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The Thousand: Kyle Seyboth, The Seyboth Team Real Estate, CENTURY 21

Aug 11, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Kyle Seyboth, The Seyboth Team Real Estate, CENTURY 21

Rhode Island and Massachusets

Ranked No. 1 real estate agent by transaction sides and No. 50 real estate agent by volume.

Transitioning from an individual sales associate to a broker amid a pandemic is not for the faint of heart. Find out how Kyle made the transition, changed companies and is setting himself up for success as a selling broker.

 

Tracey Velt:

REAL Trends and Tom Ferry REAL Trends The Thousand ranks agents and teams through our proprietary third party verified process. We're interviewing agents and team leaders who made this elite list of the top 1% of the 1.4 million realtors nationwide. This is Tracey Velt, editor of content for REAL Trends.

Today we're speaking with Kyle Seyboth, who ranked number one real estate agent by transaction size and number 50 real estate agent by volume. He's currently in the process of moving from one broker where he was an independent agent to Century 21 where he'll be opening his own brokerage. We'll talk to him about the process he's followed and some of the lessons he's already learned along the way. So welcome, Kyle.

Kyle Seyboth:

Thank you so much for having me.

Tracey Velt:

Tell me a little bit about your current real estate practice and your geographic footprint.

Kyle Seyboth:

Prior to 2020, the way I was set up was an individual agent that basically was the only one responsible for working with buyers and/or sellers. What that allowed me to do was to have support staff to help with all the backend, all of the offer forms, contracts, emails, anything that was non-income producing.

I was able to delegate that off to my support staff, so that was very beneficial. Allowed me to stay with what I was good at, which was driving in and being a rainmaker of new business.

Tracey Velt:

Okay. Tell me about what you're doing now and what city you're in.

Kyle Seyboth:

Great. So now fast forward to 2020, and then also take a look at the landscape that has changed. So I was with Keller Williams. I was the number one Keller Williams agent in the country for five years in a row.

Recently made the switch over to Century 21. Switched over as an individual agent into now owning a brokerage in the Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts area, and what that allows me to do is now take the same principles and work ethic and relentlessness that I had as an individual agent and build it out to a super team/brokerage.

Tracey Velt:

Okay, so let's talk about the process of going from an individual agent to a brokerage. What was your thought process and why did you make that switch?

Kyle Seyboth:

My process was very simple. On the individual side, I was able to produce at a super high level and that was exciting, and at some point it becomes almost second nature, right? So year in, year out, continue to produce 450 units or more, and what happens is anyone that has some sort of competitive nature inside of them or has that desire to be better hits a level of complacency.

When I hit the level of complacency, I said to myself, "I need to build something bigger than me," and what's bigger than me? Something bigger than me is an actual asset that is sellable down the road. If I got hit by a bus tomorrow, my current business would basically dissipate to nothing. However, now what I'm looking to build is something again, much bigger, much stronger, with a wider net, and just allows me to build this asset base that will be very strong in the future.

Tracey Velt:

I know you're early in the process, but tell me some of the lessons that you've learned so far making this transition.

Kyle Seyboth:

The lessons for me, your clients change a little bit. So individual agent, your clients are your buyers and sellers. Fine. I get that. Now you move into the broker space and your clients are not only your buyers and sellers, but your actual agents that you're looking to recruit.

So the agents that we're going to recruit, those folks are now clients that I need to keep happy as well, in addition to the actual buyer and/or seller that I'm working with.

Kyle Seyboth:

So my philosophy is I will continue to sell. I will continue to help buyers, continue to help sellers, continue to work with investors and perform at a super high level. At the same time, provide a different level of coaching experience for my staff and for the agents that work with me that they're not going to get from anyone else, because no one else in the country has ever performed at that level of units year in and year out. So I think I bring a whole different level of experience that can add a lot of value to agents and help them do more deals and increase productivity.

Tracey Velt:

Okay, and so with the brokerage that you're running, are you running it like a team? So you're the team leader and also the broker owner, and then all of the agents flow through you? Or are they going to be individual agents and you're managing your own portfolio or your own business and they're managing theirs?

Kyle Seyboth:

That's the beauty of the way I'm set up. I've implemented a tripod type situation with a hybrid approach. What does that mean? What that means is at the end of the day, I am one leg of the stool, right? Or one leg of the tripod, meaning I am going to continue to produce. I will sell. I will help people buy. That's one leg. I will have agents that come over that will operate as their own individual agent. They'll sell. They'll buy.

They'll have a regular split. They'll come over and be regular agents, which I already have. Then on top of that I'll have a team structure, and I've built this team structure out to what made me successful. So what I've done, as I said, the average admin can support five agents. So I said okay, boom. I'm going to employ one admin for every five agents. I'm going to then supply the agents with all the leads, which will then be on a 50/50 split.

Kyle Seyboth:

In addition to the admin, these agents will get access to a transaction coordinator that will be provided to them at a cost, and also provided them my one special sauce which is called a runner. The runner allows the agents to utilize a licensed professional that gets paid per hour to go do things such as home inspections, appraisals, smoke certificates, and really allow me to leverage myself year in and year out to be in two, three, four places at once. So it's five agents, one runner, one admin, and access to my transaction coordinators that's going to help these teams succeed and boost their productivity.

Tracey Velt:

Okay, great. Sounds interesting. What advice do you have for agents and team leaders who are thinking about striking it out on their own as a broker rather than maintaining their team under someone else's brokerage?

Kyle Seyboth:

For me, the beauty of this is the autonomy and the ability to really go out and build something that I know works for me and has worked and works in this current environment. I think the problem is with some of the other organizations is, and it works but I think the structure may not work for everyone and that one size fits all team philosophy in my opinion does not work for all geographics, does not work for all demographics, and doesn't work for all agents throughout the country.

So I'm going to take an approach that, hey, look, these five-person satellites, right now I've already got four of them. So these four- or five-person satellite teams will be treated independently. They'll all start with a very similar mentality, model, and lead structure, but guess what. Over time, these will change, and some will continue to morph and change and evolve. Others will stay the same and produce at a high level, but that's where my job is to come in and say, "Hey, look. This needs to be tweaked, or that needs to be changed." So on and so forth.

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Tracey Velt:

Okay. My next question is really about your aha moment. Most successful real estate professionals have had one, and when they've realized, "Oh, I need to change something up, or I need to do something differently." What was your aha moment? And you've probably had several, but I'm looking for maybe the most impactful one.

Kyle Seyboth:

This is the biggest aha moment I think I've ever had. I've had a ton along the way, and some were moving from a full time job into this. That was an aha when I realized that I had the ability to do this, but my biggest aha moment was recently and that's why I made the switch.

Kyle Seyboth:

My actual videographer who's with me all the time and was around a lot in the last year or so, at one point when we were really early on doing some footage for videos and commercials and all that, he stopped me and he said, "Hey, I just got to ask you something." And I said, "What?" And he said, "You know, I get it. You're stressed to the nines. You're working 16-hour days. You're KW number one year in and year out for five years. But like, why? Like what's the point?"

And I gave him my answer and he said, "Look, I think you're an idiot." I said, "I'm sorry, what?" He said, "Look, you've already proven that you can be the number one agent within the organization year in and year out. If you continue to do this for 10, 15, 20 years and don't build something bigger and fulfill the potential that you have that's bigger than being an individual agent at that level, then shame on you. You wasted a lot of talents."

Kyle Seyboth:

I thought about that for two or three days and circled back with him and said, "You know what? You're right. I'm wrong. I need to make a change. I've been talking to this firm for four years now. We've got a really good thing going. I have a couple ideas for them that I want to implement and would allow me to make the move."

I then talked to Mike Miedler, I talked to Bryon Ellington, and we put together a game plan in place in addition to just coming over on the brokerage side, on the coaching end, and I'm now here we are. So that was the aha moment for me.

Tracey Velt:

That's interesting, and your videographer has great insights, so that must be a good business partner.

Kyle Seyboth:

He is. Yeah.

Tracey Velt:

There are a lot of agents who are in the beginning stages of building their businesses or building a team, so what strategies really worked for you that you can offer advice to them, and what advice would you offer?

Kyle Seyboth:

I would say that the strategy that worked for me is start thinking about your business as a business and not as a hobby. What I mean by that is really begin to delegate tasks that aren't income producing early on, because what happens with people is they get so used to doing everything that they think that they have to do everything forever, and they'll lose.

Like I was speaking on agent yesterday who's coming over. She spent 10 hours on Tuesday or something running around chasing offer forms and checks and contracts, and I'm like, "That's a terrible use of time. You could have been out meeting people, reaching out to your COI, making phone calls, meeting with sellers, meeting with buyers, whatever." It's that mindset to get out of the task driven mindset and get into the big picture, income producing mindsets. That would be my biggest advice early on.

Tracey Velt:

That's a great insight. Finally, my last question is just where do you see the most opportunity in the real estate industry in the coming year?

Kyle Seyboth:

I think you're going to see a huge switch away from, and it's going to sound crazy. In the next year, let's just talk about that for a minute. I think in the next year, 2021 will be the best real estate market we've ever had, because I think you're going to see a lot of sellers who were on the fence in 2020 and haven't sold.

They're going to come to the table and start to be sellers in 2021. Rates will remain low. Buyer demand will remain there. You've got a ton of buyers on the sidelines that are frustrated right now, and if we could see that listing shortage increase, which I think it will, you'll see one of the most equal markets we've ever seen in a long time, and it'll really push volumes up dramatically. I don't think pricing will go up, but I think you'll see volume go up from pure transactions count.

Tracey Velt:

Great. Well, I wish you much success in your new endeavor, and I really thank you for taking the time to talk to REAL Trends today.

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