Sisu - Growth Automation Software

Real Estate Software for Teams

In this episode of Startup Hustle, Matt DeCoursey and Brian Charlesworth, Founder & CEO of Sisu, talk about current standards in the real estate software space. Learn how to maximize the use of business intelligence software in real estate and many other industries.

Covered In This Episode

Are you looking to stand out in your industry? Sisu CEO Brian Charlesworth explains what motivates him to delve into the exciting world of real estate. He also describes why Sisu, a growth automation real estate software, not only supports sales teams to meet their metrics but also analyzes what these numbers mean to the company as a whole. Founded in 2016, Sisu provides sales coaching solutions to help agents, teams, and brokerages meet their sales goals.

Startup Hustle Podcast Is Now Available for Entrepreneurs

Highlights

  • Turbulent phases in Real Estate (10:56)
  • The reality of Entrepreneurship (15:30)
  • Business Intelligence software (21:38)
  • Doing business in teams – Future of Real Estate (30:17)
  • Advice for first-time founders (38:00)

Key Quotes

I think it’s great to be able to compare yourself to other people but the most valuable thing really is to compare yourself against yourself.

– Brian Charlesworth

The greatest thing about technology is the software shows up to work every day.

– Matt DeCoursey

Everyone has different a situation. What I would say to anybody raising money is, I don’t care if you’ve had experience or not; you need to be willing to accept fifty to a hundred no’s because you’re going to get those.

– Brian Charlesworth
Growth and Innovation in Startup Venture

Be sure to tune in to this “Real Estate Software for Teams” episode to hear the entire conversation.

Get Started with Full Scale

Rough Transcript

Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode.

00:00.00
Matt DeCoursey
And we’re back for another episode of Startup Hustle Matt DeCoursey is here to have another conversation I’m hoping helps your business grow all right? So if you have paid attention to anything in the news. You know that real estate is on fire right now and I don’t mean literally on fire but it is a hot topic right now. Prices of houses are up selling prices are through the roof. It’s just you know people are buying homes site unseen and with that’s creating it creates a lot of. A lot of stuff to keep up with and a lot of stuff to manage. So why not have a great technology solution to go with if that’s what we’re going to talk about today and before we get into who I’m visiting with today’s episode of Startup Hustle is brought to you by Canva where you go to collaborate and create an amazing graphic design for free. Whether it’s a presentation to share an idea a video to launch your business or a social post to start a conversation with Canva you can design anything discover the magic of visual communication and how Canva helps you create a lasting impact go http://canva.com to learn more. The little fact here I actually sent Canva the proposal to sponsor this episode with a proposal that I created on Canva that might have had something to do with why they bought it. So with me today I am really excited to have one ah 1 of ours. Salt Lake City Top Startup founders so we’re going to throw congratulations out for that if you missed that episode. You can go back to that aired on April twentieth there’s a link to that in the show notes with me today I have Brian Charlesworth brian the founder of Sisu you can go to sisu.com and learn more about what they do to help real estate teams. There is also a link in the show notes now straight out of the silicon slopes of Salt Lake City Utah. Brian welcome to Startup Hustle.

01:57.80
Brian Charlesworth
Hey excited to be here Matt how’s it going.

02:02.11
Matt DeCoursey
That’s going man you know, but first off congrats for being on the top startups’ list and you know I think that was our first trip down the silicon slopes of Salt Lake City now for those of you listening Brian just taught me silicon slopes. So there’s my third use of it so put it right into play. But.

02:04.33
Brian Charlesworth
Um, yeah, thank you.

02:20.21
Matt DeCoursey
You know Brian why don’t you give us a little bit of a background about you and also what you guys do at sisu.

02:23.92
Brian Charlesworth
Okay, yeah, so you know technology’s always been my thing I’ve been an entrepreneur before being an entrepreneur was popular. You know, ah back in 98 actually so we started a company called to talk to technology that we were the first voice internet company and so I’ve always been intrigued with the internet always been involved with the internet after selling a few businesses I moved into the franchising world and started buying franchisors and about eight years ago sold ah housemaster home inspections and worked on worked with budget lines tried to buy them and then sid partnered with them. We sold that as well and when that happened my wife asked me to jump in and help her build a real estate team while I was figuring out the next thing I wanted to do. You know I wasn’t really that excited honestly about building a real estate company I grew up with a dad who had been in real estate and you know he had his ups and downs and I’m passionate about technology. So but I jumped in and. What I found is she had a small team of 5 agents at the time she now has a team of 55 60 agents. Um, but the process is when I jumped in it was just a very cumbersome difficult thing to try to manage real estate agents to try to manage real estate operations. So there wasn’t really anything out there. You know there are CRMs in the real estate space that do lead follow up and do IDX websites but there wasn’t anything out there about managing business goals. You know, converting daily numbers to weekly numbers accountability all that kind of stuff commission management. We had to use Trello for task management. So what we found is we would take the numbers and put them into Google sheets and then we would take things and we get from Google forms. We’d get the agent’s information for a transaction that then the Tc would take the information and put into Trello. Which was just super cumbersome. So that’s kind of how Sisu was born.

04:32.56
Matt DeCoursey
So it was the daisy-chaining of a whole bunch of different stuff and that inefficient feeling that made you want to create? Yeah, if you go to http://csu.ceo you can see right there in the header it says where real estate transacts online and you know helping. Bring a lot of the stuff in and you know some of the stuff I mean honestly Brian some of it seems pretty straightforward just some dashboards with your data and your metrics and you know it’s crazy when you think about ah an industry like real estate and not having tools like this I’ve always looked at real estate and like been as a man. This is just ripe for disruption in a lot of cases but in some cases, it just probably needed a little bit of efficiency. So so when you went about going to do that was this really just intended at first to be an internal tool for.

05:09.45
Brian Charlesworth
Um, yeah.

05:24.77
Brian Charlesworth
You know that’s it. That’s a great question. Nobody ever asks me that question Honestly, um, we actually build an app when we first started just for her agents to track their numbers. So it was internal and.

05:25.60
Matt DeCoursey
Your wife’s a company or were you like hey I see an opportunity here for something bigger and broader. So.

05:44.32
Brian Charlesworth
What we found are those 5 agents all 5 of them started doubling their business every month so instead of doing 3 transactions. They were doing 6 transactions. Um, just from tracking and so that’s kind of how it got started and so when people think of us they think of us as. Kind of a lot of people thinks of us as this tracking software or this dashboard business intelligence software. But what we’re really focused on is streamlining and automating the entire real estate transaction process because the duplicate entry doesn’t allow people to scale I’ve had so many teams come up to me and say hey. You know what? I just can’t get past 500 transactions and it’s not because I can’t sell them is because I can’t support them and then they start using sisu and now they’re doing you know a thousand or two thousand transactions with the same team they had before.

06:35.15
Matt DeCoursey
I’m surprised. No one’s asked you that question. Maybe it’s non- entrepreneurs asking then because I find that so much of you know I look at like you know http://gigabook.com which I’m also the founder of as well as full scale like both of those businesses were born solving our own problems.

06:38.31
Brian Charlesworth
Um, yeah.

06:49.30
Brian Charlesworth
Ah.

06:51.76
Matt DeCoursey
And you know it’s and you kind of get good at doing that and then you realize oh Wow There’s a lot of other people that have the same problem. Maybe I can you know make a business out of it and it’s that I think it’s that ah model testing that quite honestly makes things good. They don’t rely on it.

07:06.55
Brian Charlesworth
Um, yeah.

07:11.61
Matt DeCoursey
Stupid amounts of funding and have burn rates like you often have to build these things within the context of your business and not have it. You know poke a hole in the side of the boat and make it take on Water. So I think some of that stuff gets pretty good now. Yeah so at what point did you like it. Did you realize hey there might be something bigger here?

07:29.51
Brian Charlesworth
So I mean I was super frustrated having to spend a lot of time on weekends in spreadsheets and trying to figure out how to streamline her business and eliminate the duplicate entry and so when we saw the results we were getting from that we were like this is probably worth building a business. And then we said we really need to eliminate spreadsheets and Trello and Google forms from being in this space because having all this data in these 3 different platforms is what most teams do they have no visibility into their business and it’s redundant. Duplicate entry every single time they go to do something so um I made this observation. My wife had ah an ops person that was kind of like a Cfo if you will but not really I mean she just had a small business of 5 people but she would get her reports. Of you know, knowing where her business was on the fifteenth day of the month following the month that she was in right? So imagine here we are today on May fifth on June June Fifteenth I’m going to get information that’s going to help me make decisions on what happened up to forty-five days ago and that’s going to allow me to possibly make 12 decisions a year and they’re not going to be very great decisions because I’m so far behind and so I realized you know one of the key things we needed to do was really give people real-time data around their entire business while streamlining and automating it so we could allow people to scale and so. Um, you know just to give an example, her team at the time had 5 agents doing about 150 transactions a year, and this year she’s I mean she’s grown a lot. She’s hired 20 something agents in the last few months but um. She will do that. She’s at about 60 agents she will do over 1000 transactions this year and really like she used to have 3 transaction coordinators to manage when somebody goes under contract to manage that process of getting these people to close. You know now that she has these systems in place. She actually has 1 transaction coordinator and two v a’s and she’s doing a thousand transactions compared to 150 transactions just way more effective right? way more efficient.

09:47.81
Matt DeCoursey
Well I think a lot of small business owners make the mistake of just continuing to try to do things the way they’ve always done it and you know yeah as you mentioned that’s prohibitive of growth Now you get into a thousand you know cycles of anything and if you’ve removed 50 steps. From that I mean that’s pretty significant and you know and so you know a lot of people just try to try to add more bodies to take care of that and that’s more expense. It’s just more frustration and you know the greatest thing about technology is software shows up to work every day.

10:06.49
Brian Charlesworth
Yeah, yeah.

10:21.56
Brian Charlesworth
Exactly.

10:23.74
Matt DeCoursey
And that’s I mean that’s the thing That’s that’s ah the real key Ingredient. So If you’re trying to strive towards real-time now you know when you started the business. You’ve also gone through some different you know, kind of turbulent phases of real estate and you know right now is nuts so you have to I would imagine right now you’d have to have some real-time. Info going on I mean houses in my neighborhood are selling the same like the same hour they list if they even make it that far and I would think if you didn’t have real-time anything you’re probably going to fall behind in a hurry.

10:46.32
Brian Charlesworth
You.

10:53.61
Brian Charlesworth
Well, I was going to. You know when my wife had me join and partner with her in the business. It was like okay how can I how can I get up to speed as fast as possible. So I hired a couple of coaches and I actually had a listing coach and you know i. I wanted to become a real estate expert and we were going to all kinds of masterminds with top teams and back then top teams were doing. You know a 0 in volume now they’re doing a billion in volume. So that’s how much things have changed in the last five years but um as we were going to these masterminds.

11:25.24
Matt DeCoursey
Yeah, yeah.

11:31.21
Brian Charlesworth
All these people when they would stand up and introduce themselves. They always stood up and said you know I closed x number of units last year and this was my closed volume and that’s how they introduced themselves. That’s how they were you know recognizing who they were in their accomplishment and my question I always had a follow-up question and I said well. What? Ah, where are you at this year and they could never answer that not one of them could ever answer that even if they were claiming to be like super good trackers knowing their business with spreadsheets. They still couldn’t answer where am I at this year as far as the number of closed units closed volume. The most basic simple question you could possibly know so so you know it’s interesting sometimes my wife and I are in bed at night and she gets excited about hey I’m gonna jump in and look at okay, what? what am I gonna make this month? What am I gonna make next month based on my current pending units right? And it’s just all right there for. Click a button so she can make those decisions. Um, you know she can decide which agent should I give which types of leads because they’re actually converting them or where should I invest my money to spend these leads all those types of things like honestly if you’re not using sisu there’s you’re really not making those kinds of decisions in your business today. And real estate is one of the things I’ve learned about these real estate team leaders a lot of them are just incredible business leaders now. But when they got started. You know they sold a lot of homes themselves and so they decided I’m going to build a team because Gary Keller wrote a book in 2003 talking about the millionaire real estate agent. That’s how you’re gonna build this million-dollar business right? Um, at that time none of them were great. Leaders. They were realtors. They were salespeople. And they had to become great leaders and a lot of them started trying to start a team today there are really salespeople who need to learn to become great leaders Sisu was really built to give you all the tools you need to effectively manage and hold your agents accountable and build a sales team and make them more effective. And streamline and automate your business for the side of your operation.

13:39.50
Matt DeCoursey
This is something I want to roll back a couple of minutes to for those of you listening you know Brian has been a successful founder multiple times before starting this venture and I want you to notice that the very first thing he did. When he jumped into something new it accelerated his path to becoming an expert getting himself around people that already know what they were doing that are already where you might want to go or be and you have to become an expert at anything and I think that it’s easy for some people if you. Been successful in the past and I noticed that these like some you know, multiple-time founders. Sometimes they get a little. They get a little comfortable and they go and try to jump into something new and you know they think that they’ve learned everything already and you got to come in you get and but that’s the whole thing is without a level of expertise. And understanding and that means what that means you your competitors the marketplace all of it and you know I think that yeah in my book balance me I mentioned that success demands payment in advance that is an example. And if you’re not going to become an expert at what you do You’re probably not going to be highly successful. So okay, now here you are now, please.

14:55.85
Brian Charlesworth
Matt Matt something else I’d like to add to what you just said because I think a lot of times people just think it’s easy for entrepreneurs and what I love you know in this scenario. My wife’s been watching this. Whole time right? She is our beta test company and it’s fun because I seek it to see and experience her growth. But you have no idea how many times she’s looked at me and said watching you do this like anybody else I know would have quit 10 times right? just based on the things that. That I’ve been faced with and honestly like that’s part of growing a business right? You’re going to face challenges. You’re going to fail in many areas and then you have to based on what hits you that it’s all about how you respond um and right now like with sisu. Um, we’re adding about 150 teams a month right now which is great growth for the amount of salespeople and marketing. We’ve done things like that. But now it’s the challenge of okay, how do we make sure we’re providing the best support to these people. How do we make sure we’re getting them onboarded so that they can take. Full advantage of our platform because you know you can’t just come in and automatically everything’s working and flowing for you. There’s work to get it from using all these other systems to now putting it all in sisu right? So so any way you always have different challenges and it’s a matter of how you respond to those.

16:29.42
Matt DeCoursey
Yeah, I couldn’t agree more? Yeah, my wife said some things to me over the years sometimes pleasant 1 sometimes she actually makes nice comments to me about being an entrepreneur. It’s usually along the lines of oh my god you’re crazy for wanting to do this again. Um, and that was actually where I was going with my next question was so after having a couple of successful ventures in the past. How did you feel about starting something brand new for me right now you know I’m still in the middle of the Full Scale journey. We just hired our two hundred and fiftieth employee and. You know, have ah made some big advances in our and our and management platform I mean right now if you ask me if I wanted to do something. No, I’d say hell no.

17:16.32
Brian Charlesworth
So I’ve been at that place in my life. There was a point in my thirty s that I was like you know at this point all I want to do is invest in companies right? So I actually moved into franchising and started a franchising investment firm. What I learned I learned a couple of things number one I’m not the best investor as far as finding the companies to invest in um, number 2 I learned that I would much rather. I had to step in and become the Ceo of a few of these companies and I would much rather be building a company that I’m passionate about than somebody else’s dream. Um, that’s not entertaining to me. so so anyway after those last 2 companies sold like I knew I didn’t want to do that anymore. What I wanted to do was build my own thing because that’s where I’ve had the most fun and you know I’ve experienced both sides of that and for me, it’s way more fun. To be building something that I’m passionate about something that I feel is going to change the world in some you know facet. So I think a lot of people I started this business when I was in my late 40 s and I remember being in my you know, 26 years old when I first started my first technology company and back then most people told me I was too young net right now. Most people would tell me and they think I’m too old right? when it when is the right time. So what I would say is you just gotta you have to do what your heart tells you to do and go for it. No matter. Matter what? how old you are.

19:08.73
Matt DeCoursey
I’ll share. Ah I’ll so I’ll throw myself under the bus here Brian so when full scale hired its two hundred and fiftieth team member I was actually in at our office is just recently and I said man I wonder how many of these people are older than me one I’m 46 man

19:24.12
Brian Charlesworth
And yeah.

19:25.77
Matt DeCoursey
Um, not that old but I was like you know to be the deal to be almost the oldest person at a 250-person company. You know there’s a lot of stats out there because you know Hollywood leads you to believe that the ultra-successful entrepreneur like is like 20 years old and has this brilliant idea and while that definitely occurs. It’s actually in your forty s that um that some of the most successful and productive entrepreneur years come and it has a lot to do with having actually learned a lot of stuff and had some experience and. Seeing winning in some places maybe losing in others and getting it figured out so as a reminder today’s episode of Startup Hustle is brought to you by Canva with Canva you can design your ideas with ease and get inspired. With over half a million free templates and a rich content library that helps you and your team achieve your goals sign up and start designing for free at http://canva.com brian have you ever tried Canva it’s a it’s a clever little platform. Yeah yeah, it.

20:24.33
Brian Charlesworth
I have yes I think most people have right at some point or another they’ve been around for a while now. Yeah.

20:33.94
Matt DeCoursey
Kind of it made it made me a graphic designer in many ways sometimes my staff is like dude you did this on Canva I’m like yeah wasn’t that hard. So yeah, it’s ah it’s nice. That was always something I struggled with before I discovered Canba I was like I just want to make a social media post that looks cool.

20:50.70
Brian Charlesworth
I mean yeah if anyone does vision boards today like every time I do a vision board. It’s on Canva like why would you do it any other way instead of cutting things out and doing that just do it electronically. It takes you a few minutes

20:52.51
Matt DeCoursey
And I had to you know have designers and everything done.

21:06.30
Matt DeCoursey
I really did use Canva to create the proposal to get Canva as a sponsor. So I think that that that may have helped. Okay, so yeah I was looking through your product, and once again, go to cus IS u dot CEO there’s a link in the show notes. If you are a real estate professional. You want to go check this stuff out all right? So can you explain what? Sisu’s decision intelligence engine does.

21:35.17
Brian Charlesworth
So I mean if you that question I would guess you’re meaning what we do as far as business intelligence and so.

21:43.29
Matt DeCoursey
Yeah I mean ah and how it works with other industries or any of that.

21:47.53
Brian Charlesworth
I mean there are a lot of companies and even take Domo for instance here in Utah that went public a few years back and what they do is they really visualize your data but most companies visualize your data through business intelligence. And there are a lot of them that do that most of them what they’re really focused on is just visualizing your spreadsheets. Um, which which is valuable because you can visualize your spreadsheets but in my opinion in today’s world especially running a real estate business. You should no longer be using spreadsheets like our focus instead of visualizing spreadsheets is eliminating spreadsheets and if the data is going into sisu you have real-time reporting without having to connect to a spreadsheet without having to use a spreadsheet. You have a database where you don’t have to put the same information into 10 different forms right? You can just visualize. You can just say I want this field to be visible in this form and this field in this form and if it’s the same 2 fields things as simple as name address phone number and email. Do you really want to put those in 5 different times or do you just want to have them in your database? so so I mean as far as business intelligence goes to answer your question if you’re in real estate.

23:04.10
Matt DeCoursey
Nope.

23:14.38
Brian Charlesworth
It’s critical that you know you are able to look at a dashboard like the ones flowing behind me and say hey here’s where my breakdown is right? if I went on this many listing appointments if I went on 10 listing appointments and I got 2 listings signed There’s a problem and that problem is I’m not very good with my listing presentation. What can I do if I’m a leader of a real estate team? Now you can coach your agents in this fashion. What I found when I first got into this business most real estate team leaders were having one on one with their agents on a weekly basis and the topic was usually being more of a personal counselor life counselor instead of. Focusing on their goals and all of the metrics that they need to hit those goals and what their conversion rates are and where the breakdowns are and those types of things. So I mean as far as that intelligence just letting people know you know where your conversion is. What are your conversion rates where are the breakdowns where are you know? Ah, what are the sources that are making you the highest returns which are the agents that are making you the highest returns which agents are using your preferred vendors, or the when I say that it’s your mortgage company your title company things like that and you if you’re a? Big real estate team. It’s very likely you own those businesses today. So are you really going to keep giving the leads to the agents that aren’t using those other businesses of yours because you can make more money from an agent who’s doing 20 transactions than you can from 1 doing 40 transactions? If the 20 agent transaction 20 transaction agent is using your preferred vendors and the 40 transaction agent is not so most people don’t have that kind of information at their fingertips in any business yet alone real estate. But. Ah, we’ve just made it really easy I learned that salesforce was too complex for most people in real estate so we made it really easy to have a Salesforce-like platform at a fraction of the price that is a hundred percent specific to real estate. And it even does stuff like gamifying your business so you can run sales challenges and all that kind of stuff and you know salesforce has good dashboards but they’re a little complex and they’re not made specific for my industry, right? so. So it’s hard to get the same flexibility and the same beautiful dashboards that you can get with sisu’s platform.

25:41.93
Matt DeCoursey
You know what? I’m gonna tip my cap to you on that one and if anyone from Salesforce is Listening. Can you just make like a simple light product to cause as I ran into the same thing man I’m like I don’t need all this shit I don’t need all that and I don’t want it and like I don’t know I shouldn’t? You shouldn’t have to hire a developer to have your CRM um or your basic stuff for whatever it is that you need it for and like yeah that was.

26:08.52
Brian Charlesworth
So so don’t get me wrong. We use salesforce in our business. That being said I’ve run into 4 real estate teams and or brokerages. Um, that have used salesforce and all of them paid over a million dollars to get their salesforce instance build out. And they’re paying somebody right now between one hundred thousand and one hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year to maintain that whereas with sisu you get way more than you’re going to get from salesforce if you’re in real estate and you don’t have to pay anybody to maintain it and guess what it’s going to cost you probably somewhere between.

26:31.63
Matt DeCoursey
To babysit it? Yeah yeah, yeah.

26:47.85
Brian Charlesworth
You know 3 to ah 300 to a thousand dollars a month so max probably twelve grand a year

26:53.19
Matt DeCoursey
Yeah, and that’s but my point is some of that’s just like Wow There’s a lot here. Okay, so you guys are doing you guys have some machine learning and other stuff in the platform. What do you? What is? what? Ah, what kind of stuff are your insights or actions are you generating from that.

27:09.30
Brian Charlesworth
Yeah I mean the main things that we’re tracking in that sense are you know, being able to give you notifications of how you’re doing compared to your goals. So automatically notifying you such as I don’t know if you use things like Strava or tonal or any of those types of. Training apps but I use a lot of them and they’re all gamified so we do some of the gamification stuff on that front. Another thing we do is if you’ve been on our platform for six months or longer. We know we know all of your conversion ratios. So if you tell us how much money you want to make. We can plug in exactly which activities you need to do to make that much money because we know all your conversion ratios right? So um I’ve been to gold planning sessions in masterminds and had trainers come in to do that. Even for my wise’ team and you know we brought everyone together and it took a full day to get to the point of being able to go in and set your goals for next year if you’ve been using sisu it’s going to take you 5 minutes to do that and we’ll just do it for you.

28:18.36
Matt DeCoursey
I Think one I think anything that helps you I think one of the things that a lot of just you know I know a lot of real estates people are on teams a lot of them are Independent. There’s a lot of fragmentation in the industry. A lot of different companies and things that they work for and I would imagine it’d be pretty hard to benchmark like am I doing any am I doing Well you know like what is this ratio or anything. It’s like so a lot of people ask. Um, you know I work with a lot of different software companies and they’re like well and so as they get to know a lot of our clients they’re like well is this ah is this a good Churn rate is this a good. This is this a good That I’m like man you can’t just look at Sas Software as a service is that broad of a category. You know it’s like.

28:54.53
Brian Charlesworth
Um, yeah.

29:03.42
Matt DeCoursey
And some in some instances you know some things just have high Churn rates some things have like no Churn rate. So it’s anything maybe anything that generates industry insights and helps people like I don’t know if anything that can also Tug someone up.

29:07.39
Brian Charlesworth
Yeah.

29:19.90
Matt DeCoursey
You know, pull them upward and I don’t know I think the gamification thing is powerful because well first off, no one likes to see their name last on the list, and second, off it’s like just like these little things you know if you’re going to eat the elephant you got to do it 1 bite at a time and.

29:27.28
Brian Charlesworth
Yeah.

29:36.48
Matt DeCoursey
Just seeing yourself make progress and do so stuff like that is I’ll give you an example is it’s even just simple things. So full scale. Our deliverable is our time and we put a meter in and our employee profile like in our employee portal because we realized they didn’t actually see how much time they had worked.

29:51.96
Brian Charlesworth
Um, yeah.

29:54.30
Matt DeCoursey
Each month. So when we put that in more people hit their monthly numbers because I think it’s natural to want to fill up the meter. You know so you know we also made it change colors as it got certain places you fill it up and now it turns green and.

30:00.97
Brian Charlesworth
Exactly exactly. So.

30:09.87
Brian Charlesworth
Yeah I mean there are all kinds of studies that individual sells people’s performance will increase over 30% just by doing those types of things so a couple of things that we do in our platform along those lines.

30:11.62
Matt DeCoursey
I Know just a little stuff like that matters. But.

30:22.36
Matt DeCoursey
Yep.

30:25.39
Brian Charlesworth
Any team that’s on our platform and we focused on teams and independent brokerages because they’re the ones in this space that run their business like a business and we feel like they are the future of the real estate. Um, so but. They can run a contest within their team where you know they could have 2 teams divide their team up into 2 teams that are competing against each other 3 teams or they could just have individual contests. So there’s a lot of that going on in our platform. But another thing that we added about a year ago is the ability for teams. We have over 3000 teams on the platform right now. So the ability for them to look and say where do I stack up against all these teams and we don’t have a leaderboard where we show teams names because or individual agents names to other groups because if we just didn’t feel it was appropriate in our business. Do that. But what we do is if I’m a team and I go to our landing page when you sign into the platform. 1 of the things you can see is how I’m stacking up against all these other teams. So I could see that I rank number 8 of 3000 teams on the platform. Which gives me a pretty good indication of how I’m doing um I can also see my personal record in every single category and how I’m doing this month right? So if the best month I’ve ever had was putting. 80 homes under contract and this month I’m at 65 I can see how I’m pacing towards that you know so I bring in a lot of platforms like that I think it’s great to be able to compare yourself to other people but the most valuable thing really is to compare yourself against yourself.

32:07.66
Matt DeCoursey
True.

32:09.97
Brian Charlesworth
And so at a team level or at an agent level that happens within our platform.

32:13.96
Matt DeCoursey
And yeah, we do a lot of that with our like the people analytics you know, just little triggers too. Just you know monitoring retention rates and you know sometimes it’s just simple as like just asking. Are you happy? Are you not? you know and then and then having a culture that people feel.

32:27.35
Brian Charlesworth
Yeah, yeah.

32:33.91
Matt DeCoursey
They feel comfortable enough telling you things that aren’t always what you want to hear so all right? So little shift here since we are on startup hustle and according to the internet. You guys have raised. Hundred and Twenty-Eight million dollars over a series of rounds including a recent series c congratulations on that what was is that a different company is it oh my god well you would know so.

32:54.58
Brian Charlesworth
So so I don’t think that I don’t think that’s us actually I think that’s the other C two. That’s the other C two company I was telling you about? Yeah yeah, that’s not us.

33:08.10
Matt DeCoursey
So This is incorrect. Okay, well then maybe I should ask and you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to do you has this have you received outside investment.

33:17.73
Brian Charlesworth
Yeah, so the first few years we as founders. Well, I was the primary founder but my partner is also invested in the company. We. We kind of self-funded it. We let a few of our customers come in and bootstrap the company if you will um in 2020 ah, we took in some seed capital, and then again last year we took in some additional capital. So we’ve um, you know we’ve been operating pretty close to break even from the beginning and so we haven’t had to take in as much capital as most we had an opportunity last year to take in a large amount of capital and chose to take in less so we’ve. We’ve taken in a close to $10000000 of capital overall today.

33:59.79
Matt DeCoursey
So I’m curious about that and that’s yeah, that’s a little different than the number but shame on your production team. Um, so the question with that and you know as it would it be in startup hustle. That’s always the that’s always kind of the pressing need that. So many people have when I talk to them when I’m not recording the show.

34:03.46
Brian Charlesworth
Um, yeah.

34:19.69
Matt DeCoursey
Um, what? what are you know, having done this multiple times over different ventures and then also with Csu once you can go to CsuS ISUDotCeo o to learn more about Brian’s company but what are a couple of things that you learned about raising capital.

34:32.73
Brian Charlesworth
Um, so I’ve had some good experiences with oh.

34:36.12
Matt DeCoursey
Yeah, by the way, you heard you hear that you hear that little chuckle. That’s a common thing I might have to make a highlight reel of like the first five seconds after I asked that question because yeah.

34:45.15
Brian Charlesworth
Yeah, so I’ve had some good experiences and I’ve had some bad experiences but um, you know yeah like right now the money that we have in our company. These are people that share our vision. These are people that believe in us.

34:52.49
Matt DeCoursey
Let’s talk about both. Ah.

35:04.46
Brian Charlesworth
As a team, these are people that are there to assist us and do things and add value that we couldn’t get on our own and that’s why we brought their money in. Um, I’ve had experiences in the past when I went with some big named VCs that were the. Partners I worked with were extremely young and you know immediately they thought we were a billion-dollar company ah we raised money at a hundred million dollar valuation and raised $43000000 and within three months had an offer for 300000000 and they wouldn’t even consider it and that was the first time I had really been in that world. You know I was in my late twenty s and I had actually signed documents that said I couldn’t sell the company for less than 5 x where they came in so we couldn’t sell for under 500000000 and that was a life lesson for me right? and. But I would say it’s a great thing and a great experience I learned from it I grew from it if I did that same thing again I’d be disappointed in myself. So um, when I was out raising capital last year I met with a lot of top-tier VCs and we had. We had a bunch of term sheets that came in and you know I met with a Vc that. Looked me in the eye and he said you know my biggest concern here is if one of these massive real estate companies comes in and wants to buy you for $500000000 in the next couple of years that you might say yes and. And I looked at him and said if that’s your biggest concern. You’re not a fit for my company. You know, will we go public. There’s a chance we could go public. We believe we can get to 100000000 in revenue that being said, you know you never know what the situation is of the market and the timing and if. If somebody brings the right offer at the right time you need to have partners that see those things the way you do and would be willing to take the right offer at the right time. So so anyway, um, that would be like the biggest lesson I’ve learned in funding is sometimes some of those VCs. Their model is they’re going to have you know they’re going to invest in 10 companies and of those 10 companies they expect 8 of them to fail and they expect 2 of them to be massive returns and if you know that’s not the kind of investor I’m looking for in my business. So ah. I want to I want an investor that needs me to be successful.

37:36.16
Matt DeCoursey
What do you think is the key to gaining you know someone? that’s never raised before now here’s the thing if I look at you I look at me like we go in. That’s a different meeting than the person that hasn’t done anything yet.

37:48.50
Brian Charlesworth
Um, yeah.

37:51.70
Matt DeCoursey
So what’s ah, what’s a tip you can give for the first-time founder.

37:55.38
Brian Charlesworth
Well, it’s interesting. You know a lot of these investors are actually looking for first-time founders that come from the right school that are a certain age and sometimes just with an idea you’re going to be able to go raise money from these top tier VCs and if you’re able to do that with an idea and you don’t care. About your dilution, I’d say go for it. You know if you don’t care about controlling the direction of your company. Go for it. But you know if some of those things are important to you that you want to make sure that you know you can continue to make decisions for your business. Um, anyway, there are just different strategies for it. But you know I wouldn’t say it’s likely any harder for somebody like that you know I think. Think it just depends on where you’re at right? Everyone has different situations and what I would say to anybody raising money is I don’t care if you’ve had experience or not, you need to be willing to accept you know 50 to a hundred nos because you’re going. You’re going to get those and if. Knows are hard for you. You’re probably not the right person to grow a startup.

39:08.13
Matt DeCoursey
So yeah, had that same conversation I think my most common advice for the first time person is to really know and understand that they’re investing in you maybe even more than the business. You know so it’s to show oh the passion and I also encourage people to.

39:20.92
Brian Charlesworth
Um, absolutely.

39:28.11
Matt DeCoursey
Don’t be afraid to admit, the things that you don’t know and you know say hey look these are the things that we’re great at these are the things that we need to fix. We’re aware of them and this is how we plan on fixing it and that’s part of what the money coming in is you know like.

39:39.24
Brian Charlesworth
Yeah I mean Investors Investors want to feel like they can make a difference in your business right? So they want to find a weakness that they can help you solve. So absolutely don’t be afraid to share that.

39:54.35
Matt DeCoursey
Yeah, and that’s a good thing people that’s a good thing when you get these are folks that work towards the greater good speaking of the greater good and the greater good of the podcast. It’s about time for the founder’s freestyle where I will give Brian a chance to recap. Today’s episode in the discussion. Maybe there are some things he left out. You know sometimes. But we had people sing recite poetry rap with it pretty much done it all now before we get into that I want to once again, a big thank you to today’s episode sponsor Canva with Canva you can work together from wherever whenever.

40:19.34
Brian Charlesworth
How.

40:30.53
Matt DeCoursey
You get on the same page as your team with seamless real-time collaboration. What will you design today explore and start designing for free at http://canva.com. There’s a link for that in the show notes. There’s also a link for Sisu that’s SIsu. Ceo you know, do me a favor and go recommend sisu to someone you know that sells real estate because I got to tell you I’ve known a lot of people that sold real estate and then and I need to pick up the phone and call them because it’s ah. It’s ah this is solving a lot of problems I think it’s pretty cool. So ah, you know Brian once again congratulations for getting your company on startup hustles top Salt Lake city startups we did you know we mentioned your company first at the beginning of the episode now we don’t rank them.

41:12.70
Brian Charlesworth
Aint you.

41:18.14
Matt DeCoursey
So whether you’re on the list or you’re not but you can know that we did mention you first. So so ah I only get to say that to one person. So.

41:20.11
Brian Charlesworth
Yeah, yeah I saw that, and thank you.

41:29.31
Matt DeCoursey
All right? So it’s time for the freestyle Brian what? what? you know you can give advice. You can give a recap I mean it’s a freestyle dude. You can pretty much do whatever you want. So here you go here’s the mic.

41:38.38
Brian Charlesworth
Hey, what I would tell you guys is if you want to grow your business like a lot of people are like what should I do to start a business I just want to start a business and I would say take a different approach than that instead of just looking to start a business find something you’re passionate about and. To solve that. To solve that problem because you’re going to have that kind of passion you’re going to have to have that kind of passion behind you to be able to get through some of the noses to be able to get through some of the challenges and if you don’t have that passion that like hey I’m changing this industry. You won’t get there and. You know for me if somebody tells me no or if someone tells me I can’t do it. That’s like the trigger that tells me just wait right? I’m gonna prove to you that that you know you’re gonna regret that you miss this opportunity or you’re gonna you know what? whatever it is for me. That’s. That’s like added motivation a hundred percent added motivation if you tell me no so the other thing I would say is when you’re growing a business what you’re going to find is a business change over time. And so the role that you’re going to play as a founder it changes over time the role that anybody in your business is playing changes over time and so it’s really important that you grow as a leader faster than your business is growing or you won’t be able to continue to lead that business. And so what does that mean you should be reading books every day. Yeah, you should be listening to podcasts like this every day you should be learning the tricks so that you don’t have to learn the hard ways because there are so many people that have been through these things and done these things and can teach you these things and so make sure. Make sure you’re doing that constantly because if you’re not staying ahead of the growth of your business as a leader you won’t be leading that business in 5 years

43:39.41
Matt DeCoursey
I agree well said and I’m going to just for the free sal I’m just going to expand on that. So First off, if you’re not passionate about what you’re doing. You’re probably going to quit all right? So you know the passion and being interested in what you’re doing helps you get up on the days that. You might not want to do it and you know self-discipline is described as doing the things you really need to do at the times that you least want to do them so I’ve learned that passion you know drives a whole lot of stuff. Um. You know one thing I want to point out here is I sometimes think people you know have had this discussion of are all the good ideas already taken. Okay, Brian, you started this business in 2018 that was forty years ago man this isn’t like a 20-year-old thing like this is and it’s in an in a pretty you know. Broad industry everyone real estate’s everywhere. So there are a lot of solutions and a lot of things that you can start but 1 of the things you mentioned is you got to solve a problem. So if you’re not solving a problem. You’re not really creating value and you know like it’s you mean, show me.

44:30.36
Brian Charlesworth
Yeah.

44:46.60
Matt DeCoursey
There’s not a very long list of companies that don’t solve a problem that has been really successful and I think that that’s really important and I’ll also expand on the idea with the growth. Okay, so I mentioned earlier that we hired. We just hired our two hundred and fiftieth employee at full scale. That’s the first time I’ve been the Ceo of a 250-person company. Okay, and when we have our three hundredth employee it’ll be the first time I’ve been the Ceo of a 300-person company. There’s a lot of journeys and into the unknown and you know and for me i. Deal with that a lot of different ways I have a lot. Well first off, this podcast is my ongoing education on many days and I’m not afraid to reach out and ask people you know like if I feel like I’m stepping into something that I’m unaware of and I know someone that I can text call. Knock on their door. Do anything you know, take them to a ball game. Bring them to a concert any of that stuff and you know for a little bit of advice and you and I think that entrepreneurs Brian I have a feeling if I called you and I wanted advice because I’m a founder. You’re a founder you would give me advice.

45:38.85
Brian Charlesworth
Um, yeah.

45:52.26
Brian Charlesworth
Absolutely yes.

45:53.93
Matt DeCoursey
But you don’t know that I need it or want it without me asking for it. So don’t be afraid to reach out. You know I did I did 3 calls this week I’m probably going to end up with like 16 more in the future but 3 calls with people that were startup hustle listeners that just wanted a little bit of advice. And you know like I mean do I have to do those calls. No, but I like doing them because I had a lot of people that did them for me I feel this I feel this need to pay it back. Knowledge isn’t meant to be kept. It’s meant to be transferred so that’s part of what we’re doing here on the show and you know like like I said reach out go to Full Scale io fill out the forms, ah and you know and I will be the first person to tell you if you have a long long long uphill battle and I’ve had people thank me for that too. So speaking of thanks once again, a big thanks to Brian Charlesworth the Ceo and founder of sisu. SIS UDotCO sees you there.

Sponsor Highlight

Today’s episode is sponsored by Canva. Create attention-grabbing designs with 500,000 free templates available for you and your team. Not only that, with Canva’s real-time functionalities, team collaboration is possible anytime, anywhere. So, discover the creative magic that Canva can do today.