Ricky Carruth, #1 RE/MAX agent on the Gulf Coast since 2014, joins Matt Theriault on today’s episode of Thought Leader Thursday! He share the 3 key points that made him a #1 real estate agent in 12 years, why he’s EXCITED for the next economy crash, and how real estate investors can benefit from his budding YouTube channel.
What You Will Learn About Ricky Carruth – Zero to Diamond:
- What attracted Ricky to real estate
- The 3 key points that made Ricky a #1 real estate agent in 12 years
- How the economy crash sped up Ricky’s progress
- How Ricky intends to maintain his progress through the next economy crash
- Why Ricky is looking forward to the next crash
- Ricky’s experience at Gary Vaynerchuk’s office and what he learned
- What Ricky is most excited about for the future
- How real estate investors can benefit from Ricky’s budding YouTube channel
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Speaker 1: This is Theriault Media.
Ricky Carruth: Once I kind of got the hang of doing deals, the market started to blow up and so I made a lot of money quick. And then as quick as I made it, the market crashed. I lost everything ’cause I didn’t know what to do with the money, I never had money. So I think through the crash, I think that was probably the biggest thing that has put me where I’m at, is going through the crash and losing everything I had and learning those lessons. I think that’s the most important thing that happened to me that’s got me where I’m at today.
Matt Theriault: Hello, I’m Matt Theriault, Epic Real Estate Investing and this is Thought Leader Thursday. So today I’m joined by the number one RE/MAX agent on the Gulf Coast and he’s held that title since 2014. His key attributes include his dedication to his clients, his hard worth ethic and last but not least, his market knowledge of real estate. His unparalleled desire for every client he represents to become part of his extended family and his true commitment to do anything to help them achieve their living dreams is truly a service only described as world-class. So please help me welcome to Epic Real Estate Investing, Mr. Ricky Carruth. Ricky, welcome to the show.
Ricky: Hi man, I hope everybody’s doing well. Thanks for having me.
Matt: You bet. Hey Ricky, before we get into your actual real estate, what were you doing just prior to getting involved in real estate?
Ricky: Well, that’s a load of a question, I could sit here all day. But my long story short, I used to roof houses with my father. I mean, there was the real estate crash and then I had to go back to roofing houses and then I worked in an oil rig for a while. So the second time around I worked in an oil rig before I did real estate.
Matt: Got it.
Ricky: So it depends on which round you’re talking about.
Matt: Well, both sound like tough work. What inspired you to leave that and start a career as a real estate agent?
Ricky: Well, I think I’m kind of like one of that one in a million kind of people who actually … Just something inside of you that wants to go to the next level, next level, next level, next level. And really, real estate is just another level. It’s not even the last level. I mean, I’m trying new things now and when I conquer the things I’m trying to conquer now, I’ll try to go after new things after that.
It was just another step for me. I tell you, what really attracted me to it, to be a real estate agent, was the fact that it’s one class. That was very attracted to me as opposed to a doctor, lawyer or something of that nature where you go to school for 10 years or eight years or four years. It was literally one class to get your license and then you could basically have the ability to make as much money as a doctor, lawyer or any of those other guys who go to school for eight to 10 years. I’m really good at spotting things that are very efficient or maybe not the best, but I’m very good at it. When I noticed that that was a one class deal to get me in a spot where I could go sky is the limit on my income, that really attracted me to the business.
Matt: Got it. So what year was it that you actually started as a real estate agent?
Matt: 2002, okay. So 2002 is when you started, 2014 is when you kind of took this number one title in your area. So, kind of walk me through, what do you think what were two or three key points that got you from a beginner in 2002 to number one in 2014?
Ricky: Well, I think in 2002 I was 20 years old. And when you’re 20, you think you know everything but you know nothing.
Matt: You don’t realize that till your 30 though.
Ricky: Yeah. And then so I went through the learning stages of real estate which is really tough. And once I kind of got the hang of doing deals, the market started to blow up and so I made a lot of money quick. And then as quick as I made it, the market crashed. I lost everything ’cause I didn’t know what to do with the money, I never had money. So I think through the crash, I think that was probably the biggest thing that has put me where I’m at, is going through the crash and losing everything I had and learning those lessons. I think that’s the most important thing that happened to me that’s got me where I’m at today.
There were a lot of guys that were 50, 60 even 70 years old that were going through the same life lessons that I was learning in my mid-20s. I think that was really big. Now, what did I learn? Well, I read over 100 books and I studied the market, I watched agents who made it through the crash, who didn’t make it through the crash. I really observed a lot. And what I came up with was that I had the drive and the work ethic and all that was there. The problem was my objectives.
My objective was to close deals. And I was smart enough to realize that the deals come from relationships and that the relationships produce even more deals later from just the one relationship for multiple deals over the life of your career. And when I realized that, that was a big turning point for me and that’s when I came back in real estate in 2008, coming off the oil rig. Got laid off from the oil rig ’cause when Obama came in, gas prices were down. And he wasn’t giving gas companies incentives to drill more holes so they started laying off.
I was kind of forced back in real estate and I started selling foreclosures to buyers. I wasn’t representing the banks, I was representing the buyers. And I liked that better because I was developing those relationships for the future ’cause I knew foreclosures would go away at some point, but the relationships I was building would actually continue to pay. And so I knew that I was going to end up winning long-term and all the foreclosure agents were going to lose because they were just focused on foreclosures, representing the banks and not answering their phones. There was no relationship to it for those guys.
I think going through the crash, losing everything, realizing that you can lose it once you have it … I mean you could have 50 million dollars net worth and you could lose it all tomorrow. It’s not as guaranteed. So just knowing that that’s possible, is big because now that I’m making it again, I have way more than I had when I lost it. Now I know how to keep it because I understand that you make the wrong move, you can lose it. So that’s big, the relationships over transactions was big, and then it was just the overall fact that I can survive a market crash. Like I know exactly what to do when the market changes.
So I guess going through the crash, relationships over transactions and then learning how to actually have a consistent business no matter what the market does, gives you confidence that you’re here for the long run. I think those may be the three key points that I would love to spread.
Matt: Right, good. So you said a couple of things there that … One you say as we’ve come through a pretty robust time last eight, nine years. The system has been very kind to entrepreneurs, even moving sometimes at half speed. And so a lot of people have made money, a lot of people are doing really well for themselves. So you say you now know how to keep it so explain to me what that looks like, you now know how to keep it.
Ricky: Well, I think that that is an important thing to watch. I think that you have to be careful with that, that’s what got me in trouble the first time. So most, everything I have … I’m in the middle of seven flips, I’m in the middle of building a spec home, I’m in the middle of several, several 100,000 in stocks, I’m in the middle of a lot of cash on hand, I’m in the middle of long-term rentals. I’m in the middle of a lot of stuff and everything is just about cash.
I owe maybe 20, 30% of my personal home. I owe 50% on two 100,000 dollar properties that pay me 1,400 a month. I owe a little bit of money on my personal truck and then I owe a little money on another property worth flipping just because it was 300,000 and we wanted to just … It’s going to be a quick flip so we had to run a credit for that. So very little debt compared to my equity and I think that is fine but I just think you have to be careful. And if you’ve ever gone through a crash and you know what it’s like to lose and you know that debt can get you in trouble in those situations and then you can build your empire around mostly equity and some debt when you need it. I think that that’s key.
Matt: Nice. No, I totally agree. I think leverage that’s one of the biggest wealth-creating aspects of real estate but you still got to be careful and responsible with it. So I think that that’s right on the point, around the nose. The other part that you had said earlier was … Oh, so you know what to do when the market shifts and we’ve been in this cycle for a long time and it’s going to shift here pretty soon. I don’t know how drastic it’s going to be. I don’t predict it being really drastic but what do you think might happen and how’s that going to adjust your business?
Ricky: Well, right now in my market, not other markets, but in my personal market were down 10% transactions year over year from last year. That’s not a crash or anything. I mean, prices are still up, prices are not coming down but they are leveling off. We’re seeing some price resistance. So I know there’s other markets where you put it on the market for seven, 800 and you have multiple offers and you’re selling it for 50,000 over asking price in Atlanta, in Colorado. There’s different … Your local markets are different.
I think within the next like two years, that we might have like a 25% drop or something that might last a year, nothing too bad. But there’s the investing side and there’s the real estate agent side. The investing side, either way, it goes I don’t care. I’ll make more money during the time. The investing side, if I get caught with some flips that I didn’t want to keep, that’s fine, I’ll just run ’em out. Or I bought ’em so right that I could still sell ’em for what I at least got in on if I need the money, or I can just sit on ’em, run ’em out until the market comes back and buy some more with the bottle.
So since I’m set up where it’s mostly equity, then I don’t have to worry because it’s my choice at that point. So then I have the income side, my real estate agent commission side of the business. That’s a very interesting sideman when the market really crashes or goes down because it creates so much urgency in the market. ‘Cause the buyers, the investors come out the woodworks and they want to buy right now while it’s down, they want to buy now. And the sellers that need to sell got to sell right now because they’re in trouble ’cause the market did turn on ’em. So it creates so much urgency from the buyers and the sellers’ perspective.
Meanwhile, all the agents are getting out of the business because they don’t know how to handle the market when it turns. So now you have fewer agents in the market where there’s a lot of urgencies from buyers or sellers. So it’s a very interesting dynamic for me where I just go totally confident. And it doesn’t have to be … A brand new agent can come in the business and crash it when the market crashes if they understand what I’m saying. ‘Cause they can just start calling property owners and saying, “Hey, do you want to buy ’cause it’s down? Do you want to sell because you’re in trouble or are you’re going to just hold and ride it out? Either way, it goes, do you have an agent that’s going to help you with all that?” And you just start developing those relationships.
‘Cause all the other agents are getting out the business, the ones that don’t understand what I’m saying. So from the investment standpoint and the real estate agent standpoint, it’s very interesting to me how this is all going to shake out when the market does turn. And I’m really kind of looking forward to it. And like I said, transactions are down this year for us. That is super exciting to me. I love … I’m such a connoisseur of market trends. Like I just love the fact that it just doesn’t go up every year forever. And that it’s hard and that like this year is not easy compared to last year. Last year everything fell on my lap. This year I’m working so hard and fighting and scratching for every little thing that I get. I just love it, it’s very interesting.
Matt: Hey, and I found your Instagram. It’s kind of where I crossed paths with you. I liked your profile, I liked what you had to say, I liked your message. And then I noticed you recently spent some time with Gary Vaynerchuk, you actually went to his office. And I’m just curious like you came back and it’s through your Instagram profile, it seemed like you were super excited, you were on fire. How did that go?
Ricky: It went really well. Gary is … You see him on social media, you watch the videos and everything, but seeing him in action firsthand is a whole nother ball game man. His mind is so fast. It’s really kind of scary, man, how quick he is and the stuff that comes out of his mouth. When you see that firsthand, it’s a whole different perspective about who he is and what he’s about. It’s kind of wild but it went really well. I went to what’s called the 4Ds, it’s a workshop at VaynerMedia. We got to spend some time with Gary, we got to spend some time with the entire team. We got to spend some time with the heads of all the different departments: the Paid Media department, the Influencer media department, the HR department, the Strategy department, the Content creation department. All the different departments of everything they do. We got to spend a lot of time, picked their brains, developed strategies around our specific goals and what we’re trying to do. So it went really well. I learned a lot. I was already pretty deep into the social media game.
And by the way, I only started social media about a year and a half ago so I’m really new to all of this. But since I’m such a go-getter, I go all in when I do something so I really learned a lot about it on my own. So like a lot of the stuff was already kind of new but there were definitely some things, some little tricks that I learned there that are … Just little things. All the little things add up so definitely some more arsenal for me, some more weapons for me to use when I’m doing ads and stuff. There were a couple little things here and there, little boxes you can check and different things you can do to make your reach a little more, get your reach to more people for less money. There were a couple of things that I learned.
Matt: What was the smallest thing that you think is going to have the biggest impact on your biggest that you got from him?
Ricky: I think maybe just a possibility that maybe I’m a speaker at Agent2021. I think what is probably the biggest thing, something I really wanted to try to make happen and I really made a good impression with them and they’re talking to me. So maybe that conversation goes somewhere so I’m really excited about that. That was the biggest thing I got most excited about. But as far as the practicality of something that your audience could use, I would say this, when you make a Facebook ad, there’s the different options of a Facebook ad. There’s reach, engagement, whatever, all the different things.
Matt: The goals of the ad, right?
Ricky: Yes, objectives. So the reach, it depends on what your objective is. If you use the reach objective, there’s a thing called frequency. Which when you do an ad and you see the frequency, the frequency is out of the people that saw the ad, the frequency is how many times those people saw the ad. So when you do like engagement, you’re paying for engagement so Facebook doesn’t mind showing that post to the same person a couple of times just to try to get ’em to engage ’cause they’re just trying to get engagement on that objective. But if you choose the reach objective, the frequency is going to be one because you’re paying for a reach of different people. And the engagement is going to say cost per engagement when you look at your stats, but when you look at the reach objective, it’s going to say cost per thousands of people reached. And so the reach is something I wasn’t using before that I use now in certain situations.
Now, maybe I do want people to see it twice or maybe I do want that cost per engagement on certain things. But then there are other things that I actually want to get out to as many people as I can. And so if you’re boosting the post from Facebook itself, it’s only going to be for engagement. And if you pick engagement, it’s only going to be engagement where people may see it two or three times and you’re paying for each of those impressions. But if you pick reach, more people are going to see that ad. They may not see it twice but more people will see it. So that was something I got out of it that I’ve really used a lot. And there are other-
Matt: A lot of people will see it for the same budget basically.
Matt: Is what you’re saying.
Matt: I get it.
Ricky: More people see it. Now, if they scroll and they see it once and then they liked it. I mean, they didn’t like it but in their mind, they liked what they saw and they kept scrolling. But then they were interested but now they don’t see it again ’cause you had it on reach. So there could be a downfall there but it’s created to get your message out there to as many people as possible. So I would say play around with the reach versus engagement and use it wisely as far as … In some situations, you might want cost per engagement, in some situations you might just want to get this message out to as many people as possible.
Matt: Super. So thanks for sharing that, thanks for being generous with that. So the Agent2021, is that next January?
Matt: Okay. Well, congrats on that. Other than that, what are you most excited about for the future of your business?
Ricky: I don’t know. I just hit 3,300 on YouTube, which is really small. But I look at other people’s channels that are more popular than me and I’m crushing ’em. I feel like my YouTube has a really good chance to go big, like six-figure and even seven-figure, and so really excited about that. I’m excited about the fact that I’m doing it for free and I’m telling everybody everything I know for nothing. And in that way, I can build an audience who actually knows I care about ’em, which is going to be very valuable to me long-term.
And so, that’s probably the most exciting thing because I’ve been selling real estate for a long time, I’ve been number one for a long time. That’s great and everything but as far as what I’m excited about, I’m excited about the fact that I’m going to have an audience of people that really care about me and me about them, that at that point there’s going to be so much opportunity for me to do anything I want.
Matt: Sure. My audience is a mixed audience, mostly real estate related and real estate-minded. Who’s the ideal person or the ideal audience member for your YouTube channel?
Ricky: I would say maybe there’s a couple of different. I mean, the real estate agent is number one ’cause that’s primarily what I’m teaching, is how to sell real estate.
Matt: As an agent, right?
Ricky: Yes, an agent. I’m a big-time investor myself and I’m growing leaps and bounds in that department so I think real estate investors would benefit a lot out of my channel and start videos. And as I grow there, I’m going to do more and more investing style subjects. And then there’s the whole other side of it. Like there’s a lot of people out there who talk about that they’re not a motivational speaker or that this isn’t for motivation because they’re trying to drive on the fact that they’re practical and they’re giving you practical advice that you could go out there and use and crash its stuff.
But I don’t care of people call me a motivational speaker, a motivational guy. I would actually welcome that. I don’t care how you see me. I’m the kind of person I would rather that you get what you can get out of me and go use it whether it’s motivation or practical advice. I don’t care what you get out of me that you can use positively in your life. Take whatever you can get out of me and call me whatever you want to as long as it’s helping you. So I would say that the motivation … I grew up in roofing houses. My dad was a roofer. I’m the number one RE/MAX agent in state Alabama. I’m trying to do big things worldwide and grow a big spear. And I used to roof houses as a kid so I think it’s motivational what I’m doing. I think a lot of people can benefit from my story. And so I would say anybody who wants motivation and to connect with me because I will literally do anything that I can to help you regardless of what.
There was a guy, he’s actually my assistant’s [inaudible 00:23:42] boyfriend and he’s an insurance agent trying to sell insurance. He sends me a question about how can I do this or that and I’m sitting here trying to explain to him what little things he could start doing to improve his business. So it doesn’t matter what sphere of influence you are, what business you’re in or anything, I think anybody can really benefit from what I’m doing.
Matt: Awesome. So let’s wrap this up real quick. What’s the best way for somebody to find your YouTube channel? Is it searching your name, searching your company name? How should they find that?
Ricky: You can just search Ricky Carruth and also you can find me on Instagram the same way, Ricky Carruth. You can also go to zerotodiamond.com ’cause zerotodiamond.com is all of my free training. It’s all of my free training and it has links to everything, YouTube, Instagram. You can find my books, I have two books, I have … Everything’s right there for anybody who wants to know anything about me.
Matt: So everything Ricky Carruth is at zero diamond dot com?
Ricky: Zerotodiamond.com. And also if any of your listeners or anyone listening to this in any way has connections to a speaking engagement of any kind, I’m wanting to do a lot of speaking engagements over the next couple of years to continue growing my brand and growing my personal brand so I welcome that as well. And you can find my speaking page, my speaking information on that site as well.
Matt: Perfect. Well, thanks, Ricky. I’ll make sure all of that is included in the show notes. And it’s been a pleasure. I’m sorry we’re running out of time. I’d love to continue this conversation, perhaps we’ll do it again. Let’s check in in six months or so. Sound good?
Ricky: Absolutely man.
Matt: All right, it’s been a pleasure. So thanks for tuning in to this episode of Thought Leader Thursday. I’ll see you next week on another episode on here right here on The Epic Real Estate Investing Show for Thought Leader Thursday. Take care.