Chastin Miles is an author, entrepreneur, and real estate coach with a passion for helping new agents navigate their early days in the industry.
Today on Stay Paid, Chastin discusses his own journey through real estate, and gives his brutally honest advice for agents just starting out.
- Figure out which activities you’re good at, then double down.
- You need to build a solid database to be successful in real estate.
- Don’t expect to get results right away—consistency is key.
Q: Introduce yourself to our audience.
I didn’t come from a real estate background, nor did I really know anything about real estate. It all started when I was in college, and my roommates and I wanted to move off campus. We were looking for a rental. One day, we were walking around campus and saw a homemade sign advertising a 3 bed, 2 bath house. I called the number. The lady was really nice. We were so excited.
We got to the address and found out it was a real estate office. We got into her car, and we were on our way to see the house. I asked the lady how much money she’d make from the rental, and she told me. It wasn’t that high of a number, but it seemed like a lot to me at the time.
From there, we got back to her office. I asked how I could do this. I know a lot of people who I could work with. She told me they offered classes at that brokerage. I signed up right away.
Come the second month in the classes, I had to drop out because I couldn’t afford them. I was on a payment plan—something they didn’t normally do—and couldn’t afford the payment. I had to drop out, but I told him I would be back. He said I wouldn’t.
He was right—I didn’t go back. I moved from Georgia to Dallas and started real estate school as soon as I got here. I finished school, and then got my license.
And that was how I got into real estate. It wasn’t anything I wanted to do before, but this random event wound up getting me into it.
Q: Tell us about your first year in real estate.
My first year was a struggle for a lot of reasons. I could blame everybody in the world, but it was just a true struggle. I was in a brand new area where I barely knew the street that I lived on. I was a kid. I still look young, but I looked even younger then. No one was taking me seriously.
I hardly knew anything about real estate, or that it was more of a relationship business. I hardly knew anything at all.
I was showing up at the office every day, and nothing was happening. I thought it might be the brokerage, so I switched brokerages. Then, the light bulb went off: maybe it was me.
Someone told me to start cold calling, so I started cold calling. I wasn’t very good at it, but someone was willing to give me a shot. I got a listing, which I didn’t end up selling until about 8 months later. That was almost a year into the business.
I didn’t have anything else lined up, so that one deal made up my whole first year as a real estate agent.
I was calling up FSBOs. I sounded like a kid on the phone, but I was doing it.
Q: How did you get to where you are now?
With that first listing, I was holding open houses every weekend. This one time, I was getting ready to go to the open house. As I was getting ready to walk out of my apartment, my lights turned out. Everybody else’s lights were on. I just had a real moment with myself. I knew the lights were off because I hadn’t paid the bill.
But I didn’t let that ruin my day. I told myself I was going to sell this house. It was cold and vacant. I didn’t have a chair to sit on. Nobody came in for the first two hours. After the third hour of nobody coming, I locked the door and had a full-on breakdown. I was full-on bawling. I felt like I had failed at the real estate business.
It was at the moment that I felt I was at my lowest. But I made a phone call to one of my aunts. She said everything was going to turn around from there. I fixed my face, held my head up again, and told myself I’d never let this moment happen again.
What I chose to do from there was to continue to do what had gotten me this listing, but to do it ten times harder. Even to this day, I live by that motto. I like to stick to what has gotten me what I have.
I got back on the phones. I started recording videos. I started randomly calling people and asking them if they wanted to buy or sell real estate. I didn’t have anything else to lose. I was so determined to not let this happen again.
The second year got better. I picked up 6 or 7 deals. I was finding my groove, learning more, making more connections, and marketing more. By my third year, I was doing 20–30 deals.
Q: How did you get started making videos?
It started with me documenting my journey. One of my first videos was me ranting about how much money real estate agents really make. Then, I recorded videos about what agents actually do. It was all this stuff I didn’t know getting into it that, had I known it, I might not have gotten into real estate. It was all the things I wish someone would’ve told me.
At that time, I wasn’t trying to be strategic. It was just my outlet. I didn’t care if people watched or didn’t. But over time, more and more agents kept watching my videos.
Q: What helped you get off that hamster wheel of real estate?
There are so many shiny objects out there, with people trying to help us get leads or get onto the first page of Google.
I tell people that I’m not a door knocker, but I know door knocking works well for some people. I will pick up the phone and call, which I know won’t work for everybody
I believe there are niches out there that can be gold mines for people if they focus on what works for them. There are a million ways to generate leads. You should start with what you’re good at. You will find a very fruitful path if you make that your main activity in real estate.
So many people try to do what the next guy does. Then, when it doesn’t work for them, they get discouraged.
Q: Do you find that a lack of consistency is what hurts people?
Consistency plays a huge part in all areas of this business, whether it’s lead generation, growing a business, or anything else. People get into this business and don’t see anything for a month or two months. It took eight months before I got my first check. And it took me a lot of cold calling before I even got my first listing. Consistency is important in any area of life.
Q: What tips would you give to someone just getting into real estate?
By the end of reading my book, I’d want them to know whether or not they’d want to get into real estate, knowing everything they know now.
It’s an entertaining book based on my personal experiences. It’s not so much about coaching—even though there are useful tips in there—as it is about figuring out whether you really want to do this. I’m tired of seeing people fail for the wrong reasons.
A lot of people get into real estate because someone said they’d be good at it. I believe many people are misinformed and don’t know what they’re getting themselves into.
I talk about cold calling and door knocking, about whether you should quit your job or not. I get into all of it. I’m trying to give people a personal account of my experiences—things I would have done differently, or things that I’ve been told that weren’t true.
Q: What is the biggest mistake you see agents making?
I think a big mistake agents are making is overcomplicating everything. They overcomplicate things to the point that they’re driving themselves out of the business—because they won’t focus on just one thing.
“They said yes, what do I say now?” Are you serious? Say, “What time?”
People feel overwhelmed because they overcomplicate everything. I see it even in my coaching students. That’s why we only focus on 1–2 activities for 2 to 3 months at a time. All the other things are going to be there, but those don’t need to be your focus
I was on a YouTube Live the other day, and a new agent kept asking the same question. I was intentionally ignoring it because I didn’t think it needed to be answered. I finally said, “Why do you need to know that? What is it going to do for your business?”
Q: What should an agent do in those crucial first 90 days?
It’s all about contact building. Who should you include in that database, and what is their contact information? There is power in numbers. If we can make this database swell, you will always be able to pull something out of it—where it’s that person or a friend or family member of theirs. Then we can move into contacting and having lunch with those people. But it’s really important to build that database of people. And of course, it will grow from there.
Q: Can you really tell whether real estate is for you after 90 days?
My coaching style is group coaching. Typically, I don’t need to tell people, “This isn’t for you.” They’re able to see it for themselves.
There are homework assignments. They have to turn in a weekly success journal. There is a live coaching call. And every week, people have to tell us what happened last week. You have people who are making calls and getting listings, and then you have others who are still trying to organize things.
It helps that I don’t deviate too far from our core curriculum. By the end of those 90 days, if you’re still not seeing results and have all zeroes on your success journal, it’s easy to see the issue. People will realize it’s not for them because they’re not doing the work.
Q: Which routines have driven success for you?
One of my big things is being very sensitive about my time—where it’s spent, who it’s spent with, and what I’m doing.
I have learned to say “no” a lot, which I’d say is a formula for success by itself. I was saying “yes” to make everybody happy, but I was being taken advantage of. My time was being hijacked.
When I got to the point where I was managing a team, my time was extremely valuable. Had I been more aware of my time, I could’ve achieved certain successes even quicker.
Another thing for me is consistency, whether it’s doing yoga in the morning or going home at a certain time. It allows me to bring on more tasks and more skills, and to master things a lot better than I was before.
I started something new where I was trying to read a whole book in a weekend. Being consistent has helped me do that. I decided to go vegan one day, and I’ve been doing it for months now. Just learning to be consistent has contributed a lot to my success.
Q: What advice would you give your younger self?
It probably would be not to care about everybody and everything. I was that person who was trying to please everybody. I was resisting doing certain things because of what people would’ve thought about me. Once I got the right attitude and really just focused on me, things seemed to happen at hyper speed.
If I had truly cared what people thought about me on YouTube and cared about what people said, I’d be in a mental institution right now.
This has been most of my life. At 10 years old, I would’ve told myself not to take things to heart. That would’ve been helpful in high school, in college, and in business.
See what has driven success for you, and then double down on that thing.
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