Ryan Dallas talks about business, baseball and how his team has grown so quickly.
Ryan knew from the start that he wanted to build a successful business. He graduated from Purdue University in 2005 and without missing a beat, he took a job in real estate as a member on a very successful team in Champaign, Illinois. After the first year, it became apparent that Ryan had ideas about the business he’d only be able to implement on his own. Just five years later, Ryan has become the number three agent in his local market. Last year alone, he closed 135 homes, with almost $17 million in gross volume. The year before, Ryan was featured in Realtor Magazine’s 30 Under 30 for his accomplishments in 2010, when he sold 118 homes for over $15 million in gross revenue. Still, for Ryan and his team, this is only the beginning.
Recently, Seth Price of Placester talked with Ryan in depth about his commitment to team success and what it takes to grow in the current economy.
Placester: What are you working on right now?
Ryan Dallas: I’m constantly trying to improve my business, as well as the business of everyone involved with us. I’ve been focusing on a few things that I feel will greatly impact our production in 2012. To start, we’re enhancing all of the systems that make the buying and selling process with our team a great experience. Second, we’ve implemented a lot of fantastic technology the helps us generate thousands of leads. We’re focusing on streamlining the process of qualifying, nurturing, and converting them more effectively. Lastly, I have been working on a radio marketing campaign that just went live in January, and we’ve already been able to convert one listing from it. I’m working with Matt Wagner of Radio and Television Experts, and I can’t say enough about the fantastic experience we’ve been having.
P: What does your typical day look like?
RD: A typical day for me starts around 7:30am. I start every morning by heavily prospecting for expirer’s and For Sale By Owners. I spend about three hours a day doing this. I then meet with my sales partner, and we discuss how things are going with our sales team and what we need or can do to help with whatever problems they may have. My afternoon consists of going on 2-3 listing appointments. I try to end my day no later than 6pm.
P: How did your success come about?
RD: I’m a team player. That was really fostered during my college years playing baseball at Purdue. You don’t win without your teammates. I bring that philosophy to my management style: if I can provide the environment for my team to be successful, we all win. The other result of my comfort with team play is my belief that coaching is also important, no matter who you are. Early on I hired a real estate coach, in particular Dirk Zeller. I think it’s imperative to invest in your business and your personal development. There is not a pro athlete or team out there that doesn’t have a coach. It’s part of the path to excellence.
P: What is the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
RD: It’s funny, but the worst job I’ve ever had would have to be working for my dad’s building company. Nothing against my boss, but my job primarily consisted of removing trash from the construction sites and sweeping the floors. I learned early on that manual labor was not my thing.
P: Three real estate trends that excite you?
RD: I’m excited by teams, technology and lead generation.
P: How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?
RD: Build your business to provide value to your customers. I read the book E-Myth Revisited, and it really opened my eyes to the importance of systems and how to run a small business. Real estate is a people business, and it’s all about the relationship and the service. You have to offer a complete, service-oriented business model if you’re ever going to succeed. Our edge is having the systems in place so we can offer that service mindset in everything that we do.
P: How do you use systems to recruit great talent?
RD: I only recruit when I can guarantee the new team member 30 qualified leads per month. That way, I’m not searching for top agents to bring their book of business, but rather for talented professionals that haven’t been so good at lead generation. I provide the leads and the systems, and they provide their knowledge, experience, and hard work.
P: How do you bring ideas to life?
RD: I’ve always been very good at coming up with ideas, but not so great at bringing them to fruition. I make up for that by having excellent people in place that can take my ideas and run with them. I combine that with with constant follow-up, timelines and milestones to achieve success.
P: What inspires you?
RD: I am inspired by making the lives of the people around me better than they ever thought imaginable. I get great joy out of helping others succeed.
P: What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
RD: Early on, I tried to do everything myself. It’s just not possible to maintain that in a meaningful way. I’ve had to learn to let go and delegate. In doing so, the experience for the client is so much greater than I could have delivered solo. This is a tough thing for many agents in our industry to get a grasp of, but it’s a must.
P: How do you measure success?
RD: By setting challenging individual goals and helping others attain and surpass their goals.
P: What advice would you give to someone starting out in real estate today?
RD: I’d have to say that in today’s market, the best way to get into real estate would be to join a team and learn from them. It’s a tough market, and the costs associated with marketing and presenting yourself as the best in your market are staggering. It would be nearly impossible to do this on your own from the start. Here’s my advice:
1. Get a real estate business coach.
2. Prospect incessantly.
3. Use technology, especially a CRM.
4. Reinvest a portion of your profits back into your business.
5. Join a great team.
P: How do you see technology shaping real estate in the future?
RD: Teams and technology are without question the wave of the future in real estate. In reality, the future is here and the agents that aren’t jumping on board won’t exist in the next couple of years. With technology, it’s now possible to generate thousands of leads on a monthly basis and stay in touch with them until they are ready to purchase and/or sell. The means to capture, nurture, and convert are now easier than ever, and when implemented properly, it makes for amazing results.
P: What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
RD: Two main avenues for lead generation: buyer leads, Boomtown; seller leads, radio.
P: What do you read every day, and why?
RD: I’m a junkie for self-improvement books. I think we can never stop learning and improving who we are as people. The day we stop learning is the day we die.
P: What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
RD: E-Myth Revisited. This is a must-read for anyone running their own business. It teaches the importance of systems and creating your business as if it were a turnkey franchise.
P: What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
RD: The main software systems that keep our team running smoothly: Top Producer and BoomTown.
P: What Real Estate expert would you love to see us interview?
RD: Mark Spain with Keller Williams in Atlanta, Georgia. He has really helped me become the agent I am today, and he is phenomenal at what he does. It’s amazing how much his market has changed over the past few years, and to see him constantly adapt and continue to be the number one realtor in Georgia is amazing.
P: When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
RD: I laugh out loud every day. With three young girls, you never know what’s going to come out of their mouths next!
P: How can people connect with you?
RD: The Ryan Dallas Team, RE/MAX Realty Associates
P: Where are you located?
RD: Champaign, IL