thing that they've been focusing on is building an is a team. So is that something you guys are doing? Or what is that what you guys are? Yeah, no,

 

Ty Voyles  37:47

it is for sure. And an ISA team is I feel like an incredibly challenging thing to build. Right? It is, it's a really demanding job. It's really rewarding when you get it right. But the ability to execute on it and the desire to really focus your time that much for that long in one particular area is hard for this, it's hard to come by the right person that wants to do that. But while that certainly is something, I think the step before that, for us is making sure we know exactly what the value proposition to the customer is. Right? Like, what's our immediate offer that we're making, that is value add for the client, so that the ISAs job becomes even easier, right, because you can build an ISA team, and you can get a bunch of leads that come in, right, you can buy them from wherever, great, and you can hammer on that and follow up and follow up or follow up. And it'll work for sure. But if you have an actual value proposition that you're attracting to, I think it's gonna work even better. Right. And that's, that's the piece for us is, I see the industry, especially with the creation of large teams, the amount of money that's moving into real estate, I see the landscape shifting from what it used to be and what you know, Gary written Millionaire Real Estate Agent, which was prospecting based and marketing enhanced, or sorry, marketing-based and prospecting enhanced to what you know, then changed when their work shift, which was prospecting based and marketing enhanced to being very marketing based, right, like, what is the value proposition to the client? What are you doing to draw them in, as opposed to chasing them down?

 

Brian Charlesworth  39:22

Yeah, so those are, those are difficult questions that I think people have been asking for a long time and maybe not looking at as deep as you guys have. Is there anything you can share with us? As far as like the answers to your value prop? What? What separates you guys? Or is that confidential information that you don't want to share at this point?

 

Ty Voyles  39:42

Man, honestly. No, we'll share anything and for a couple of reasons. One, because people have shared with us just tremendously and so we want to keep giving back into because I don't believe that most of the people we share with they're going to implement it. And again, and maybe take that as a challenge because I would love to see everybody have succeeded a really high level and there's a ton of business out there. Right. But partially, you know, we're still working on exactly what that is and how it works. I think what people want is they want the easy button, they want a simple answer for all of their home needs. Right, not for buying a house or selling a house, but for owning a home. And I think that's the real solution that the entire industry is driving towards. Right? Yeah. So how do I, as opposed to, you know, how do I become the agent that connects you to, you know, the house and title and lending? And insurance? Like, how do I do that? But also answer every single question you have about your house, anticipate what that need is, so that no matter where you are on that journey, I'm the person that you call, or I'm the app that you open on your phone, to execute the immediate need, you have. So that, you know, when I come in to do your annual home service, like there's a conversation that's happening that lets me know, oh, kids are, you know, juniors and the twins are juniors in high school, like, what are you guys doing? When they go away? Make sense to downsize? You know, and it starts to become a true home and client relationship? It's not just about the transaction and the pieces of it.

 

Brian Charlesworth  41:17

Yes. So everything I've seen out there, and you, you, and I share that vision 100%. So I love that you are thinking like going beyond the transaction? Because I agree with you. That is the future of real estate. It's changing like it needs to, it needs to be more than just I'm going to get you to the end of this transaction. Yeah. So great. Well, a couple just quick, quick questions. I'd love to hear from you on like, what is your favorite book, or your favorite source of learning? Like, how do you grow every day?

 

Ty Voyles  41:54

 Yeah. I saw my daughter's Kindle on her last vacation. And because she doesn't like the Kindle, she likes traditional books. And so I've been kind of using that to read lately. And, you know, I like reading my books that way. Actually, way more. I don't know why it took me so long to pick up an e-reader. But I definitely love books. They're not always business-based. The last book that I reread actually, so that is business-related was The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz, right.

 

Brian Charlesworth  42:25

Yeah, great book.

 

Ty Voyles  42:25

And then the one before that, that I actually read the back to back right at once. And I was like, oh my god, I gotta read that, again, was I'm going to get the title wrong. I think it was the truth, Why Buddhism Is True, which was not like a religious philosophy, but more of a mindset, philosophy, and kind of how, you know, meditation and practice around calming our neural system actually, is set opposed to how our evolution is structured, which was just really, really interesting. And I love that book.

 

Brian Charlesworth  42:58

Did that book sounds like that's what I need to read, does that also talk about why it's important to maybe not be the loudest person in the room, but to be the quietest person in the room and step back and listen, before you talk?

 

Ty Voyles  43:14

I don't know that he hits on that. But he definitely hits on the fact that you know, as soon as you shut up, you're gonna realize you're talking in your head all the time. And like, that's just to we are and how we're built, you know. And there's nothing wrong with that. But being able to hear the voice inside your head and what it says, and knowing when to ignore it and when to you know when to lean into it as an important piece. Yeah. Yeah, it was a great,

 

Brian Charlesworth  43:36

Great. What's your favorite place to travel?

 

Ty Voyles  43:40

So my favorite place, we have a vacation spot about 90 minutes outside of DC. It's kind of right at the base of the Shenandoah. And honestly, that's my favorite place to go. Like, it's the houses a mile off of a main road with a mile-long gravel road. And like just making the tournament of that road. Just I feel all the tension release every time I do it. And so that's like, that's my spot right now.

 

Brian Charlesworth  44:02

I guess that's why you bought a place there, huh?

 

Ty Voyles  44:04

Yeah, well, we're really lucky because we that's where we live for the first year of the pandemic. And that was not the intent of purchase. It was to get away on the weekends. But man, it worked really, really well. For that first year COVID outside of living on satellite internet.

 

Brian Charlesworth  44:18

Yeah.Yeah. Awesome. Good for you. And in your personal time, what's your favorite thing to do? Or what's your best escape?

 

Ty Voyles  44:26

Yeah. So let my kids and just, you know, hanging out with them and doing stuff, my son's eight. And so he's starting to lean into video games and being a child of the 80s. I love that. But I also picked up the guitar a couple of years ago, and my best friend is my guitar teacher. And so like hanging out with her and just, you know, spending time figuring out chord combinations and you know, little lead lick lines and stuff like that.

 

Brian Charlesworth  44:51

You know, I've always wanted to learn the guitar. That's like the one thing that I've never actually learned that I've wanted to so yeah, I may have to follow your lead that

 

Ty Voyles  45:01

it's addictive and you know, 20, 30 minutes a day for a couple of weeks, and you'll be hooked.

 

Brian Charlesworth  45:07

I believe you. So Ty, what's the best way to get ahold of you? If somebody wants to follow up with you?

 

Ty Voyles  45:12

Yeah, again, childhood at still really connected to early days, the internet, shoot me an email, honestly, ty@fulcrumpg.com. I'm not huge on social, just not my thing, then I'm not living my best life in public. So fire me an email. That's the easiest way to do it.

 

Brian Charlesworth  45:31

Okay, awesome. Well, Ty, thanks for joining us today really appreciate your different perspectives, I think on this industry and just on how to grow a business. So anyway, thank you for joining us, listeners. Thank you for joining us, if you could go out and give us a rating or like or follow. That'll help us bring in more top people like tie into this space. So thanks, everybody. Have a great week. We'll see you next Tuesday.

 

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