August 13

Zack Bryant & Kristian Kan On Building A Real Estate Firm

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Zack Bryant has been the top producing realtor in Creig's Company for the past 3 years and has been licensed since 2014.

Kristian was a top producer at Re/max before joining Zack in June 2018 to form the Bryant & Kan group of Northrop Realty. He became a realtor in 2013 after a career in the mortgage business.

The team is composed of 3 other agents. They are on track to close $50 million in volume in 2018.

They take a family first approach to their transactions and want to be known for advocating for and providing resources to clients long after they end a given transaction.

Podcast Highlights:

  • You can't truly tell how talented an agent is until you see them in action 
  • Don't get attached to the outcome
  • Pick your partners wisely because their behavior reflects on you

Contact Zack and Kris:

[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone, this is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the no limit selling podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster, get ready for another episode

Umar Hameed 0:32
today, I have the privilege of having Zack Ryan and Christian Khan, they're realtors, they're up and rising stars, and they just adding a team, which changes the dynamics of leadership. Gentlemen, welcome to the program.

Zack Bryan 0:44
Thank you.

Christian Khan 0:45
Thanks for having us.

Umar Hameed 0:47
So in 90 seconds, tell us who you are, what you do, and how do you distinguish yourself from the other 42? Can you believe 42,000 realtors in the state of Maryland? Wow,

Zack Bryan 0:57
that's a lot. So my name is Zack Bryant, born and raised in Baltimore, been a realtor for four years. And one of the things that separates Christian and I is that, you know, we've had a lot of success in the short time that we've been in real estate, but we're also looking to stay in the business as producers, in addition to growing our team, so a lot of realtors look to get out of the business fairly quickly. This is something that we're very passionate about. We love advising clients. And we're very interested in continuing to grow our team.

Umar Hameed 1:31
brilliantly. So how do you find your roles changing as you add other realtors underneath you? How does that change your role from what it used to be like? What's different? What's the same?

Zack Bryan 1:41
So I think what it comes down to is, you know, you go from success, which is an individual thing, to significance, which is where you can help other people. And I think what we found is that, you know, the individual success is great, but we really wanted to make a bigger impact and, you know, leave our mark and help others to achieve, you know, the level of success we've gotten to and more.

Umar Hameed 2:07
Christian, what makes this partnership work?

Christian Khan 2:10
So I think what makes any partnership work, and that's whether it's you know, whether it's friendship, marriage business, I think it's a it's equal parts that can combine to make a greater whole but

Umar Hameed 2:23
and by the way, let me give you a high five. That is the magic of building a team because this way too many teams out there where you have, we look at the individual pieces when they come together, the whole is less than the sum of the parts. And I think the goal always is how do we get people coming together and create something amazing, right? So sorry to interrupt, but that was like, awesome.

Christian Khan 2:42
No, no, no, I appreciate it. So and that was that was our that was our goal is, you know, can we build something bigger than we could build individually? And can we as Zack said, you know, significance over success? You know, what's your footprint? What are you leaving behind? And I think together, we realized we can really provide more resources for our agents, and help them at a higher level. That was really the main goal.

Umar Hameed 3:05
Brilliant. As you bring in agents, how can you tell the ones that are going to be highly successful from the ones that think they will? But can't?

Christian Khan 3:17
You can't?

Umar Hameed 3:19
You can't say how do you know

Christian Khan 3:20
like, you can't tell from the you know, from the start, you know, that's the heat.

Umar Hameed 3:23
I am totally amazing. In my resume, I just want you to know that. Give me an example of somebody coming on board that you thought would do an okay job, but they turned out to be amazing. Like, who's who's that person on your team?

Zack Bryan 3:34
I would say I would say Darnell, who, because we have three agents on our team as of right now. So it's Christian myself, three agents. And, you know, Darnell came in with no experience, he was a professional athlete. And, you know, he came in at the end of December, got his license, and he's been knocking out of the park, you know, and what we have to do is we have to continue to help him along and get into that next level, you know, and so he's had some success, you know, he knows that there's more to go. And, you know, he's not at his capacity, but he came in, and he sort of had that, that drive and I think that's what you that's what you look for, you look for, you know, the motivation level, what are the reasons why the person's doing it, you know, and if, typically, when the, typically when the reason is money, it's short lived, usually it's short lived, it's not the right fit, however you want to say it, because when you focus on money, you know, everything else falls by the wayside. And it's it's an empty feeling. But when you work on and focus on being, you know, a significant impact on in other people's lives, and, you know, you focus on the long game and the longevity and what you're going to be doing 510 and 20 years from now, I think that Darnell understands that and you just have to help them with the building blocks and we're, you know, as somebody who's newer in the business, I'm still learning so what I did was when I got in four years ago, I was coming from a career where I was in a nine to five position. I was in sales, I was pretty good, you know, but I didn't have an opportunity in my mind to really explode. You know, my potential, and I wasn't really in an environment or in a culture that, you know, encourage that. So, turning point for me was, I met Craig Northrop, really just kind of, I knew his son from the the career I was at. And I just sat down with him. And he basically said, Look, just just come over, do it, quit your job. My wife was a stay at home mom, I had no risk. Yeah, there was a lot of risk. But what happened was, he inspired me to turn that fear into excitement. So when I got right in, it was like, let's go,

Umar Hameed 5:50
the feeling is the feeling. It's not that the feeling transforms, is just we realize that it's excitement, and other people in your position would have labeled it fear. That's one of the things I really want the world to know is that, that we you feel that fear. So what is fear? Fear is that reptilian response to I gotta fight like hell or run like hell, because we're in danger. Human beings are at their most powerful, passionate, effective in that zone. That also happens to be labeled excitement. And so, so brilliant for you.

Zack Bryan 6:21
It's how you channel it, you know, and I think, Craig, one of the things that Craig said to me that I'll never forget this, he said, You'll thank me later. And so and you did that I did. I had a sense since thanked him several times. But you know, what it did? Was it it instilled the confidence. You know, it's, it's good to be confident in yourself. But when you have somebody else that believes in you and says, I think you can do it, when you might even be questioning it. I think that's what you know, that's what a partnership is about, with Kristian and I, we want to encourage and inspire each other and pick each other up, push each other along. But when you go with somebody like Craig Northrop, who, you know, is one of the most legendary real estate agents in history, and he's sitting there telling you, you got it. You know, that's powerful. So I think that was really all I needed. Because I was at a point in my career where I was like, Look, I don't want to wake up every day and do this. I don't care what the what the risk is, because I'm at a point where, if I stay where I am, I'm dying inside. Yep. You know.

Umar Hameed 7:19
So what's brilliant is like my definition of leadership, leadership has three primary responsibilities. One is to have one hell of a compelling vision that inspires the troops to say, this is worth taking a bullet for number two, building a culture where people actually the whole is much larger than the sum of the parts. And number three is long term shareholder value, when you got those three things happening. It allows that leader to help you suspend the fear that you have and go on the journey because you trust them. And it brings out the very best of who you are, how are you two gonna aspire to be able to do that for the people you're leading.

Christian Khan 7:56
So one of the reasons we really saw ourselves teaming up as something that would be more beneficial for our agents, you know, anybody that we that we are a leader for, in addition to, to our own growth, and our own potential was, we bring different different things to the table. So So I may have certain leadership qualities that Zack may not.

Umar Hameed 8:14
So give me an example like, so this is a good marriage, like my wife, and I am the big thinker. Let's go do it. She's the tactician and the reality check. And it's the balance of the focus on detail from her, and the vision from me, that allows us to function so what are the attributes you each bring to the table?

Christian Khan 8:32
So I think we both have, it's different, because I think we have, we have to have a lot of the same characteristics and the same traits to really have that same line of vision exactly to be able to align. But you also need to have, you know, you need to be counterparts in certain areas.

Umar Hameed 8:47
Where Where are you guys aligned? And where are you guys? Add value.

Christian Khan 8:52
So I think when you look at the big scope, we're aligned in the fact that we both have the same long term vision, we both see ourselves doing this for, you know, another 2030 years, at a very high level. But at the same time, we have the same initial why, you know, if you think about that, why that driving factor that fire, whatever wakes you up in the morning, you know, if it's not an alarm clock, what is it? And it's our family, you know, and I think it's a mixture of setting an example for our family, providing for our family, and leaving something behind that we can be proud of and that our family can be proud

Umar Hameed 9:22
of brilliant. And so what what do you bring to the table that Zach doesn't?

Christian Khan 9:26
So now finally answer that question that you've been asked? So I think we both bring different stuff, Zach brings more of the, he's connected. He's a connector, he knows everybody. He's he's he's, you know, big social guy, very involved in the community, always giving back and, you know, a lot of his his business has been built on that nice, it's very referral based, it's very organic. Whereas my business has been a combination of a little bit of that. But that's something that I hope to gain a little bit more from from zag. And I've also built my business more on a lot of the others. anything from the old school marketing to the new school marketing, you know, I'm big on digital marketing, everything from Facebook, social media, any kind of Google AdWords, I love that stuff. I love learning about it on a daily basis and getting better at it and kind of staying ahead of the curve, you know, whenever algorithms change, or anything happens that I think may affect my ads, on the first one to figure out, how's that gonna affect it? What can we do differently and get better at it?

Umar Hameed 10:25
Brilliant.

Zack Bryan 10:27
And I would say that spot on one of the thing that Christian I think helps me with a lot is, I am more of that big thinker, big picture guy. And one of the things that I that Christian does is he kind of can help bring me down to earth a little bit. And he's a little bit more of a realist, sometimes. He's also extremely disciplined. And he's a great example of that. And so, you know, it kind of drives me in that direction, as well. But I think you need somebody who's more detail focused, like you had mentioned, which is Christian, you know, we both love to deal with our agents deal with our clients. But again, I think sometimes my head gets in the clouds a little bit, which can be a good thing. But when you have somebody that can hold you accountable, and say, Okay, your heads in the clouds, but we need to be on Earth right now. Nice. He does that for me. And so I feel like when we first started talking and discussing this partnership, I knew that about him. And because we had done a transaction together a few years ago, just randomly, and then we became friends. And just in our interactions, like there is that difference of personality, you know, he's a little bit more analytical figure to say. And, again, I'm not so much now if I again, if you if you have to do certain things, he can jump into my room, I can jump into his round, but sort of our nature, and our default settings are different, and millions. So it works.

Umar Hameed 11:49
And it's that culture and that respect that allows you to stay in your lanes and come over when you need to. But having trust in the other person's going to have your back is is huge.

Zack Bryan 12:02
And I think we I mean, I can say that, I definitely feel like that.

Umar Hameed 12:05
This is a really highly effective real city like Bethesda, Northern Virginia kind of area. Her name is Carrie shul. And her team does about $250 million a year, I presented on the same stage as her and one of the things I took away was for her, it's very analytical. It's about tracking marketing, what's working, somebody in the crowd asks, you know, how many telephone numbers do you have? And she asked one of her assistants, we have 150 telephone numbers, because each ad has a different telephone number. So you can measure exactly what we're doing and change it as the climate changes to be super successful. You need that compelling vision, you need the leadership skills, then you need that math to make the entire machine work. So let me ask you a question. We all have amazing stories of how powerful and effective we are. But we also have those times where we were ineffective. And one of those things, we had to learn a lesson to move forward. Do you want to do you have one of those things in your real estate career was like, Oh, my God, this was like an important lesson might even have been an expensive lesson. Do you have one of those because I think a lot of times people that are successful, talk about the good stuff. But I think what people really need to know is we're all humans, and that's how we learn.

Zack Bryan 13:17
Yeah, I think for me, some sometimes when you when you first get into real estate, when I first got in, I remember I was being very emotional about a lot of different things in the beginning, like, you know, you were attached to the outcome, I was attached to the outcome big time. And so there's kind of a, there's a transition that happens as you get in, you first start, you know, and again, you're in a commission based job. And whether you focus on the money or not, you have to make sales to make a living and to have a life. So when you're new in the business, and you don't have a lot going on, and maybe you're the income winner on the in the family, those those can get tense. So what happened for me was, there were several times where in the very beginning, I tied my emotions to the outcome. And it was almost probably perceived as desperation from the other side. And the transition that takes place is, you know, in a negative way, you then become you make yourself become numb to everything which can affect your home life can affect your personal relationships. Then the next step, sort of the next better step is then saying, okay, I can be emotional sometimes that's okay. It's normal and healthy. But I also need to know when I need to be objective, and I need to be just an advisor. And so that's what makes us good is that now, you know, we know when we can turn it on and turn it off of okay, now I got to put my real estate hat on now I gotta be dad. I got to be friend, I got to be husband. But I think there's been times where I've maybe gotten a bit of bad news and I can remember specific examples, several where I've gotten bad news, say maybe about a home inspection or a deal fell through. And I immediately called my client, right Right, like intense emotion going on, when it probably wasn't in my or their best interest to be having that conversation at that point. So now I think the lesson that I learned there is, sometimes you need to wait a little bit, and you need to let everything settle and think about what you're going to say, and come at it from, you know, you're you're the coach, you know, we're the coach in this in this business. So we have to come to our clients and say, How can I help them? It's not about me, right about how I feel about what's going on. It's about how can I get them the outcome that they deserve, and why they hire me,

Umar Hameed 15:35
there's a difference between attachment and commitment. And a good example of that is when you have somebody that is, all their friends have girlfriends or wives, they don't. And the more they try and connect with women, the more repulsive they become. And one day they say, That's it, I'm giving up on women, they're all crazy. I'm not going to waste my time anymore. And that weekend, they're at a grocery store, somebody drops a can of beans, they pick it up, because they have no attachment anymore. And they find like, Miss right immediately. And it was almost like the universe, when you're like attached to something repels you, as soon as you let go, then some amazing stuff happens. And people can feel that right. Absolutely. Other end. Absolutely. I

Zack Bryan 16:17
mean, yeah, when you get to a point where and I tell my clients all the time, you know, when they're, they'll say things like, Oh, I feel bad. If it falls, I feel bad for you, right? And I say it's not about the transaction, you know, my goal is to be here for you forever, you know what I mean? So this one is a lifetime relationship. Correct. So, I'm not worried about this deal falling through, you know, what I mean, I'm worried about you being taken care of more than anything else. And when you look at it, and you truly believe that, that's where you become super successful. And what's

Umar Hameed 16:49
amazing is like, if you talk to 100, realtors, they're gonna say the customer is number one, and we're going to do amazing things for the customer. And it's gonna be fantastic. So much, so it becomes cliche. And for customers, when something goes sideways, and the realtor steps up and does something amazing. That's when they go, Wow, this is a realtor for life. Because it sets you apart from the rhetoric and you're actually living in.

Christian Khan 17:12
Yeah, I fully agree. I mean, it, that's one of those things, it's all about, it's all about the expectations you set and the perception that you put out there. So I think we're getting to the point where, and again, this goes back to why we partnered up, I think one of the big reasons is, you know, the same way when you get married, you know, now friends and family and anybody you meet, what you know, they associate you guys together, you know, right, whatever you do looks bad on her, it looks good on her whatever she does, looks bad or good on you. So, you know, we really, I think we've always been very intentional on on our reputation and our perception, both professionally, you know, with the community with it with anybody, you know, we I think, I'd like to say we're both, you know, pretty well respected. And we've conducted ourselves in a way that warrants that. So when Zach and I talked about the whole partnership, that was one of the things that you know, you're putting, you're putting your reputation on the line now, you know, with someone else. So and that's some something that I think the more we talked about it, the more we felt very comfortable that if there's anybody we're going to partner up with, you know, that that's who it was. And now I think what it ended up doing is now our clients really just, you know, that they really see us at, you know, at a more almost more about more of a higher level than they did before because now they realize, you know, we partnered up, we're building something bigger, we really, you know, we really care to be able to give more to, to our clients, our agents, everybody that's involved with us. And we realized that, you know, that was the way to do it was by having more resources, more resources, having more more people, more minds involved for every decision we make. So, you know, that's kind of that's kind of where we're headed with

Umar Hameed 18:49
that Christian you've been in the business for about five years, right? What's something you know, now that you wish you would have done or known sooner that would have actually made your career more successful?

Christian Khan 19:01
Can I can I give two things absolutely. So So I think number one is surrounded myself with a culture that is really you know, focused on growth and focused on that, you know, that high level success but also that that community and camaraderie and you know, the big picture I think that's something that just in the recent months being with being with Zach and being with with Northrop Realty that's something that has I think exponentially changed my mindset and and it's just it's raised that perceived ceiling to another level so that's something and again it's that whole you know, that whole thing you you're on with the people that are running seven minute mile, you're gonna run a seven minute mile you know, you do you run in 650 you feel great.

Umar Hameed 19:47
If I run one more minute, milers may be dead. Anyway, I

Christian Khan 19:50
get the point. Now I feel like I went from from that seven minute mile crew to running with the four minute mile. Brilliant. So that's one now I'm trying to catch up and that's exciting for me. You know that It drives me broke down. So that's number one is surround myself with a different culture. Number two is more on the, you know, I guess you know more more industry specific more on the on the real estate side of things, I would have come to a full service, full service brokerage, where I am now, that actually helps you with a lot of the daily

Umar Hameed 20:21
tasks and actually focus on what's most important. Exactly, exactly. And

Christian Khan 20:25
you know, a lot of people call that leverage, call it whatever you want, but it's just being somewhere. And it may be different places for different people, but being somewhere where, you know, you can focus on what you love, and really what's most beneficial for you and your clients, which in my opinion, is that face to face time or you know, phone time with clients, to develop the business, grow the business in service your clients,

Umar Hameed 20:46
what's something you know, now that you wish you knew earlier, that would have allowed your career to be successful faster.

Zack Bryan 20:52
So this year, specifically, one of the things that I've learned and come to understand and accept is that this is all about relationships exclusively for me. So meaning, my focus this year has been reconnecting, reconnecting with clients that, you know, over the four years, I didn't pay a lot of attention to because, you know, the value that they have to me is they trusted me, nice. And so I want to be that person for everyone I deal with now that pay, you need a dry cleaner, I got the person you need someone to come detail your car, I got the person, I'm a problem solver. I'm

Umar Hameed 21:30
in your corner, right.

Zack Bryan 21:32
So what I've done this year is I've made a big push to just reconnect and just meet with and talk to the people that have put their trust in me. And focus on that exclusively, including the people like Christian Craig, the agents on our team, the other people that work for the company, other agents in the business vendors, I've worked with people that have helped contribute to the success I've had in my career, and just sort of going back and only focusing on those people. Because what I realized is if you talk about a market shift, or a recession happening, which it will help, it will come you can sort of they call it recession proofing your business,

Umar Hameed 22:10
whether it long more easily easily, right? So it turns out that, you know, just like every other industry technology is coming in and just change the entire dynamics. What they're saying is that realtors that have those strong relationships will be highly valued and will be around people that just have that transactional relationship. They're not going to survive. There'll be a robot or a Autobot somewhere doing the transaction for them.

Zack Bryan 22:35
Yeah, and I don't I don't necessarily look at that as a negative thing. Because I read up I read Inman, which is like the Wall Street Journal for real estate. And if you if you look at that, it's essentially the tech that's coming into the real estate realm. It's coming from the west coast and it's moving east. So Seattle, LA, San Francisco, Phoenix, Arizona, right? A lot of the there's something called ibuyer programs, which are basically Zillow, for example, is going in buying homes themselves and then reselling them, but they are using agents. Now, that's another argument, you know, with Zillow is Zillow is selling our data back to us, which is interesting. As long as we're the central hub for the data, they have it to sell back to us, the concern would be if the consumer goes straight to Zillow, but the agents that focus on the humanistic value of what we do, ie relationships and long term sustainability and trust, are going to be somewhat immune to the speed and the efficiency that some people look for in just the Tech because just like a lawyer or a doctor, you know, we're a very important piece of their lives. And we need to hold ourselves to that standard. And the ones that don't, you know, they're going to be the first ones to go by the wayside when the tech comes in. And, and like you said, the auto box and just different things that are able to be automated can come in and take away, but there's a lot of things that they can't take away and the bigger that your list is of those things, the longer you're going to be successful in the business no matter what happens with tech. At the

Umar Hameed 24:03
end of the day, when we came together as human beings into tribes. It was that human connection way back when the height of our technological greatness, it comes down to the very same thing that we're all connected. And I want to thank both of you guys for sitting down with me. I always learned something cool on each one of these interviews.

Christian Khan 24:24
Thank you for having us. I mean, podcasts like this interviews like this, this is really what you know, it excites me learning every day is what makes all of us better. So you know opportunities like this are you know, I'm beyond thankful.

Umar Hameed 24:40
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at no limit selling.com I've got a free mind training course there that's going to teach you some insights on the world of neuro linguistic programming, and that is the fastest way to get better results.


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