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Episode 117: From an Agent’s Assistant to a Successful Team Leader with Trey Willard

The journey to success in building a real estate team is never a straight line. Some start off in a conventional manner, while others take on a more interesting path.

Brian Charlesworth

Brian Charlesworth

Chairman & CEO

Brian is a highly accomplished entrepreneur, business builder, and thought leader in the real estate industry. With a track record of success in software, telecommunications, and franchise businesses, Brian has a talent for identifying and realizing business opportunities. Driven by his passion for technology, Brian is dedicated to using his skills and experience to bring about positive change and improve people's lives through the advancement of technology.


And whatever path you choose for yourself, you’re bound to encounter failures along the way.

But as long as you look at failures as opportunities to learn from those experiences, you will keep moving forward and hopefully impart the lessons you have learned to those who are just starting out on their own journey in real estate.

Brian Charlesworth joins Trey Willard, Team Leader at Keller Williams Realty Inc. as Trey shares his journey from being an assistant to leading a team that has produced $126 million in pending and closed volume this year, and some tactical and strategic things people can implement in their real estate business today.

Top Takeaways:
(02:33) What is an assistant to an agent?
(06:26) Why 2017 was the worst year of real estate in Trey’s entire life
(08:37) A lesson for top producers out there
(09:28) Why hiring someone from outside the industry to handle the operations side could be a game changer
(11:42) The good thing about failure
(14:02) Who is running Trey’s expansion team?
(15:56) How to create pathways for your agents so they can continue to grow inside of your organization
(17:02) What is Trey’s team doing differently?
(18:25) What Trey loves the most about Sisu
(19:24) What have sales contests done for Trey’s business?
(19:42) Why agents should stop focusing on the number of conversations and dials
(23:08) The systems that Trey uses
(28:23) The biggest challenge with working with family
(32:48) How Trey’s team is being impacted by the massive shift happening now
(33:47) Why Trey thinks the real estate industry needs a purge
(36:03) Why it’s not always about agent count
(37:35) Trey’s last words of advice

Connect with Trey Willard
LinkedIn: Trey Willard
Website: The W Group/ KW Geater Baton Rouge

About the guest:

Trey Willard graduated from LSU in 2007 and went to School for Business Communications and Technical Sales.  He thought he’d be selling medical devices at that time but then he realized that knocking on doors and getting in front of people wasn’t his thing.

Then a friend of his who was growing his real estate business decided to hire him as an executive administrative assistant. Two and a half months later, he got his own real estate license. In his first year with Keller Wiliams, he became Rookie of the Year and sold 33 houses.

In 2017, Trey decided to build his own team. However, this proved to be a painful experience as he watched his business account dwindle away. This became his wake-up call to start changing how he does things.

Fast forward to 2020, Trey hired a listing coordinator who eventually became his Operations Director. This is when his business started to take off.

Last year, Trey’s team sold 334 units amounting to $91 million in production. This year, they’ve already closed 367 units, with 61 pending, which equates to $126 million year-to-date.

Episode Transcript:

Brian Charlesworth 0:35
All right. Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the Grit Podcast. I'm Brian Charlesworth. I'm the founder of Sisu, and your host of the show. And I feel like it's been a while since I've actually recorded a podcast. So I'm excited about today, Trey, thanks for making this happen. I know we publish them, but you know, I get stacked up where I record every day and then I don't record for a couple of weeks. So anyway, grateful to be here today with Trey Willard I met Trey jeez, I would say right as I started Sisu, so about five or six years ago, I think it was five years ago, we were just getting ready to roll Sisu out. And I was at Jeff Cohn's event and you came up and introduced yourself. You were actually a Tom Ferry coach, you were gonna help me drive that through the Tom Ferry organization. Anyway, I remember that very well. Up there by the pool. So yeah, anyway, we have today you guys Trey Willard with us. Trey is now a 27 person team over at KW out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is crushing it. He did I believe 350 transactions last year and will do over 500 this year. And just that's that's the amazing growth that we love to see from our Sisu teams. And Trey is also a Sisu team. So anyway, Trey, what do you want to add to that?

Trey Willard 1:53
Yeah, so Brian, again, thanks, man, so much for having me here. It's always grateful to spend time with leaders in the industry man, guys like you. And you know, the goal is always to bring real value meat and potatoes, not any fluff. So, you know, that's the goal today. The goal today is to provide some tactical stuff, some strategical things that people can implement in their business and hopefully have an immediate impact. So that's my goal today. So Trey Willard 12 years now, in the real estate business, and I've had an interesting path, to say the least. So I started off as an assistant for an agent, and I was an assistant for a couple of months while I got my license or finished wrapping up my license in 2010 of October.

Brian Charlesworth 2:30
What is this? skip over that? What is an assistant to an agent? I don't think I've ever heard that one. Right. I heard a showing assistant, but I've never heard an assistant to an agent.

Trey Willard 2:40
Yeah, so just just an executive administrative assistant to an agent, a buddy of mine, who was growing his business and, you know, was looking for some leverage, we actually waited tables together. And I had been friends for years. And he knew, or at least saw, I think the talent in me at the time is a server. And you know, I had a lot of friends who said you should really think about, you know, get your real estate license, I think it'd be something you'd be really good at. And, you know, I graduated from LSU. In 2007. I went to school for business communications and technical sales, you know, and I thought I wanted to sell a pharmaceutical or medical device, because at the time, it was kind of the sexy thing to do. It came with, you know, company cars, and you know, good money and some travel and things like that, you know, actually got into doing some office equipment and telecommunication sales my first couple years and just realized that it wasn't for me, you know, b2b sales, knocking on doors and just trying to get in front of people just just wasn't my gig. So I went back to the service industry. Tim Houk is the guy's name. He's with Keller Williams, he's actually still with Keller Williams,

Brian Charlesworth 2:40
You're talking about? A Tim Heyl?

Trey Willard 2:41
No, Tim Houk, but I do know Tim Heyl. Yeah. Tim, in Austin. So he brought me on and he's like, look, what would it take for you to leave the service industry, and come work as my as my assistant. And I said, Dude, I was a professional DJ. And I was kind of weird, but I had a lot of cash coming in, and I was like, 400 bucks a week, man, I'll be your assistant, you know, and it'll give me some real estate experience. So I did that. And I was the worst assistant that you could ever imagine. I'm a very high D high personality, I have very little organizational skills. And we identified that we knew that from the beginning. So that was we knew it was a temporary short term thing. And it probably only lasted about two to two and a half months before I got my license. And first year with Keller Williams, I was Rookie of the Year I sold 33 houses and was with the team for about two, two and a half years.

Brian Charlesworth 4:31
Was that was that the same friend who build a team and you're with his team? Yeah, same so so being his assistant, you were his top agent,

Trey Willard 4:40
rolled into a buyer's agent. Immediately when I got my license. He hired another assistant who took my place. And then we started to gross I think when I left there was myself a full time administrative assistant. We had three myself and two other buyer's agents. So that's what the team looked like. And then a friend of mine who owned a commercial brokerage approached me and one We just start a residential firm on, you know, built with inside of this company, and asked if I would be the one that kind of spearhead that So myself and two other guys Jonathan Starnes and Chase, Mahler took that on. And then that real Donnie Jr, real estate one grew into a pretty decent size brokerage, I think we have 15 or 20 people. And then Donnie sold and Berkshire Hathaway, we merged our franchise with them, and just happened in 2015. So as a solo agent from 12, to 15. And then I built the W group at the end of 2016. So 2016 I sold personally 113 units, bananas, you know, put together a pretty awesome development and many ways, the greatest, probably greatest real estate year of my life at the time. Yeah, and I knew at that point, I couldn't continue to run at the speed that I was running by myself, right. So I got into coaching, I was actually coaching with NANE, I don't know if you know, National Association of expert advisors, it was saying it's gonna drive me crazy, big eXp guys, it will come to me in a little while. I did Buffini and company coaching, you know. And then I got introduced to the Tom Ferry ecosystem, and 16 and started coaching with Tom. And within the first man sit within the first like, I guess six months, they were offered me a position to coach.

Brian Charlesworth 6:19
Was Tom, personally, your coach, or you're being coached?

Trey Willard 6:24
Coach by his organization, it's funny how this, this whole thing started, but started built a team and in 2017, was the worst year of real estate in my entire life. And I say that to be very vulnerable, to let people know that, you know, at the time, it was all me, I decided I was going to hire agents, I wasn't really holding anybody accountable. I was giving all my deals away, because I was everybody was getting out of production at this point. And then I look back at my profit and my profitability in the year and I think the business made like $10,000

Brian Charlesworth 6:53
So all of your profit would have been from your own production, basically.

Trey Willard 6:57
Yeah, and then all my profit from 2016. I just watched my business account just dwindle away, and then I'll never forget, it was like around Christmas time and 2017. And we had committed we're building, you know, a 3000 square foot new construction house, you know, and we're going from like a, you know, $260,000 house to like a $600,000 house. Right? So I mean, we inevitably doubling our settlements, our debt, our expenses, but, you know, we looked at each other, we're kind of like, Man, did we make the right decision? And it was really kind of that that moment in time. For me, it was just like, look, no more excuses, no more. Like, we gotta get to work. We're gonna get through this. And at the end of the day, it wasn't really that that bad of a situation. But it was a situation that just made you stop and think and say, Look, something's got to change, right?

Brian Charlesworth 7:40
Yeah. So that year, that was so horrible. How many agents did you bring in you? It sounds like you just kind of went from being a high producing solo agent, to building a team at that point. And you actually, unlike most people, most people have a really hard time stepping out of production. Sounds like you stepped out of production immediately. Is that kind of what happened?

Trey Willard 8:00
Yeah, I didn't step out of production, the intentions were to step out of production. So like some of the referrals, maybe that I would get that I would, I would work I just would maybe pass off to a team member to my wife or somebody. So it was my wife, myself, a guy named Brent Thompson, and Clay Harris at the time, and we had an administrative assistant. So went from me to three buyer's agents in you know, and that was all based on like, just the amount of lead generation or amount of lead that we had coming in from Zillow and Boomtown and different lead sources, had the opportunities we just we were not following up, we were not consistent. There was no level of accountability, our process and our systems sucked at the time. I mean, it was just not good. You know, if that's a lesson for somebody, the top producer who was out there, and they think it's time to because I'm really good at production. Let me go start a team. That's not the mentality of the mindset to take the mindset to take is, let me continue to do what I'm really good at. But then I have to hire somebody who's good at the things that I'm not. Yeah, that makes sense. So fast forward. 2020. You know, we hired my, so I hired a listing coordinator, and he became operations director, and the moment he became my Operations Director, things really started to really starting to grow. We started hitting like hockey stick growth, he ended up moving on to something else. And and I'll say this, and I say this very humbly, but I truly believe that I have the best operator in the real estate sphere. Anybody, I would put my money against him. Daniel Woodson is the guy's name. He actually was a mentee under the CEO of Geico. So he is a system of

Brian Charlesworth 9:33
From the outside of the industry, a systems guru.

Trey Willard 9:36
Yeah. Systems guru. And so we hired him on he's been with me for a little over a year now. And I mean, he's the guy and I'm the visionary right. So if you read the book Rocket Fuel, you learn about visionaries, and integrator operators.

Brian Charlesworth 9:49

Trey Willard 9:50
And I was always the visionary but never had the integrator operator. So it was like the moment that I got him, man, it was just like

Brian Charlesworth 9:59
Most this As a note for you guys, because most high producing realtors are definitely high D's and high I's. Right? And so 100% You're not the integrator. So read that book and figure out who you are. And surround yourself with that right person to be on your side like that.

Trey Willard 10:19
Yeah. So it's funny, Brian, you know, we'd go to the conferences, right, I go to Jeff Cohn's team building Summit, I'd go to Tom Ferry summit, I would go to all these and I'd come back and paralysis would set in because I would sit in front of my computer, and I would try to build out some processor system, and it just would suck all of the life and energy out of me. Right. I wasn't the person for that. So once I realized, you know, we made the right hire on the operation side. It's been like, again, just a complete game changer. So fast forward again. Right? So 334 units last year, we actually did 91 million in production. And so far year to date, I don't want to mess these numbers up. So I'm going to pop in my Sisu dashboard. We've closed 367 units, we've got 61 pending, and that equates to 126 million and pending and closed volume this year, so

Brian Charlesworth 11:10
Congrats. Yeah, so it's currently sitting around the 425 neighborhood and I'm pasty. 500. That's exactly that's exactly right. So did you not get the word tre that this year was not supposed to be as good as last year?

Trey Willard 11:25
Yeah, I'm hearing it every day.

Brian Charlesworth 11:28
All right. So we'll go there in a minute. I'd love to let you continue sharing your journey. And then well, no,

Trey Willard 11:33
No, no. So that's the journey, right? I mean, I started off with an assistant and made my way into it with a lot of trips and falls and failures, right? And there's a you have to look at every failure as an opportunity of an experience, right? What can I learn from here, so you don't really ever look at like a failure, that true failure, you look at it as an experience or an opportunity. And just for me, like, I've always been very, like personal development very, like mindset is probably what I spend the most time on, because I know what you think you can achieve, right? So like the old Henry Ford, if you believe you can achieve or if you say you know you can you can if you say you can't, you can't, you know, it's just I've truly believed

Brian Charlesworth 12:10
if you say when it will happen if you say if it won't, right, yeah. All those things.

Trey Willard 12:16
Yeah. So that so that's it. So I mean, that's who I am today, and we actually excitingly enough, we opened up our first expansion on October 5 in Mandeville, Covington, which is on the north shore. So we've already got three agents committed and a full time administrative assistant, and we'll do something in New Orleans. So you have like the North Shore and the South Shore. So do something in New Orleans in the first quarter of 2023.

Brian Charlesworth 12:38
Congrats. So what made you decide to go there for expansion?

Trey Willard 12:42
Yeah, so they're 45 and 60 minutes east and south of me, New Orleans has about a almost double average price point. In Mandeville, Covington is a lot of people leave New Orleans to move to the North Shore, or they live in the North Shore and they commute over the bridge and to New Orleans. So it's really just it was kind of the next that was the next thing for us. I mean, when you Brian, when you look at the TAM, or total addressable market, there's 13,000 homes that are sold in East Baton Rouge Parish or the greater Baton Rouge real estate market that we service, multiply that times two, because there's two transactions, right? For every home not are you is you're gonna get, yeah, you're gonna get 26,000 or 24,000 opportunities? Well, no, of course not. So when you look at that, you're like, man, we're only barely scratching the surface of what's available. But what if we went to another market where there's an additional 13,000 And then maybe an additional eight or 9000? Home sales? What does that look like?

Brian Charlesworth 13:41
So this expansion team concept, I want to dive into that a little bit, because you're just building your first right now. And we work here at Sisu with companies like Levine that have over 50 locations and others, right, so

Trey Willard 13:55
So Adam Hergenrother and I, we have been in a lot of dialogue recently, so I'll just, I'll leave it at that.

Brian Charlesworth 14:02
Okay. Okay. So what I want to ask, and this is really for those you know, who were thinking about doing the same thing, because I think at some point, you're going to have to do that to expand your market beyond the point you're at today. Spring did that last year did an expansion team 20 miles south of here in Davis County, and you know, it's made a ton of massive, massive impact on our business in a positive way. So now she's doing one another 20 minutes down, but I guess my question for you is, who is running that expansion team for you?

Trey Willard 14:37
Yeah. So again, where I am today, as I pull myself further away, out of production, it frees me up right. It gives me some time and some energy to put into some different places, which number one is the expansion from operations director is believe it or not, he runs my team. He's in Atlanta, Georgia. I believe again, doing this completely remotely.

Brian Charlesworth 14:58
I think that is phenomenal. advice you gave and you didn't really give it as advice. But I want to go back to it because I think it is advice. Yeah, for sure. Don't pull your operations person from the real estate industry. Pull them from another industry that knows operations. Yeah. And you'll, you'll be amazed at what that can do for your business,

Trey Willard 15:18
for sure, man, and he lived here full transparency. And him and his partner had split, you know, his fiancee, and he wanted to move back to Atlanta where his family was, he has a daughter, and I said, Yeah, let's give it a 30 days and minutes, he's more than exceeded my expectations, which gives us an opportunity, you know, over time to we could expand into Georgia and Atlanta and, you know, the outskirts of Marietta and Alpharetta and some of these other markets. I mean, we're you know, I'm just vision, you know, future. That's where it's going. So myself and Daniel will run this. And I have a team leader, somebody, the way this whole thing started, was one of my my agents was moving to this market. And I said, How do you feel about being the team leader in our Mandeville Covington office? So just we're creating, you know, the goal is, and this is what I talked to, like Adam, and those guys, it Levine and some other folks about is how do you continue to create, let's call it a pathway or like a landing strip, you know, if you will, for your agents so they can continue to grow inside of your organization, right?

Brian Charlesworth 16:13
I was gonna say, let's just call it growth,

Trey Willard 16:15
Growth, yeah.

Brian Charlesworth 16:16
If you can give your agents growth opportunities. I'm seeing this as a major, major shift in this industry. Right now, agents are staying with their teams now, for four or five 6, 10 years, it used to be two years, because teams weren't giving them that growth opportunity within the team. But provide that growth opportunity within the team. They're going to stick with you. So that's, that's what you're doing. And that's how you're expanding.

Trey Willard 16:43
Exactly. You know, and look full transparency. We're Zillow flex team, Zillow has given us opportunities to expand because our metrics are so stellar. They want to work with teams like us that are going to give them a very high return on their investment.

Brian Charlesworth 16:56
Yep. So why are you guys so good? Like, what is loc? What do you do different than other teams that are on Flex do so that they want you to expand?

Trey Willard 17:07
So I mean, I'd say our metrics, right? I mean, they give us you know, 65%, you know, sets a man appointment, it's a 45% met with appointment, you know, they're looking at like an 11 to 12% offer, right, and they want you to close somewhere between seven and 8%. I mean, we're exceeding those, and then you look at like their model, as far as you know, every market has a percent to market, if you will. And let's say the market is 150. Will or 125, you know, we're doing we're 200% of market, we are very diligent on processes and systems and follow up and accountability. And it's very much a production, right? If you're producing and your numbers are good. And we do I do a 30 minute coaching call with every single one of my agents every month. And then my operations director does the same thing. And then we do quarterly reviews based on conversions. And that's everything from, you know, our Boomtown leads, leads Zillow flex, any PPC stuff we have coming in, you know, we have the we use call action and we do the call text for more information. And then we do all like all the third party seller leads, we just when you have the right person in the right seat, meaning operations director, and you have the data, and you analyze the data, and you hold the agents accountable to the data because the numbers don't lie, right? You can't run from it. And that's what I love about Sisu the most is it is so simple to track and measure the most important KPIs. And then you put it on this beautiful monitor. And it just makes it look so good. And so pretty and so easy to read, and not only to read, but to dissect and explain what does this mean?

Brian Charlesworth 18:45
Yeah. Now, and I'm glad you're enjoying that. Because I built that solve a problem that I saw when my wife asked me to help her grow her real estate business. And I want to talk about your wife here in a second as well. Yeah, for sure. But that's really how Sisu was born was I got from another industry came in to help her grow her team and got to experience firsthand the pain of using 510 different systems to just get information from an agent to a transaction coordinator. And then to be able to set goals and hold them accountable and have sales contests. So I want to talk about sales contests because you shared with me before this call that you're doing a lot of sales contests. What has that done for your business?

Trey Willard 19:34
So you said this in a podcast recently, and I love it, and this comes back to just something that even Adam and I were talking about recently, appointments met and set are the biggest drivers and the biggest indicators that are going to lead to sign contracts or buyer signatures or listing contract sign inevitably going to lead to showing houses and writing contracts and in closing, right those are the two biggest the number I mean meeting them is

Brian Charlesworth 19:58
Number one is met Yes,

Trey Willard 19:42
100% I couldn't, I would not agree with you more. We used to focus on a lot of dials, we used to focus on conversations. And what happens is like not that it becomes a little not simplistic, but you've got to make it easy and simplistic for the agents, right? So what we did was we really just we started saying, Okay, guys, you're focusing on two things, two new appointments per week. And we know that if you set the appointments, the appointments are going to drive the conversations in the dots, right. So just stop focusing on the conversations and the dials focus on two new appointments set per week, which leads to roughly 12 appointments right per month, if you do the math on that you work 48 weeks out of the year, you convert it as 70% of the time, they say they're going to work with you 70% of time you get them under contract, and then 10% 90% They close, you got a 10% fall out. So you roughly have 42 to 45 homes sold per year.

Brian Charlesworth 21:10
So you know exactly, you know exactly and most don't. And so you know exactly what it takes to sell 42 homes a year, right what it takes from an appointment standpoint.

Trey Willard 21:22
So our numbers run, we run about 72% When we set an appointment, we meet with that person 65% of the time that we meet with that person we sign 64 65% Now the indicator,

Brian Charlesworth 21:35
Are you looking at monthly numbers right now, if you look at annual numbers, it will show you the correct amount. Yeah,

Trey Willard 21:41
no, I'm looking at how I'm looking at this year. But for some reason, I don't know what happened because we've gone on something of course, because I'm talking to you right now we're on live right? Or we're on a call. Either way, right? So the book and when I say the book, the MRA The Millionaire Real Estate book, right? So the Millionaire Real Estate Agent is funny actually have

Brian Charlesworth 21:58
How many times have you read that book?

Trey Willard 22:00
I read it all the time, once a year.

Brian Charlesworth 22:03
So like it's always in your hand, getting notes getting

Trey Willard 22:08
to show you what's next I'm on desk right here is the new MREA two stuff, and I had it, I had it out, of course, like I'm gonna sit here, I'm not gonna waste a bunch of time looking for this stuff. But it was 70% You know, the goal is 70% of the time that you set an appointment, you meet with the appointment 70% of time you meet with the appointment, you actually physically signed the appointment. Then once they're under contract, right, you got to 10% fall out, which are Yeah, 10% Falls and 90% our numbers run like almost identical to the MREA. Like I said, 65% I think we're like 70 72% than 65% on the set to met. I mean, I'm excuse me the Met to sign. And then once they go under contract, I think there's like an 85% 82% chance that they're going to close. So I just I've literally just I am not the smartest person in the world. You know, I just I need a process and a system and I just need people to just tell me what to do. I'm a machine, you just tell me what to do. And I'm going to do it right.

Brian Charlesworth 23:08
So what are your systems? Like? How have you dialed your business in to systems because I think everybody needs systems but like, what are your systems when you say

Trey Willard 23:16
Yeah, so tech stack right now. So you know, everything feeds into Boomtown. That's our that's the CRM. So all of our leads is Zillow, flex leads. Nice, you still have to use the premier agent app to do all your updates and everything in Zillow, but the leads will funnel into their You know, we use connections plus they all funnel into there. We use call action so call action. We layer that with Boomtown for a lot of our text automation. So like lead comes in Brian, I'll give you the process lead comes in. It's a boomtown PPC lead. You automatically get a voicemail drop. Hey, Brian, Trey Willard Keller Williams the W group, hey, you just registered on our website to search for property located I was just calling us to follow up to see how I can assist you with your home search something along those lines, right? That email is dropped. It's pre recorded, I think we have three or four of those, you immediately get a text message all and you get a follow up, you get an email, as well. And then the E alerts inevitably we have VA to go in and set up alert for everybody in Boomtown so that that's how that process works. As far as like the Call to Action Text to lead immediately they're gonna get information about the lead, it's gonna go to them all of their contact information gets funneled into Boomtown Boomtown kind of works just like the primary like hub CRM,

Brian Charlesworth 24:31
These are your lead follow up systems.

Trey Willard 24:33
That's right. So that's, that's lead follow up systems. We use kW, we use command, which is their CRM. And then what's awesome is like we built out a 36 touch campaign for all of our past clients and sphere of influence right.

Brian Charlesworth 24:47
And instead of in Boomtown

Trey Willard 24:48
Correct, and the reason we do that is because we want to keep our like we call them our Mets right people know you like you trust you and then your haven't met so we're keeping those databases separate.

Brian Charlesworth 24:59
So it's Just want to film today they moved from town to command is that what I'm hearing?

Trey Willard 25:04
Correct. And what we have to do for compliance with Keller Williams is we have to have everything run through because all of like Docusign. They're basically like filing rooms for kW. You go into, and basically that's like, you're basically like your sky slope or your transaction management software, you're battling whatever you

Brian Charlesworth 25:24
which, by the way, was integrating with command right now. And then the back end is our next integration, I can't

Trey Willard 25:31
think and wait for that to happen. So that's how that happens. Now, if they go on an appointment, you know, we have appointment, we have like an appointment form set up on their Sisu app or on the computer where they hit transaction and they got buyer appointments that met and then it's once it's plugged in, it's all there. So you have Sisu is what we use to track and measure basically, all of our data, right, all of our KPIs Boomtown, is where all of our lead generation inevitably happens. And then command as our call it our transaction management slash sphere of influence past clients. And we have we have a Slack, you know, that we use to communicate as a team we have, I mean, the tech stack that we have is

Brian Charlesworth 26:09
Are you doing the steps to close if someone goes under contract, what are your steps at that point? How does the agent get things in the hands of the TC and what is the TC workout?

Trey Willard 26:19
Right? So the TC has worked out on Sisu and command. Okay, so what happens is the moment that they put someone under contract, right, it triggers automatically the checklist, and that TC gets pained, and says Trey just put one under contract. And we have a guy named Dawson, who does like all of our intake paperwork. So he makes sure like from a compliance stance, we have everything we need from agency disclosures to you know, sign purchase agreements, counteroffers, you know, property disclosures, anything we need, he's got all of that in there. And then he uploads everything into command, right, which is for compliance, and then the other TCS, they have their checklist of things to do. So, do we have to do a scheduled inspection? Do we need a wood Destroying Insect report? It's so easy. They just go to it every day. And they just check things off the box, right?

Brian Charlesworth 27:10
I listen coordinator who's checklists are you doing that in command?

Trey Willard 27:13
No we're doing that and Sisu. It's my my listing coordinator who's sitting right in front of me. I mean, he gets the same thing on listing side, right? When I go on a listing, I come in and I put the client's name, the address, the Commission's, the sales price, I put it all in there, I hit send, it sends him an alert now he knows that he's got a call. Now he's got to schedule the photos, the videographer, he's got to go ahead and work on listing packet one and listing packet two. And it all happens. So systematically. everyone on my team has a very specific role. Yeah, yeah, I don't have multiple people doing multiple things. I have one person doing one thing.

Brian Charlesworth 27:49
And everyone should run their business that way. So

Trey Willard 27:53

Brian Charlesworth 27:54
Shifting gears a little bit for the sake of time, you and your wife have been in this business together, I think for for how long?

Trey Willard 28:02
Like she got her license in 2015. I've been licensed since 2010. Yes, we have been working together for I started. So she I love she made 40 grand doing marketing for a company locally. And I said Whitney, come work for me, you're going to triple the amount of money you make, you're going to be a rock star in this industry. Yeah. And she did. She came on board.

Brian Charlesworth 28:23
So I see that more in this industry, probably than any where this is a in many cases, it's a family business. Maybe just talk about some of the challenges with that, and some of the great things about that. Because I think there can certainly be challenges with that if you don't set up your boundaries, right?

Trey Willard 28:44
Sure. So we have massive challenges. And I think the challenge, the biggest challenge is the fact that we just bring work home, we can never get away from more whether it's employees or as buyers and sellers, or whatever it is. It's just, if there's one negative thing, it's just that you can't run away from it. It's just always there. It's always present. Right?

Brian Charlesworth 29:04
Well, obviously, Spring and I are running two different businesses, but both in the real estate industry, and we have that exact same issue.

Trey Willard 29:10
So if I had to say literally the only time that we ever really probably even have tips about anything is typically overworked stuff, Whitney and I have, like we have such an amazing relationship. And we've like, I think it took us about a year or two ago to where like we really understood our places and like our lives and like how you can support me and how I can support you. And we have the mutual respect for one another, if that makes sense. Yeah, and I think the hardest thing for us for the longest time was really understanding like, what she needs from me what I need her to understand what she needs, you know what I need from her? And how do we align that and we respect each other and know that this is your lane, this is my lane. And my lane is again, mostly on like the running the business side of things. She's an agent and she does incredibly well. But she's also taking in some leadership roles as far as like marketing and and different things like that. The flexibility is probably the thing I would say is probably the biggest like Pro for us. Because we love to travel. I love to spend time with my children. I love to spend time with my wife. We love to travel, we talked about 30. A and spending time on the Gulf Coast. I mean, we do we do that often not like spontaneously, we went for Labor Day, you know, and we're going to Napa next month or anniversary for a week and we're going to Boston over Thanksgiving holidays to go see some friends. If she had a job somewhere else. She couldn't take that time off and be spontaneous. I'd say. That's probably one of the biggest pros is the flexibility that it allows us.

Brian Charlesworth 30:42
Yeah. Agreed. Okay, that's great. So she is actually an agent selling. That's her role?

Trey Willard 30:51
She is Yeah, and she like I said, she takes some leadership. I mean, she meets with myself, Operations Director, the marketing, she has a role as a leader in the team. She's also a mentor agent. But as far as like, she's not she does not I'm not an operator, right, like Daniel's the operator, you know, like, I don't know if you know, I'm sure, you know, DJ Lindsey, DJ Lindsey are like two very, very good friends of mine. DJ is like a high D like selling machine slash, like sales manager type. Lindsay's an operator, you know what I mean? Like, sometimes I wish that we could roll like that. But he enjoys selling, and she's so good at it. So I want her to stay in that lane, and then give her the flexibility to be there for our kids. I mean, our kids both do cheerleading and dance and soccer and volleyball. So it's like, they have activities going on all the time. So it's like, we're usually divided and conquering, you know, in the afternoons.

Brian Charlesworth 31:38
Yeah. Okay, thanks for sharing that.

Trey Willard 31:40
Yeah, for sure.

Brian Charlesworth 31:41
Back to this thing of the market is so horrible. Right now, I love this. If anybody watches the news every day, they're no longer in the business. But what I'm observing, and I've been saying this since I started Sisu, that I feel like the the team is the future brokerage. The agents today. If I were to look at agents today that are solo agent, sure you have those Mike ferry agents that you know, can go create appointments and get listings and get listings and get listings, those guys are gonna be okay. But the new agent coming into the business today, if they're not on a team, they will not exist. And even those agents who have been in the business for a few years, like I'm seeing them dissolve right now, which in my opinion, that's going to have a massive impact on the traditional brokerage, because where do those agents like that all sit, they sit in a traditional brokerage, where they're not getting the training, they're not getting the systems, they're not getting the leads, and are getting all these things that you and other team owners are providing. So anyway, I think there's a massive shift happening right now. But what I want to really dig into is like, how is this impacting your team?

Trey Willard 32:57
So Brian, I love times of uncertainty. The reason I love times of uncertainty as we prepare ourselves for this, right? I believe that there's a lot of people who got the real estate license in the last couple of years, because it was easy. You were an order taker. And if you got your offer accepted, or you were a listing agent, you were doing pretty good life was easy. You know, we do the basics. So we do scripting and role playing practice. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we have a Monday morning meeting every Monday, I have speakers who come in during the week to do additional training, we are all about the fundamentals and the foundation of skills, because I believe that no matter what market you're in skills will always win. Okay, good.

Brian Charlesworth 33:35
I love that you say that and share that. Thank you. In this market we're in today my opinion is if you don't have those skills, you won't exist.

Trey Willard 33:45
I totally agree. So I'm looking for a purge, right? The industry needs it, we need it. And this is an opportunity for us as a team to grow like full transparency. I had a conversation with someone yesterday about acquiring an entire team. Like those are the kinds of conversations I'm having right now with folks. And you know, we're still focused on agent first, meaning we're going to continue to increase the amount of value they receive, because we don't want them to leave. Right and what I'm doing and I say this and I'll say this to anybody, you know, like I am inevitably going to box out all of our competition in the greater Baton Rouge real estate market. Yeah, what I mean by that is I'm going to buy all the leads. I'm going to recruit all the agents, and I'm going to create a machine that it's just hard to compete with. Now look, am I gonna go get 13,000 transactions? Maybe not. But will I go from five to seven to 1500s? You know, and 3000 over the next five to seven years. Absolutely.

Brian Charlesworth 34:48
Yeah. So you said something there that I think is key. You said you're blocking everybody out by getting all the leads. But one of the things you said was recruiting all the agents. So let's talk about that for a minute. How many agents did you have a year ago, two years ago? And you're at 27. Today? Is that right?

Trey Willard 35:09
Yeah, like 12 or 13. Last year 15, I think at the peak, and then before that, it was like seven or eight.

Brian Charlesworth 35:16
So where do you want to be a year from now, Agent wise?

Trey Willard 35:19
You know, so when it comes to agent laws, it's the agent number is not as important as the person is the agent, right? Like, do they fit culture? Number one, first and foremost? Do they have a great work ethic? Are they willing to get better? So yeah, of course. I mean, like, right now, it 27. You know, 35 is a number that I think is like the next threshold for us. And then once we hit 35, I think that number becomes 50. And then once we hit 50, I think that number becomes 70. And I watch people around me, I watched like Parker Pemberton, I watched EJ and Lindsey. I watched Lisa janati. I mean, I watch you know, these friends of mine in my circle that are growing, you know, I was on the phone with Jay Pitts. Yesterday, Jay Pitts, I think has 44 agents and you know, Matt courtesan in Huntsville, I think he's probably pushing 40 Something agents. To me, it's not necessarily about the agent count. It's about remaining profitable, right, and then continuing to grow. And then having our agent like production. So like, say we run about an 18 to 20 unit per average per agent, right? Like, that's where we like, I don't want to get to where we've just now it's all about all these people everywhere. And our agent productivity falls drastically because we can't continue to pour the way we want to. So yes, do we want more agents? Absolutely. Is there a number? Is there like a date? By that note, right now? It's like, how do we level the agents that are in our organization now? And how do we make sure that they're all running at peak performance? And then, you know, we'll continue to organically just add from there. That makes sense. Yeah.

Brian Charlesworth 36:45
Yep. Okay, for onboarding are you doing? Do you have systems in place for doing your agent onboarding as well?

Trey Willard 36:50
Yeah, so Trello, is what we use now. And then, of course, we have everything just built into Trello. To where it like it, you know, it sends them to Boomtown to do all their Boomtown training, you know, send them to Sisu videos to do all their CC trainings. And then we have mentor agents. So it's typically about a two week process to get through it. It's pretty thorough, but we use, like I said, we use Trello. And it's day by day by day, you know, almost hour by hour.

Brian Charlesworth 37:13
So it's pretty down there directing the agents on what they need to do

Trey Willard 37:17
100%. And then they need to sit with their mentor, they need to do some shadowing, they need to go on to buyer appointments, and you go on some listing appointments. I mean, they've, you know, there's the, you know, on the computer stuff. And then there's the OJT. Right, there's the on the job training, and it's, that's the most important.

Brian Charlesworth 37:30
Yeah, okay. Great. So we're about out of time here. But any last words of advice you'd like to share? I would say most of our listeners are probably team leaders, maybe broker owners, and some agents.

Trey Willard 37:43
Yeah, I think I mean, one of the things that just I'll say this, it's not about Trey, right? It's not about Brian, it's about the agents. You know, for me, it's I don't impact and influence as many people as I can, like, when they leave this organization, like I want to say man, like me, and Trey poured into me, and he really helped me with my mindset. And, you know, he just helped me become more discipline, and more and like, accept accountability and things like that. So like, I really focus on like the agent and like, what's important to the agent? Why are you here? Number one, why did you choose to come work with the W group? Most importantly, what do you feel like I can help you accomplish over the next? Like, if we were to look back in the next, let's call it 12 months? What would be a big win for you? Right? And what do you want to do? From a business standpoint? What do you do want to do from a financial standpoint? What do you want to do from a personal standpoint, like, I'm really like, you know, I eat the same shit every day out of a Tupperware container. You know what I mean? If anybody knows me, like, I'm just like, I have to operate on like, like, being very disciplined, and everything just has to be prepared. And it's got to be, that's me. And like, I just, I try to be a good example. And I try to lead the way that I would expect a leader to lead. And that's what I do. And I really care about my people. And I pour into them as much as I can. So I'm just like, if you're a team leader, like, it's not about you, it's not about the team. It's about the agents and helping them get what they want. And the old Zig Ziglar saying, right, you help enough people get what they want. You'll get what you want. So that's like, kind of my mindset, my motto?

Brian Charlesworth 39:07
Yeah. Awesome. Well, Trey, it's been fun to watch you grow, and to watch you expand in your career and to evolve and see your family grow. And anyway, congratulations on all of your success. Thank you. And I'm excited to see that keep growing. And I'm confident a few years, you're going to be talking about 1000s of transactions. So let's go with my friend. Yeah, work. And thank you for joining us on the show today.

Trey Willard 39:30
Yeah, thanks for having me. I'm super grateful for man to keep doing what you're doing, man. You're changing. Like you said, you're changing the real estate industry, whether you realize it or not, so keep it up.

Brian Charlesworth 39:39
Well, thank you for that. If you were going to be at our conference next week, you would be there live for this, but we are announcing some things that we really do feel will change the real estate industry forever. So

Trey Willard 39:50
I can't wait to hear it man. Tell my boy, Mac Hill. Give me a call whenever y'all wrap.

Brian Charlesworth 39:55
All right. We'll do thank you.

Trey Willard 39:56
Alright. Thanks, Brian. see you, buddy.

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