Ricky Cain, President at Cain Realty - Success Through Others/ Building A High Performance Real Estate Team

Brian Charlesworth
October 8, 2020

[00:00:00] All right, Ricky Cain, welcome. Thanks for having me.

[00:00:05] My pleasure. My pleasure. I'm excited to have you here with us today.

[00:00:10] Yeah, I'd love to be here. I can't believe I was asked after seeing all the talent you have on.

[00:00:16] Day two, I mean, I'm just soaking in all the knowledge from all of these amazingly incredible just leaders in the industry, and you're one of them. So welcome, welcome in today. Super excited to have you here and excited to learn about your team and. And what. I mean, success through others, so many people have been talking about that over the last couple of days, career was just talking about leverage and you're talking about success through others. I know we had people on here yesterday talking about ISA's and the importance. And I mean, I ISA's have been talked about in this industry forever.

[00:00:53] Kyle Whistle talked yesterday about calling them stars cells development reps like the large software companies do instead of ISA's, because I a kind of has this connotation of yea, I want to become an agent. But anyway, looking forward to hearing from you about really building success through others. I know you're part of Gary Keller's mastermind and obviously Gary is looked at as one of the top people in the industry. I think I just saw yesterday he's actually stepping down as CEO, is that right?

[00:01:28] Well, it's it's interesting. All the noise I saw from that, not a lot's changing. He's still CEO of all the companies that CEO from before. You just kind of changed his organizational chart and added a talent piece to Keller Williams specifically. So it's interesting. His role day to day isn't changing too much from what it was. It was literally just a strategic move to bring on more top tier talent to help us through the future and the future challenges that are in front of us that we can crush.

[00:02:03] Ok, well, it's always fun to talk to you being you, but you've been a part of his master mind for so long and it's always like a direct connection of helping me stay on top of what Gary's thoughts are, which is which is a great thing to be aware of.

[00:02:18] So, so so let's talk about really what your focus is for twenty twenty one and getting ready for twenty, twenty one.

[00:02:29] And I mean your team, as far as looking at systems and processes, I know I always come to you for advice on, hey, what would be the smartest thing, what would be the best thing here. So anyway, I'm really looking forward to hearing what you have to say today. I'll let you just take off.

[00:02:48] Yeah, well, you know, this session is about success through others. And I think it kind of I like to take it from the very beginning of of my personal journey, me and my wife together. When we got in the business, we we maybe had two thousand dollars between us. We didn't start with a fat bank account. We we also didn't start with supportive friends and family members outside of a few a few people. And so we really had to kind of figure it out on our own. And the first two years were treacherous. I still remember having to reach out to my father, and if I was showing properties that were near where he lived, I needed him to stay home and not go to the coffee shop because I needed him to take my call and I might run out of gas and I might not have the gas to get back because I don't have the money to put the gas in my in my gas tank. And there was a lot of stories like that that I have that we went through for the first two years. And so when you start thinking about reasons to build a team, it needs and succeed through others. First, you need to have kind of a lie behind it. Right? You have to have what's the purpose? Why why are you doing what you're doing? And in my opinion, if you're able to succeed through all the adversity and getting into real estate, we all know that real estate has an eighty five percent turnover rate over the first two years. And then the 15 percent that make it, 70 percent of them are out of the business by year five, the real estate licensing schools are crushing it. But the fact of the matter is that very few agents survive.

[00:04:25] And it's like you, Ricky, I think you brought up a very good point. Most agents I still see today coming into the business, if your brand into the business, your family, your family, possibly your wife or husband, your spouse doesn't support you in your decision to move into real estate.

[00:04:44] I mean, that's a good point. And so for me, part of the reason why it's important to succeed through others. First, it started out organic, the first two or three years. My big lie was to make sure that my family never had to say no to something they deserved, yes to the second part. Once we actually started becoming very successful, it was kind of organic. Brian, we we kind of had to build a team because we were starting to get burned out by working from 8:00 in the morning till midnight every single day. At first, the first two years is kind of exciting, especially when it was we were building momentum. And after a while you kind of get a little burnt out and you can't be in a million places at one time. So it started out organically and then the Y became and it kind of the other layer to that, Brian, was, gosh, isn't it my duty and my obligation to now provide opportunities for other people to be blessed in real estate. The way we have it almost felt like this selfish thing of. Gosh, I can't keep all this, this is so awesome, this is changing my life, it's going to create generational wealth for me and I'm going to leave a legacy for my family that my great, great, great grandchildren will remember me for. It's my duty and my obligation to do that for other people. And that compelled me. And that compels me to this day to grow this as big as I can. Why wouldn't I do that for other people? And I mention all of this, Brian, because I think it's really important to have a strong ally behind building a team.

[00:06:16] It doesn't need to be because you're lazy and there's things you don't want to do and you want someone else to do it. It doesn't need to be because you want to work less and make more money. And there are some truth to to that reasoning. And speaking to that, Brian, I would say it's funny. A lot of people think, gosh, you don't really show that many homes anymore. You don't do a lot of sales within your team. You probably have all this free time. I'm just as busy as I was the first maybe three to four years now. I'm not doing one hundred hour weeks. I'm down to 60. But you're still busy. You're just doing different things and maybe things that you enjoy a little bit more. But once you have that layer of people that support on you to cast a vision and to provide them opportunities and those blessings that we speak of, again, it goes back to duty and obligation. You need to bust your tail to make sure that you're giving what you promise them when they came on, because you're not only doing it for them, you're doing it for their family and for their legacy. So I wanted to start right off the bat and kind of go the lie, because I think that's the most important thing to consider when thinking of growing your team.

[00:07:23] I'm glad you brought that up.

[00:07:24] The Y the Y always starts with something selfish. The Y is always about, I want to do this. I want to prove them wrong. I want to make money. I want to. And then all of a sudden, as soon as it shifts to contribution, giving back to the community, giving back to these agents, making a difference in their lives, as soon as that becomes the focus, that's when I see things take off.

[00:07:50] Yeah. One hundred percent. And that's a good point, too. Then we fast forward probably eight years into it. Then we start thinking, well, we're blessing the people on our team and helping them create a legacy. What can we do to tax that? And then that's when we started our own nonprofit to give back to our clients and their direct family members when they're in a severe time of need. So it's all about thinking, how can I continue to give, give and give so that I have purpose behind what it is that I do every day?

[00:08:21] Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. I think it's such a vital piece that so many of us miss in our in our purpose of life.

[00:08:28] So, yeah, when when you're in your last few weeks, if you're blessed enough to know those your last few weeks, you're not going to be checking your your bank account at you're going to be thinking about all the people that you helped. You're going to be thinking about your memories, your time with your family. It's just about making as big of an impact as you possibly can.

[00:08:50] Yeah, one hundred percent, and I think Steve Jobs is a great example of that, as he knew he was dying, he he had the opportunity to to do what he wanted to do and to to let people know that money was not the most important thing.

[00:09:06] Money is good for the money, for the good that money can do, Brian.

[00:09:10] Yeah. Yeah. All right, Ricky, so thanks for for giving us that background to get started here. So moving in to to maybe a little bit more about how how this transition happens to building a high performance real estate team there. I mean, that the natural graduation, especially for KW agents, because KW the millionaire real estate model forever, it's like, OK, at some point I'm going to get to where I'm selling 50, 60 homes a year. I mean, and then at that point, I'm going to go try to build my team. And so or I'm going to build a team within somebody's team, whatever it is. But there's like a natural progression to do that, which I think if you can figure that out. And allow somebody to do that within your team. It is a way to keep your agents around longer because your focus is continuing to help them grow.

[00:10:10] Yeah, one hundred percent. We do have teams within our team is working very well. I think that there's there are some crucial things, though, before you before you start. The team is not just about unit count and some of these things. Brian, full disclosure, I didn't learn until after the fact. And so this session, I'm going to be sharing a lot of screw ups that I did. A lot of the things I'm saying you need to do. I didn't do them at first. And again, duty and obligation, it's my duty and obligation to share these things. So those that are building a team are starting to think of building a team can skip some of the screw ups that I did. And at the same time, you want to fail as fast as you can because on the other side is a the road to success. I think it's crucial to know who you are and who you are as a company. And that starts with your core values. Your core values define you in terms of how you live your life, how you run your business. And I think it's important for for people starting a team to know, know what that looks like. And if you already have a team, I'll share with you what we did that was super impactful in identifying what those core values are for, for your company. And you get such buy in from your team members. And you learned a lot about where you are from a cultural perspective, because when we started, we had mission, vision, values, beliefs.

[00:11:27] We had all that starting in real estate, Bryan, but we didn't really know who we are in terms of core values. And if you don't know who you are, other people don't know who you are. So you don't you're not attracting the people that are just like you. And when you're identifying candidates to join your team, you don't know really what to look for outside of natural personality style, which is super important. We're going to get into that. And are they driven? Do they have a track record? All those things are great, but you need to know at their core, what does that look like for them in terms of those values? And so what we did, Bryan, is we at the time we had 12 people and we separated them into two groups. We got a stack of 50 cards. Every card had a core value on it and we separated them. And what we challenged them to do is go through the 50 cards. You have five minutes. I want you to pick out the ten values that you think best embody Kane Realty Group in your opinion. And so they went through that exercise. They couldn't hear each other either, Bryan. They were totally separate, which was really cool. And then what we said is awesome. Now you have five minutes to break it down to five core values. Now, remember, we had fifty core values there, Bryan, that were all a variety of different things.

[00:12:47] Now, every everyone brought back ten. And then you came together with all of those and narrowed it down to only five is still narrowed down to five and their separate groups on their own.

[00:12:56] Ok, and so then they came back. They have one prisoner for each for each team. And then on separate boards, they wrote down the five core values. Brian, out of those fifty four of the core values, each group picked the same value.

[00:13:14] So four of the five were the same.

[00:13:16] Oh my gosh. I just got goosebumps again. I remember just how proud I was that man, we're actually doing something right here because, one, these are the values that I would have picked. And to everyone kind of agrees that we are who we are and it's consistent, so that was awesome. And then, Brian, the two that were different, they meant the same thing. And so it was a matter of which word do we want to use to convey that sentiment? And so it was an impactful exercise. It's something that's great for you to do on your own if you're just building a team. So, again, you know who you want to attract. And, you know, when you're looking at candidates, how to measure them. And then again, if you have a team, it's such a great exercise because it shows you where you truly are within that journey, because you may have those groups come back and they have totally, completely different values. And then maybe you take that a different direction.

[00:14:14] So it's one of those core values up in your office now?

[00:14:17] I'm guessing we do. We do. We have those five core values on in our hallway. And so there is an image for each core value and there's a description of what that means. And what's really awesome, Brian, is so faith is our number one core value. And we put it out there. We are who we are. We pray every morning before we get into lead generation and coaching. And it is what it is. We put it out there in our candidate. Volume did drop by about 20 percent. But what happened, though, is we started getting people that are more in alignment with who we are by letting people know who we are through those core values. And so while we got less candidates, just imagine for someone else to you know, if someone's coming into their first day in the office and they don't know who you are from a core value perspective and maybe they're an atheist or they're Scientologists or they just have a completely different belief system and we're going in to pray on the very first day. That's not just uncomfortable for us. It's uncomfortable for them. So, again, do. Duty and obligation, it's your duty and obligation to know who you are. So you don't put them in a situation that they don't need to be in.

[00:15:30] Yeah, so basically, by having your core values, you're going to weed out those people that don't fit your culture up front and that's OK.

[00:15:41] There is other things that they will have different values or maybe they don't have any values. Some people I mean, that's a great thing about real estate. There's so many different brokers and so many different teams. I can't tell you. I would say 90 percent of the time when we don't move forward with the candidate, we help them find their home. And and that's another duty and obligation, I think, that we have, because it doesn't mean they're not talent. It just means that they don't line up with where we're going.

[00:16:07] So how many, I think, you know, can be a challenge, not just take everybody into your team. So how many agents do you interview? Before you accept one of is numbers and I'm so happy.

[00:16:23] Yeah, I'm so happy for you and I don't want to know how many you interview, maybe there's there's three things. How many do you interview total? How many are not interested in you and then how many are interested in you that you have to walk away from?

[00:16:38] Well, I know numbers from the perspective of for every hundred and sixty seven resumes and make one hire. I know that, I know that number because I track it in terms of how many resumes to interviews. It's about 10 percent. And then from from screening call to inviting them to the chateau, which I'm going to explain here in a little bit, it's about 50 percent. Then from Chatto to Next Steps, which is a very comprehensive interview going over their life and what they need to accomplish over the next five years through COAG for it to be a massive success from that step to that step from the shadow and the KPA validation, which I'll get into in a second, which is a natural personality assessment based off the BRK from from that step to the next step of that comprehensive interview, it's probably about 20 percent. And then once we get through, once we get to that near final step, then from there I would say it's probably it's probably about 50 percent, because we've already invested so much time in the front end asking powerful questions. We've seen them in the shadow and seeing how they show up around other people. So we have a pretty good indication of what that looks like. Real quick to some other tips and to have things in place when you're building a team, make sure you know what your standards are for the roles. Inspect what you expect if you're hiring a role and you're doing that same role to let's say you're an agent and you have standards for an agent role over here. Oh, my gosh, make sure you're meeting your own standard. Don't expect someone else to do something you're not doing if you're in the same role and then making sure that you have enough serviceable leads, video training, libraries, huge. Whenever someone has a question or whenever you're doing something, record it. We use cast dramatic. We love it. Record what it is that you're doing, put it in a video training library. And that way you can scale your training and your onboarding faster.

[00:18:44] I think that's the one thing that is probably the easiest thing to do that people don't do, which would save.

[00:18:52] I don't know, thousands of hours a year, and it helps so much, we have a very comprehensive 30, 60, 90 program and it's it's really cool because half of it is in a video training library. That way they learn how to use their systems. They have access to our playbooks for all of our different lead lovers, everything's within that library. The next step that we want to do is have something like lesson or train you to put those videos in so we can kind of monitor the progress. Right now, it's kind of on the system and we do sometimes have people ask questions and we are returning. Question is, oh, gosh, did you see that video in the video train library? It totally covered that. And we thought they had already watched it. But then by them asking that question, we think maybe they did it and so does the technology you guys use.

[00:19:43] Let you know if they've watched it?

[00:19:45] No, it's just unfortunately, the great thing about it is it's segmented. And Google Drive, we have something called a growth library drive so they can search it by different keywords we put in and they can watch him, but we don't get an alert. If we wanted to, we could go and see who open that file, but we just had the capacity to do that. So train you unless unless something on our end of year plans for sure.

[00:20:11] Ok, yeah, I know in speaking with Greg Harrelson yesterday, they do something where they know whether or not somebody has watched the videos, like it checks it off automatically when somebody has watched it.

[00:20:24] Yeah, I think it was Azana.

[00:20:26] Yeah, yeah, yeah. OK. All right, Ricky, let's keep going, we have eight minutes left. What other areas did you want to dove into, man?

[00:20:39] I've got a lot of it to go fast and furious. So some tick tips and tricks to hire the best talent. Make sure you hire for the person and not for the position or sorry for the position and not for the person. You may really love someone and you see something in them and you think they'd be great. Or maybe you're being held hostage because you have a particular role that you have to to fill because it's it's causing you pain higher for the position. You have good screening questions, people. That's probably the biggest mistake as the agent recruiters are agents building a team. They don't ask the right questions in the beginning and then they spend so much time with this candidate, whereas if they would have asked the right questions on a 30 minute phone call, they wouldn't have had to waste their time to find out what they could have found out early in the process. I'm happy to share those questions with you in a document. Anything that we cover, if you want any of it. Shoot me an email, Ariki Ricky at Cain Realty Group Dotcom. Three of my favorite questions. I love I love asking why shouldn't I hire you? I love to see why what people say there. I love to ask. Hey, Brian, what question haven't I asked that I should have asked by getting the answer to that question would give me even more clarity as to the value you would provide to the company. It's interesting what you learn from that question. Are are people fast to think and respond? Are people intelligent to actually understand the question? If they're asking me over and over again or they say they're not sure, tells me a lot.

[00:22:17] And then my new favorite is tell me about a time when no one held you accountable, Brian, to your goal except yourself. And you achieve that goal when you think other people would have given up that question right there is huge, especially for what we're doing and what we're in right now with the pandemic. It's crucial, mission critical that you find people that are self-motivated, that don't have to be motivated by an environment or by coaching. It's huge. They have to be self-motivated. And that's a great question to to to get to that. I'd also say go deep on references, get their permission to ask their reference for references, make it a goal to go at least two to three deep on three on three references. That's a standard with us when we're in our career visioning process at Keller, Williams gives us when we call the references, we make sure that we are asking the reference for a reference. Sometimes they give us a reference. It's already on the sheet. Eighty percent of the time they give us a reference that's not on the sheet. So because here's the thing, Brian, you're going to get a sheet of everyone that loves them. You want to find the people that they're all right. You want to find those people and get to the truth. So the primary goal in calling references are to get those second and third layer deep references. And again, if you shoot me an email, I'm happy to to share that document that we use to get their permission for that.

[00:23:44] And I don't want to take references lightly. And my experience has been.

[00:23:52] Earlier in my career, I ignored references I didn't call them, and you learn as you grow through experiences that that is the number one most important thing in hiring is to make sure you you have real conversations with those references to really know how they feel about this person.

[00:24:14] No. One hundred percent. A couple other things, too, that are part of our process to make sure you get the right people is that I mentioned the shadowing before, so that used to be in person. Right now we're still working virtually, and we do it from eight a.m. to 11 a.m. It allows people to see what our systems look like. It allows them to see what our coaching looks like and sounds like. It allows them to participate. It is it is a participatory shadow. And it just gives them it helps them decide, can I see is a long vehicle or the long term vehicle for my career success. And it allows us to quickly see what the group of candidates between six and eight every week. Can it doesn't make sense to continue a conversation with this candidate. We also have them send a follow up email and we say, please send a follow up email with what you loved and what you learned in a timely manner. It tells us what is timely manner mean to them. How motivated are they? Because if they're getting back to us three days later, they're saying they're excited and there's three days later. This is a life changing opportunity for them. So what are they going to do in a lead comes in, man, they call them a week later. And so that gives us a lot of a lot of perspective as well. So the shadowing is is great.

[00:25:32] It's been highly effective for us and it helps us scale faster. Another thing I would mention is the very last part of our process is meeting the significant other. And so what we do now, the first time we meet someone in person right now is during what we call a meet and greet. And so we have this place where it's outdoors. We can socially distance and we allow the candidate and their significant other to come and meet myself and our leadership team, just have a couple of drinks and have some appetizers. Let's get to know each other. The main point of that is, one, to make that bond with the candidate because we're in a virtual world still and we still did this before the virtual world. And then we also want to see who are we letting into our organization. Right. Because it's not just the candidate you're letting that significant other into. And when your candidate in your hire has a rough day or maybe a rough week, we need them to be a support system. And so by getting buy in from the significant other and having them as excited about the opportunity as the candidate, as the candidate is, we know we have an at home support system that's going to be there to give a positive, positive motivation and accountability and so forth to the person that we're bringing on. So that's been huge for us as well.

[00:27:01] Ricky, on the spouse thing, I think, I mean, so often we don't even think of including the spouses.

[00:27:09] I think it's important that even on your annual retreats, you have a portion of that where you have the spouse involved, where you're thanking them. And it's so important that their spouse buys into the fact that I'm going to support them working nights. They're going to be showing houses at night. I'm going to support them in that.

[00:27:33] And we do that during our advance as well. The evening part is always, always significant. Others are invited. And so that's a big part of our annual business planning events as well.

[00:27:46] Ok, last thing, just because we're we're out of time, but we're waiting on Chris to join us. Let me send a quick message really quick.

[00:27:57] Why you're doing that, I'll mention some mistakes that I made in the past, look at track record. If someone's never been successful in a sales role, they're probably not going to be with you. And I know right then when you heard me say that they're saying Ricky, but maybe they just haven't been in our environment. They haven't had our systems. They haven't had our leads there haven't had our coaching. Oh, my gosh. Look at track record. If they've never succeeded as great as you are, they're not going to succeed with you. So that's that's something that is huge. And then the last thing I would say is your business grows to the extent that you do. Your lovely bride mentioned that yesterday. I love that she said that if you're not personally if you're leading others and you're not personally working on your personal growth daily. You are not going to be able to get the best out of the people that are working with you and for you, so make a commitment to have a growth calendar, put three to four things on their mind and make it have an intentional focus on your personal growth so that you can get the best out of the people that you care about.

[00:29:03] Yeah, OK.

[00:29:07] Ricky, you've done all kinds of great advice today, and I have a few minutes because we're waiting for our next guest, so I'm going to ask you a few questions. You've you've had great advice around how to leverage and build and bring the right people into your business.

[00:29:21] Let's shift gears a little bit, which I know you weren't planning on. But since we have a few minutes, what are the most important things you're doing right now for your business to make sure that twenty, twenty one is going to be huge for you, that you're going to capitalize on the growth of the market seeing right now?

[00:29:40] All right. Well, first and foremost, keeping score and we keep score through a product. You may have heard of it. It's called Sisu. Kind of a funny name, but it's a great product. And and so it's all about keeping score and keeping what you just like earlier, I said inspect what you expect. So it's keeping score, keeping the scoreboard front and center for everybody to see so that they know when to celebrate and they know when to push harder because maybe they're not succeeding. So that's a big part of it. And we also know that all the lead generation we're doing right now, it's four January closings. And so if you're not 90 days ahead, you're already behind. If you're thinking, well, I'm going to start these activities from my business planning in December or January, you're not going to see that until March or April. And so one thing that I would tell everyone on the call is whatever you're doing right now, you're going to see the fruits of that more than likely January of twenty, twenty one. So if you're not already working on your new and improved systems or your new standards or whatever, that may be because you're waiting a little bit for for whatever reason you're behind and other people are going to pass you up because most high performance teams and high performance agents understand that what they're doing right now is January of next year.

[00:30:59] Yes, 100 percent. OK, well, Ricky, thank you so much for joining us today.

[00:31:05] I always love listening and learning from you and not only as a as an individual and a person on a personal level, but just also on getting advice on systems and your experience and working with so many of those.

[00:31:21] So thank you for joining us today at the summit. We're grateful to have had you here and we'll be in touch with you shortly.

[00:31:29] Thank you for having me and blessed to be here and blessed to be partners with you.

[00:31:33] Yeah. Thank you so much, Ricky. All right. Bye bye. Good bye.

[00:31:38] Hey, everyone, we are going to take a short break, I believe Chris Waters is coming in right now. I will be back with you in just a minute.

[00:31:46] Thank you.

About the Author

Brian Charlesworth
Chairman and CEO

Entrepreneur and business builder. Built and sold software and telecommunications companies. Passionate about making a significant impact on lives by driving technology forward.