Matt Holder is a 24-year-old real estate agent from Oklahoma City, and the host of the Elevate Real Estate Podcast.
In 2017, he partnered with the Wyatt Poindexter Group, the #1 luxury agency in the Oklahoma City region. Ever since, he has been focused on building a network of agents to deliver an exceptional customer service experience.
Today on Stay Paid, Matt discusses his strategies for building a team and implementing effective processes that keep his business productive and profitable.
- Brokerages work best when agents can focus on what makes them money.
- Find ways to outsource the necessary operational activities that you don’t enjoy.
- The client is the irreplaceable element of any real estate transaction.
Q: Introduce yourself to our listeners.
I got into a real estate when I was a junior in high school. I started out by sitting in on new home construction. In Oklahoma, you don’t need a real estate license if you’re employed by a builder. My entire family has been in new home construction my whole life, but I actually never wanted to be a real estate agent. I wanted to be a plastic surgeon. But life shows up, and I decided to make a different decision.
In my senior year of high school, I started attending real estate school at night. I passed my exam when I was a senior. Today, I’ve helped several of my teachers and even my principal buy homes.
In May 2013, an F5 tornado destroyed half the town I lived in. This was a month after I got my license. In May, I graduated. Then, in September of that year, I started with Keller Williams Realty. Because I was young, people assumed I would be good with technology. But I’ve got pretty severe ADD, which makes it difficult for me to keep up with technology. They paid me to teach classes anyway. I did that for a little bit and I went to a lot of training.
I devoted my first full year to learning the real estate business. I really did not have a personal life. I made real estate my everything. I sold just under $2 million that year. They hired me to be the productivity coach at the local Keller Williams. My mom had worked there previously, so I knew the broker and some of the veteran agents. I accepted that position and was there for a few months, before moving to the Keller Williams location where I am now.
I had 75 coaching clients, many of whom are top agents today. I did that for another two years before partnering with Wyatt in April 2017.
Q: What does a productivity coach do for Keller Williams?
Looking back, I must’ve been hired as a placeholder, but I’m grateful for that error in judgment. Everything happens for a reason. The job was to teach agents the fundamentals of real estate, as well as business in general. The great thing with Keller Williams is the team concept. I really became a student of what that meant. I’ve been to probably 100–150 classes in just six years. I’ve spent a ton of money on training and coaching.
Q: Where have you found a coach to be the most helpful?
The business doesn’t get better until the leader does. As a millennial, I don’t want to work for anybody. It’s always been important to me to be in that independent contractor category. I met with my coach every week. It was getting to be really personal—how can I get better so that my team gets better?
I’ve currently got 11 agents with Wyatt Poindexter, as opposed to the 75 I used to work with. I got the opportunity at age 22 to work with Wyatt, who has been in the business as long as I’ve been alive. He is the agent of all real estate agents. He gave me the opportunity to show his team what’s possible with the models and systems that I’d been learning for four years.
He’s been able to experience a lot more freedom and flexibility in growing the business, because he doesn’t have to worry that it isn’t operating when he’s not there.
Q: When you were first starting out with Wyatt, which approaches worked best for you?
You have to earn the right in anything that you do. I was 22 years old. Our first meeting was after a mandatory meeting with the brokerage. The broker knew he needed leverage and knew I could be that person. I run fast and run hard, and, together, we could be a powerhouse. Our first meeting was in his car. He was driving to a listing to put a luxury real estate sign out front.
He didn’t really want to grow a team, but what he wanted to do was to go on luxury listing appointments, do the marketing, and then spend time with his wife and kids. I said, “Alright. We’re going to make that happen.” Day by day, I earned the right by handling the business with care—as if his reputation depended on it.
Q: What were the first problems that you tackled and systems that you implemented?
The first thing I did was get a website that would work well for a team. We had one person working with us at the time who wasn’t a good team player. We got rid of him then quickly grew to six agents. We now have several talented people working with us.
People in real estate overcomplicate this all the time. Wyatt didn’t have something that told him who to call or what to do. He did the work every single day. He responded to his clients. When you have 45 listings, that gets to be pretty tough to do.
We added systems and people. The first thing we looked for in people was heart. If you don’t have that, you can’t train it. I’m not the best at communicating a vision. I realized that was a pretty big hole, through working with my coach. I did it effectively enough in the beginning, getting people who wanted to work with Wyatt. My sole focus now is keeping the agent working on what makes them money, and that is servicing their clients.
Q: What is the biggest pain point you see from an operational perspective for agents and their teams?
Ego. Who is the irreplaceable thing in a real estate transaction? The client. Wyatt cannot give me his phone and say he wants the same results as what he would get. As agents and as business owners, if you can get over the need for it to be your name or your company, and you can see and buy into a vision that is aligned with yours, you can make great partnerships and have a great quality of life.
There are over 300 tasks that need to be done by an agent, just on the listing side alone. If an agent is doing all these tasks each year, there are so many that are being done for transactions that don’t even close.
Q: What routine has driven success for you?
There are so many books out there that you can read that will give you the formula for success. I think it’s about taking what works for you and implementing those ideas consistently. When I feel the most successful is when I wake up at 4:30 and get to the office by 5:30 or 6:00. I would also add to that the need to give yourself grace. There are a lot of times when I don’t wake up at 4:30 in the morning.
Q: What would you tell the younger version of yourself?
Right now, I’m in a season of self-care. I don’t know what caused this—and I don’t really care to know—but I have equated self-care with being selfish, and that led to burnout in my role as a productivity coach. And I’m starting to see that happen in my role right now.
At the beginning of this year, I started to take a step back and ask whether I was really taking care of myself. Life is too short and so precious. Every single moment matters. If you’re not enjoying the things that you’re doing, find something that you can really enjoy. You don’t need to choose profit over your family.
- Make a list of the revenue-driving activities you do, as well as the operational activities that enable the revenue-generating activities. Figure out how to outsource these secondary activities to vendors.
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