Real estate is one of the top five biggest investments a person makes during their lifetime. When making a decision that large, it is important to not only work with someone you trust, but to also be educated on the process.
In 2006, Ryan Peterson partnered with long-time friend Brian Reed to create The Ryan & Brian Real Estate Team. Their partnership has now expanded to a team of 13 people, and they continue to grow and thrive in the Rio Grande Valley real estate market. They sat down with VBR to talk a bit about their growth and success over the last 13 years.
Q: How did you get into real estate at the beginning?
Ryan: For me, what got me going was watching my family’s business. I come from a farming background. My family farmed in Rio Grande City since the 50s. It was neat to watch them shift from farming to developing. I got to learn from seeing how that took place and how they expanded Rio Grande City. That’s what inspired me to get into real estate to begin with.
Brian: For me, it was a long winding road. I started out in college in biomedical science, but I knew quickly I didn’t want to go to medical school. Then I ended up with a finance background and started working in that field right out of college. I loved finance, but I realized quickly that people were making money in real estate. I started with an A&M company in Houston doing appraisals because I figured if you don’t know anything about real estate, you should at least know how to value real estate. After that, to be closer to family, my wife and I moved back to the Valley and that’s when Ryan and I teamed up.
Q: How has Ryan & Brian evolved?
Brian: When we began, I started working on the commercial side of real estate, and Ryan was working in development. When the market started shifting in 2009, it affected us because people weren’t building or developing anymore. That’s when we realized we needed to adapt. We started doing a lot of research and we decided we needed to get some coaching outside of the Valley. One of my mentors told me, “You don’t need to be the smartest person in class. You just need to sit next to the smartest person in class.” So we started getting coaching and learning from some of the biggest players in the country.
That’s when we made the shift to home sales. The thing is homes sell no matter what. When the market was down, we did a lot of foreclosures. When it came back up, we went to traditional home sales. Coaching and mentorship was a huge part of our success and it’s something we continue with our team today.
Q: Why did you shift from Ryan & Brian to become the Ryan & Brian TEAM?
Brian: In 2010, it was just us. We began to get heavily into online advertising and that’s what really kicked us off. It’s all about technology these days because you can just reach people on such a massive scale. We were working our social media during the day, and then meeting with clients and working leads at night. Ryan and I were working 80-hour weeks and it got to a point where we couldn’t handle all of it on our own.
In 2010, we really decided we were going to have a selling team. Most realtors in the Valley do everything (commercial, residential, development, rentals, etc.) … no matter what’s handed to them. We really have a focus on selling homes and giving buyers the best representation we can.
We went from 48 sales in 2010 to selling 60, 80, 100 in a year. Now our goal this year is 200 sales. The average agent in our area is doing four deals a year. Our standards for our agents are high. Our goal is for them do to 24 deals a year.
Q: Describe your team now.
Brian: Ryan is the lead listing agent. I’m the broker and COO, so my focus is really on making sure the company is successful as a whole. We have a client experience manager (aka my wife). She does a ton of communicating with our clients, so they are kept informed and feel heard every step of the way. We also have a transaction coordinator, a marketing coordinator, a part-time admin, five buyers agents focused solely on working with buyers, and an additional a listing agent working with Ryan. It’s about putting a professional at every step of the process, so our clients get the representation they need.