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Episode 129: Scaling Success in Real Estate: The Path to a Billion with Brett Jennings and Beth Lazar

Let’s jump in to this weeks episode of "GRIT: The Real Estate Growth Mindset", where we explore the intricacies of team development and leadership in the complex world of real estate.

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.

 


Host, Brian Charlesworth, steers an insightful dialogue with the distinguished figures in the industry, Brett Jennings and Beth Lazar.

In an era where effective leadership sets the pace for success, understanding how to lead with vision and influence becomes paramount. Brett, with his profound expertise and experience, gives us an inside look into his leadership style. He stresses the importance of emotional intelligence in guiding a team and fostering growth. This is a must-listen for those looking to take their team management skills to the next level.

Beth Lazar emphasizes the critical role Sisu played in transforming Real Estate Exploits. Initially underutilized, Sisu eventually became a vital tool in improving visibility, scalability, repeatability, and communication within the organization. The platform was instrumental in streamlining operations across departments and aiding in task management, all of which significantly contributed to the company's growth and resilience.

The episode does not shy away from addressing the crucial aspect of risk-taking either. Brett Jennings delves into how he embraced calculated risk-taking to fuel his business growth. Beth Lazar supports this sentiment, emphasizing that understanding and accepting risks is intrinsic to business growth. This part of the discussion is sure to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs to step out of their comfort zones and seize opportunities with grit and resilience.

Finally, Charlesworth wraps up this compelling conversation by reflecting on the powerful insights shared. This episode underscores the importance of understanding one's team, taking informed risks, and embracing the learning curve in real estate. 

The insightful thoughts shared by Brett and Beth are a testament to the power of perseverance and learning in carving a successful path in the real estate world. Tune in to this episode of "GRIT: The Real Estate Growth Mindset" for an inspirational journey full of practical wisdom and leadership insights.


Top Takeaways:


(2:35) The importance of purpose
(7:14) The path to a billion
(9:03) How a bold 10-year vision drove team growth
(18:43) What is the foundation of a real estate business? 
(24:01) How to transform real estate business with insights from Sisu
(25:55) How to enhance agility through cross-functional data accessibility
(28:25) The shift toward systemization and saleability
(30:53) How to navigate industry challenges
(36:47) The transformative role of clarity and purpose in sustaining success


About Brett Jennings:

As the owner and founder of Real Estate Experts, Brett Jennings has carved out a niche for himself as an award-winning luxury home marketing specialist, armed with a negotiation certificate from Harvard Law. Garnering recognition from the Wall Street Journal in 2017, his team ranked among the top 1/10th of 1% of real estate groups in the United States. Combining his extensive background in real estate, finance, and life coaching, Brett exhibits a passion for facilitating transformative real estate decisions for his clients. Energetic and fully engaged, he extends his clientele access to over 250 off-market properties while utilizing a home-selling process that has proven successful in the market. Beyond his professional life, Brett is a long-time meditation teacher and an outdoor enthusiast who values spending quality time with his team.


Connect with Brett Jennings

About Beth Lazar:

Beth Lazar brings to the table a sterling 25-year record in innovation, sales, and marketing, underpinned by her unwavering integrity, energy, loyalty, and enthusiasm. She boasts academic credentials that include a BA in Economics and Management from Beloit College, an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, and Executive Management Certifications from Harvard Business School. Adept in negotiation, Beth prioritizes establishing strong relationships, ensuring complete client satisfaction, and delivering valuable market insight. A native Californian and a devoted mother of five, Beth keeps active as an exercise enthusiast. Having bravely overcome cancer, she is committed to giving back to society, particularly showing a deep-rooted passion for supporting women and children.


Episode Transcript:

Brian Charlesworth  00:34
All right. Hello, everyone. Welcome back to the Grit podcast. As you know, I'm Brian Charlesworth. I'm the founder of Sisu, and the host of the show, and I'm super excited today, we have the team from real estate experts with us. They are one of the top teams at Side Inc. and super, super high producers actually hit over a billion dollars in closed volume. Everybody's dream now is to be a billion-dollar team. And you guys have hit that. So I want to congratulate you both and welcome you to the show. So everyone welcome Brett Jennings, who is the owner slash team leader, and Beth Lazar, who joined him about two years ago, I want to say, to take over and run the ops side of the business. Welcome to the show, guys.

Brett Jennings  01:25
Awesome. Thanks for having us here.

Brian Charlesworth  01:27
Yeah, anything you guys want to add to that intro? Anything relevant to today's conversation?

Brett Jennings  01:32
No, I'm excited to be here. And you know, to talk about the growth journey, because I think it's one that every successful team leaders on it's being reminded. And we've found that the principle of measuring our growth as we go it helps us do that better and faster. And Sisu has been instrumental in that.

Brian Charlesworth  01:49
Yeah, so I think you guys have been on Sisu for three and a half years now, something like that when Beth came in, and took it to a much higher level as far as how you implement it and utilize Sisu. So anyway, we can dive into that. But I'd like to start out Brett, maybe talking about that road to a billion. Like, I think when I met you, you were doing, I want to say about 150 transactions a year, maybe 200?

Brett Jennings  02:18
I think it was, we met at a family reunion event, I think, until 2017 or 2018. And I think we were at about 150 million in production, maybe 120 sales at a team of probably six agents or so. Yeah, at that time.

Brian Charlesworth  02:35
Yeah. So how did you go from that? In four years? To over a billion? Like, that's everyone's dream, right? How do I get to a billion dollars close? 

Brett Jennings  02:45
Yeah. Honestly, that sounds kind of weird. But I didn't really start out with the goal to hit a billion. What happened was a few things, a few milestones along the way. One was really getting clear on our purpose, and all honesty, you know, my first iteration of my real estate team, I think I probably had two or three iterations of the real estate team. As anyone who's built a successful team realizes you get to a certain point, then, you know, you got to tear down and rebuild it. But the first real point where I think we really in spirit became a real team, was when I got really focused on the why, of why we were in the business. And I had a friend and one of my mastermind groups who would read the book, E Myth. And he actually became a consultant and a coach for the E Myth process. So he's, Hey, come on out to Charlotte. And I've got about 10 other team leaders, we're gonna get together and get in this room. And, you know, talk about the E Myth. And the interesting thing, I was going there to try to learn all kinds of strategies on how to structure my business and business operations, but like, the first half of the day was just really pounding on your why, like, Why do you get up and do what you do? Now, mind you, I look back on this. And I see, there were some pretty big players, people who weren't big players at the time, who were also in that room, Chris Lindahl, was also in that room. And so I know, part of his trajectory of success was influenced by this process. So you know, he's granted over 6000 transactions and I don't know how many billions in sales. He's overseeing there. But really, it was pounding on why do you get up and do what you do. And the focusing exercise? Believe it or not, was this process where he told us hey, you know, here's what you got to do is take 30 minutes, grab your notebook, and sit in the corner of the hotel room, find a quiet place. And I want you to write out your eulogy. Like, imagine you die tomorrow, and you're gone, you're floating around the back of a church, synagogue, whatever, who's there and what are they saying about you? And I leaned into the process and really kind of I remember getting emotional about it and get it all out, and the threads that, like as I read what people were saying was live, love, learn and grow, help other people do the same. To bring more love, joy good into the world and And, and that really did resonate with what I wanted to do. Because up until that point, I was building a real estate team so I could make money in real estate, take my profits, invest in cash flow rental property, eventually retire, and then do business and life coaching. And so, you know, it's kind of always on that trajectory. So by that,

Brian Charlesworth  05:20
you just said, retire, if you're doing business coaching, that's not retiring. So I just want to make clear, like, so yeah, well have the goal to retire. Retiring means you sit on the couch and watch TV all day that or play golf every day that's retiring. But what you say is, allow yourself to move in and do what you really want to do possibly.

Brett Jennings  05:41
to move and to move on and do what I really wanted to do. So the interesting thing was, that was the first question. The second question was, what does your business look like if you brought all of who you are to everything you do? And so I was like, you know, I was thought about that. I'm like, well, then I would really be doing coaching, I would be a lot more coaching with my people. Now, only problem was I didn't have agents that really were a big growth minded that wanted to be coached, you know, at a high level. Yeah. And as fate would have it, I came home that weekend, and I got a phone call on the flight back. One guy says, hey, just let you know, I'm leaving the team. I get in the office Monday morning, another guy walks into the office says, Hey, Brett, we got to talk. And he was leaving the team. And it was as if God universe, whatever just took my little sandcastle and was there. Let me help you with recreating this. So then, interestingly enough, as chance would happen, within one week, I had an agent approach me, and we both got in the business about the same time seven years earlier. And he said, You know, I'd watched you every year your business grows, and you get better and better when you do. He's like, I'm coming off of a divorce. And I'm a single dad, I want to grow my business. And I want to get better at everything I do. And I think you can help me, I was like, Okay, it's on. So it was interesting, just like, as soon as I got really clear on the purpose, I tried to that first person, a serendipity without it, you know, another person very similar story shows up in my life, two weeks later. And within literally 90 days, I had a completely new team that was purpose-driven, and all mine. So that was the foundation that set when you and I met. And we did some business planning after that. So I said, the process of getting to a billion, that was the first foundation, the second part of it really was getting clear on the vision for it. And honestly, I didn't have a goal to do a billion. The only reason it came about was we followed this process called the O S Entrepreneurial Operating System. It's not a software, only software we use to run our business is Sisu. But it is Entrepreneurial Operating System. It's a framework on how to build, grow and scale a company. And in that one-page business plan, we had to put a 10 year vision and I'm like, 

Brian Charlesworth  07:44
And you actually have an EOS coach, right?

Brett Jennings  07:47
My first operations person I hired was in there happened to have been an EOS coach, okay, came, came in and helped us implement and 

Brian Charlesworth  07:55
He helped you with that. Okay, so most people I know that have EOS is because they have an ALS coach, which most people who do that pay about $10,000 a day to have that coach come in. And I just wanted to share that because that's what it costs to elevate your business, right? Like, you have to invest to get what you want, right? You'll probably hit on this in a minute. But I think one of the hardest points for someone like you, who's going through this evolution, is okay. Hi, you talked about when someone gets to 15. Hire your sales manager, when someone gets to next level hire your ops manager. Well, when you start thinking about hiring those people, that's probably another at least 200 grand a year you're spending. And that's a point where most team leaders, I think that's the biggest struggle they have is how do I get out of this and work on my business instead of in my business, which you've successfully done? So this EOS? You guys got into this, and I want you to tell the story about how did you make the decision and make the move to hire those two people, one of which is Beth.

Brett Jennings  08:59
Yeah, that's exactly what happened. We implemented the EOS model, we wrote out a one-page business plan, and on there, you have to put a 10-year target. And honestly, Brian, I was like, I don't know, if I want to be in real estate in 10 years, we got to put something down there. So all right, we'll put a billion, we'll do a billion, right. And I think that was 2017 2016 20 2017. And at that time, we were again, a team doing about 150 million or 20 transactions. And we just kept focusing on the goal. And as I continued to grow the team, I think I grew the team to about 15 agents. And then I realized, man, like I don't have enough time to do all these one on ones like you know, because as a team leader, you got to help agents manage their productivity and hold them accountable. CCE is a great tool for assisting in that but it still needed the time to get one on one with people. And so we hired that was the first key hire and for anybody who is you know, building and growing a team when you get to that fifth to about 15 agents, that's going to be your With your next key hire in the stage of growth, because you need someone to oversee those people, and you also need somebody to recruit to keep growing. And so we did that. And we got to about 30. And then I'm going, Okay, wow, like, at every doubling Brian, what I'm finding is whatever system I built, things break down whatever model I created, doesn't work anymore. And I knew at that point, I needed someone who was an operational wizard that could, you know, really take a vision of what we had put together, and help us like, go to that next level. Yeah. And so EOS in their series of books, they actually have a book called rocket fuel. And it's about this relationship between, you know, a CEO or visionary of a company, team leader, and in what they call an integrator, the operations person. And so I had the good fortune of coming across Beth Lazar here who I want to introduce her share her experience in, you know, how she's helped us go from that 100 and 50 million to that 1.2 billion we did four years later, in 2021. But Beth came 

Brian Charlesworth  11:03
Before us talking about Beth, I remember that exact same time, Brett, when you actually called me and said, Brian, like we are growing. And my biggest problem right now is, I can't scale beyond 500 transactions. And the reason why it has nothing to do with my sales team, it has to do with my ops team. And so that's when best came along. 

Brett Jennings  11:28
Yeah, that's what it was, we were experiencing it every doubling in production that we've done, whatever systems we had built with break. And I have still with me today and our Director of Client Care who was my first original like, assistant, and then she became my marketing coordinator, and she became operations person. And she runs our client care department today. And as skilled and as passionate as she is about the job. She just that wasn't her superpower. And so, interestingly enough, you know, I want to introduce this principle that clarity is power. Because just like I got clear on the purpose of my why that built the foundation of the real estate team in the beginning when I got clear about who that I wanted to attract or bring into my world, you and I had that conversation. I remember reaching out even consulted with a recruiting firm, but I was crystal clear on this person. And lo and behold, that shows up. Now Beth comes to us with I'm going to give a little bit of an introduction. And I don't know if she wants to tell her own story. You go for it, Brett. Okay, but comes to us with 20 years experience in branding from p&g, and very, very successful career in an executive and corporate, then left corporate America kind of went on a sabbatical and was recruited by a high-net-worth, petroleum magnate that had some vision about building a skincare line out of some kind of distilling from petroleum that people were telling me he's crazy. And she said, and he said, No, I think your lady is gonna help me do it. Bev grew that company, they spun it off and sold it to Sephora, then was recruited by a friend who was working in real estate, a luxury agent that said, Hey, can you help me with my operations, but she said, Well, I don't really want to help you until I understand the business. Let me get on the frontline of sales and went out and sold $40 million luxury real estate in a year, then came back behind the operations desk. So we're talking about a woman who has amazing experience in all these realms. And I feel super privileged to have the opportunity to work with there, but that maybe you could share a little bit about kind of the challenges we were facing and how Sisu kind of helped us overcome those as we went from that 100 50 million to a billion. 

Brian Charlesworth  13:32
That'd be great. Before you jump into that. There's one thing I want to just point out here, you come primarily from outside of the real estate space. And I think team leaders, like Brett was probably thinking I need someone from within the real estate space. However, my observation now working with 1000s, of real estate teams, is that many of the strongest ops people come from other industries. So I just want to point that out. And that's your background as well.

Beth Lazar  13:59
Yeah, yeah, very much. So I mean, I couldn't agree with you more. And it is absolutely kind of sometimes I think the misperception that you have to find someone who does come from real estate and as a matter of fact, kind of when I was well, first of all, yes, as Brett said, I came from consumer products from Procter and Gamble, I was working on what was called brand management, which is kind of like general management in the grand scheme, although it has a marketing angle to it. And so, you know, I wasn't necessarily an operations person, kind of by trade or nature, but realized along the way, and kind of all these different crazy experiences I had, that the things I really love are building and scaling organizations, developing people, and this idea of fixing things problem-solving. So I kind of throughout my career that was kind of a common thread and putting people in the right seat and watching them grow and develop. So that was what I was very passionate about. And kind of before I met Brett, that's what I was doing with several different teams working on that and as you said, To outside industry sometimes is actually incredibly valuable. And as I was placing people in seats, I realized it was easier to teach them real estate than to necessarily teach them some of the skills I needed in the different functional areas that I was recruiting for. So yeah, so that's something I've kind of carried through as I've moved through this industry as well. And I was very fortunate to actually have connected with Brett as you know, Brian, I actually came in through side are a brokerage, which I work with them and sort of their business management discipline, which is supporting their, their clients, and partners. And Brett happened to be one of the top partners with a site at the time, and he had done this tremendous leap of growth doubling every year. And they had contacted me and said, Hey, we, you know, we'd love to see if you'd be interested in talking to Brett Jennings about helping him because he's at this point where he needs to figure out how to scale his operation and make sure the wheels get back on the bus so they can keep going and double the next year. So and I was like, Who is this Bret Jennings and I looked him up, because I was kind of at that point, thinking, you know, I love tech and corporate America and I want to be focused primarily inside side, which I do love as well. But I looked at Brett and what he was doing with the business and what his vision was, and what his brand was, and being a brand person, I was unbelievably impressed with what was the real estate experts brand promise and mission and, and also intrigued by Who is this Brett Jennings that is worked for Deepak Chopra. And also for Tony Robbins, I'm like, okay, and touts, you know, the importance of expertise in our industry, which I think is incredibly important. So, you know, I was like, Okay, let's, I'm going to take this call with Brett Jennings, because I got to see what this is all about. So I met Brett and actually right away, was very much bought into his mission and vision and where he was trying to go and also understood some of the challenges. But importantly, I was also familiar with E. O. S, and that whole having that kind of strategic operational framework as a start with something that also attracted me because I knew, you know, we were going to be like minded in terms of my role with him, and how we work together kind of go to this next level. So anyway, that yeah, that's kind of when we connected. You know, I was like, Wow, this looks like an opportunity that I can't wait to, like, kind of dive into. And I knew it was going to be a challenge from what he told me about what was going on. And basically, the challenge, as he said, is we had doubled, you know, we had doubled the business, we were heading towards potentially a billion dollars, we basically had the same operations team that we had started with supporting now have double, triple the agent count, and not really having systems or processes or even, you know, the right people in the right seat to make that happen. And his dream and vision, while coming to life was also falling apart and places and seams. And they were kind of duct tape together to pull it, you know, to pull it off.

Brian Charlesworth  18:02
So Brett up until that point, you were the visionary, right? We're trying to play this integrator role as well at the same time. And what happened, like how did it click that you were willing to say, I'm willing to bring somebody in from the outside and take that risk to have an integrator by my side.

Brett Jennings  18:06
It was literally just break down after breakdown. I was like banging your head against the wall. And knowing that, you know that I knew I didn't have the skill sets, I just didn't have the nuanced knowledge on the operational side to put together like this machine. I had the vision and the pieces and like like I knew, you know if I could get really I mean, if you think about it, the real estate business is relatively simple one, whether you're growing a team, you know, a team or age or a brokerage, you're scaling three things, right? You're scaling, awesome support, because that's the foundation. And we had awesome people, then we're scaling leads lead generation and marketing. And then we're scaling agents, because obviously, I think it should be in that order. A lot of times you get people to start with just lead generation. And then what happens is the wheels will come off the bus, which they did for us. So I recognized we needed to build that foundation and it kept breaking again at every doubling. So I think it was about we were at about 300 million when Beth came into the picture. And we were really struggling with systems. You know, we were tracking stuff. We were using CTE, which was a predecessor, not necessarily predecessor to see Sue but was that's what people were using. 

Brian Charlesworth  19:45
For you, it was a predecessor on the let's just say tracking side of things, right? Yeah, on

Brett Jennings  19:51
The sales tracking side of the business. And then we were using like Google Sheets 

Brian Charlesworth  19:56
And it's interesting you say that Brett because a lot Have our people, especially then we were primarily sales performance, a lot of our teams come over and look at us as a replacement CTE. But now you're about to tell me you were using Google intake forms, right? Yeah, we're replacement to that as well. I believe you were using Trello as well. Right? We're replacement to that as well. So these are all like predecessors to Sisu. Right?

Brett Jennings  20:24
Yeah, that's the difference between a small team when you only got a few, you know, administrative staff that maybe, ideally are all working, you know, on site in one office together, a lot of that communication can happen. But as soon as you start scaling a bigger team, and our growth happened during the pandemic, right, that all of a sudden, people are no longer in the office, everybody's working remote, we needed a way to communicate and manage all these tasks. And everybody I talked to said, hey, the bigger you grow, like you got to pare down the number of systems not increased the number of systems of technology and all this stuff. I had 176 logins, right, and usernames and passwords, oh, geez, was just this octopus of different systems. And that's where when we would increase our production, things kept breaking. So Beth helped us really, I think it was about the same time when you guys were developing the task management functions within Sisu. And she's like, Hey, I think well, that's you could tell the story. You know, that's where we were investigating, what are we going to use? How are we going to? How are we going to communicate? 

Brian Charlesworth  21:21
Yeah, that is the time when COVID hit, we always had it on our radar to move in and really manage the transaction process end to end. And we were at the front end, right. And we had commission management, but we didn't yet have the task management when COVID hit. We're like, Okay, it's time to, for us to really become an end-to-end platform. So we went all in on that very quickly and got that launched. And Beth, I'll let you take it from there as to how that played a role in what you came in and did.

Beth Lazar  21:50
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it was absolutely critical. And honestly, when I came in, I had some familiarity because I had used Sisu with a small like couple of like a small and a midsize team. And when I came into real estate experts, as you said, we had it, but I don't even think we were using, we weren't either using or even aware of kind of 1/10 of the capability of the platform, and what it really do with it. And I think our initial thinking was, you know, the task management and maybe some of the accountability. But like those our biggest challenges were all of the things honestly, that Sisu helped us with in the end. I mean, it was visibility, it was scalability, repeatability, being able to track being able to communicate, to hold documentation, and like a single repository, to be able to deploy at scale things. And that was across everything, you know, not just our transactions, or our agent, recruiting, but even our staff. And we didn't have really, when I first came in, we had a couple departments, but we really were missing whole, we were missing people. And then we were missing structure in our organization. And then once we got kind of the right people in the right seat in the right functional area, then it became clear. Now we need to know how to work across, right. And so Sisu was really super critical for us to make that next leap of having departments and managing across departments and managing so many agents by providing that, you know, all of those aspects that that transparency into it, and then getting everybody on the same page moving in the same direction. And and that's where task management was hypercritical. And then again, transparency, like I said, just being able to see all of us simultaneously real time into what was going on with the business across all kinds of aspects of it. Yeah, it was absolutely, you know, the combination of of the system along with those processes, and the people that allowed us to kind of go next level even to get to the belief, right, Brett because we really could have fallen apart at the, you know, the half billion mark, we were inches from probably,

Brian Charlesworth  24:01
Can you share? What are some of those visibility items that became so critical for you guys to be able to go from here to here, like you had visibility into your business? What does that mean?

Beth Lazar  24:13
You know, some of the leading indicators, but even like our lagging indicators, we didn't have it all in one place. We had like one finance person, but yet nobody had access kind of to like where were our sales this month versus last month versus you know, where are we at on our where are we with listings? are we behind? Are we the same are we you know, all of so again, like I live and breathe inside snapshot inside Sisu where I can see those trend lines and see that and where everyone can be on the same page because part of my job is also to make sure that the organization is kind of moving together against those priorities and knowing and measuring how they're doing. And so each of those, you know, that dashboard, being able to look at a macro and a micro level at our teams and how they're doing is another piece of that visibility. We didn't have before, necessarily

Brian Charlesworth  25:02
You find it, it helps you make decisions more rapidly. Seems to me when you have real data, and I know this for a fact from my own business, and many of many of the people I work with, but having the data at your fingertips allows you to make a decision every day, if that's what's going to improve your company, versus I see so many people get caught in the rut of they get their numbers once a month, maybe. And the numbers they get, they're pretty broad in general, right. But if it does allow them to make a decision and allows them to make one decision, one key decision a month, that's going to help impact their business, which in turn, if you look back at that over the 365 days a year, you were able to make 12 decisions, not a very effective way to run a business. Right? 

Beth Lazar  25:46
Yeah, so I would say definitely on the speed front, absolutely. But even probably even more important than the speed, they're informed decisions. Were making what I think we're moving more quickly, we're able to pivot, I would say faster, because of the visibility of the information that we didn't have at our fingertips before and again, that it's cross functionally shared. It's not something that only you know, maybe our CFO can take a look at, or only our, you know, head of listing management, our transaction coordination team, so all having that accessibility having it the timeliness, the you know, real time nature of it definitely has improved our decision making process, both from the information in that comes into it and you know, how we're able to move more quickly to shift if need be. So,

Brian Charlesworth  26:33
Okay, so congrats on all of your success. Brett, congrats on finding Beth. Beth, congratulations on fulfilling the role that he desperately needed. And so here you guys are, where do you go from here? Brett, what is this allowed you to do with your time a little bit differently?

Brett Jennings  26:54
Well, you know, it's interesting. I mean, I've reapportioned my time. And I get to do what I enjoy most. And that is mentoring, coaching, and growing agents. You know, I set a goal in 21, to help five agents make their first million in GCI. And we had nine agents make their first million GCI. And it was interesting, because we had a few people approached to buy the company at that time. And I thought it would just was an interesting, I don't know, you want to call it coincidence synchronicity, that, for every agent that I helped hit their first million in gross commission income, it added a million dollars to the value of the company. And so then that's what kind of got me inspired to go well, you know, at a certain point, like more income doesn't change the quality of your life. But the idea of more impact to me, so I kind of offset the goal. So well, great, let's let's help 100 agents get their first million in GCI. And if we do that, and we do it right, we'll likely have a company that's worth $100 million. And so 

Brian Charlesworth  27:55
Would you ever have had those thought processes? If you were living in the world of operations?

Brett Jennings  28:00
Probably not.

Brian Charlesworth  28:03
Yeah, you were in this flurry of just confusion and frustration, I remember you calling me so frustrated. Beth comes in, and now you're able to focus on the business instead of in the business. And really, like build value, right? I mean, that's where the multiples come in.

Beth Lazar  28:21
Yep, 

Brett Jennings  28:22
Yeah. And not be down in the weeds. So it was interesting, because I didn't necessarily, you know, start the business to sell, but I did want to be smart, right? Like, if you're gonna build a business should build something that's worth something. Yeah, systemized your businesses, the more valuable it is right when it comes to becoming a saleable asset. So that's changed my time and how I spend my time I still very committed to the business and growing a business, it's just where I can really get to do more what I enjoy most now, so that's kind of what's changed for me. 

Beth Lazar  28:51
Yeah.

Brian Charlesworth  28:51
Right.

Beth Lazar  28:52
Come without challenges that I mean, I think we would be, you'd be remiss if he didn't share, like, yeah, you have to find the right who and make sure that you guys, you know, it has to be a relationship that works. Brett and I are kind of ying and yang, we share that same DISC profile, like we had talked about a little earlier. We're both you know, what you call a D and and I we're interactive or direct by nature, but we come with these different kinds of superpowers, like Brett identifies gaps very easily. And he's he's got a harmonizing side would from a, again, the superpower thing, and I'm kind of the problem solver and decisive on superpower front, so it works for us. But if you do have to, you know, have real clarity on what the priorities are and drive for alignment and be you know, comfortable having those those kinds of real open transparent conversations with each other. And getting out getting the visionary out that takes the integrator has to have, you know, because we are kind of like we're in sometimes we're the, you know, we're the filter or the we have to play devil's advocate and we have to push the visionary out to do those things we need them to do and And you know that that takes that takes time and trust. And, again, like I said, a lot of transparency on where you're at with the business to feel comfortable stepping out right Brett?

Brian Charlesworth  30:11
Just a few more minutes, you guys, I know that everyone listening right now probably thinks that you guys are in low state right things are easy for you. But I guarantee you you have challenges that you face every day. What are your biggest challenges today?

Brett Jennings  30:27
Oh, that's a great question. Interestingly enough, we don't have a lead generation problem, we don't have a recruiting problem, we don't have really, I mean, in all honesty, as you grow the size of your business unit, when you have changes in the market, as significant as we have here in California, we're seeing 50% fewer transactions in our market. 

Brian Charlesworth  30:48
So that's your biggest challenge is the macro situation in the real estate industry.

Brett Jennings  30:53
Yeah, the macro situation of the real estate industry. And because you know, when productivity drops or production drops, 50%, and we have a big staff, you go from profitable to unprofitable really quick. And so we're writing the ship in that area. And I'm confident for the changes we've made. We're on the right track introductory now. But that's been challenging. And then managing mindset, right, really through these challenging times. So the agents, right are feeling a lot of pressure. And so really, you know, we're doubling down on the coaching and training that we're doing. And for me, specifically, the mindset piece, I taught meditation for 20 years. And so now like next month, I'm hosting a public class going over six weeks and in a challenge, because people to be able to keep and find their center, make decisions from like a really clear place, when you know, all hell's breaking loose around you is really super important. And so I really think that that's instrumental in our goals to go from a billion to 10 billion. It's a 10x is the goal. And I think we're going to accomplish that in the next few years. But my specific inspiration in that area is to really make real estate experts what I call a conscious company. And that is, you know, it's it's more than just being growth minded. It's trusting and knowing that everything that's happening in your world, including everything that happens at work is that here for your own evolution and evolving, and that you don't take things personally and that you know, anything that comes in and hits your stuff is an opportunity to let it go and grow and go to the next level. So we're taking that to heart and taking the company to the top.

Brian Charlesworth  32:28
Yeah, awesome. Well said, Beth, do you have anything you want to add to that?

Beth Lazar  32:33
No, the only thing I mean, I guess the only thing I would say is just recognize with each stage of that growth, like Brett said that you are going to hit a ceiling, you know along the way, and that you need to be really comfortable that you don't have to throw out your model completely. But you need to be ready to like, look at your people processes and your systems and what how do you take that next level, and that leap that you might need to do? And then I'd probably say, you know, building flexibility into your organization as much as possible. So you can weather these kind of ups and downs that we go through so that it doesn't feel like you know, every time there is a shift that everything you know, has to be a problem again, it's just setting yourself up to weather, whatever hits you, as Brett said, and that's part of our mindset too, right? Like having that mindset. So

Brian Charlesworth  33:16
Yeah, just when you think you have it all figured out. That's when the challenges always face us. Right? So never think you have it all figured out. Always be focused on how can we innovate? How can we change? How can we adapt? How can we grow? Because as soon as you think you have it figured out? It's it always is a tough challenge ahead. So 

Beth Lazar  33:36
Yeah, I'd say and what are we plugging into Sisu? Next, that's the other thing for us, like, You guys are the center of our universe. And we couldn't run the business without Sisu. And you know,

Brian Charlesworth  33:48
So So, I answered that question. Have you? Have you guys fully adopted the client portal? And do you have all your mortgage and title companies working in there to collaborate around every transaction with the clients?

Brett Jennings  33:59
That's on our roadmap? Yep. Perfect. So speaking of roadmap by Brannock, do you want to offer one kind of gift for people who, you know, if tuned in and stayed this long to listen to this conversation? Because, yes, we actually took the time to kind of map out what our journey was. So I'm gonna do a quick screen share. This is a roadmap to really what we have how we move all of these challenges in taking the company to a billion in sales. And what this does is it lays out kind of every stage of the journey. And in here, you'll see we started out with just being a basic team leader, you know how many agents that you have you got two to four agents, what it feels like when you go to each stage when you go once you got a couple agents. The next stage is the marketer. That's what you really have to dial down your marketing and lead generation. Once you got lots of leads, you need an inside sales rep. And that would they can do about 10 agents. Once you hit that 15 agents, you're going to need a sales manager. And this is the green part of the journey is where Beth and I connected and she's really helped us scale The rest of the way. But it's a powerful roadmap I coach people to it, and growing their team range are typically for like, this is the roadmap for a mega team. And then really what you need at each stage of the journey to go to the next level. So

Brian Charlesworth  35:13
So Brett, this is awesome. Thank you for sharing. If somebody wants to know more about this, or about coaching, or what you provide on that front, where do people go? What's the best way to get a hold of you?

Brett Jennings  35:24
Yeah, check out our coaching blog. It's called bearealexpert.com. And there you'll see success stories, and a lot of top agent panels and things that where we train on many parts of this process as people go down the road. So we'll provide this, Brian, I'll send you guys a PDF. And when you post this show, you can put the download available for there.

Brian Charlesworth  35:44
Awesome, we'll do that. And thank you for sharing. Just as we wrap up here. Is there any last words of advice you guys would like to like to share? And I'll let, I'll let you start Beth. And then we'll wrap up with Brett. But just like, if you just giving people one piece of advice right now, this point in time in your life and their life and this macroeconomy? What would that advice be?

Beth Lazar  36:07
I think having a vision, having a map, a roadmap to where you want to be is really the most important thing you can do. Because without that kind of end state or future in mind, it's very difficult, I think, to focus on the day-to-day, and the things the one or two things you need to be doing to really drive you to that. So I mean that we take the time, every single quarter, to relook at what is that vision for us? And I'd say it's the guiding principle by which we kind of operate every day. So do take the time to vision and vision big. Don't be afraid to visually look at Brett.

Brian Charlesworth  36:42
Yep, exactly. Love it. Love it. Thank you, Brett.

Brett Jennings  36:46
I guess I'd say, you know, wherever you are, there's always another level, and roadmaps are helpful to know where you want to go. But I think really, you know, dialing in your y really gets super clear, because your y will pull you in the early stages, you got to push to get success. Once you get to the higher levels, people start to journey with a lot of hustle and grind. And that's a push. But once you hit that first summit, you need to know your why that will pull you through all the challenging times they had. And we're going through it now. And we're grateful for it. 

Brian Charlesworth  37:16
Yeah. And you'll be stronger for it. So great advice. And you guys, congratulations on all of your success. And to all of our listeners. Thank you for joining us on another episode of the Grit podcast. We have some great shows coming up just like this one, and we'll catch you guys on next week's episode. Thanks for tuning in guys and bread and bath. Thanks for joining us today.

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