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Mentoring the next generation of real estate leaders

President of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group on her path to mentorship in real estate

According to HomeLight data, there are currently 2 million active real estate agents in the U.S. with the highest number of active Realtors being in Florida. This stiff competition makes the role of mentorship all the more valuable as aspiring agents try to make a name for themselves in an often cut throat industry.

“From the beginning of my career, I found people that were in positions I wanted to be and learned all I could from them. I decided early on to never take advice from someone who wasn’t where I wanted to be,” said Casey Bryan, 36, president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group, in Tampa, Florida. “The best thing we can do [for the next generation], and where our industry struggles, is supporting the business acumen from early in their career. Teach them financials, economics, purposeful decision making, systemization, networking and leveraging the tools and resources around them.”

Bryan was named president of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group last July, adding nearly 300 agents in the same year. As a leader, Bryan has created an environment focused on mentoring and coaching those around her for the greater good of the organization. 

RealTrends’ newest award, RT Emerging Leaders, is honoring real estate professionals like Bryan who growing successful teams and contributing to the housing economy in a meaningful way before the age of 40. 

RealTrends reached out to Bryan to learn more about the path that led her to her current role and her approach to ushering in the next generation of leaders in real estate.

RealTrends: Was there a pivotal moment in your career that influenced your path to becoming an executive leader? 

Casey Bryan: I think there were a lot of little moments that influenced the pivotal moments. Without those little moments, I’m not sure the path would have happened and certainly not this quickly. Regardless, both the big and little moments all lead back to people of influence taking a chance on me.

It started early in my career with people giving me opportunities when I didn’t feel quite worthy and probably didn’t have the qualifications on paper. Then supporting me while growing into those roles. That led to the two most defining moments.

The first was the leadership opportunity with ReeceNichols. I was young and eager and, luckily, had a team willing to let me stumble a little and a leadership team and peers willing to pour into me. I didn’t know just how much at the time, but the growth, personally and professionally from that opportunity certainly set me up for future opportunities.

The second moment was to have the owners of my current company, two of the greatest men I’ve ever known, trust me to lead their company- ME! They relentlessly support me, guide me, invest in me and allow me the privilege of leading without judgment. To have someone believe in me that much is not something I take for granted and was a moment that influenced how I lead and what I want to accomplish with that trust. 

RealTrends: The real estate industry is flush with new entrants and business models, how have you prepared your business and team to thrive in the future?

Casey Bryan: We’ve stayed consistent, stayed the course and continue to work every day to support our agents and their businesses. We give our team a platform to promote and grow their business, help their customers win, we collaborate on strategies and share best practices.

It’s easy to be distracted by what everyone else is doing and trying to accomplish it all but that in and of itself is a losing model. We are proud to be a full-service model. We are proud to have incredible systems, resources, people and platforms to help our agents be purposeful entrepreneurs.

We’ve added close to 300 agents in the last year, and we have not had to buy one. Not one! Yet all around us, our competitors are having to pay agents to get them or offer unrealistic splits. That shows me what we are doing works. Our value proposition is strong. We are a group of people whose sole purpose is to support our people — our agents — and we are relentlessly focused on that single goal. 

RealTrends: Do you have any mentors or leaders in your life who have influenced your career or management style?

Casey Bryan: Yes. I’ve been incredibly fortunate in this regard. From the beginning of my career I found people that were in positions I wanted to be and learned all I could from them. I decided early on to never take advice from someone who wasn’t where I wanted to be.

Dewey Mitchell and Allen Crumbley [co-founders of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Properties Group] have had the most incredible impact on my leadership style. They have the philosophy, if we are even 1% wrong, we are wrong. To take that level of ownership has changed me for the better. They are constantly giving me advice, coaching me all the while supporting and encouraging me. Outside of that, my husband and parents have been constants. People I trust to bounce ideas off of, to keep me grounded, and who aren’t afraid to challenge my way of thinking. 

RealTrends: What’s your approach to supporting the next generation of emerging leaders in real estate?

Casey Bryan: The best thing we can do, and where our industry struggles, is supporting the business acumen of the emerging leaders from early in their career. Teach them financials, economics, purposeful decision making, systemization, networking and leveraging the tools and resources around them. To teach them to build a real estate business with these goals in mind, will allow them to slide into bigger leadership positions with great knowledge and strength. I also believe we need to teach emerging leaders to care more about the success of those around them than their own success. If that level of pride and support is ingrained in their being, leadership will come naturally. 

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