What does it take to become the top referred real estate agent on Zillow? A lot of reviews and hustle.
Brian Teyssier shared his perspective on the industry during a riveting 30 minute conversation at his home in Mount Washington. Brian has worked with some of the top real estate coaches in the business and has some seriously impressive stats.
He's surpassed $19 million in volume in both 2017 & 2018. He's accrued 333 reviews on Zillow.
As Brian battles to the top of the luxury home market, he runs a lean and digital practice. You’ll be blown away at his story of selling a house for more than $500,000 without ever meeting the owner in person.
In this conversation, Aaron and Brian also discuss how he got started flipping houses, how he goes above and beyond with his open houses, and where the industry is headed.
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Watson: Thank you so much for doing this, man. I'm excited to be talking with you.
Teyssier: Well, I appreciate you having me. I'm usually on the other end. So this is nice.
Watson: I know. I am so excited to extract all sorts of wisdom and nuggets from you, but I want to start off actually explaining one of my assumptions. So you are a real estate agent and in these types of businesses, it is my assumption that when you started off it wasn't about marketing and branding. You started off and you just had to hustle. You had to make it happen for yourself, starting from square one to get your business off the ground. Now you're the top Zillow agent in Pennsylvania.
You have all these accolades. You were speaking at the event in Vegas just last week, but when you started off, can you paint a picture for everyone of your situation and what you had to do to get your real estate business off the ground?
Teyssier: 100%. So the first thing I was doing is I was flipping houses.
This was probably about 15 years ago before flipping houses was coal and there were. Before even Facebook didn't even exist. Instagram didn't exist. None of these social media platforms existed. YouTube may have been in its infancy. So there was no video go-to videos. So I wanted to become a real estate investor and flip houses.
So I took a couple courses, there's American Congress of real estate that meets in Pittsburgh once a month. So I went there. I took some courses and they said, even if you're going to have contractors come in and do all the work you should do at least two houses as much you can with your own two hands so you get an idea of what things cost. So when you start hiring people out, you don't get the wool poured over your eyes. So I flipped to maybe four or five houses and I would be a little different. Like some people are high volume flippers, or they just, you know, do a little bit of lipstick on a pig and flip it and sell it.
So I would take about a year I take on the super ugly ones and I would live in them as soon as they were habitable. So some of them didn't even have flooring, like no carpet, no tile, no hardwood. As soon as we would get heat, I would move into it because what happens is you get hit with capital gains tax.
That's the profit you make on that house, you get hit with like a 25% tax in the first two years. So if I could change my mailing address to that address, I could start the clock running as that being my primary residence and minimize the amount of capital gains I would get hit with. So that's one little tip and trick that I used to use.
And I used to get all my stuff at Home Depot and Lowe's and they would have their credit card, no interest, no payments for a year while we'd get the house, start it and finish it within a year. So I basically used all of their money. So for the materials, most of the materials have flip the house.
Right? So as I, as I did a couple of houses, I said I'm always looking at ways to improve. I think that's the true, I think that's a fabric of any entrepreneurs. How can I, or business owner, how can I maximize my profit? How can, and not just profit to take and buy nice suits. I mean, so you can build your business a little bit further and bring on another employee, open another office.
Whatever. So I'm always thinking how, and even in, as a realtor now, I think how can I increase my margins and shrink my debt? One of the ways was to get my real estate license. So I didn't pay myself to buy it and sell the house.
Watson: So before we get into the real estate license, when you're flipping these, let's call it five houses and you have the two year window where there'll be capital gains tax, but you were setting up the address there.
Were you doing one at a time subsequently or multiple at the same time?
Teyssier: One at a time subsequently. My father is retired. We only had so much money and time to do that. So I was on a, I guess you could say I was unemployed, but I was a real estate investor doing that. So we, the profit, I think the least I ever made was 20 grand profit.
And the most I ever made was like 80 or 90 grand profits. So it was pretty substantial. And that's why you really wanted to shrink that capital gains down as much as possible and increase your margins, which some of which I'm going to lead into now is the gateway to me become a real estate agent.
So I got my real estate license. Then I would, you know, capitalize on that by paying myself to buy the house and then only paying half the commission because I didn't pay myself. Obviously. Then the flipping business became somehow like a flashlight was shined on how great Pittsburgh was when I first started flipping houses.
I could go on the MLS and there were 10 15 houses I could choose from that had a great profit margin in my mind, where I could just buy it, take a year, flip it, and then buy the next one that was called a buyer's market. Then as time started going on, these flippers started coming into town and I couldn't find any of those houses.
They all dried up and went away. So I couldn't find anything that had a minimum of $20,000 well profit margin, because if I'm gonna work a year, I need to, at least people have what, $20,000 in the bank for the next house. So flippers came in YouTube, got bigger TV shows came out and it basically pushed me out of the flipping business.
So as it stands now I have about $50,000 worth of tools in my parents' garage collecting dust but if you ever need your backslash tiled I'm the guy to do it. So then what happened was I started representing some of these flippers as a realtor, and I'd made the decision that I'm not going to be able to flip and be a real estate agent at the same time, the flipping has kind of gone on the back burner until the market changes forever.
Watson: And that's also something just to, just to put a bow on that is a very intensive job, like the, the illusion with almost every industry, but particularly for some reason with real estate and where it's like passive income and things like that, you kind of get this perception that you can just kind sit back and let it happen. It does not sound like that was in any way, a passive experience for you, right?
Teyssier: A hundred percent not. I mean, just think the market could shift. And in this happened, the market shifted before I got into real estate where they went in and went into the proverbial Cropper. So we got flippers that had flipped houses on the market that they bought out a foreclosure and went back into vert closure. So when you're flipping houses, like I did long periods of time, you got to make sure you have a profit margin built in there. So if the market took a dip, you would still come out a little bit ahead. And that's why I always lived in it.
I always wanted to be able to live in it is because of if a dove and I had to eat the house, I would just be able to live in it. And it's like a backup plan and a security plan.
Watson: It's also like the idea of a paper loss versus a real loss. If, if you're holding a stock and it goes down, it's only a real loss if you have to sell at that point in time, but if you're living in it, then you can say, well, now's not the time to sell. Let me hang on to this for another six, 12, 18 months.
Teyssier: Correct. Right. Absolutely. You always have. I think anytime I do anything, I always have a backup plan. Now people may say that sounds like you're preparing for failure.
I think, I think, no, I think it's intelligent. I mean, I want to have out, that's going to be able to clean up any mistakes I've made or minimize any damage. So, and I even tell him, I see flippers that I'm representing as a listing agent. I tell him the same thing. Like we've got to be careful. You don't want to overspend the market's going to shift.
How big is your profit margin? You know, what do you have built in, et cetera?
Watson: Right. So you got the real estate. A real estate license to reduce the, or make the margins better so that you could take some of that commission for yourself. And you realized that it was time to end a flipping game and get into real estate full-time what was on the other side, the positive signal that you're like, Oh, I can do this. I can make some moves?
Teyssier: So I decided my business plan will be aimed towards the younger generation, nothing towards the older generation, but the older generation has a ceiling. They're only gonna be able to buy so many houses before they're not going to buy houses.
The younger generation is going to buy a whole lot of houses. So what I ended up doing was I used to sit brand new construction, open houses on a team for an agent bigger than myself. And I would just read these magazines that came through on real estate on what to do. And one of the things I recommended was Zillow reviews.
That was going to be the big thing. So as soon as I started selling some houses, I would automatically get these Zillow reviews. And this is, I don't know, maybe six years ago. So I've been chugging along all these years, getting the Zillow reviews, which I then push out on social media. And we all know we're a review driven buyers, I would think, or, or renters or whatever it is.
Anytime I go into town, I'm looking what's, even if I'm not sure, I believe there were. View. I still want to see what the worst one is. I want to see what the best one is. So that's when I made my decision as to go after younger people, I knew they would be looking at reviews of a product, of a service, something like that.
Anything online is what I adapted. That technology doesn't matter what the technology was. As soon as it came out, I adapted to it. Drones, GoPros 360 imagery. I don't care what the technology is. I'd usually jump on it right away to give me the advantage over everybody else and be able to, you know, appeal to the younger demographics, so to speak.
And then of course, social media has come along. When I first started, there was no social media. I sat at open houses every Sunday. It doesn't matter whether it was 20 degrees or 120 degrees. It doesn't matter if there was a Steeler game on or not. I would go put my, this is what we're going to talk about the grind and what I did before on social media, I would put open houses out hours before the open house. I would go knock on the neighbor's doors if it was in a neighborhood the day before, and just hand them a flyer and say, I am Brian Teyssier, I'm with blah, blah, blah. And I'm going to have an open house tomorrow between one and two.
Why don't you stop over before that? Because I didn't want the neighbors to bog down my potential buyers. So I would invite them to come before the real open house. And then, um, I would throw these lavish open houses. Now when I say lavish, I mean, Pittsburgh lavish. So this is like hood lavish. This isn't a million dollar listing lavish.
So I had a speaker, if it was cold out, I'd have schlepped my coffee pot in and hot chocolate. And I had a speaker music. I always had a candle. I had balloons on every sign and if it was hot outside. I had to have a little water bottles just to kind of keep them at the table in the kitchen so we could just have a chit chat, but also you are on display.
You're being interviewed by them if they're a seller. So I've actually picked up sellers from open houses because they saw how 100% percent I was all in.
Watson: Yeah. It's a great representation of the work that you put in to see all those little details covered and people like that now. So, so I'm guessing another aspect of letting everyone in the neighborhood know, not just when those neighbors would come in so that they could go through and you could find the real buyers, but there's also a social phenomenon of you might know someone who wants to get in your neighborhood, if it's a good neighborhood and they'll go call Jack Susie, whoever, and say, Oh, there's an open house for a place in my neighborhood tomorrow, you should come by and they're almost like a potentially de facto Salesforce for you.
Teyssier: Right exactly. That's one of the scripts that we used was, Hey, you get to pick your neighbor. And whenever I would send out just listed cards, I would in that neighborhood, I would say when the open house wasn't, sometimes my title would be pick your neighbor, helped me pick your neighbor. Now's the chance to improve the neighborhood.
Yeah. Just little, little things like that. And they would become a sales person for myself.
Watson: Gotcha. And all this stuff, and this is like a framework, you know, we've done more than 300 episodes of the show and I keep coming back to it, that all this stuff seems very simple and straightforward, but that by no means makes it easy.
It's hard work to do repetitively, consistently with discipline, but a lot of these things are really just that, a discipline, as opposed to being so complex that someone couldn't piece it apart. Would you agree with that assessment?
Teyssier: 100%, there's nothing complicated about, having an open house, having a coffee pot there and just being able to talk to people.
It's, it's kind of a grind. Nowadays I think a lot of people don't understand don't mean millennials. I mean, anybody in general wants to do as least amount of work as possible and make as much money as possible. I know another agent that he doesn't have physical open houses. He has virtual open houses and he's not really getting much traction.
I said, you know, they want to interact with you. You have to have two things, passion and personality, and you can't get the, you kind of get so much of that through a video where you need to actually be in the same zip code, the same airspace as the other person, and, you know, slap some skin together, shake a hand and see if you're a fit.
I mean, I've won over many buyers that weren't ready to buy at that open house. It took me 18 months to incubate him, but just because I had great personality and we may have had something in common and they felt safe with me. It's all about trust in the sales industry. If I trust you, I'll buy almost anything from you and I'll use you forever.
Watson: Yeah. Trust is a huge deal, but let's talk about that 18 month incubation. Cause that's another part of the grind and that's the type of thing that if you are able to accomplish it, a couple of times you start to get the framework, you realize it can continue to happen. And then you're going to set the proper practices in place. But early on, it's only hard to be patient, but it's hard to have faith that that can occur if it hasn't yet happened for you.
So talk a little bit about incubating these people over that period of time and what that looked like on your end.
Teyssier: Right, so national association realtors has done studies and they've proven it takes 18 months from the time the thought first goes into buyer's head that we should probably buy a house to the time they actually take the keys and grab possession of it. So there has been someone else, I suppose, in my mind who it is that they have said that sometimes I get the deal because I'm the last man standing. So if it's a buyer, I'm the last person that has been in touch with them to the very end, when they decided to make the move.
And if the seller, I'm the last person that they talk to, whenever they're ready to list the house. It's a lot easier now than it's ever been to be able to stay in front of sellers. And that's one of the reasons why I have such aggressive branding and I'm so aggressive and consistent on social media is because I have a lot of buyers and sellers that come to me just because I'm always on social media saying I sold this, I'm listing this, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
It's basically staying at top of mind. So if you can do that throughout the 18 months, you're the last man or woman standing. Chances of you getting the deal was great. And if they already liked you from the beginning at the open house, it's not hard.
Watson: So you were really just playing the sales playbook for the first, at least year. When did things start to turn? Whether it's from a momentum standpoint or reputation, maybe inbound referrals. And you started to recognize the impact of not just being a salesman, but also a marketer and a brander?
Teyssier: Right, so I've only been in real estate 12 years, which is not a lot of time. I'd say the first six years, I probably only sold two houses a year and two of those are my own flips, so I really sold nothing.
So , I had to sell flips just to be able to have an income, but I saw the big picture I saw it was going to turn around and I said to myself, If I can make it in this slow crappy market, when the market turns around, I'll be banging. And wouldn't, you know, that that's exactly what happened. The first five or six years, I struggled slowly started gaining momentum.
I joined Remax and then social media and video and all that started taking off. So I've only been successful for about six years. And then you could just see your income going up. And the way I built my business was I would. Spend a little money. FOC free of charge was always my theory. I didn't want to spend any money on marketing.
I wanted to shake hands, kiss babies, get out there and grind it out. So I wouldn't spend any money. Again, it goes back to my original point of always trying to maximize my margin. If I don't spend, but I can still make money. I'm in a great position. And then over time, you know, your income grows, your income grows, and then you can have extra overflow of cash where you can start buying leads or getting professional headshots and paying someone else to do photos, videos, and drones.
Teyssier: So I'd say about six years ago to answer your question is whenever it finally started turning around.
Watson: So six months, you start to recognize that there's a budget for this stuff.
Teyssier: Six years.
Watson: I'm sorry, six years, six years. You start to recognize that there's a budget for this stuff, and you have not only been very aggressive with this, but you've gone out and sought coaches sought mentorship, sought frameworks so that you weren't just maybe discovering naturally through your own experimentation, but quickly adopting, not just the technologies, but the strategies, the tactics, the playbooks of other people who had found success in using social media to build their real estate business.
Can you talk a little bit about why that was the approach you took and how you did it?
Teyssier: 100%. I mean, my egos, most people's egos are never so big that you can't learn from somebody else. You can never know everything. There's no doubt about it. So once I got extra cash, there was the number one real estate coach out there.
I've heard about him for years, Tom Ferry. So I always knew once I get extra money, I would be able to take those courses. So I decided to get coached for two years and it changed my life. It changed the way I've done business. It gave me budgets because as an entrepreneur, as a realtor, you are accounts receivable, accounts, payable, marketing, inventory, you are everything.
So they help you structure that, they help you structure your day. So it gives you structure. It helps you overcome some things you're afraid to do, like maybe calling expireds or fsbo's. They give you the blueprints.
Teyssier: For sale by owners.
Teyssier: Yeah. So for sale by owners are trying to sell their house by themselves and what you do as a realtor, you kind of get your way in the door and you don't say, Hey, I'm the best I want to lease your house.
But you may say, Hey, I'm here as a resource for you. If it doesn't work out, here's kind of some of the things you should be doing and it'd be like drone stuff, you know, they're not going to do. And then again, it goes to that last man standing thing. If I stay in touch with them, by the time they throw in the towel because they're just trying to shine, tired of trying to sell it themselves, brian sells Pittsburgh is there to pick up the pieces. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That works.
Watson: So another aspect of this, and I wanna get back to the coaching, but as you were saying something, something just kind of clicked for me. You had the houses that you were flipping on the side early on, and once your business got to a place where it was humming a little bit, and you were getting at least an income where you could survive and be comfortable and maybe start investing in some other areas, you had the luxury in perhaps both of these instances to not be desperate. So what someone might go might do when they come to the, for sale by owner, character is be really pushy, kind of like you said, and that's going to turn them off and like, come on, come on.
But by being able to be patient and coming with an attitude of, I'm not going to get everyone, if this isn't the one it's not a big deal, probably translates into the entire interaction as being much more pleasant and probably ends up actually leading to more people, wanting to work with you. But the core of that is setting yourself up to not be in a place of desperation, a place to be comfortable and patient. And I I'm curious both early on, and then later on, if that's how mindful you are of cultivating that kind of perspective, right?
Teyssier: You hit the nail on the head. And I actually mentor some people offline and I try to tell them something the coaches told me that it stuck with me forever. And that is when you go into that listing appointment, you have the mindset that they need you more than you need them.
So it doesn't matter where you are in life. If I need it, I live paycheck to paycheck I have to walk in with a swagger, not ego, swagger. That I have what you need to get the job done. And that's what I did whenever I was making no money. And that's what I do now when I go into listing appointments, I go in, I prove I'm the expert.
I do that ahead of time. Most people already know me. Cause again, social media branding, social consistency. Yeah, social proof. I mean, you can't hide, whether you're a success or a failure of social media nowadays. So I already have that swagger going in, but I go in there and I don't let them know that you need me I don't need you. But I make it so that I am bringing in a wealth of knowledge experience. I've seen everything and I could prevent you from going into a black hole, falling into some legal battle or whatever. And that's one of the ways I prove that you need me and I don't need you without actually saying that.
And once you do that, it's easy to get a buyer or seller to work with you.
Watson: Yeah. So back to the coaches and how you went about. So clearly though, the one character, it was just like the number one real estate coach, or had effectively branded himself as such to get you in there. But in terms of seeking those characters out and what you looked for to know that this was the person you're going to part with some hard earned dollars to have them coach you, but that you knew they could help you take things to the next level. How did you evaluate that?
Teyssier: Right. So Tom Ferry had already done all his social proof to realtors. So he is the gold standard that you as a realtor are trying to accumulate 12 grand a year to be able to part with and justify in your head that you're going to be able to make 24 grand off of this 12 grand by investing it in coaching.
So he already has all of us with his ads following us around the internet, his Podcasts, his vlogs, his emails with the vlogs coming into my email. He has a lot of the top realtors and he talks about it. He was smart and wrote a book. So now he's an offer, which I'm actually looking into. So you want to be able to get Tom Ferry to coach you.
It's almost, you almost seek him out. It makes social proof. And then I have a social media coach as well. Katie Lance, and I saw her at the Remax convention years ago, and then I followed her. So I would research these people before I decided to part with my hard earned money. And it took me years to finally decide to let $12,000 a year go, which is a lot of money for Tom Ferry.
But in hindsight, I don't do it anymore, but it was well worth the 12 grand. So, and anytime anybody asked me, I'm like, I highly recommend getting a coach. It's going to change your life because there's no way you do everything effectively daily. Like they would have me write out my hours each day and what I was doing.
Yeah. Made me read books. I mean, they lead you to, they give you the tools for success. They give you the scripts for open house. They give you the scripts for fsbo they give you the scripts for buyers. The one class I went to, they made me all of us as an audience, stand up and repeat the script five times to each other and practice.
So it was getting nailed in our head and we knew what practice will look like. Me telling you to go read the script. Five times is different than me making you to do it right in front of me because now, you know what you're supposed to be doing. Exactly. It's great. Coaching, highly recommend it. Any, any industry.
Watson: I love it.
Teyssier: At least for, like I did two years, and then you can kind of, you know, you grow your business and you can kind of phase out of it if you feel it's not working for you.
Watson: And hopefully that stuff will be internalized. And then, you know, back to it being simple but hard. It's, it's about the discipline to repeat that stuff.
Maybe you need a tune up in another couple, two years. Maybe there's a couple of new things from a new coach or new source that you can put together. But that all makes a lot of sense. Another thing that I wanted to ask you about, given that real estate is a sales business, I have a framework that we talk about at Piper that people buy for one of three reasons.
They buy because you are of the highest quality they buy because you were the cheapest. Or they buy because you're the easiest. And where I like to sell is where we can be the easiest. I also think we're the best. I also think we're at a very high quality, but being able to make things easy on the other person, as opposed to a race to the bottom.
I do some coaching with some entrepreneurs at the university of Pittsburgh, and they're in these different competitions and they're always selling on the fact that they're the cheapest or the least expensive. And I mean, that's a bridge, no, that's a race to the bottom. Unless you can get scale being the cheapest, isn't really as good as you might think it is, which is understandable if you're early in the game. Can you talk about how you navigate those three kind of dials of quality ease and, price as people maybe come to you with objections as to whether or not to work with you?
Teyssier: Right. So the pricing is easy because, you know, we all charge the same commission. It's either 5% of your listing agent, 5%, 6% or 7%. And it depends where your property value falls. If you're a low property value, you get charged 7%. If you're high property value, you get charged 5%. Now you may have some newer agents.
And when I did this whenever I first started, I would offer the cheapest. I would say, I'll do it for a half percent less, but I had no tools. So again, social proof is where it's at. So I am the expert. I have more of our multiple designations. I've spoken at different events, which I make very public.
So everybody knows I am the expert and it's been drilled into me by my coaches. If somebody knows you're the expert they'll be willing to pay for it. And I'm not asking you to pay more, I'm just asking you to pay market value. It's I'm the same commission as the agent over there that just started three years ago, or the agent over there that has been in the business 50 years, but has no idea what Snapchat even is.
So it's no different. So you kind of said that you haven't been in the game that long, 12 years. That's still plenty of experience on the real estate industry in general, the Pittsburgh market. You've seen these ups and downs of buyers, sellers markets, but I'm more curious at a macro view outside of the advent and the adoption of social media.
Watson: What other forces are acting upon the real estate industry, maybe Zillow as example that people outside the industry might not really appreciate, but you have had to look at in terms of a changing landscape as a real estate agent.
Teyssier: Well, I mean, I tell every seller and I go in to list their house. That the way the tools we have available to us to market their home, to the maximum changes almost by the week.
I mean when I first started listing houses on Facebook, people thought I was freaking nuts. They called me stupid. And what the heck are you doing that for? And then all of a sudden Facebook takes off and now it's a necessity to be able to market on your Facebook business page, share it to your personal page.
And then Instagram comes about, and then there's Instagram, Instagram stories. There's IG TV, there's the feed, there's Facebook live. So there's all these different tools in the last two years that have been presented to us, that are forces that have affected the way real estate is being traded on a daily basis. We have DocuSign and dot loop, which are digital contracts.
So I have represented sellers in the half million dollar price point that I have never, ever met. Wow. From beginning to end, never met. It may be like a $20,000 paycheck.
Watson: How is this possible? Can you, can you make that?
Teyssier: Absolutely. So what happens is a seller saw me on Instagram posting all these higher end homes, showing that I do drone work, professional photos, and I would be constantly putting it on my Instagram, constantly promoting it.
And then I finally sold it. And then I put all the stats there. How long was on the market, the list, price, sale price, and all that. And they saw that and they loved that. So whenever it came time, and they had been following me for years, and this is, this is a key point for people out there on social media, they think you're going to social media and you're going to get the immediate gratification.
You've got to consistently post this stuff for years and keep it interesting. So whenever it came time for them to get relocated because of a job thing. They immediately cause I'm top of mind, they keep checking my Instagram feed because I'm interesting. Contacted me through Instagram, direct message me.
They said, we carry a very busy schedule. I'm like, listen, if you have a garage door keypad, they said, yes, I said, you can trust me, just give me the code. I'm going to go walk through on X day, X time so I can do a market analysis. Did, did that walk through, came back, did the market analysis, emailed it to them.
They said, well, listen, X price, whatever. I think it was like 500,000. Send him the paperwork digitally and you just had to touch it on their phone. They don't have to do anything. As soon as they're done with that, we each get a PDF of what they just signed. I called the photographer, give her the key pad code.
Goes on photographs at the drone guy, does his work. They'd send it all to me, put it on the MLS sits for a couple months, and then it finally sells with the closing documents that closing company sends it to them out of state, wherever they move to. They sign it in front of a notary. Then they FedEx it back overnight.
They either gonna check mail to them or they get funds wired into their account. Never met him. I don't even think he had their phone number.
Teyssier: I mean, that's rare. I mean, doesn't happen all the time, all the time, but wouldn't you take that? Listen, in the beginning of the conversation, I was saying I had to make $20,000 on a flip. Right. I just made $20,000. Never met the person.
Watson: That's why I'm mindblown.
Teyssier: And that's just from Instagram, from social media.
Watson: And the reason, that story epitomizes why I do the show, because the. I have another kind of philosophy that I use, that creativity is just access to information, right? If I've never heard that story before then I don't have the creativity to say, you know, maybe outside of real estate, but industry X industry Y, this entire transaction can be handled without the two parties ever meeting. And someone who's never heard that story is like, that sounds ridiculous, but that is the fact that you can speak to it.
And this isn't some small kind of insignificant sale. It's not like I'm selling on eBay my $20 toaster, half a million dollars. That's still a big sale even to me today, in a Pittsburgh market, our average sales price, like 160,000, so 500,000. Yeah. It's pretty substantial. Absolutely.
That is awesome. So let me ask one more question and then we'll aim towards wrapping up here. And this is just once again, my ignorance, as it pertains to the real estate industry. I go into these different spaces for interviews, and there are a surprisingly wide range of things that people are very quick to offer. I find that people are becoming almost more and more transparent and just generally carry themselves with a willingness to help others out and about.
Are there, and you don't have to like give me the actual number, but are there numbers that real estate agents keep close to the vest for a perceived competitive advantage? Because as I was kind of studying you and I've watched you on social media, you're out there with a lot of, this is the address that I'm listing. You just shared some of the prices of the buildings. And on one of the pages, it says like your average sales price, how long the average house is on the market, which are all positive signals for a potential seller. But are there things that like it's unwise for a real estate agent to share because of reason XYZ?
Teyssier: I don't know. I mean, I make it a point to think out of the box and to act out of the box. So everybody goes left I always go. Right. So that's why you probably won't see too many people posting their stats. A lot of agents think that's braggadocious, but my coach tells me it's branding. It's not bragging.
It's branding. It's not bragging. I've had buyers and sellers both tell me, they've seen my stats on my email signature and they love it. I post those stats in my closings. Some of the stats aren't even good. Yeah. Days on market one year, but people like the fact that you're showing that you're a fallible, so to speak.
And sometimes on my Instagram stories, I'll even post my income and I'll post all of the expenses that it costs me to operate. And I just don't believe in taboo. And I want younger agents and younger entrepreneurs to understand that, you know, some drive to McLaren and have this and live here and all that.
You know, there's a lot of money made, but there was a lot of expenses that I've got to pay to get there too. I think that's something I didn't learn in school was, you know, how to balance a check book or to understand. And I think a lot of people come out of college with credit card debt because they don't understand, you have to pay that shit off.
So I want to make sure I'm transparent to everybody. I don't think a lot of people, a lot of agents are transparent. So, I don't know why they'd hold anything near the vest. I mean, it's your social proof. It's your resume. If you look any agent up on Zillow, That information is there. It shows how many listings we currently have. It shows all of our past sales. We can't change that. That is uneditable. I don't know if buyers and sellers know that if you look up any agent on Zillow in America, in the continental United States, their stats are there for all to see. I can't change it. I can't go in and add sales. I can't take sales away.
There's a resilient reviews of us. Current listings. Sold listings. They're all pinned on a map of where we sold. It says how many years we've been in the business. It says how many sales we've had in the last 12 months, even.
Watson: So that's really interesting because part of what we're doing with Piper is being super transparent about like, we posted a video on our first day.
It was just me and Hannah. We were like, we're starting a business working out of our homes, like for now and still figuring this thing out. And it's brought in so much goodwill to us and we've had people be like, Oh my gosh, like you're telling people that you don't have an office. You're telling people that it's just the two of you.
It's like. I mean, that's what it is. Right. And it's refreshing. Like I started this based off a thesis. I thought it would work. It seemed like it made sense, but for someone who has found so much success in their industry to also embody that philosophy is reassuring for me. But I also think it's helpful for other people to feel a little more confident opening the kimono or just sharing where things stand because as you said sales is built on trust. And it's not always that people are buying for quality or the person with the biggest list of potential sales. It might be just, you're easy, you're nearby and I trust you because you're honest.
Teyssier: 100% . I mean, that's, the coach has even told me that I even have that in a lot of my abouts, especially on Zillow, "the most trusted agent, Zillow trusted agent." Cause that's a key word. That's a hot topic for a lot of buyers and sellers.
Watson: Make sense. I just remembered one more question as we're going on here, I apologize for going on so different skillsets. So real estate, once again, as an outsider, this all kind of rolls together, but there's a house flipper. There's a real estate agent. There's a real estate investor and probably a dozen other hats that I'm missing. But the idea that being skilled in one does not necessarily guarantee that you are skilled in another area. You're obviously a very effective agent. Do you also do real estate investing? How much of an overlap are those skillsets in terms of the full tool belt?
Teyssier: Right. So I used to do the flipping as we covered pretty extensively. I don't, for reasons I've already discussed. So that is the extent of my real estate investing so to speak. I do not have rentals because I just don't want to deal with that. And I don't do flips anymore for the reasons we said, but that's flipping and I didn't realize this there's a lot of times, Aaron, you may do stuff and you don't know what the results can be. You don't know why you're going to do it. There's a lot of times I do things and I'm like, I'm just going to try this, like an AB test. I'm going to try this and just see if anything comes out of it. So I flipped homes to have an income, but I didn't realize it was building an education in my brain of what things cost.
So now when I take first time, young home buyers such as yourself out and they're wide-eyed whenever we're going through all these houses, they go, Oh my God, I don't want to part with $125,000. I could tell them that the roof's in great shape, hot water tanks. You know, it's not good foundations. Great. So if I can go in there and kind of, if I didn't already have their trust, I'm going to gain their trust by like not being a salesman.
I'm going to be like their father or their parents and say, that, you know, you guys look at the paint colors and see if your furniture fits. I'm going to look at the roof, windows, hot water tank, air conditioner, and foundation. Cause that's, what's going to cost you the most money. You know, the roof's more at the end of its life than the beginning of its life.
So, you know, when you select an agent, I mean, there's no real way for a buyer to know that, but, I've always said it, hashtag who you work with matters and it really does.
Watson: Absolutely. Well, Brian, this has been fantastic. I feel like I just, you know, rang all the juice out of a piece of fruit with all this wisdom that we got.
So thank you for giving so much of yourself to this and so much of your time to us. I want to make sure that people can continue to learn from you. And so I want to provide the digital coordinates where they can best do so.
Teyssier: Digital coordinates, Google pull up www.google.com and just search "Brian sells Pittsburgh" should be pretty simple. The brand is consistent across LinkedIn, instagram, Facebook and YouTube. It should all be Brian sells Pittsburgh. I mean, if you can't find me that way, get a new computer.
Watson: Awesome. We're going to link that all in the show notes for this episode, goingdeepwithaaron.com/podcast is the easiest place to find it for this and every episode of the show or in the podcast app, where you're probably listening to this. But as we do at the end of each conversation, Brian, I want to give you the mic one more time for an actionable personal challenge for the audience.
Teyssier: That's right. So I want to make sure everybody understands this. So whether you're a young person just getting into a business, getting a job, working out, or you're an older person that's maybe trying to rebrand themselves.
What I find works for me the most is once I become comfortable, I become stagnant. I feel I become average. Average isn't necessarily bad. You can be making a lot of money and have a comfortable life as average, but if you're looking to be the best, if you were competitive, you have to get out of your comfort zone.
What I mean by that is make yourself uncomfortable. If you wake up every morning, have coffee and your jam jams, watch TV, answer a couple emails. That's comfortable. Something that makes me uncomfortable like to share with the audience is public speaking. For years, I've had nightmares of, you know, being in front on a stage at high school with just my underwear and everybody laughing at me.
So somehow that has made me uncomfortable with public speaking. So what I do is a couple of times a year, I'm offered to speak at Remax conventions or in front of other Remax people or other local agents. And I take that opportunity to sometimes create a presentation for them, or sometimes just sit on a panel where I will be in front of 250 other people .
Or I used to be one of those 250, and now I get to give back and I just, my palms are sweaty. I've got to beat a sweat on my forehead every single time when I'm on stage or wherever it is in front of a whole bunch of people with hundreds of eyeballs, just looking at me, waiting to see what's going to come out of my mouth.
Why I'm so scared of that, I don't know. But it's making yourself uncomfortable. When I'm done I feel like I threw on an extra layer of thick skin. You know how they say you need thick skin. I feel like I've got an extra layer of armor. I feel like I've grown from every time I accomplish that that fear of public speaking.
Watson: I love it. Well, I'm glad that you can even push that edge because there's a ton of wisdom here for you to unpack and share with other people. Thank you so much for coming on Going Deep With Aaron Watson.
Teyssier: I appreciate it. I hope people got something out of it.
Watson: Absolutely. Hope everyone out there has a fantastic day.