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Ryan O'Neill: Humble Growth In Leading #1 Remax Team In The World

Uncategorized Dec 10, 2020

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Hear from Ryan O'Neill as he shares his humble growth from renter to investor to agent to now leading the world's #1 team at Remax in closed transactions. Ryan started is real estate team in 2005 and has been the number #1 Remax team in the state from 2006 on. Oh, and he also has been inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. We discuss basic business principles - hire good people, care for them, help them get where they want to go, and provide great service to your clients. It's simple, not easy. Yet when you do that year over year, a large business can grow organically - eventually getting you to #1 in your field. This is a can't-miss episode. 

In this episode, hosted by Mike Swenson, we discussed:   

  • How his career got started and his background 
  • He has the #1 one team in Remax on closed transactions 
  • Started by buying a duplex and lived in part and rented part 
  • Be open to taking risks yet don’t be afraid of taking them 
  • He has 15 rentals 
  • For investing, you only lose if you sell the properties 
  • Find good people and treat them well 
  • As a team leader: The agents on the team are your clients 
  • The real estate business is all about people and building meaningful relationships with those people 
  • When a person does what they really enjoy doing, the money is going to follow 
  • Ryan and his brother Tim were elected into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2019 
  • Invest in people and it will take your business to the next level 
  • Take time to elevate others 
  • Treat clients well and keep up with them 

 

 

Timestamps: If You Want To Jump Ahead To Your Favorite Part   

0:00 - Intro and overview on Ryan’s career 

11:22 - How he went from his first rental to where he is today 

16:11 - How he went from an agent to starting a team 

21:35 - How he got his agents 

31:45 -  How he leverages his time 

34:50 – What his future looks like 

38:23 – Advice from Ryan 

 

Links In This Episode:

Ryan's real estate team: https://www.mnrealestateteam.com/

The O'Neill Brothers: https://www.pianobrothers.com/

 

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Full transcript here:

Mike Swenson 

Hello, everybody, Mike Swenson here with REL freedom. And I have a wonderful guest here today. Today we have Ryan O'Neal. And he's going to share with us his journey of building a real estate team up to be the number one team in all of REMAX in close transactions is where we're at today. And so obviously extremely successful on the team building side, you know, and then he has a lot of background to share as far as how he got to where he is today. And he's going to talk a little bit about investing and some of the other goals that he has heading here into the future. So welcome, Ryan, if you want to just go ahead and get started and maybe just give us a little bit about your background.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Yeah, thanks. Thanks, Mike. Thanks for having me on. I really appreciate the opportunity. Enjoy, enjoy the show and what you're doing for others. So thank you. Thank you for having me on. I, I'm the youngest of six, I grew up in New preg, Minnesota here, about 45 minutes south of the Twin Cities. And I have been in real estate now since about 2001. right out of college, actually, one of my older brothers and I were I joined him in the music business for a number of years right out of, of college, but fortunate enough to be now in the real estate business when I I purchased a duplex in Bloomington. My wife and I live in Bloomington now and I purchased the duplex and was living in the lower half and renting out the upstairs. And that was sort of my start, if you will into kind of the real estate world into what I'm doing now, from a kind of a agent team broker standpoint.

 

Mike Swenson 

Great. So why don't you just walk us through? How you maybe if you want to just talk let's just start with the real estate investment side. How do you How did you get to that one duplex? You know, to where strategically you're like, this is where I want to go? And then how did that move forward into future properties for you?

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Yeah, I think, you know, for me, real estate, getting my real estate license. I when I bought this duplex in Bloomington, I worked with a couple agents, you know, very nice people, you know, very helpful. But I felt, you know, why don't I get my license myself, and I could represent myself off on any future purchases that I'd have. Again, this was the early 2000s. So you have to remember, lending requirements were different down payment requirements were different. But for me, you know, I've always been, I would say a little bit of a risk taker in being strategic, but but also, you know, kind of willing to give things a chance. And so for me, I, you know, I had been renting actually from my brother, Tim for a long time. And I finally reached a spot, I said, All right, it's probably time to, to become an adult, and then look at getting my own place.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

So the idea of a duplex and always interested in it was of interest to me, because, again, if you could be living somewhere collecting rent, and and almost be living rent free, but yet owning the property. So for me, there was a lot of financial parts about it that were very interesting to me. And so I ended up purchasing a couple other single family homes close by that I rented out and learned a little bit about how do I find tenants? You know, how do I screen the tenants, really everything about being a landlord. And so that process of finding some investment properties, renting out the properties dealing with the good and the bad is, is kind of again how I started as an agent in this business.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Because I realized early on there were a lot of people looking to also invest in real estate. And so for me, that's how the agent side of the business really started as I worked those first few years really helping a lot of other investors find properties. But most importantly, that actually helped them rent those properties. So I wouldn't just kind of shake their hand at closing and say, Hey, congratulations, Mike. You know, you got an investment property. I would actually take them through the process of getting it rented. And what I found then is within a couple months, six months a year they would call up and say Hey Ryan, we're thinking of buying another one. And so I think partly because I, you know, I'm a very, you know, I, I would share everything with the client, the good, the bad and the ugly.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

So it wasn't some kind of sugar coated, get rich quick, or investment property is just the best thing and it's all sunshine and rainbows. It was real life good and bad that I was personally experiencing that I think people responded to and said, hey, yeah, you know what, thank you for that for being honest and transparent about it. And I'd like to learn more. But But again, I think, I think anybody who may be watching who's thinking about, again, growing, growing your business, you know, building wealth, real estate has been just for, you know, for obviously, decades, one of the best ways for you know, an average guy like me to go out and really leverage and really start to build something. And so part of it does require a little bit of risk taking, you have to be willing to, to try, but much like anything in life, you just know, nothing ventured, nothing gained. And so I think the first thing is, is being open to it, but not being afraid of it either, because a lot of people are just afraid of the process.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, and I like what you said about, you know, adding value for your clients. Because, you know, that's one of the things where as agents, a lot of times, they think very transactional, right, like, Oh, it's a tally on the board this year. And moving to that next level of this is a relationship that when done well, it can lead into future transactions right range. So you know, I take a look back at the first agent that I use before I had my real estate license. And I thought she did a fantastic job. And that led to another transaction, another transaction, we had done a little bit of investing.

 

Mike Swenson 

And then you know, friends or co workers, I would refer them to her as well. And so that can really grow. And so I love for you, it was, okay, how can I add value after the closing, when I add value, they're more likely to come back to me versus just oh, I don't remember who my agent was at closing. And now I'll just pick another one the next time, it's no, they want to come back to you. And if you're if you're working with investors who are doing multiple transaction year over year over year, that's a great way for your business to blossom just by doing a good job with the people that you have.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

I think you bring up a good point because as as agents, as brokers, really whatever business you're in, if you look at filling a need, at providing value and filling a need, the phone will ring. You know, and I think sometimes what's easy in the real estate world is I remember when I started there was you know, I would look and I'd see the bus bench, I'll just pick a random marketing tech, you know, the bus bench, and I would see the, the the agent and the phone number. And the way I would always think as a consumer is why should I call you? Why? Why do I need you. And so a lot of what we what I've tried to do in a small way is through what we do as a team, what we do from a marketing standpoint, is providing value, filling a need in and through that customers, customers engage income and I and again, that may sound really simple.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

But I just think sometimes we it's easy for us all to get the cart before the horse and not think about, again, what what is what is my value proposition? What am I looking to provide to others, whether it's, again, a consumer looking to work with an agent, whether it's an agent looking to work with a real estate team or a broker, it's all about value. And it's a it's the kind of a two way accountability Street. And that's what I like about, you know, in being in the team business, is that it's an accountability back to me or back to the team, if there's no value, or it's not good for them. You and I, we know in this business people can move and transfer their license at any time. So it keeps you on your toes. It keeps you fresh, it keeps you saying hey, what am I going to do to make it good for other people?

 

Mike Swenson 

If you haven't figured out today, that doesn't mean you you haven't figured out two years from now or five years from now because things change and so you have to continue to bring that value day in and day out so that folks want to stick around and stay with you.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Yeah, absolutely. And I think again, to the your your initial question about investment property, I think if you are current watching right now and you're currently renting, hey no, no big deal. rented for a very long time, a lot of people rent for a lot of reasons. Think about buying your first property. Think about look at again, right now the cost of renting versus owning FHA, I saw FHA increase their limits your recently to even a higher price, you can buy with three and a half percent down. So it's, you know, saving up some money, it's a little bit each month making some small daily weekly steps to start building to something that's, you know, that's with any business with any company.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

That's, it can be hard, because again, we see the long journey. It's daunting, and and it's can be deflating, versus trying to look at it more as a daily journey, and saying, What can I do today to meaningfully move things along. And I think when you look back over six months or a year, good things start to happen. And so that's what I've tried, I tried to do. And it's hard because we're hard on ourselves, we feel like, well, I should be own more property, or I should have more sales, or whatever it is, wherever you're at. That's okay. Just focusing on that daily progress to get you financially where you want to go. That's the key.

 

Mike Swenson 

So then kind of continuing the conversation in the in the rental space. You You bought the duplex, you picked up a couple single family homes. Take us from there to where you're at today.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Yeah, so my wife and I, we own it's about 15 different rentals, I have not purchased anything for actually quite probably, since 2006 2007. The main reason why is I just I kind of went all in I my personality is I'm a little bit of my personality, I just when I do something, I can go all in and in for me, you know, I manage those properties myself as well. And so it's enough on my plate. And it's sort of enough from an investment standpoint that, you know, I'm interested in other things too, in businesses in stock markets, you know, all types of different things, so many, you know, from from an investment side, it it is a it is one piece of the puzzle, but I think a very important one, that that again, people in it, I should add Mike, more, more is not better.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

I've met a lot of investors or real estate investors who go out and buy like 40 properties, and then a year or two, they sell them all because they're so frustrated with the phone calls and the tax and the managing of their tenants. And so it's not a race, it's not a race. But I think thinking strategically that real estate allows you to really leverage in, in just real quick, you know, real quick story. You know, from my perspective, I bought a lot of them at a bad time 2000 567 the market was at its height? Well, you know, you only lose if you sell the properties, right. So, you know, for a lot of people, they said, well, geez, you know, you bought at such a horrible time.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

But now we're in 2020, going in 2021, you know, values have come back, and then some. So for even someone like me, that really bought at bad timing, very bad timing, time can heal a lot of ones, especially when it comes to real estate values. And I think you have to think a little longer term. And not too short, you have to kind of be give yourself a horizon. Because again, as you know, in the Twin Cities here, you know, we're still seeing a very good market with values rising.

 

Mike Swenson 

And the reality is, is, even if the value, you know, the value returning, and then some in the meantime, you've still had mortgages paid down, you still had depreciation, tax advantages and all that stuff. So over the past 15 years, you've been able to take advantage of that. And then you did all the work to get it up and running. Now, not a maintenance of it is a lot less than all of the startup stuff. So you're able to kind of just put it on autopilot and maintain for 15 years and see the fruit from that.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Yeah, and I think very similar to how we run our team, and what sort of my core philosophies is, is finding good people, and most importantly, treating them well. And I think it is a simple, very simple business philosophy. But I think when I look at finding tenants, I don't look at them as display as kind of cogs in the wheel, or someone I can take and get rid of them and you know, they're just a tenant and you know, everybody has a story. And everybody deserves to be heard than everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with kindness. And I think, for me, again, when you find good tenants, and you treat them well, it's not a lot of your time.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

And it's not a lot of headaches and problems. Very similar again, to from an agent or broker team stamp point, again, when you when you find good people, when you provide value, you treat them well. when good things happen over time, it doesn't mean there won't be problems, or that people won't leave or, or go and do other things. Hey, you know what life is full of changes, like you said, and I've never claimed to be the only option from a real estate team or broker standpoint, everybody's got different goals, different things they want to do. And I think when you truly support others in that space, it creates goodwill. And and it's not just about you, and your team, or your life, your you know, and I think, again, it's a simple core philosophy. And but but it has been, it's helped our team helped over the years.

 

Mike Swenson 

So let's talk about your your transition from agent into starting the team and kind of those first couple of years. Yeah, obviously, you've talked about kind of your philosophy around that, which is fantastic. And I'm sure explains a lot of that growth that happened. But but kind of tell me how that that initial transition started, how you went from yourself to, you know, the first couple agents and growth from there?

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Yeah, so when we started the team, you know, I didn't necessarily I didn't, I didn't want it to be based on me. You know, I didn't want any, I didn't want there to be any disadvantage to any agents on from a marketing perspective from consumers wondering, Hey, who are you? Who's Ryan? You know, why am I talking to you. And I think I learned early on Mike, that, you know, as we would generate some leads, whether they were invested, or buyers, or whoever, I could pass the the lead to Adam, or Rob or Victoria in the customer would have just as good or better of an experience than they ever did with me. And so I learned, again, I learned early on, it's, you know, it's not about me, let's let's create a platform that allows us to kind of collectively leverage each other's strengths and marketing without losing their identity.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

So over time I sold, you know, I worked with buyers, sellers, investors, from say, 2003, to about 2012. And was also working with agents on the team, helping from a training standpoint, you know, mentoring, you know, lead generation brokering, doing kind of a lot of different things. And so for me, I found that I wasn't able to really do both, well, and so I decided to kind of go all in and focus on the agents on the team as my clients. And that's essentially my role today is that I don't actively sell everything that we generate leads, neighbors, friends, family, everyone, we we pass through the team. And, you know, I full disclosure, I probably work a little bit more now than even before. But for me, you know, I think the decision was not one. I've never been one that the the dollar motivates my decision.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

I think what what motivates my decisions is, again, without sounding cliche ish, but but it really is kind of the heart, what do you want to do? For me, I enjoy the human side of the business and working with other agents and helping them grow and, and get to where they want to know and do what they want to do. And so for me, that was really that's what caused me to make the decision. It was not a, hey, let's, let's do this team thing. I'll get 30 people on board and I can make a bunch of money, passive income off their efforts. People, people, people know your Get to know your heart. And I think when you're doing it for the right reasons, it can it can work really well. I think when people feel like you're not doing something for the right reasons, it's much harder to build and it's much harder to sustain.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

And I think that is, you know, that's just where in the real estate business as you know, Mike, people have so many options and choices. And if it really is not meaningful and good for the agent, they're going to leave and I've had plenty of good people who have have left. Never though never left on bad terms. never left on Without me wishing them well and excited for whatever that next step in their journey is whether it's starting their own brokerage, starting their own team, you name it, you know, I think I've done this long enough that I realize I can't control what agents are going to do. I can control how I how I'm going to react. And that's what I focus on. And I think when you do that, it's it's less personal. It's less Hey, Mike, why, you know, geez, why did you? Why'd you leave my team? You know, but don't you see all the benefits? Don't you see all the I mean, everybody's different, you know, everyone has different preferences.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah. It's kind of like, you know, I think about it is, you know, the, the analogy they say is, you know, you never step in the same stream twice, because the river is not the same river and the man's not the same man. Right. And for a lot of people, when you're with them on the team, it might just be, you know, right person, right situation wrong time. Sure. Kind of finding that right. balance of, are you meeting the needs of what they're looking for?

 

Mike Swenson 

And then how long do you continue that relationship and for some people to short term some people to long term and for a lot of people to they just find out real estate's hard, you know, it's one of those, those things where people want to get into, because I can make tons of money and have all this freedom of my time, and they just realize I can't have the same, I can't make the money I thought I wanted to make by having this freedom at the time that I thought I wanted to have, you know, and so for some people, it's just a challenging piece. But yeah, obviously, you've you've done that. Well, so. So in those early years, then what was as you were looking to attract agents, what were those conversations like? How did you? How did you find them? How did you kind of cast that vision to get that that core group up and running?

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Yeah, a lot of it was, we would do some investment property seminars. And so I was doing these seminars and just starting to meet different people. And people would say, Hey, I'm thinking of getting my license, I'd like to get into this business. And so it was really just very grassroots, very active, you know, I'm a big believer in agents, you know, daily, taking time to meet people in person. You know, if I look back over the last 20 years, I have a face to face meeting with someone, at least once a day. And I just think, again, when you go back to your core thought about, you know, meeting someone, but but looking to provide value and taking interest in them. You know, I think sometimes as agents, we can be too logical.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

We can think if I do a it leads to be, well, the reality of it is again, I'm you know, when I started, I get a call, Hey, Ryan, this is Bob, I live in Blaine. I want to buy investment property. Well, I would go drive, go meet Bob at Perkins or whatever, sit down, we're talking. He says, You know what, Ryan, I just my credits bad. I don't have any money. But I want to invest in real estate. Well, naturally, you assume, hey, this isn't someone that's going to be able to buy right now. But if you genuinely, genuinely are wanting to try to help them, give them good information, direct them. A month later, I would find my phone ring. Hey, Ryan, this is Frank, you met my brother Bob, at Perkins. I'm looking to buy a house in Bloomington, can I work with you? And so a lot of it is starting to build that kind of referral tree. And and really, you know, my approach has always been very grassroots, very just a lot of meetings, a lot of direct one on one involvement.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Not a lot of delegation. I mean, I am believer and believer in delegating and being smart with your time. But I do think the business, the real estate business is all about people. And it's all about building meaningful relationships with those people. And so with teams don't, you know, don't, sometimes people feel like bigger is better. And they got to have a certain number of people. And that's not the case, bigger is not necessarily better. You have to again, look within and say what do I want to do with my real estate business with my real estate team? Do I want to have one agent? Do I just want to have one full time assistant? Do I want to have five agents? There isn't a right or wrong answer. I mean, just because we're a larger team doesn't mean that it's better than what others are doing. So I think that's an important lesson to Mike for people to to think about.

 

Mike Swenson 

Well, and I think that the underlying theme here for those people, you know, thinking like Well, hey, I thought we're talking about wealth and building wealth. Well, the underlying theme here is have patience. Do the right thing and let it let it simmer over time. You know, I think that people are looking for the short term answer of like, okay, just tell me the three things that I have to do so that I'll have, you know, $10 million when I retire. Okay, well, now you're gonna have to do these things for the next 20 years. Well, but I want to do them right now.

 

Mike Swenson 

You know, it's kind of that that balance and so for you, you've taken a very methodical patient. foundational strategy here that's just blossomed on its own, it's, it's planting a tree, you know, and letting the roots grow letting the tree grow. And now here you are, you know, 15 years later with this very successful team. And this this great rental portfolio. And it's, it's because you've done the right thing time over time, over time and treated people with respect and help them out and genuinely cared for him that it's grown. It's not the quick answer of go do these three things. And it's just gonna boom by next year, it's Be patient and take time and do the right thing.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Well, I think Mike, when someone you're exactly right, when when we're we're doing when a person does what they really enjoy doing, the money is going to follow, like my brother, Tim, with his music business. Well, Tim went to Notre Dame, okay, and my, my, my father, who's no longer living, Dad was kind enough to pay for tuition for all of us. So Tim spent four years at Notre Dame at the time, it was, I don't know, probably 30, grand, something like that. So dad worked almost to the day he died. In Tim's case, providing and paying for a lot of college tuition, which we all you know, in today's day and age, know about, after college, Tim really wanted to pursue a musical, his music, his passion and his career.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

My dad, my mom, were very supportive of that. And I think because of that, because of that support, now, Tim, with his business with his music business, just called the O'Neill brothers, and it has blossomed. And it's done extremely well for him. And so I think from from a, you know, with the title of your podcast, with overall writing, thought to being wealth generation, I think whatever field you're in, or whatever business you're in, don't be afraid to take risks and do what your heart is calling you to do. Because when you do that, you're going to spend the time and the energy to do it, you're going to have a passion for it, you're going to show up, and you're going to start to make money by doing that.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

And I think once you make start making that money, then it's all about Okay, what can I do to be smart to invest that money, maybe it is real estate, maybe it is connecting with a really good financial planner, who can help you with stock market with with mutual funds with that side of the house, maybe it's looking at other businesses, you know, I've been fortunate enough to get involved with a couple other small businesses to be able to look at investing in those as well. And I think, I think the foundation though, comes back to finding what you really enjoy doing, making a good income. And again, if you save whatever it is a couple $1,000 a year, whatever the amount is, it's not important. But then strategically using that money, don't be afraid to do something with it.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

You know, it's easy to be very conservative, and just, you know, set it and forget it. But I think when you strategically invest in other people in like minded folks who have passion and energy, and good things happen. And so that's, that's something I would, I would say, just as a thought, for every one is as you look to kind of build and grow wealth, whatever that means for you. Don't be afraid to take calculated risks. Because sometimes we can be our own worst enemies and where we're not willing to spend $1 on different things, I'll tell you, I've made a lot of bad, incorrect decisions on some things that I've tried to invest with our real estate team and whatnot, it doesn't always work. But if you keep working hard, and you're willing to do that, you know what, you may have some really good winners, and that's part of it, too.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, a couple a couple of thoughts that you that I am thinking based on what you're saying is, you know, treating people as an investment, you know, a lot of times when, when you look at the, you know, look at the financials of a company, it's like, you know, you treat that salary as an expense, right? You know, hey, I could be doing it, but instead I'm gonna pay somebody else to do it. And if you look at the people that you're hiring as an investment in the future, you know, now it's, it's like hitching another horse to the wagon, you know, over time, they're gonna they're gonna bring more to your business through experience and leadership and growth, versus just being an expense on the financials.

 

Mike Swenson 

And so I heard that on another podcast that I was listening to a few months back where they talked about, you know, next year, I'm really focusing on him and invest in people, I'm going to double down on people, because that's what's going to really take my my business to the next level. And so I think that mentality that that's, that's really your approaches, finding good people investing in them. And that is an investment versus an expense.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

And it can help you to, you know, Mikey can help by again, maybe leveraging your time, a good concept overriding concept with this. This podcast, too, is just the idea of leveraging your time, you know, you can only be doing one thing at a time every day, and not being afraid to spend a little to find someone good. Treat them, well make it fair, make it promising for them and very good. And that can help your business again, that can help your business grow. And I think for agents, you know, watching this, that maybe you're doing a lot of business, but you feel rundown, you feel Oh, my gosh, I don't have time to do anything.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

You know, hiring someone an hour a day, two hours a day, three hours a day to help you administratively. sure that there is money, it's going to cost money, but anything, you know, any good business is going to have a good chunk of expenses. And don't be afraid to spend. That's he but but again, you want to be smart with it. But does it help you does it frees up your time to focus on what you love doing where you can spend your time where you can get the biggest bang for your buck?

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah. So you know where you're at today, then Where? Where are you spending your time? So you said a lot of your time is, you know, kind of coaching and training and leading your team, you said you've got some other businesses? What does a typical week look like for you? In terms of how you're spending your time?

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Yeah, for me, you know, for me, what, what again, and what motivates me is, is really trying to mean it meaningfully impact others, you know, on a daily standpoint, in a positive way, and whether that's business related, whether that's personally, you know, taking time to, you know, to have a cup of coffee with a friend to, you know, help someone who might be struggling trying to find a job, somebody who is, you know, struggling in the real estate business. That's, you know, that's what kind of gets me out of bed, Mike. And I think, you know, I would say most of my day is working with our team members in that capacity.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

But it's also, you know, it's also trying to, you know, trying to take time, to elevate others, I think, you know, I just a real quick example, we, with our team, sometimes we have agents who will come in what we'll talk about their successes that they have. And we had an agent come in a gentleman named Dan Frank, Dan's just a great great guy, friend, he's been with us for a while and and Dan says, You know what, you know, at the end of the day, he said, you know, on your obituary, I mean, have you ever read an obituary that said, you know, Dan Frank was a wonderful listing agent, or was an excellent buyer's broker. It was a, it was a good thought. Because I think we can we can, we can let this business or our sales volume or sales, transactions or income, define us. And I never want that to happen.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

I never want that to anyone to feel that. And so I think, for me, that's, again, I trying to follow a passion trying to follow what what you enjoy doing. Again, I think the Money Follows. I think that I truly in whatever business, you know, whether it is real estate, or having friends that run other businesses, when your heart is really in the game, that the money comes in. So I think that's part of it, too, is if you're watching this, and now maybe you're in real estate, you're like the cash. Do I really enjoy doing this? Like you said earlier? This is a tough job. I mean, this is, this is not an easy job.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

There's so many things that can go wrong, and that's okay. You know, it doesn't if Real Estate's not for you, that's, that's all right, it's not a big deal. And so, you know, a lot of my week is, is, you know, again, I'm working like everybody working, you know, I would say a lot my wife and I don't have kids, we have a little dog, but, you know, really, my my life is pretty active. And you know, I'm grateful for that and begin grateful for these kinds of opportunities to to just try to try to provide some type of content that could be useful to others.

 

Mike Swenson 

So then as you think about the future You know, what's what's the future of your team look like? What's the future kind of your financial investments look like here as you're kind of planning for, whether it's retirement or whether it's, you know, just freedom type of decisions you can make, whether it's time freedom, or whatever it looks like, what's that look like for you?

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Yeah, I think I'm, much like my dad, I think I'm probably going to be the type that will work until the day I die. Partly, partly because I do enjoy it. And I think there's such a value, intrinsic value to have a purpose. And it's not that being retired, is not because I have a lot of friends. In fact, I was talking to a friend of mine, who's also in his 40s, who just retired. And for him, what what he wants to do is travel and go on trips and spend time with his wife. And, you know, for me, I it's not that I don't want to do those things Mike, I do, I just, I feel a calling to, to do my best every day, and to meaningfully impact people every day. And it's not that I don't want to have fun and take trips and do whatever, because because we do some of that.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

But I also think I just the way that I'm wired is really, you know, I have an accountability to myself to make every day count. And so I think for me, you know, I don't really anticipate any kind of retirement, you know, I think it would be fun to have some type of foundation or some type of something that would that maybe my wife and I set up at some point, you know, giving back to communities to important causes. And again, I think that's something to that, especially during the pandemic here. I think that's something important to do. It gives us all a sense of being grateful. And just a quick example, again, we are team we did a little food drive for Veep, here in Bloomington for a Thanksgiving. And when we went over to deliver the food, there were two lines, okay. And I was talking on my phone, I was I was talking on my phone, and I got into one line that had like 40 cards in it. And the other one had no, there was nobody in it.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

And I just I wasn't thinking exactly. Well, sure enough, I got to the front and the line with the 40 cars was people waiting to get food in and you know, it little things like that can really dawn on you and say, Hey, we have so much to be grateful for, to be able to be working to be able to be doing what we're doing to be able to even donate anything at all. So I think I think trying to stay involved in some, whether it's financially or just on a day to day standpoint is important for us all to create some gratefulness, in give you more purpose on growing your business, growing your wealth, whatever, again, whatever that wealth means whether it's your legacy, whether it's your the people in your life, whether it's a certain amount of money, there, there's no right or wrong answer. But how are you going to grow that? Well? How are you going to grow that legacy?

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, fantastic. So as we as we kind of wrap up here, what what advice would you give, obviously, there's been so many great pieces and nuggets, as we've talked throughout the the time here, but for somebody considering getting into real estate, or for somebody new in their real estate career, as you think about building wealth, or as you think about getting traction in your real estate career, what are the what are the things you typically tell you know, the agents that come your way.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

I would say, Take it, don't be too hard on yourself. Take it very slowly. And, and, and realize much like anything in life. It's like, it's kind of like running a marathon. This is not a sprint, getting into the real estate agent business is not a sprint, what you want to do is a little bit every day, learn a little bit, get to know other people in the industry. Take time, build meaningful relationships, be interested in others. By doing that, you're going to start to create relationships. You're going to start to get to know different people you're going to you're going to start to get clients and then once you have those clients, treat them well. Keep in touch with them.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Reach out to them and not not reach out like Hey, are you looking to buy or sell a home? But hey, how's the family? How's How are the kids? What's new in the best real estate agent businesses I've seen with all of the brokers are our relationship based businesses. They are referred based businesses, but you have to remember when you're starting out, it takes a lot of hard work. It takes showing up, it takes making a good effort. But when you look back over six months, over a year, over two years, again, with a strong effort, a positive attitude, and interest in other people, anybody can can succeed at this job, but it does require time and effort. And I think if you're patient with yourselves, it comes over time.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah. Fantastic. So how can folks get a hold of you or get a hold of your team or anything that you kind of want to plug here?

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Yeah, no, not anybody watching at all that whether you're an individual agent, and you just, you want to talk about the business, whether you're forming a team and or you're growing a team, you have a team and you want to chat, I'm always happy to help regardless of brokerage, regardless of where you're located. I'm happy to help. mnrealestateteam.com is our website, mnrealestateteam.com, feel free to drop me an email or call I'm happy to happy to help.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

And again, I just appreciate the opportunity. Mike, this is a great podcast, great podcast, a great show that you're providing, I think the idea of of, of creating wealth is so important. wherever you're at in the process, whether you're just starting out whether you've been doing this a long time, that's okay. But taking the advice of your the various speakers you've had is important. And again, I just appreciate the opportunity to be with you. And you're doing a great job, man, I appreciate what you're doing. Thanks.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, and really, you know, what I want to leave people with is, you gotta you got to kind of keep hanging around it to move the ball forward. Because if, if you know, you're not intentional six months can go by 12 months can go by five years can go by and you're like, oh, shoot, I didn't take the time to build good habits to plant those seeds, so that they can grow.

 

Mike Swenson 

One of the things that we we used to tell our agents a lot is, you know, there's there's two great times to plant a tree 20 years ago, or today. So if you haven't done the right things leading up to today, today's your chance to start planting the seeds for the future. And so really, that's, that's great. And I just love your mentality around this of, you know, doing the right things again, and again and again, over time, it's going to build this this big, beautiful tree that you've planted a long time ago, versus trying to rush and plant 50 trees and then I didn't work well chop a ball down and we'll plant another 50 trees, your approach has been fantastic.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Thank you. Nope, it's been an honor to be with you. And again, like you said, Today is a new day. Don't be too hard on yourself. Whether you you haven't succeeded whether you got bad credit, whether you don't have enough, you know, today's a new day to start something new. And like you said to kind of begin anew?

 

Mike Swenson 

Yep. Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for coming on. We appreciate it.

 

Ryan O'Neill 

Thanks, buddy. Awesome job. Appreciate you.

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