In a crowded industry where the median age is fifty-two, and buyers expect “experienced professionals” to sell their homes, is it possible for a young professional to carve his niche? Absolutely! In today’s Top Agent Podcast, Kosta interviews Bradly Watson, a Sutton Group Realtor in the Greater Toronto Area. Bradley is a highly successful agent at the age of twenty-seven, though he’s not a newbie. He got started over five years ago, when he was twenty-two, and currently makes over $150,000 a year in commissions.
Like most real estate agents, Bradley started his real estate career by working the phones, and focusing on prospecting in order to create his database. He would make it a goal to call at least 10 phone calls during lunch every day, until it started to pay off. Since the beginning of his career, Bradley saw the importance of having a strong social media presence. He strived to always provide useful and engaging content for his clients. Unlike thousands of real estate agents around Canada who are quite content with simply providing generic market updates (which he finds extremely boring), Bradley’s content focuses on valuable information for buyers and sellers.
Bradley goes on to say that although his social media marketing efforts are primarily focused on Facebook, Instagram has gained more and more ground recently, especially among young people. And as more emerging technologies such as block chain, A.I., cryptocurrencies, the internet of things, and augmented reality become commonplace, real estate agents will need to adopt them in order to remain competitive. To illustrate the point, Bradley described a home listed in Bitcoin in the GTA, whose price needed to be updated daily to reflect the daily exchange rate. At the end, Bradley was able to get an accepted offer for it in Canadian dollars, to the relief of his clients.
If you want to get a view of what the future of real estate will be, and the agents that are making it happen, listen to the podcast above. Or,if you want to get a more in-depth view of the conversation, you can also read the transcript below.
By the way, we’re providing exclusive promos to our listeners. Visit web4realty.com/topagent and get your first month on us.
Kosta: All Right, Bradley, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today. Thank you know, I’m excited to be here. Awesome. All right. I guess if you want to kick things off, maybe tell, tell our audience a bit about yourself, your background, and how you ended up becoming a realtor.
Bradley: Absolutely. Yeah, so I’m a pretty young fart right now. I’m actually 27, so I’m in this world that’s pretty high. I think the average age is in the fifties, so, uh, but I’ve been in the business for five years now. I went to university, uh, and uh, while I was there I was pretty heavy into student government and politics and uh, I paid for my school and was a really good networking opportunity, but I’m out of university. I kind of got stuck in a, an insurance role, uh, in the insurance industry, that I didn’t really like wasn’t enjoying it. And for me I love to learn. So my reflex was to go back to school and I decided that I would pursue a career in real estate. I’m so in my off times from the nine to five, I would just study, get the courses done and took about a year and a half to do.
Bradley: And I was kind of funny because you see a lot of old guys had a lot of second career individuals that are going through the courses and you see a real difference. So definitely intimidating as a young person, but um, I think on my end it seems overwhelming when you’re that young, but from everyone else’s perspective, they, they’re encouraging and they say, you know, what, you got a long road ahead of you and for me real estate is a first career and, and uh, if things progress as they will in this industry and it stays as strong as it is now, then I’ll be here until retirement if I retire. So I love what I’m doing. Yeah.
Kosta: Awesome. Love it. So you’re five years in as a realtor, what would you say some of our, or some of your biggest challenges you faced thus far in your early career as a real estate agent?
Bradley: Yeah, so I mean it’s kind of pointing at the first is my age because I started when I was 22. So that was a noticeable physical difference. The other, I think all realtors face that I faced was coming into a world where everyone already knows someone in the industry because there’s 70 some odd thousand realtors in the GTA. I, I kinda came into a very established a career path that already has people that have big names and so I think trying to differentiate was one of the biggest challenges. It took me a couple of years to, to find where my Nisha is. Yeah, I, I think, uh, one of the other things that kind of drew me deep into real estate beyond just a job, but making it something that I love was a investing and I think investing goes well beyond just the real estate transaction and it’s something I’ve become extremely passionate about.
Kosta: Yeah. You know what? I started pretty young with a Web4Realty as well. And uh, you know, there’s a lot of times there’s that stigma of dealing with some, with a younger person, but I mean, I think if you can just look past that and if you’re truly providing value to your clients and that’s all under shirts at the end of the day. Right? Absolutely. So one thing I love what you’re doing in particular your facebook videos, yeah, I think video content in general on all platforms is becoming a vital component to any businesses. Social Strategy and I got to say the content you’re putting out is very captivating. It’s interesting and very relevant. And whenever I see your videos pop up in my feet, I like, I’m actually listening and paying attention to them. So great job there. And I also think capturing someone’s attention nowadays with the constant stream of content we consume is very difficult. So what are some of your most effective marketing strategies that are providing you the most ROI? And if you’re going to comment on how your, your video content strategy is working, that’d be great as well.
Bradley: So I, part of starting any self employed sales role is prospecting. So for me in the first couple years it was phone calls, get a database, make a list, you know, 10 phone calls at lunch and all of those things. And it kind of worked. I got to build, you know, my first, maybe 50 good contacts, but from there it really limits where you can go. So I very rarely now will make cold even warm contacts. I very rarely will contact those individuals. It’s usually either hot or very warm contacts. Now my prospecting has been completely redirected to social media and video blogs that you’re kind of talking about. In fact, that I commit every Wednesday to putting out another video today, which actually were filming this on a Wednesday. I’m an, it’d be a putting one out on b trade war that’s going on between Canada and the US and how that impacts real estate prices here in the Greater Toronto area.
Bradley: So I’m always kind of looking at what’s fresh. Uh, I know there’s a lot of agents that are putting out general market updates, which I find her extremely boring. If I do mention market updates, it’s maybe a 32nd intro and then we move on to the real meat and potatoes. So definitely social media, video blogs, I post them on. I know you’ve probably seen them on facebook. I get several thousand. I think the highest post that had on a facebook reach a organically was 9,000, but on a typical week I’m about two to 3000 on a post. So that, yeah, that page is called GTA real estate. But then I also posted on a Youtube, Linkedin, Instagram, and those are all under the Watson estates brand. So, um, yeah. And then I mean outside of that, which is kind of, I’d say 80 percent of my leads that I have a new business come through him that I’d say the rest is from volunteering at my church and uh, you know, just kind of getting involved in the community.
Kosta: Question about the video. Do you find a one platform outperforming another? And in terms of video specifically?
Bradley: Yeah, yeah. Facebook hands down, which in in my mind it’s, it’s great because facebook is probably the strongest platform but intimidating because I’m seeing a lot of young people coming up and instagram. So right now I’m just, most of my efforts is streamlining my facebook content and then I’m going to be working on some branding and we’re going to be doing a major jump to instagram as well. That’s a, I think that’s the next big social hub.
Kosta: Okay, perfect. Perfect. That’s good to know. Alright, changing gears a little bit. I’m a numbers guy. I love talking revenue, margins, commissions, all that fun stuff. And my audience loves when I asked the question. So, uh, with that being said, do you mind sharing how many transactions you’ve closed in the last 12 months? Oh goodness.
Bradley: I’m okay. I’m extremely open and actually purse with my own numbers and I think that, that, I think people, even in my videos, I’ve published a lot of information on my stuff just for myself because I think it gives a. people want to listen to people that are successful and I think if, you know, there’s a lot of people spewing and don’t have any numbers behind it. My, this year, my goal for the twelfth month is about 150 and commissions. Um, pretax, so last year was a little bit harder because of the market turmoil, but this year we’re off to the races. Like I’ve got a, had a deal closed last week. I got one this week, I don’t know what the numbers are for transactions. I think it kind of floats around 15 to 20 in a year to do that, but a lot of them are clients that I’ve helped on several units or to buy and sell.
Kosta: Awesome. So you said a 150,000 in commissions is your goal?
Bradley: That’s my projected take home before the end of the year.
Kosta: Good stuff. In one of your videos you spoke about bitcoin and how a seller in the GTA listed their property in bitcoin that was curious. Was there any update on that which you can share?
Bradley: Well, the video when I had filmed it was actually all the information we could get on it. So, uh, the way from recollection that ended the, my, I’m pretty confident and closed in Canadian dollars. What was unique about it was it was listed in Bitcoin, so the agent needed to update it on a daily basis. There was really no update to be had from that. I haven’t looked if there’s been any other sense. I think that was a couple months ago that, that one, that video was filmed, but I actually filmed it, um, right before closing, but the deal was firms, so the terms of the contract aren’t public, so I can’t actually get any more information. We don’t know if it was actually sold in bitcoin or dollars. I, I would think, I’m guessing from a legal standpoint that it was done in Canadian dollars so that the lawyers didn’t rip their hair out, but I don’t know for sure.
Bradley: And there’s still a lot of work being done on how bitcoin is going to fit in the industry. So. So we might find that it, it could have happened. I don’t, I think it’s unlikely, but it’s interesting to see bitcoin kind of moving in this thing on the, that topic as well. Um, how do you see technology changing real estate in the next five to 10 years, whether it be with bitcoin and Cryptos or anything else that you’re noticing? Yeah. So that, so that’s definitely one point. Um, I, I’m already big into a electronic signatures which I know for a, some of the older people as kind of not worth learning, almost knowing that there are 10 years out from finishing their career, but I’m big into authentic sign, which is the one that tread recently signed, which is just an electronic signature, but I’ve been using signatures for the last year now.
Bradley: Um, and even for older clients, I find that super helpful. So I think that’s going to become the um, uh, the basis for all transactions will become electronic. That’s, that’s my opinion. Uh, but as far as like the home goes, I think you’re gonna start to see things like ai, augmented reality, those are going to play a bigger part in listings and buying and selling transactions and furnishing and that Kinda thing. Um, but even home technologies, you know, like the nest thermostats and automatic, like I just installed in my own place, uh, was uh, uh, APP, I’m programmed garage door opener and everything I think is going to become very smart. Uh, we’re already seeing that with things like Amazon and Google, so. Absolutely. Perfect. Now I want to be mindful of your time here. So I like to wrap up each interview with what I call the top three.
Kosta: So number one, what is your top real estate or business book that you’ve read recently?
Bradley: Yeah, I think, uh, I mean I’m not a big reader, but I love audio books, so I love to take content in constantly and I think the book that’s had the most impact on me is probably thinking grow rich Napoleon Hill and yeah, I think that’s kind of the baseline for everyone that’s written books since. So I think most of those ideas, so I’m big into the mindset and um, I think that that’s really what’s taken my business to the next level.
Kosta: How to win friends and Influence people. That’s one of my favorites. I think it’s so relevant for, for anyone in any profession, but more so for real estate, just fact that you’re dealing with people day in, day out. I think that’s a, that’s a really good one as well.
Bradley: Yeah, for sure I agree. I think that’s a great book. I, uh, I had heard that actually in talking to people and pretty high circles and uh, having read it, like it definitely holds up number two,
Kosta: What is your top vacation spot?
Bradley: Yeah. So I like to stay local, because uh, I mean I find it allows me to stay on Wifi, which can sometimes be tricky, but I do think my, my favorite vacation spot I’ve ever gone to, I don’t know if I would keep going, but I was. My honeymoon was in Costa Rica, which was very interactive. We did a lot of excursions. So I think that at this point it’s my favorite, but I’m waiting for the day that someone buys me. Yes. Take it to. And that’ll probably number one. I went to Costa Rica. Yeah, I was 27 years old.
Kosta: If you can go back seven years, what do you wish your 20 year old self knew?
Bradley: Yeah, so 20. I would have been, you know, in a university. So I think if I could go back and do something that would put my business even further along, I think the one thing would be power of relationships. I was very into like I interacted with a lot of people on a day to day and uh, more from a student government standpoint, but it had, I known that I would be in a sales oriented career. One that depends on relationships. I would have put way more emphasis in, you know, connecting with people. I think social media has helped me kind of backtrack a little bit, but having been more intentional in those days when I didn’t have to worry about me providing for our family would have been a great time to rub elbows. And I think that’s what I would do. And if people want to get a hold of you or reach out or can they find you? Yeah. So I just want to stay plugged in a facebook. They can go to the GTA real estate page. If they’re on youtube or Instagram, they can follow me at Watson estates if you’d like. I can, uh, I guess email if they’d like, they can email me Bradley at Watson estates dot Ca. That’s probably the least direct way to come at me. If you want my cell phone, people are welcome to message me.
Kosta: I’m happy to put all your details in the show notes by the way as well. Now I’m looking forward to your video today and it was a pleasure speaking with you. We should definitely do this again sometime. Sounds good. Thank you. Best of luck. Thanks again. Take care. Bye.
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