Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Top Agent Happy Hour Podcast helps agents build a real estate career worth celebrating. Brought to you by Pearson Smith Realty, a fast-growing brokerage serving the Virginia, Maryland, DC and West Virginia markets.

By featuring top producers, industry insiders and team leaders, Top Agent Happy Hour provides a platform to pull back the curtain, sharing secrets and actionable ideas for attracting clients, delivering great service, and closing deals. We also take agents beyond the deal, sharing how to connect with your WHY, be authentically awesome, and build your desire to be the best YOU, you can be!

Feb 13, 2019

Independent brokerages offer many great opportunities and benefits, but they require a leader with vision and focus. Why is culture so important in this model, and how do you make it something real and tangible at every level of the business? How can you create a collaborative environment?

On this episode, independent brokerage leader John Costello shares on what it takes to go from 20 to 170 agents in 2.5 years. 



Three Things We Learned From This Episode

Why John switched from flipping to buy-and-hold

As more contractors have gotten into flipping, the profit margins have shrunk. You’ll find yourself bidding against people who can do the work cheaper. John switched his strategy to a "buy and hold" model. From a profitability standpoint, putting 20-30% down and then earning between $500 and $1,000 a month is a solid return.  


The benefits of livestream training

Offering livestream training to agents creates a huge learning opportunity at their own convenience. It’s evergreen, they can consume the content from anywhere, and they can never give the excuse that training wasn't made accessible to them.


The biggest mistake agents make

One of the biggest mistakes new agents make is jumping onto too many things to the point where they never really get any traction. What really helps you get moving in the beginning is consistency and long-term thinking, not short-term gratification.


Independent brokerages are ships that can move and steer easily and quickly, but running them correctly still requires planning and real intention. Success for independent and non-franchise brokerages comes down to having the right partners and being very culture-driven. As the leader, you have to have a clear vision, verbalize what it is, and then build a plan around it.


Guest Bio

John is the founder/owner of Costello Real Estate and Investments. Go to for more information.