100% Commission Payout – Sam Khorramian of Big Block Realty

Sam Khorramian, Owner and Co-Founder of Big Block Realty

Sam Khorramian, the Owner and Co-Founder of Big Block Realty, grew his company’s revenue from $636,000 in 2014 to $47.8 million in 2017, a 7,417% increase, and to around $63 million in 2018.  

Big Block Realty, a San Diego based real estate brokerage firm.

In this interview with Eversprint‘s Malcolm Lui, Sam shares how he and his team accelerated their high value sales by: 

  • Developing a company culture where their head office team provides their agents with a “WOW!” experience across their entire platform.  
  • Focusing intensely on finding, engaging, and persuading agents to join their platform.  
  • Incentivizing and gamifying the referral of potential agents.

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Malcolm Lui:
Welcome to the High Value Sales Show of Eversprint.com. I'm Malcolm Lui, the Managing Member of Eversprint, and today we're speaking with Sam Khorramian, the Owner and Co-Founder of Big Block Realty, a San Diego based real estate brokerage firm. Welcome to the show Sam.

Sam Khorramian:
Thanks for having me Malcolm. I'm really excited to be on your show.

Malcolm Lui:
Sam, you grew your company's revenue from $636,000 in 2014 to $47.8 million in 2017, a 7,417% increase, and in 2018 you hit around $63 million. Before we talk about how you grew your company so fast, can you briefly share what your company does beyond my quick intro, and how your company differs from the competition?

Sam Khorramian:
Happy to do it. We are a real estate brokerage. We're in the business of really two things. Recruiting agents to come work at our brokerage firm. Today we have just about a thousand agents that work here and then we support them in the process of going out working with clients and helping them buy sell and invest in real estate.

Malcolm Lui:
Thousand agents that's a huge number. I take it you don't have some 10 story building housing them all. They're all

Sam Khorramian:
No no we know one of the things that we've done different in our model is we've really ran. We have a lot of office space but not enough to house a thousand people. We've we've run a very virtual Forward program where a large percentage of a percentage of our agents will work from home or from their house. We run everything online through our technology platform and we also in all of our offices have open workstations so an agent that might not be renting an office from us. We have just a ton of open workspace that they can come hop on for the day and get some work done conference rooms all that stuff

Malcolm Lui:
Okay now. I checked out your Web site and I saw something that was pretty compelling. Hundred percent commission payout now. How do you do that and still generate millions of dollars of revenue.

Sam Khorramian:
But so we inside of the real estate transaction there's about twenty eight different parts of of a consumer's journey twenty different companies if you will that are employed when someone buys and sells real estate. So we have either started those companies or have built strategic alliances with them so that we can not only help them with the journey of buying and selling real estate but we can do everything from helping them get set up with movers. We have escrow mortgage all these different things that essentially are all incubated into the real estate transaction and then in addition to that we we have our own products and services we offer different marketing solutions transaction management solutions. So we've kind of taken the traditional real estate model that has been segmented and tried to encapsulate it the best we could in a seamless easy process that puts all the different services that a client and or an agent would use in front of them throughout the course of the transaction

Malcolm Lui:
So the revenue that we talked about at the very beginning. Forty seven point eight million in 2017 sixty three million in 2018. He gave a breakdown of where that revenue is coming from

Sam Khorramian:
Yes. So a good percentage of it is Commission that comes to house dos that agents are paying us to be here. Transaction Management office rentals different affiliate fees and marketing service agreements that we have. So it's really a big combination of of everything pulled into one

Malcolm Lui:
Right. And you do all of your agents get 100 percent of the commissions or does it depend on what arrangement you have with them.

Sam Khorramian:
The large majority are getting a hundred percent commission we do have some internal lead programs where we'll help agents with leads when they close those leads. They'll pay us more than a hundred percent commission for providing the lead for them and then we do our own in-house development projects will flip some properties we'll do commercial deals so it's there's a lot of commission generated but also a lot of commission that gets paid out to the agents.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. So that the agents you see in your model which is different from from other brokerages as far as I know and correct me if I'm wrong of other brokerages have your model but it seems like your business really is as is in the facilitation and the transactions and you want to get as many agents on board to get as many transactions going so that you can generate revenue that flows to your bottom line outside of the commissions

Sam Khorramian:
Yeah it's all of the above. You know we we've taken a distinct approach to this business which I think separates us from not all of the competition but but a good amount of it where I think the traditional brokerage is out there really believe that the brokerage is customer is the person that's buying and selling real estate which is fine. We've taken a different approach that we believe our client our customer is the real estate agent and if we can provide them with a ton of resources support training culture everything that they need to make them perform better. That helps us get them in line with our objectives and really creates a strong win win environment.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. Are there other brokerages that have your model

Sam Khorramian:
There is there's you know when we started this there was maybe just one or two out there that were doing the same model as US today where we're really seeing that this is slowly starting into turning into kind of like a more of a normal practice as you know. This is what I think we all should remember doesn't matter what business you're in when you always position your customer to win the most you're going to win the most. And we're seeing a lot of brokerages are starting to open up doing this. A lot of traditional old school brands and offerings are converting over to this. So I really do believe that we're we're going to see in the next handful of years as this will start to kind of be more of the standard than the traditional models that are out there

Malcolm Lui:
Right. So for your agents what percentage of the commission are they getting. And how does that compare to what they would do they would get at a different brokerage that doesn't have your model

Sam Khorramian:
Depends on which program they go for us with us. But they're really keeping 100 percent of the rock commission that's earned they'll pay us dues of around three to four thousand dollars a year and then we're caps you know capturing a lot more revenue in all of the surrounding ancillary services and products.

Malcolm Lui:
Right.

Sam Khorramian:
So you know let's just say an agent has paid us our dues for the year and they get a check for 10 grand. They're going to take that 10 grand home.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. And what might they get if they were at a more traditional brokerage firm

Sam Khorramian:
I'd say the average is around a 70 30 maybe an 80 20. So if we're to look at that same ten thousand on our commission check they're probably going to keep seven to eight thousand dollars of it on a single deal versus the full thing at 10 grand with us.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. That's to me that sounds pretty compelling so why I all the agents in the San Diego area flocking to you and not the other guys.

Sam Khorramian:
You know I wonder the same thing. The truth is that it's it's a newer model and a lot of people are just comfortable where they're at today in San Diego. We have about 10 percent market share which is really one of the biggest if not the biggest in our local market. So we do control a good percentage of it. But you have to remember that not every model and this is something that we've really just been true to in our own mindset. We're not built for everybody and either is our competition there's certain people that want to be at the traditional shops and they want to wave those those more well-known brands. There's people that are on teams and have lead flow. There's people that that are just straight part timers so there's a lot of different reasons that people may or may not choose to join. But I think the biggest is our model for a lot of people almost seems too good to be true. And we're always trying to educate our clients the agents out there with testimonials and case studies and making this. Well you know better well understood as a legitimate well-run practice that that they can win with

Malcolm Lui:
Right. COHEN I understand that sometimes you know people have been burned so often that it is easy to be skeptical about things.

Sam Khorramian:
Yeah. And you know you've got to remember also with us if I was selling a widget let's just say it's a a bike or a pen or a plug in or whatever it is it's really easy to make a bad decision right if I bought a really bad ten I'll live like That's fine I'll just return the pen or I'll move on or whatever it may be with us we're actually asking people to switch where they were. This is how they feed their family. This is this is their lifeline right. They have just a lot that rides on the line. So it's not just a quick easy decision from them to make. It's a big part of their lives.

Malcolm Lui:
Yep. Yeah definitely. So when you grow a business from six hundred thirty six thousand 2014 and then four years later you have pretty much a hundred ex your business where you're at sixty three million. What were the three biggest drivers behind that

Sam Khorramian:
Great question number one is you know has to be culture for us. We when we started this company we asked ourselves you know when we started it we were in our 20s and we just didn't find a home that was exciting for us. So we asked ourselves well where would we want to. Where would we want to work. And we focused on building that. We were really fun laid back exciting environment to be a part of we really just love on our agents. We give them so much support. We were always trying to create what we called Wow experiences for them and that's everything from the speed to getting back to them. The tone that we have with them I think that a lot of brokerages take the position that an agent is lucky to be working there. Our

Malcolm Lui:
Yet

Sam Khorramian:
Perspective is we're lucky that they've chosen to work for us so we just show up every day anticipating their needs and trying to over deliver on their expectations and what that has done for us is really made a big part of our growth organic driven. I want to say last year 62 percent of the agents that came on board came on board from a referral from an existing agent. And those are the best right. The cost for acquiring it is dramatically less. The quality of the conversations is increasingly better. So number one we're always focusing on a culture and making this the best. The fun and the most caring place to hang your license as a real estate professional.

Malcolm Lui:
Right.

Sam Khorramian:
Number two is we are a very sales oriented organization. And what I mean by that is a lot of people that get into the brokerage business at one point were a real estate agent and they you know they didn't like selling so they started a brokerage in hopes of just hiring people and having them go do the selling well either way if you're an agent trying to sell real estate or a brokerage trying to sell people to work for your company you have to be a sales oriented organization. We have a floor of outbound dealers we have recruiters we are we are doing with the traditional old school sales stuff. We invest in our in our sales people's skill in communicating where we're really strong in our lead follow up. We just have a ton of systems in place to make us a sales forward environment. And what this means for us is on average 76 percent of the agents that we meet with will end up getting to convert to join the company which is just a staggering number compared to other organizations. And yes it's our offering. Yes it's our culture but I believe that's what makes them pay attention. It's our sales efforts our communication skills our follow up systems that have really helped us get that number to 76 percent

Malcolm Lui:
Right. So all those things that you're doing the old school stuff you talk about the cold calling the follow up the communications. Now this is this is what you're doing to find new agents on your platform. Right.

Sam Khorramian:
Yeah. Well yes both on both sides of the business finding agents to join the company and using that with our agents to help our agents sell more homes. You know it's interesting in our industry Malcolm like a lot of people don't talk about the fact that their sales professionals and I always say if you don't think you're a salesperson ask your clients what they think you are like we are sales professionals and the entire industry is focused on teaching them how to buy leads and how to farm and market better which we do a lot of but we back it up with high intense sales training so that we can ultimately put ourselves and our agents in a position to where we can make the person the client the prospect. We're talking to feel comfortable and confident that we're the right direction for them to go in

Malcolm Lui:
Right. So you

Sam Khorramian:
And then

Malcolm Lui:
Also have programs set up systems set up to help find buyers

Sam Khorramian:
Yes.

Malcolm Lui:
And sellers for your agent say you're you have a cold calling program to do that

Sam Khorramian:
Yeah. Well we have systems that we either teach them how to implement themselves and coach them through it

Malcolm Lui:
Ok

Sam Khorramian:
And then we have systems where will do the lead generation and funnel it off to some of them.

Malcolm Lui:
Right

Sam Khorramian:
But one of the things that's really helped our growth and it's really important for framing this conversation is stand that our primary objective at the company is to recruit agents and then help them sell more homes. So one of the things that we did very early on is we looked at. We looked at different organizations that have had tremendous growth and we try to find the common denominators amongst all of them. The three that we found was one culture. You're looking at a company like Zappos. We really we studied Zappos we read the books we did the office tours then we looked at sales efforts the best growing organizations have strong sales efforts and then the third thing that we found that we focused on is really strong referral programs. We incentivize our agents to help us get in front of more agents. So we we rolled out a couple programs that have just been home runs for us. One of them is called refer a friend and win a Benz. And what we do is every time an agent refers and another agent that joins the company we'll put all those names in a hat and at the holiday party every year we'll pull a name and that person will win a three year lease to a Mercedes Benz.

Malcolm Lui:
Nice.

Sam Khorramian:
So we have game of five that right. We've kind of taken almost the casino approach like the casino. It's not that you want to lose money it's that you get enthralled with the gamification of the process. So we have the Benz referral program and then we also a program that's called the referred five. And it's free meaning as soon as an agent refers five agents to join the company. They don't pay us anything on dues you know not the four thousand three thousand year they get their hundred percent commission but we're okay with that because everybody refers first someone it takes a lot of effort. They get to five. But my question for you is would you give up one paying customer to get five new paying customers that your cost for acquiring was way low and the engagement was way high. And I think that the answer would be yes. You know we came from an Internet marketing background and we saw these referral programs and affiliate programs were a big driving force for a lot of information and tech driven companies. And we we found a way to incorporate that in the things that we were doing

Malcolm Lui:
Fantastic. So that people who are rich or five agents they never pay you any dues for ever or just for one year

Sam Khorramian:
As long as they have five agents active and but remember we're capturing them on escrow a single transaction in escrow just to put it in perspective. We're making about twenty two to twenty five hundred bucks

Malcolm Lui:
Right.

Sam Khorramian:
This year we're going to do six thousand transactions. So if we capture a decent part of that like it we're still winning and that's just one of the ancillary profit centers. We really believe that the money is in the volume the money in the transactions and we're not going to worry about losing a few thousand bucks in order to earn their business and all of the other ancillary services that we offer

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah definitely makes sense. So you took about two drivers the culture. Second one sales oriented organization. Did you mentioned a third one already lumped in there the referrals

Sam Khorramian:
The referral program. And folks look I don't know unless there's guidelines legal guidelines that prevent you from doing this and a lot of industries there could be that referral programs and incentives are the best because what happens is we see this time and time again like we'll get someone good. We incentivize them to just keep us top of mind and they'll be further friends they'll refer their moms and their uncles and you know it's the best growth is organic growth. And when you can have your existing customers bring you more customers that that is winning that's winning so hard. And you know we've just really believes that if we continue to make our culture our sales efforts and our referral programs better why couldn't we have everybody that works at the company refer one person per year. And if all that did was help us double in size every single year we're winning in a major way

Malcolm Lui:
Sure. Now referrals though at one point isn't enough to fuel your growth right. Eventually

Sam Khorramian:
Absolutely.

Malcolm Lui:
Your market will hit saturation and anyone who wants to be an agent can be an agent is with you guys. So where's that point where you're going to have to look for other ways of generating. Of getting new agents on board

Sam Khorramian:
You know for us one of the things that we're really good at is marketing and making a lot of noise. You know just yesterday I ran into a friend and Target and she's like man my sister is an agent in South Carolina. And she was at a seminar in South Carolina. And they were talking about big block Realty

Malcolm Lui:
How really

Sam Khorramian:
And I mean I'm telling you I hear this all the time and why why can that be like how is it possible that people want a completely opposite end of the country are talking about what we're doing here in California it's because we make a lot of noise like the person that makes the most noise wins the game. So we're really heavy in content marketing video marketing and straight digital advertising where we're putting a lot of efforts and educating our industry in things that they care about. And on the backside it's helping us get get our brands way further than than we even really needed to be. Now we're starting national expansion so it's great to hear people in South Carolina talking to us because that could lead to something. But generally speaking until this year all that was was great for the ego it was flattering. But what's the point. The point is the person that makes the most amount of noise wins the game. And if you look at people like Grant Cardon who's just hockey sticks so hard in the past couple years the reason he has done that is that guy makes so much damn noise. I spent some time analyzing what he's done in the past here. And one of the things that I picked up that really resonated with me is he is doing on his Instagram alone an average of seven point seven posts per day seven point seven posts per day. I'd be willing to bet that the average person's doing one every other day if

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah

Sam Khorramian:
You really average it out.

Malcolm Lui:
I'm

Sam Khorramian:
So

Malcolm Lui:
I'm willing to bet that he's not even doing that himself personally. He's got

Sam Khorramian:
Oh

Malcolm Lui:
A

Sam Khorramian:
Yeah. No

Malcolm Lui:
Gift

Sam Khorramian:
Way.

Malcolm Lui:
For

Sam Khorramian:
He's

Malcolm Lui:
You.

Sam Khorramian:
Got today he's got a large team and today we do as well right. Like a couple years ago it started to get bigger than anything we could do ourselves. So today we have two full time video blogger offers and editors that are really literally just capturing the content that we're doing like here in a moment. I'd be willing to bet that one of my videographers will walk in here. She'll capture some content of me on this podcast and she'll either use it as b roll or she'll take the audio and turn it into something. So my point is you really have to think about positioning you in your organization to as soon as it gets bigger than something you can control. You have to bring people in. Gary Vaynerchuk has been talking this talking about this for a few years. He said two years ago at one of his conferences that he believes in the next 10 years you're going to see most professional organizations regardless of the industry having an in-house paparazzi and what that does for us is it helps me put out content daily. It helps me put out different types of content. Know one of the things that we're doing that we couldn't done if we had if we didn't have the people as we started our own show called The brokerage and every you know every couple of weeks we're putting out a new episode of the behind the scenes and the things that we're doing in our company from fun socials and experiences to trainings just random in office fun stuff and we're bringing our company to life in the eyes of our customer

Malcolm Lui:
Yep come back to your drivers like that. Maybe you talk a little bit deeper about each one. They talk about the culture being your biggest one. How how has how has the culture allowed you to grow your sales.

Sam Khorramian:
You know culture for us is directly related to two things. We'll really three 1. We built the place that we enjoy working and our staff is pumped to be here when you and your staff are excited to go to work. You're simply going to outperform the competition. Most people dread Mondays. I like to think most of our staff and us here that run the company like we're excited because coming to work for us is fun. We get to hang out with people we like. We get to do things we like to because the culture is contagious. We have now a thousand people that are out marketing for us. I can't tell you how many times we're seeing posts on social about one of our agents just going live and giving a video testimonial about how awesome their experiences. One of the things that we do is when we see a major life event happened good or bad for one of our agents a couple of months ago one of our agents lost his grandma and we just sent him some flowers. We do that because we care and he went live on social and he was just almost on the verge of tears like man. These guys had a thousand agents and they sent me flowers because my grandma passed. So we're we're just taking such good care of them and in the good the bad and in between that we have turned our customers into our advocates. And I'll tell you this the best business is referral business. And then lastly it's really helped us retain our customers. When you come to an organization like ours that culture is off the charts. Training is amazing support is a plus plus backed by a really fair compensation plan. Where else can they go. Dude you know like yes there's there's other competition but we see agents leave us to go to whatever the competition is. And more often than not within six months they come back to us.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah.

Sam Khorramian:
Why is that. Because a culture.

Malcolm Lui:
Ok now you have a thousand agents how did how were you able to keep in touch and be aware of that one thing or one particular agent's grandmother passing away

Sam Khorramian:
Great question. So one of the things that we have one of the worst parts of our organization is what we call our agent concierge department. And there's you know six seven people in that department. They're running a lot of different things but they're also always on social just paying attention to our agents posts. So if someone saw a post you know this agent's grandmother passed and you know it's just it's a standard operating procedure where now they don't even come to us to say hey should we order something. We have a budget set. They'll go on the order and then send it out. So the short answer is we pay attention right where we're paying attention as best that we can. And of course we miss things like just the other day I got news that one of our agents mother passed and two weeks later we still didn't know and we you know that was an opportunity that we couldn't execute on because we just didn't catch that OST. So it's not foolproof but we pay a lot of attention to what's being said and we try to support and execute whenever possible.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah

Sam Khorramian:
The other thing that we've done on culture because you brought this up earlier our thousand agents we don't see a lot of them often because they don't work in the office.

Malcolm Lui:
All right

Sam Khorramian:
So every month we run a social worker we'll go to a local restaurant we'll give everyone some drink tickets we'll get some food and we put on a social gathering every single month and we scatter it throughout the city and we'll bring everybody together to have some fun break bread enjoy the fruits of their labor. We we have an exclusive mastermind inside of our company that's for the top 5 percent of our agents. So if you did top five percent of volume for the year you're in what we call winner circle. And we'll put on really nice events for them we do two high level top top notch masterminds in places like Ritz Carlton and then at the end of the year we pay for all of them to go on a cruise with us. You know that's the sort of thing that you can't quantify. We spent a lot of money on those things

Malcolm Lui:
Yet

Sam Khorramian:
And and going into it. You can't quantify like you can't. There's no equation to tell you. How is this going to work. What's the are lie going to be. But I love those equations because no one else is willing to make that bet. And we knew and we still know that if we make the bets that other people aren't willing to make we're going to win hands that other people can't win

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah. Yeah. Coaches all those things for me I like talking about it because it's so qualitative and subjective and like you said you really can't put an arrow eye on it right.

Sam Khorramian:
Yeah. And this is the thing about culture to Malcolm is you can't copy culture. You can have your own culture and your culture can be completely different than my culture which is why we're not for everybody. There's certain agents that don't join us really because we're too fun and we are too out there. And that's OK. There is a culture that is more reserved that is good for them. That's the culture that they want to be a part of. So we really believe we're not built for everybody but the people that are are like us were the best home for them. So you know it doesn't matter if if you're not like us you have a culture you just might not being that be telling the story of your culture properly and amplifying it making up noise around it so that people know that you're their home

Malcolm Lui:
Right. Got it. So for 2019 what's your plan what's what target you shooting for. How many more agents are you looking to get. How much more revenue are you shooting for and what challenges does your team need to overcome to get there.

Sam Khorramian:
Great questions this year we are starting national expansion where just about 60 days away from being approved to start franchising and about 25 states. So you know our goal this year is to just double in size. But our goal over the next five years is to 10x. We'd like to. We'd like to have close to 10 let's say seven to ten thousand agents in the next five years. And we'd like to be closing north of 50 thousand transactions which will make us really one of the biggest companies in the country in real estate. So that's that's where we're steering the ship. And the second part of your question was What distractions or challenges do we have to eliminate. Was that what that was.

Malcolm Lui:
Yep

Sam Khorramian:
I'll tell you the biggest challenge we have and I think most entrepreneurs that will listen to this will agree is we need to say no to more things. You know there's tons of opportunity. And as as you know a capitalist on opportunity we like to say yes to things that make sense. But every time you say yes to something you're saying no to something else.

Malcolm Lui:
Right.

Sam Khorramian:
And we really you know we've known this forever because we've heard it in seminars and masterminds in the past couple years we've really had to focus on saying no to more things. We've actually shut down some businesses that we're doing OK but they weren't in line with our big picture goal. So we're we're really focusing on on being lean and mean and the areas that matter and being okay to say no to great opportunities that come by. And we're flattered that those opportunities come. But we have to stay true to the mission which is you know 10x thing in the next five years.

Malcolm Lui:
Yep

Sam Khorramian:
So no one is saying no to more stuff. And what that helps us do is do less but make more. You know I saw a study once that if someone has one goal I forget the exact stats they're like 80 percent likely to reach their goal

Malcolm Lui:
Oh yeah.

Sam Khorramian:
If that if they have two goals they're like 40 percent likely to reach one of the goals if they have three goals it goes down to like 15 percent likely to reach one of those goals. So we're really focusing on saying no to more so we can do less in order to do more and earn more money.

Malcolm Lui:
Yep

Sam Khorramian:
And then I think that as any organization starts to have really good growth in your organization management always turns into a challenge. Right. So we're focusing a lot on you know really systematized the way the different departments work with each other the way they support each other creating an environment internally that is all supportive not just of the client but of each other inside of the organization. And we believe that on the backside of that what we'll see is what we call a lot less. Got a minute meetings got a minute meetings throw everybody off track. It's like hey you got a minute. Let me run this off you

Malcolm Lui:
Yep

Sam Khorramian:
That kills production and we believe that if we can empower people set up a better organizational chart give people a clear understanding of what to do and where to go and create manuals for everything that we can take people and make them more productive throughout the day.

Malcolm Lui:
Right now how many I know you have a thousand agents how many people are in the head office that supports the thousand people that you're a thousand agents

Sam Khorramian:
About 20

Malcolm Lui:
Amazing twenty people supporting a thousand people generating sixty three million revenue yet a huge number.

Sam Khorramian:
Things.

Malcolm Lui:
Let me

Sam Khorramian:
You

Malcolm Lui:
Figure

Sam Khorramian:
Know

Malcolm Lui:
That

Sam Khorramian:
It's

Malcolm Lui:
Out. Your

Sam Khorramian:
It.

Malcolm Lui:
Revenue per. That's like

Sam Khorramian:
It's pretty good

Malcolm Lui:
You said this

Sam Khorramian:
If

Malcolm Lui:
The

Sam Khorramian:
You know what it is though is I know that you probably hear this all the time interviewing successful entrepreneurs. A lot of entrepreneurs have a hard time letting go and because of that they they make their people less less empowered to perform. Our motto in the office when we hire someone is we're not going to give you anything that we can't live with you messing up. And if you mess up that's not a bad thing. It's a case study for us to to go through and learn how you won't make the same mistake again. So we you know we encourage I want to say encourage but we empower them to know that it's okay to break shit. It's okay to mess things up sorry I don't know if I was lots of curse on this but

Malcolm Lui:
No. Okay

Sam Khorramian:
You know we've created an environment that lets them take ownership of what they're doing and because of that we just get a lot more out of them. In addition to that one of the things that really sets us apart is we have centralized support a traditional brokerage let's say they have 10 offices in San Diego. Well those 10 offices have 10 office managers they have 10 brokers they have shrimp and trainers. They have 10 everything. We have centralized all our support in our main headquarters in Mission Valley and we run everything from one location which has helped us get a lot more with less people.

Malcolm Lui:
Yep makes sense. How about on the marketing and sales front. What sort of challenges. We need to overcome what kind of things you need to leverage to hit your targets.

Sam Khorramian:
You know it's a great question. I really believe that as good as we are at making noise and putting out compelling content I believe that we're just scraping the surface of possibility and opportunity there. A big part of our efforts in marketing this year is focusing on making a lot more polarizing content. Are you familiar with Billie Jean.

Malcolm Lui:
I do I do know the person. He's he's a real young guy that's getting a name for himself and the Facebook

Sam Khorramian:
Yeah

Malcolm Lui:
Site.

Sam Khorramian:
Real really young guy. He's gonna do 16 million in revenue this year and his whole thing is hockey sticking so hard because he's good at making polarizing content. I mean there's videos of him dressed up as balloon and gladiators and he is doing what other people aren't willing to do. And this is his words he says people won't do what I'm willing to do in marketing because they don't want to be a douchebag. Where we we embrace our inner douchebags and that makes people remember us. And then an easy analogy to look at this if you ask someone name an insurance company I'd be willing to bet that most people when I try this on stage all the time most people say Geico

Malcolm Lui:
Exactly what I was thinking.

Sam Khorramian:
You see and the interesting thing here Malcolm is Geico doesn't even talk about insurance Geico you're watching a commercial a pig wrapped in a blanket sitting in a stadium watching a football game you're like What the hell is going on he's squealing like a pig and then it says by the way 15 minutes can save you 15 percent like

Malcolm Lui:
Right.

Sam Khorramian:
They didn't talk about insurance they gave you polarizing content to make you pay attention and they backed it up by logic. So I really believe that we need to be focusing a lot more on really engaging polarizing content which will then help us with our brand development as we start national expansion. So number one is is just better better better and more and more more content. Second is as equal as the leader of the organization and I've been working for the past six months on you know my top my top level supporting team members is to put me and my business partner all over that side of the company with put us in a position to where we can spend more time thinking and strategizing. When you're starting the business you're pushing all the buttons as it grows you start pushing less buttons. My goal is really to be pushing 0 buttons and to really be thinking about the vision bee working on strategy top line growth putting myself you know Malcolm I spend three months of the year out of the office in mastermind seminars different things to just put me in the position where I can be thinking about things that I wouldn't be thinking about executing on things that I didn't know existed because I'm I'm more and more eliminating myself from having to push the buttons. Day to day and putting myself in the position that I can think and strategize more and I think that that's something most entrepreneurs just have such a hard time doing. The more I eliminate myself from day to day activities the team actually does better because I get more out of the way and I get to focus on new exciting projects that will really help us 10x in the next five years.

Malcolm Lui:
Right now we talked earlier to us circling back a little bit and talk about more polarizing content getting your brand out there so that's more of the inbound marketing side of things have an outbound side is anything you guys need to do an outbound side too to get your 10x target over next five years.

Sam Khorramian:
So I might be misunderstanding your question but I look at that as outbound marketing to bring inbound leads

Malcolm Lui:
Okay.

Sam Khorramian:
So that that to me is very outbound it's us going out to the public. But you know a couple other things that we're focusing on and again going back to Gary V. One of the things that he said to me or not to me felt like to me because I was on this had an audience and a bunch of people you said that if you're really good at what you do if you're the best at what you do you will always remain in the position that you have to go hunt business. But when you become a somebody the business hunts you and that was profound to me because if I focus on putting out more good high level some polarizing content and I build my personal brand not big blocks brand. If I build my personal brand so that I become more of a somebody in my perfect customers minds it makes me it makes it easier for me to help direct them in the directions that I want them to go be it big block or different events that we run or some of our ancillary services. We really as all of us as entrepreneurs need to be focusing more and more on becoming a somebody. Gary land calls it the land grab of the Internet right now and people just the other day. I I'm running campaigns to build my personal brands and some troll on one of my posts there's a picture of me and Richard Branson he's like oh my gosh you're such a tool like what are you trying to do. Be the 50 million and one influencer on Instagram. Another wealth management guru and my response was I rather be the 50 millionth guru on Instagram than the 50 million person that's just scrolling and you know being a troll on someone else's posts. My point is you just got to focus on growing that personal brand. And I look at that as outbound marketing that will help us bring in a lot more high quality leads.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. Okay. Yeah. Doing it to defining agents I guess what we talk about but your are your plans for the franchise rollout. How are you. What's the plan on finding people to buy your franchise.

Sam Khorramian:
Great question well to start we've been very fortunate that all of the noise we've been making the company has never even talked about franchising until very recently. But we even before we talked about it we're getting inbounds almost weekly from people that are just like wanting to learn more. So I believe that yes the noise making and the content making will help us find more of those people but

Malcolm Lui:
Ok

Sam Khorramian:
To and this goes towards agent recruiting and franchise recruiting. What we've built is like on average five to 10 video series that we put together to help our our avatar know that who we are. Make them aware that we exist. Follow up with more content that get them to consider that we're a good outfit for them. And then back it up with content that's designed to get them to convert to joining us.

Malcolm Lui:
Right.

Sam Khorramian:
So if I was just going to make nine videos the first three videos are gonna be all awareness. The next three videos are gonna be all consideration and then the final three videos are going to be conversion driven content. So you know example of that we'll be following the lifeline of of an agent that didn't want to join Big block join Big block taking them through the lifeline capturing all that and then making a retargeting sales funnel that we target our customer we show them video one we take the people that saw video one and then shown video number two

Malcolm Lui:
Yep

Sam Khorramian:
People that saw to show number three and we're going to take them through our own season if you will of a show that helps them go from awareness to consideration to conversion

Malcolm Lui:
Right now. You said before you about 10 percent of the San Diego market. You have a thousand agents. Does that mean there's about ten thousand agents out there in San Diego

Sam Khorramian:
There's twenty two thousand.

Malcolm Lui:
Ok so twenty two thousand agents

Sam Khorramian:
So I'm saying well we are capturing 10 percent of market share of transactions. So we have about 5 percent of the agents but our 5 percent of agents are controlling 10 percent of the market.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. Okay. So yeah I mean the video funnel you outline I measure works quite well because have a nice big pool of agents that show to write potentially twenty one thousand people out there who aren't on your platform right now but when it comes to doing franchisee buyers. Right. Is the market as large as well.

Sam Khorramian:
We're learning this as we go through it. What I'm learning is it's actually a lot bigger than I thought.

Malcolm Lui:
Okay

Sam Khorramian:
What I found. And then when I compared it to where I was you know successful entrepreneurs want to follow successful proven plans. The most successful people are looking for people to tell them what to do and how to do it. So I think that there is a fairly large pool of perspectives out there.

Malcolm Lui:
Mm hmm.

Sam Khorramian:
And what we're doing to it because we don't know it yet it's all of our marketing right now. Almost all of it is run in-house but we've another never done franchisee marketing. So we're hiring a franchisee marketing agency that we're going to learn a lot from and they're gonna show us how to go after franchisees the way you can get in front of them different events seminars. So we're hiring an agency to help us with that so we can know what we don't know

Malcolm Lui:
Yep.

Sam Khorramian:
And then we're going to find how to take what we've learned there and even amplify it with the things that we do best. And I think there's a lesson there. Malcolm which is Route you know successful people versus unsuccessful people. A lot of six unsuccessful people are seeking advice. They're going to just anybody. Their mom the other person they're working with whoever it may be and they're seeking advice. Advice is is is nothing if it's not backed by someone that has been where you're trying to be. So whenever we're going through a new you know a new project or a new challenge like franchising instead of seeking advice we seek counsel. We want to talk to people that have already done what we're trying to do. Just the other day I met with one of the top. I think the number one franchise recruiter for Century 21 right. We just met them randomly and and I was like well I'm going to take this person's brain and obviously shoot and share with me everything. But she she was open and she shared it and I'm seeking counsel from someone that is doing what I'm trying to do as opposed to just getting advice from anybody. So we look at this next chapter. We need to go seek counsel we need to hire professionals and have done what we're trying to do so we can learn from them and I'll back this up with one other thought good counsel does not come easy and it doesn't come cheap. Oftentimes it's expensive. This is what I've learned over the years when you pay for the best upfront. You only cry once right. And and that's the for me I don't want to have to keep retrying and retrying. I want to hire and get counsel from the best of the best. And yes I'll pay for it but that's going to shortcut my success way stronger than trying to figure it out on my own

Malcolm Lui:
Yep. Definitely. I definitely hear you on that front. Three final questions for you. Say you decide to put up a billboard or big block Realty on a freeway somewhere in the in the San Diego area when it's moving so that because the traffic is moving people and you have six seconds to see a billboard. What is your billboard message.

Sam Khorramian:
It would be the same as the headline on our recruitment page which is commission training support and fund

Malcolm Lui:
All right I thought you were gone for the hundred percent commission pay out

Sam Khorramian:
You know this is what I've learned remember when we talked about it's too good to be true. When we just run with the hundred percent commission we get a lot of that. It's too good to be true. One too you know especially people that just hear about our model out the gate they think man. Hundred percent commission is all it takes. But we have to remember that not everybody is money driven people are culture driven people are training driven people are support driven. We have found that the four things that move the needle the most for us is commission training support and fun which is culture. But I think that fun on a billboard is a lot more to the point than culture which is a bit ambiguous. I don't know what that culture means.

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah

Sam Khorramian:
Our culture is fun

Malcolm Lui:
Yeah

Sam Khorramian:
And our culture is forward thinking that you walk into our offices dude and they feel like Google everything's just so modern and fun and different. So commission training support and fun is going to hit the high notes that we want to deliver on and it's going to hit the high notes of our perfect customer if they want to maximize profit training support and have some fun than wear the outfit for them.

Malcolm Lui:
All right. Awesome. And my two fond of questions for you. Who are your ideal customers and my customers. It's Agent dicey and what's the best way for them to reach you

Sam Khorramian:
Our ideal customer I guess would go back to the billboard and agent that is just looking to maximize their opportunity in this business so that we can back it up with really strong commission training that they're just not going to get. Most brokerages the things that we train on just you know I've been talking about video marketing for six years and finally about eight months 10 months ago our industry started talking about it. The person that wants really high level support I mean seven of our staff is just here to be concierges to anticipate your needs. Few if we have people that want to be high achievers like we're going to support with that agent concierge and someone that ultimately doesn't want to be in a stale boring environment. And I'll back that up with if you're the type of agent that's really looking to scale your business go from a single producer to maybe growing into a team or moving your production up where we're really best suited to help you do that.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. How about for a potential franchisee buyers who who do you have yet. The ideal buyer of your franchise operations

Sam Khorramian:
Yeah that's a great question. Thanks for asking for me. What I'm learning in this franchise thing is people over profits we need people that buy into the same mindset that we have someone that's really focused on on loving on the customer someone that believes that culture can move the needle someone that wants to do things differently. But at the same time doesn't want to reinvent the wheel. We have a wheel it's working it's working well. So if you're if you're one of the people that's just looking for a great opportunity to be ahead of the curve on a new model capture market share and have a lot of fun you know you might be the perfect fit for us.

Malcolm Lui:
Do they have to be a real estate professional. That is not your ideal franchisee owner

Sam Khorramian:
Yes and no. I mean obviously if you have real estate experience it's going to give you an advantage but you know I don't you have my real estate license anymore I've been in real estate my whole life. But I don't practice real estate I don't have my license. We have a broker of record that's hired to be the broker of that company. So if you have real estate experience certainly something that would make more sense. But if you don't and you just anything that I've said resonates with you and you can see that you can bring your entrepreneurship and back it up with people that understand real estate better than you do you might just be the perfect fit.

Malcolm Lui:
Right. And what's the best way for them to contact you and your team

Sam Khorramian:
I'll give you our Web site and our phone number you can go to one hundred commission real estate dot com or big block realty dot com or you can call us directly at 1 800 5 5 0 3 2 0 9 and you can always follow me on Instagram at the number 9 T H the 9th 0

Malcolm Lui:
At night zero.

Sam Khorramian:
Yes sir.

Malcolm Lui:
That's the billion dollar implication there.

Sam Khorramian:
Yeah that's the billion dollar mark. Yeah.

Malcolm Lui:
Sara

Sam Khorramian:
Most people don't take that up so quick so well planned

Malcolm Lui:
That's not oh that's clever I like it. So

Sam Khorramian:
Thank you

Malcolm Lui:
Sam it's been great having you on my show today. I've really enjoyed hearing how you've been growing your business so fast.

Sam Khorramian:
Thank you Malcolm. This was a lot of fun and I really appreciate you thinking of us. If there's anything we can do to support you the answer is always yes.

Malcolm Lui:
All right. I might be talking to you about getting a franchise for Austin.

Sam Khorramian:
Let's do it. I'd love that

Malcolm Lui:
All right.

Sam Khorramian:
By Malcolm.

Malcolm Lui:
We've been speaking with Sam Khorramian, the Owner and Co-Founder of Big Block Realty, about his company's rapid growth. For interviews with other fast growing, high value sales companies, or to learn how we can accelerate your firm's high value sales through automation, visit Eversprint.com.

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