Ricky Carruth is not only one of the top realtors in the South, he also is author of two books on Real Estate (both are Amazon Top 100 in their category) and an internationally-in-demand motivational speaker. He has quickly become the number one recruiter with eXp Realty.
Your corporate motto is “Zero to Diamond.” You earned the “Diamond” status as the Number #1 RE/MAX agent in your state. But tell us about the “Zero” part.
“After making a million dollars in real estate at the age of 23, I lost everything in the 2008 crash, and fell back to my teenage job of roofing houses. I went bankrupt… actually slept in my car and on friends’ couches until I landed a job on a Mississippi oil rig. Yet those were some of the best years of my life because I took time to figure out why I’d lost everything. In that process, I read a hundred books, which led me to realize that the missing ingredient in my business was that I was not valuing relationships over transactions. Then everything changed, including my mindset, and the path to success opened up.”
It took a lot of courage to go from ten years with RE/MAX—well-established and highly successful in that system—to a smaller up-and-upcoming brokerage. But it wasn’t blind bravery… share some of your rationale for that leap.
“Well, I couldn’t find a reason not to go! eXp is so far ahead of all the other brokerages out there, it’s not even fair! eXp is the future of real estate… for years, agents have been worried about technology replacing them, but in fact, eXp turns that on its head and embraces the new realities in ways that put the agent first. From the start, they saw the need to move from purely brick and mortar to a cloud-based brokerage. This allows eXp to put in place an innovative compensation model that gives agents revenue share and stock-ownership in the company. Again, that’s the future.”
I know some of your story, I know that much of your success comes from being a good communicator. So could you concisely communicate a few of the keys to your diamond-level success?
“First, you have to visualize yourself as a success. You have to believe 100% that you can do it, then dedicate yourself long-term to the work habits that will take you there. And this applies beyond real estate, to any endeavor: you want to find who is the best in the field you wish to excel in, model that person, and then commit to outwork your role model.
In today’s world, building your personal brand is key, always presenting original, consistent content across all platforms so that wherever people look, they see you—and they see a person they can trust. By original, I mean sharing your own authentic personality, which draws people toward you, and your consistency illustrates your honesty, dependability, professionalism and work ethic.
As for brass tacks: we all use the internet… and although I do create content for every social medium out there, my specialty has been email marketing. I’ve found that email has a higher organic reach than any other platform. And I do use the old-fashioned telephone. But in the end, none of that matters if your goal isn’t to create lifelong relationships.”
An obvious question on everyone’s mind: How do you approach the realty business with Covid-19 literally hanging in the air? Your book, List to Last: How to Survive Every Real Estate Market Crash, came out two years ago, but seems especially timely now.
“We have to realize that regardless of any market condition, real estate closings will continue to happen every single day. That hasn’t changed. Therefore, there’s never any value to functioning out of fear. Markets will always shift; the trick is to stay calm and realize that there’s still an unlimited amount of business out there for those who want it.”
In closing, with your wide range of experience—victories and failures—readers may be surprised to learn you are only 39-years-old, and that you and your wife, Karlin, just had your first child. Baby Whitley was born about the same time the coronavirus was birthed. Share the joys, and trepidations, of seeing her come into this world-turned-upside-down.
“It’s mostly a blessing at this point—we’re doing well, staying healthy. At the same time, it’s a roller coaster. In just a few months, we’ve become new parents, changed brokerages and moved to a new home… all with a pandemic out there. That’s a tremendous amount of change and turmoil all at once, but we’re just taking it one day at a time and enjoying the moment. And I’m having my best year ever.”
-Interviewer Lance Moore is author of eight books, his most recent entitled, “A God Beyond Belief,” published by Circle Books, UK.