Level Up - From Agent to Entrepreneur

Level Up - From Agent to Entrepreneur header image 1

The Market has Already Shifted, But It’s Not an Up-Down Shift

When real estate agents hear the term “market shift”, we usually brace for a market crash, but what if it’s more subtle than that? 


When huge shifts happen, there are always leading signs and indicators. Over the last few months, there’s been a noticeable change in the conversations buyers and sellers are having, and agents should pay attention and adjust their approach. 


What are buyers and sellers thinking about now that they weren’t considering last year? How do we respond to this change? In this episode, we talk about the market shift that has already happened, and what it tells us.

"When the conversation among buyers and sellers starts to shift, that’s a very early indicator that something else may follow." -Greg Harrelson



Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  


  • How buyer behavior has shifted
    Two months ago, buyers were trying to win the multiple offer scenarios, why are they more hesitant today? 


  • Why we have to pay attention to leading indicators
    Some of the biggest trends and indicators of a shift aren’t even showing up in closings yet. What are the agents who are paying attention noticing right now? 


  • The only approach to take when the client’s dialogue changes
    When the buyer or seller shifts the conversation, the agent’s tendency is to try and get them to shift back. Why is this a mistake?

Want to Create Extraordinary Results in Your Business? Commit to the Ordinary Activities That Lead to Success

Unbelievable success in business is a byproduct of discipline, focus, skill, consistency, work ethic and habit, but the result isn’t what’s extraordinary or commendable. 


What we should celebrate is the ability to follow a simple process consistently, even in the face of boredom and the lure of shiny, new things.  


How do we relentlessly get better at the ordinary activities that lead to success, and stick to the core fundamentals when boredom sets in? 


In today’s episode, we share insights on what it takes to achieve an uncommon level of success, and the biggest challenge you’ll face on this journey.


"Going all in on the new opportunity is letting go of your core, that’s called a replacement. If you keep your core and you explore the new opportunity, that’s an enhancement." -Greg Harrelson



Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  


  • Why success isn’t as glamorous as you think

    Extraordinary results come from the repetition of ordinary activities. What are “listing machine” agents doing every single day to perform at a high level?


  • How to stay consistent when repetition and consistency gets boring

    Human beings seek out and crave change, which flies in the face of the consistency and repetition needed to achieve anything extraordinary. How do we keep our need for variety away from our business fundamentals? 


  • The difference between an enhancement and a replacement

    An enhancement adds to our core fundamentals, a replacement eliminates the fundamentals. Why is the latter a risky move?

How Dom Santaniello Left Corporate & Built a Downturn-Proof, Cash Flowing Real Estate Business in 18 Months

Building on the right model and focusing on the right metrics is the key to getting the early wins, and setting yourself up for a profitable future. Success isn’t just about a return on investment, it’s about a return on your time. In a volatile market, net cash flow and a steady ship is more important than appreciation and big numbers. 


In today’s episode, we’re joined by a real estate entrepreneur who left corporate, and started a brokerage and investing operation that weathered the financial storm of 2020. 


How did he reverse engineer a successful transition from corporate to entrepreneurship? Why is he more focused on cash flow than net worth in this market? 


In this episode, real estate broker, investor, entrepreneur, active landlord and co-owner of Naples Home Buyers & Naples Realty Group, Dom Santaniello shares how to build a solid real estate operation from the ground up and bring it to stability in 18 months. 


"Our portfolio value is going to go down, based on where we are in the market. We’re focused on building the cash flow that’s going to power us through the downturn." -Dom Santaniello




Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  


  • How to leave corporate and have a soft landing in real estate

    Could you be losing money and valuable time holding onto your fixed salary, and how can you cover your living expenses with your first rental property? 


  • Why net cash flow is the most important metric with rentals

    As markets shift, the value of your portfolio is going to fluctuate. How do we make sure our “salary” stays the same even if our “stock price” goes down?


  • The power of combining real estate sales and investing

    Being an investor makes you a better agent, and being an agent makes you a better investor. How does Dom Santaniello use both to create the ultimate service for clients? 

Guest Bio- 


Dom Santaniello is a real estate broker, investor, entrepreneur, active landlord and co-owner of Naples Home Buyers & Naples Realty Group. Prior to working as a Real Estate Broker, Investor and Entrepreneur, he worked as a Natural Gas Pipeline Engineer for Kinder Morgan, the third largest energy company in North America. Dom earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from The University of Hartford where he graduated in the top 10% of his class. Dom has also earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from American International College.


Dom’s main role in Naples Home Buyers is Business Development, Lead Generation & Project Acquisitions. Dom has brought a unique perspective to the local real estate market and is fueled by a strong foundation of analytical, financial and sales skills. The Naples team specializes in buying distressed properties, adding value through capital improvements, stabilizing the property with market rents (where applicable) and then either refinancing or selling the property. Since 2020, Dom and his business partner, Luke Giusto, have closed over 50 deals together that range from Single Family fix & flips to Multi-family Buy & Holds and Multi-family BRRR projects. They have quickly built a seven-figure rental property portfolio that consists of over 25 stabilized, turnkey, Class B+ units that produce an average of $500-$650 NET profit per door.

For more information, visit https://www.naples-group.com/ or contact Dom directly dom@naples-group.com.

Stop Letting Your Money Slip Through Your Fingers! Chris Naugle Shares How to Start Thinking Like the Wealthy

Real estate agents are great at generating money in hot markets, but when it comes to keeping it in down markets, not so much


Where are we going so wrong, and how should we be switching up the strategies we’ve used until this point? Is it even possible to stay in a strong financial position in any market?


In this episode, America’s #1 Money Mentor, Chris Naugle shares why if we want to get the same results as the wealthy, we have to start thinking like them. 

"Treat your money the same as you treat the bank’s money. If you’re okay giving the bank your money to hang on to, why not put it in a different place, where you have full control over it?" -Chris Naugle


Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  


  • Why we’re thinking about money ALL WRONG!

    Have we been duped into thinking we’re making smart financial decisions all along, when really, we’re only shooting ourselves in the foot? 


  • How to start behaving like the bank

    If banks are using our money to make more, what’s stopping us from mimicking them? 


  • How to earn compound interest WHILE using our money

    Is it possible to earn compound interest while retaining complete access to our money? 

Guest Bio- 


From pro-snowboarder to money mogul, Chris Naugle has dedicated his life to being America’s #1 Money Mentor. With a core belief that success is built not by the resources you have, but by how resourceful you can be.


His success and national acclaim have come in large part to what he’s learned first-hand from seeking a better way to wealth creation and preservation than he learned growing up.


Chris has built and owned 19 companies, with his businesses being featured in Forbes, ABC, House Hunters, and his very own HGTV pilot in 2018. He is currently founder of The Money School™, and Money Mentor for The Money Multiplier.


His success also includes managing tens of millions of dollars in assets in the financial services and advisory industry and in real estate transactions.


As an innovator and visionary in wealth-building and real estate, he empowers entrepreneurs, business owners, and real estate investors with the knowledge of how money works.


Chris is also a nationally recognized speaker, author, and podcast host. He has spoken to and taught over ten thousand Americans delivering the financial knowledge that fuels lasting freedom.


To find out more, go to:



Being a Leader is No Easy Feat: Are You Ready for the Challenge of a Lifetime? w/Kevin Kauffman

Building a successful business isn’t easy, but those who reach the top would agree that it’s all worth it in the end. The only question is, where do we start?


What are the first steps towards building a flourishing organization, and what are the pitfalls we need to navigate? Is there ever a single path to success, or do we need to tweak our approaches, every step of the way?


In this episode, Co-Founder of Group 46:10 Network and Co-Host of The Kevin and Fred Show, Kevin Kauffman shares how he built a burgeoning business with the end in mind. 


"When you start your own business you’ve got to be a beginner again and you WILL go backward in income." -Kevin Kauffman



Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  


  • 1 question to ask ourselves ahead of any big change

    What do we need to think about before shifting from solo agent to real estate team, or a small team to a large one?


  • The hard conversation we need to have as leaders

    How can we give ourselves a healthy level of tough love? 


  • How to build a referral-based business that sees results

    Everyone wants a referral-based business, but how do we make it a reality?


Guest Bio- 


Kevin Kauffman is the co-founder of the Group 46:10 Network, an organization whose mission is to produce extraordinary results, influence people, and impact lives by way of its real estate team. Consistently named as one of the Wall Street Journal and RealTrends Top 1,000 Real Estate Agents in the United States, Kevin, and his team sell over 350 homes annually and rank in the top 1% of all real estate agents in the country. Currently serving clients in 5 states and 7 major metropolitan areas, the Group 46:10 Network is also ranked amongst the top of all Keller Williams International teams. Their primary focus is to identify top real estate talent who are of an entrepreneurial mindset, who are passionate about their mission, and about customizing the home buying process to align with each client’s unique needs and personal goals.

Kevin is the co-host of The Kevin and Fred Show podcast. 


To find out more, visit: 




The Critical Decision That Will Keep Your Brokerage Alive For The Next 10 Years w/Jeff Cohn

The smartest real estate team leaders aren’t just thinking about what’s happening now, they are obsessed with positioning themselves for the future. 


To be relevant over the next decade, we have to think beyond the traditional role of a real estate company. The successful brokerage of the future has to build a conglomerate of value by focusing on the most pressing needs of the agent. 


How can leaders anticipate the needs of agents and locate themselves in a prime position to deliver value? What are the key pillars that have to exist in the real estate business of the future? 


In this episode, we’re joined by the owner at kwELITE and host of the Team Building Podcast, Jeff Cohn. We talk about what agents, coaches, and brokerages need to do to remain relevant in a fast-changing real estate industry. 

"The future of successful brokerages will be a conglomerate of 4 companies that fall under the same umbrella - coaching, lead generation, marketing, and contract management." - Greg Harrelson



Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  


  • Why the world of coaching is evolving

    What will the coaching company of the future look like, and how do we create a service that meets the expectations of today’s content consumers? 


  • How to stay in business and thrive in the future

    What is the obvious but overlooked conversation brokerage leaders need to have if they want to succeed going forward? 


  • The power of pain in the journey to success

    How does stretching ourselves and finding our pain zone outside of our business lead to growth in the business? 

Guest Bio- 


Jeff Cohn is a nationally renowned speaker, owner at kwELITE, and host of the Team Building Podcast. As founder of Omaha’s Elite Real Estate Group, now kwELITE, he led his team from 70 to 700 transactions in 6 years and was awarded the #1 team in unit sales in the world at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in 2019. Since beginning his real estate career in 2006, Jeff’s team has closed over 5,000 sales, totaling over $1 billion in volume.


Devoted to ongoing learning throughout his career, Jeff has forged strategic relationships with industry leaders across the country, listened to thousands of hours of podcasts, and read hundreds of books, providing him with a vast knowledge base. Jeff is considered a foremost real estate expert due to these efforts, and as founder and CEO of Elite Real Estate Systems, a coaching company, offers the annual Team Building Summit, monthly workshops, and weekly coaching calls. As a credit to his extensive know-how, Jeff speaks frequently at various events throughout the US and Canada.


For more information, visit https://www.kwelite.com/

Battle of the Business Models: The Future of Teams and Brokerages in the Real Estate Renaissance w/Brett Jennings

For the past few decades, brokerages have been the mainstay of the real estate business, but as the industry goes into a renaissance, that’s set to change.


Why are so many agents shifting from brokerages to teams, and from teams to ‘team-erages’? Which organizations are most likely to last in the long term, and what can we do to retain more of our agents, regardless of the model we choose?


In this episode, Founder of Real Estate Experts, Brett Jennings returns to explain how to hold on to agents and continue seeing results in an ever-changing business. 

"The brokerage industry may be on its heels, but those willing to provide value that leads to success will always stay relevant." -Brett Jennings



Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  


  • What makes the traditional brokerage model unattractive to agents

    Where did brokerages go wrong, and what can they do to get back on track?


  • The key distinction between teams and brokerages

    Why does it seem like so many teams are operating as brokerages with a new name? Is there a major difference? 


  • How to give agents more WITHOUT sacrificing profitability

    The key to retention lies in providing a ton of resources, but is it possible to do that without shrinking our profit margins? 

Guest Bio- 


Brett Jennings is the owner and founder of Real Estate Experts. He is an award-winning luxury home marketing specialist and also holds a certificate in negotiation from Harvard Law. In 2017, the Wall Street Journal recognized Brett and his team as one of the top 250 real estate groups in the United States. With over one million agents in the country, this prestigious award places Brett in the top 1/10th of the top 1% among his peers.


Although these statistics are impressive, Brett’s true passion is helping people make smart real estate decisions that positively transform their lives. His extensive background in real estate, finance, and life coaching enables him to draw from a deep well of life experience as he helps his clients make informed, intelligent decisions. In a fluctuating real estate landscape, the expertise and attention he provides are necessary and rare.


Described by his peers and clients as energetic, focused, determined, and engaged, Brett always goes above and beyond. He provides his buyers access to his curated list of over 250 off-market properties, and his sellers benefit from his market-proven home selling process that has set record-breaking prices in almost every neighborhood he sells in. His best-selling book, The New Rise in Real Estate, serves as a further resource for clients wanting to make the most of the current market.


Brett is a charismatic leader who cares as much about his team as he does about his clients. His commitment to delivering a five-star service experience for every client is carefully crafted by a hand-picked, all-star team that consists of transaction coordinators, renovation, marketing, listing, and buyer specialists, all dedicated to offering the highest standard of care in the industry.


To find out more, go to: 



You’ve Got Everything it Takes to Start Your Own Business: Here’s the Path to Take w/Rhyan Finch

Many agents have the desire to start their own businesses, but they just don’t have the confidence to take the first steps. What will it take to change that?


What are the key things agents need to know before becoming business owners? Is there anything we can do to prepare? How can we ensure that once we do have our own businesses, we keep seeing great results in the long term?


In this episode, Founder of 1st Class Real Estate and 1st Class Franchising, Rhyan Finch shares how he successfully made the leap from agent to entrepreneur. 

"Everybody is scared of moving onto the next level of business because they don't know their numbers. The easiest solution is, look at your numbers!" -Rhyan Finch



Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  


  • How to move past the uncertainty of running a business and just do it

    What’s the main thing stopping agents from taking the next step, and what can we do to move past the obstacle, once and for all? 


  • How to stay ahead of the herd in any market

    What can we do to differentiate ourselves from all the other business owners in our space?


  • How to keep calm in the face of challenges as an agent-turned-entrepreneur

    Challenges are inevitable, and as business owners, we need to accept that, rather than try to fight it. How can we deal with problems as calmly as possible, so they don’t need to halt our progress? 


Guest Bio- 


Rhyan is the broker, owner, and founder of 1st Class Real Estate and 1st Class Franchising. In 2005, he became a licensed real estate agent with a nationally known franchise firm in Virginia Beach and quickly exploded as he gained 100+ listings on the market after finding his niche in short sales. Rhyan became certified in Distressed Properties, Short Sales, & Foreclosures. As a new agent, Rhyan had great success and earned the Re/Max International 100% Club in 2007 and 2008.


In 2008, Rhyan gave himself a promotion and started his own Real Estate Team - The Rhyan Finch Real Estate Team. He began with 1 agent (himself!) and quickly grew to 5 agents within just a few months. At the time, Rhyan recognized what was going on with the real estate market and when the bust came he quickly became an expert on distressed properties. In five years Rhyan had taken his newfound real estate career in a crashing market to the number one team in Hampton Roads after joining forces with his sister Rhendi.


In 2012, the team grew to selling over 900 homes and consequently was named the #7 Real Estate Team in the US by the Wall Street Journal and the #1 Platinum Mega Team In Hampton Roads by the Realtor Association. After this track record of success, Rhyan decided it was time for the team to branch out and founded 1st Class Real Estate, an independent real estate firm located in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  


Now, as CEO and Principal Broker, he has led the company to rank in the top 4% of real estate companies in the Hampton Roads area, over 700 agents, and 50+ locations nationwide. His powerful leadership, knowledge, and desire to excel has proven a track record of success for exponential growth. Rhyan started this company with one goal in his heart - to change lives so here at 1st Class Real Estate, our mission is to “change lives and sell a few homes along the way…”.


With a desire to do more and give more, Rhyan is on a mission to increase the success rate of all of those in this industry. Using tips and trade secrets, he has now franchised their proven and winning model to help the everyday real estate agent grow their own real estate team in their local markets all over the country.  


To find out more, visit:


How to Convert Your Internet Leads at a Higher Level and Build Long-Lasting Relationships that Bring in a Ton of Business w/Paul Diaz

Internet leads are not referrals, and just because someone clicks our content doesn’t guarantee their business. The question is, how do we convert them? 


What does it take to turn an internet lead into a client? How can we bridge the gap from a click online to connection offline?


In this episode, National Sales Director at BoldLeads, Paul Diaz shares his foolproof formula for conversion. 


When you get a hold of an internet lead, all you have is your word over the phone, so credibility is key in the early stages. -Paul Diaz



Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  


  • The starting point for any script that we need to master

    Are we asking our leads enough questions? What does a good question sound like, anyway?


  • The importance of coming from curiosity

    There’s a story behind every decision, from choosing to move forward with a transaction to staying put. How do we unearth them?


  • How to practice active listening

    How can we show our leads that we're not just listening to them, but hearing them? 

Guest Bio- 


Paul Diaz is the National Sales Director at BoldLeads. While not an agent, Paul has an impressive track record in real estate, and has served as an ISA at a number of companies, including Zillow, since 2014. A rockstar on the phone, Paul is celebrated in the industry for his brilliant communication skills and being able to close anyone.


To find out more, go to:


How to Keep Your Eyes on the Prize and Stay Laser-Focused on Your Long-Term Goals As A Newbie Agent w/Hunter Baiden

Real estate affords more opportunities for success than any other industry, and even newbie agents can make their dreams a reality in a short space of time. That being said, it can feel a little daunting diving into the space as brand new agents.


How can first-time agents supercharge their results and get on the fast track to success? Once we’ve made a splash in our early days, how do we keep up the momentum?


In this episode, C21 The Harrelson Group agent, Frank ‘Hunter’ Baiden shares how he’s made his mark in just 3 years.

"Be consistent from day one, then take that consistency and determination and put it behind a systematic approach." -Hunter Baiden


Three Things You’ll Learn In This Episode  


  • How to stay committed long-term

    Anyone can bring their A-game on their first day. How do we stay committed once real life sets in? 


  • The key to building confidence as a newbie

    How can we get better at conveying our knowledge when we’re new to real estate? 


  • Why having a ‘why’ is only step one

    Knowing what motivates us is extremely important, but what else do we need to think about to stay committed?

Guest Bio- 


Frank ‘Hunter’ Baiden is a real estate agent at C21 The Harrelson Group. Despite only getting started in 2019, Hunter has made a massive impact in his market, and thanks to his absolute dedication, he’s on track to not only reach but surpass his goal of 100 transactions in his third year. Born and raised on the Grand Strand, Hunter is passionate about elevating his community and giving back to the area that shaped the man he is today. 


To find out more, visit:



And to find out more about the resources mentioned in this episode, go to https://www.realestatesalessolutions.com/

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App