Ricky Carruth has seen his fair share of ups and downs in the real estate market.
By age 23, Carruth was a millionaire after dropping out of college and pursuing real estate full-time. By 25, he was bankrupt. The real estate crash of 2005 sent him couch surfing and working at an oil rig. He took a break from real estate and came back to selling in 2008. Despite the economic climate, Carruth set out to defy the odds and succeeded, selling over 100 properties annually as a single agent. In 2014, he became the #1 RE/MAX agent in Alabama.
In 2017, Carruth created a real estate coaching business that provides free services. Carruth’s content speaks to those starting in the real estate industry or struggling in their career. Carruth has over 60,000 subscribers on YouTube, 230,000 followers on Instagram, and 100,000 downloads a month on his podcast. He says his goal has always been to give back.
On top of all his other ventures, he continues to sell real estate through eXp Realty.
Shama Hyder: What have you learned about sales in your journey from bankruptcy to becoming the number one agent in Alabama?
Ricky Carruth: You need to use your business as a vehicle to help people, not sell them. Using social media to acquire contact data for your target customer and following up with a phone call to see how you can help them, along with a weekly email, is one of the best strategies I have seen. So many people are getting away from voice-to-voice in today’s tech-driven world. The more voice-to-voice interactions you can have with prospects in your market, the deeper your connection to your audience becomes.
Hyder: What do you believe was the secret sauce to going from zero to 100 sales?
Carruth: It’s all about personal branding. When you build a personal brand, your clients are chasing you, not the other way around. Think about it like this — it’s not how many properties you sell; it’s how many people in your market know you, and never forget who you are. I want to think of myself as a politician and canvas the market letting everyone know who I am, what I do and that I am here to help, on top of sending them a weekly email on the same day of the week for the rest of my life.
Every real relationship you create with a client is worth both the future business and the current deal you may or may not make with them. Repeat business, referrals, and referrals of referrals are the key to everything in today’s business world. Market share is the percentage of relationships you have with customers in the marketplace compared to your competitors.
Hyder: How does your free training model work?
Carruth: There’s a lot to it. I share everything I know for free through my social media channels, my free course, and my 90-day action plan. I answer all my Instagram DMs and post podcasts and videos every day. My goal is to reduce the industry’s failure rate. As soon as we can safely have in-person events, I want to tour and spread my messages: closings happen every day, business is unlimited, competition is in your mind, and relationships over transactions.