Table of Contents - Building a Mammoth Business With Matthew Regan
George El-Masri [00:00:00] Hey, everyone, thank you for tuning into this episode of the well off podcast, this time I got to sit down with Matthew Regen and he is a phenomenal real estate agent located in the south end of Mississauga, does a ton of deals, one of the top 10 Royal Apage Realtors in the country. Not only does he have a really phenomenal team, he's also a real estate investor himself. He's picked up a few properties along the way and he learned quite a bit from his father who taught him some valuable lessons. As a child. I had to really pick his brain on this episode because I was trying to get as much as possible from him. He's achieved a very high level of success that not a lot of realtors get to achieve. And some of the principles he follows, they are applicable to any business. So even if you're not interested at all in having and becoming a realtor or having some sort of real estate business, you can really take a few things from what from what he's sharing and apply them into whatever it is that you're doing. So enjoy the show. And again, if you happen to know someone in the greater golden horseshoe area, I'm talking about Hamilton, Brantford, Weland, St. Catherine's, who's looking to get an investment property. I would love to help them reach out to me. You can find my information on well off or you can just shoot me an email, George. Well, I've got to say thank you very much. Enjoy the episode. Hello and welcome to the show. Today, I'm interviewing Matthew Regan, who's got his own real estate team here in Mississauga. He's a top 10 realtor, actually ranked nine out of eighteen thousand realtors representing Royal. I've met Matt a few years ago when he spoke at a real page event for the company that I used to work for. And he was sharing his story and how difficult it is to actually maintain that status of being top 10 in Canada. And the reason, as you guys know, the goal of the show is to motivate, inspire and share success principles. And I thought that would be a great guest to describe how he was able to build such a great team. You guys are you guys have about twenty three team members based on the website. I can see that you do a great job here. You've got listings all over town, Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga. And I'm just happy to have a chance to kind of pick your brain and figure out what you're doing.
Matthew Regan [00:02:12] Thanks, George. Thanks for having me. Very excited.
George El-Masri [00:02:15] Good. I'm glad to have you here. So the way what I normally do is start off by asking about your childhood. If you want to tell me where you grew up, what you remember, things that stood out to you as a child.
Matthew Regan [00:02:25] Yeah, I got a lot of vivid childhood memories, actually. I won't bore you with the granular stuff, but probably a typical young boy. I think I had dreams of playing professional baseball or or basketball. But quickly, all those dreams diminished when your height kind of I think I was six feet tall isn't bad. But to play in the NBA, that's probably a bit short. Vivid memory was it was 12 years old. It's summer holidays. I'm I'm sitting at home bored and I get out into the garage one one morning and up in the rafters is this old lawnmower, one boy lawn mower that my I later found out my mother had actually given my father as a Christmas present, which I think nowadays you'd probably have a little backlashed be like giving your wife an appliance or for for Herbert their Christmas. Anyway, I got this lawnmower down, fixed it up, and I started cutting my my parents' lawn and Mr her two daughters over comes by one afternoon he's like, hey can you cut my lawn. And I think that was the beginning of my lawn cutting career and my business began to grow. I started cutting his lawn and it was cool because you know what, 12 not many. Your friends have a job and if they do, it's like maybe a paper route or something like that. So I began to learn really quickly what it was like to work for myself, so to speak. Or maybe a better way to put it is I just didn't have a typical Monday to Friday, nine to five job. And then what happened pretty quickly after that is Mr Memorium from around the block comes comes by on his afternoon walk, sees me cutting the lawn. He's like, Hey, can you do mine too? So before I know it, I had to. And then in my last year of high school, I was cutting seventy five lawns a week. And what I think most I was very proud of the fact that I would condense it into four days so I would do a Monday to Thursday, just pounding out lawns, trying to do my schoolwork, playing football, playing basketball and baseball at a fairly high level. So talk about time management skills and talk about the joy of a three day weekend. It was pretty, pretty cool.
George El-Masri [00:04:44] That's impressive. Seventy five lawns by the by the time you were 12, you said
Matthew Regan [00:04:48] so I went from one when I was twelve to seventy five when I was 17.
George El-Masri [00:04:52] Oh OK. Seventy five lawns while you were 17 years old. That's amazing. Yeah. You're making pretty good, good money.
Matthew Regan [00:04:58] Yeah it was pretty good.
George El-Masri [00:05:00] Yeah. I remember I just recently read Warren Buffett's biography and he when he was young he was delivering newspapers and so what he did was like from a very early age, he would save all the money he would make to eventually invest it into stocks and whatever else. Did you do anything special with the money that you were making or were you just spending it on clothes or things of that sort?
Matthew Regan [00:05:20] That's so good. So never been a spender. Always been a saver. I bought my first house when I was twenty three. I would always say to people that would listen something along the lines of, you know, you're pretty young to have a home and and this was a detached home in a nice neighborhood. You know, often and I don't say this, I hope this doesn't come across as arrogant, but it's to really try and paint a picture. I'm living as a single twenty three year old male in a in a pretty predominant family neighborhood, dual income. They've got kids. So, again, coming back to anybody that would listen is my career in real estate didn't pay for this house. It was the twelve year old that learned time management skills and how to manage money, what expenses looked like, how to grow a business. It was that person that was able to afford buying his first home. And it was a pretty cool. Pretty cool. A look back on it.
George El-Masri [00:06:21] Well, that's cool. So as a 12 year old, where did you get those skills taught you how to do things like save money and manage your time?
Matthew Regan [00:06:28] Yeah, a quick story to that point would be my neighbor at the time, Kurt Warner, and my best friend, his grandparents got him in a tendo. And we're talking original Nintendo with Dukan to some of the Super Mario brothers. So my sister, Kathleen, two years younger and we'd spend a lot of time next door playing Nintendo at Kurts. Why? Because we didn't have our own Nintendo. So we got the bright idea one day to go to our parents, go, hey, can we have it in Tendo? So where these life lessons began to get instilled in us was our parents said no, they but what they did do is they set a goal for us. So I'll make these numbers up because I don't remember. But if Nintendo back then costs one hundred dollars, they said, you know what, save up twenty dollars. That's what Nintendo is going to cost you. And when you save up the money, we'll see about getting Nintendo. So here we were. We're doing a little odd jobs saving allowance. We did some little things in the neighborhood. This is prelaw and cutting years. So you're probably like eight, nine, 10 years old at the time. And we saved and we saved. And it took a long time. The day we got the money, I can actually remember it was like it was yesterday. My parents were sitting in the living room. Kathleen and I fly down stairs. We got the money, we got the money. Can we get the Nintendo? And my dad gets up from his chair and he goes into the the hallway closet by the front door. And up on the top shelf is the Nintendo. Oh, cool. It was so cool. It's such a vivid memory. And I think the life lesson is if you want something, you got to go work for it. Yeah. And I've never really forgotten that.
George El-Masri [00:08:08] That's an awesome story. You didn't even have to wait to get your name.
Matthew Regan [00:08:12] Exactly.
George El-Masri [00:08:13] Well, that's really cool. That was a great lesson from your parents. Yeah. Yeah. And then can you tell us. All right, so after 17, what not did you always want to be in real estate somehow? I know you said you bought your first home at twenty three. Were you a realtor at that point?
Matthew Regan [00:08:28] I was a realtor at that point. I got licensed when I was 19. I remember sitting I went to the U of T. I remember sitting in a in a geography class and you know, this is the lecture hall, probably four or five hundred people in this class. And I, you know, I have a terrible memory, but it's amazing what you actually do remember. And, you know, I'm kind of sitting center of the room and I I had this like, what am I doing here kind of moment? And I would have been eighteen at the time. And I am I always knew real estate would be I was thought that real estate was the path. And I said, you know what, if this was the path that I'm going to go down it. So I, I actually had made a deal with my mom and dad that I would go to university, though I had wanted to get into real estate and they they made a deal with me. Will will pay for your your first year tuition. Just go give school a try. And I did that. The problem with that was I didn't hold up my end of the bargain because sitting in this geography class, I said, you know what, I'm going down this path and at this point I'm living at home. So I would check the mail for the the U of T anything. The address from U of T and I took the the bill and I went and paid the the tuition remainder of it, at least out of my own pocket, knowing that I was, I was breaking this deal. So Yeah. Nineteen jumped into it and I kind of kind of never looked back though at thirty five years old today. Do I wish I had maybe stayed in school longer. Because if anybody is listening to this, you know it's the old cliche kid stay in school like it's got so many advantages. And then if I just been able to dial it down a bit earlier and decided like if I, if I'd been able to say, look into a crystal ball at nineteen and go, there's certain aspects that you can learn in school that will help you in real estate. In business, I would have would have liked that. But it's all good.
George El-Masri [00:10:27] Well, do you think that there could have been something there for you right now looking back, or do you think, you know what? I learned all my lessons just from from being involved in real estate and working and living life.
Matthew Regan [00:10:38] Yeah, I think I take an Abraham Lincoln approach to this where if you've got six hours to chop down a tree, to spend the first four sharpening your ax before, just start swinging away with it with a dull blade. I think staying in school, you know, it's hindsight, right? Because I could have stayed in school and taken a variety of courses and had a broad sense of, let's say in this case, business. But man, oh, man, like the real life trial and error and especially the mistakes like you learn, at least I personally have learned a lot from my mistakes, more so than my say my wins. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
George El-Masri [00:11:16] And your dad was also a realtor, so he got he was licensed in. The 70s and you grew up pretty much, I'm assuming, watching him do these transactions and how he's talking to his clients and how he built his business. So how did that impact you? And did you want to be like your dad when you decided to get into real estate?
Matthew Regan [00:11:33] Yeah, I've given that a lot of thought. I think if you're you know, you're a if you believe that you're a product of your environment, then my upbringing with my dad in in the business and by the way, I'll bring my mom into this as well, because she's pretty, pretty good head on her shoulders as well. I think just by default of being in a real estate house where the cell phones always are on and back then the fax machine is is always within reach. You're in the car. I think going to sport sporting events like tournaments or practice or games like, you know, there was always that it was always there and hearing how he would speak to people. And I think, you know, it sounds that sounds a little I don't know how this is going to sound, but it was very interesting to see how he truly did put the clients interests above his. Of course, he's going to work to provide for his family. But one of the things he taught me, as do right by the client, if you put the client's needs above yours, then your your needs will actually be taken care of. It was really cool to actually see and watch him do it in the most real sense, as opposed to, say, lipservice. It was pretty cool.
George El-Masri [00:12:55] Interesting. Well, that's great. And you you had a good role model for yourself when you started in the business. How was that experience for you? Did you have success right from the beginning or did you have a lot of challenges?
Matthew Regan [00:13:05] Oh, man. Oh, yeah, it was. Yeah, I'll get a little vulnerable with you, I guess. I mean, you're nineteen, you know, there's always a I've always been a confident person, but you're going to work and you're putting on a suit and tie every every day, maybe with the exception of Sunday, maybe you lose the tie, you go into the office. And I very vividly can remember, like the whispers around, say, the water cooler, the kitchen. You know, I don't think it was I don't think these whispers were coming at me in a, you know what like from a heat standpoint or anything like that. But the whispers would go something like this, like he'll only be successful because of his his father's success. He's being handed business because his father's got a got a pretty good business. And, you know, again, you're nineteen, right. So you're I'm trying to actually dissect where these people were coming from. And back then it would have been one answer. And today it's a it's another answer. So right off the bat, right from day one, it was kind of like this. I'm going to prove you're wrong. Like I heard what you said and I don't agree with you. So chip on my shoulder, watch me. But with that comes a ton of mistakes and a massive learning curve. Could you argue that my learning curve was not as long as maybe somebody without a mentor like my dad? Yeah, absolutely. But on the flip side, you could also argue that the expectations are were much, much higher. And the degree of accountability that I was I was under not only with our with our clients, but with him as, say, the boss is much, much higher. So learning was amazing, but most of it came through a lot of mistakes.
George El-Masri [00:15:03] Were you working on your dad's team at that time?
Matthew Regan [00:15:06] I worked. I think the easiest way to envision it as I would have been like a licensed assist
George El-Masri [00:15:12] licensed assistant, at what point did you start taking over? Because now you're the team leader and you've got a huge team here and a very successful team. At what point did you become the team leader?
Matthew Regan [00:15:22] I'm twenty unofficially. I was twenty five. So let's call it five to six years in. Yeah, it just became apparent that I had grasped the industry that was making a pretty good go of it at that point in time. So I you know, another way to kind of say this is people have often said to me that, you know, your dad's a lucky guy, that you didn't screw it up. Right. Like, I'm kind of paraphrasing here. And I would quickly respond by going, yeah, but I was pretty lucky that I had him open to relinquishing the reins. I feel that in many family businesses, at least from what I can see in real estate, the parent does have a difficult time of of, say, letting go. And man, he did a I mean, full marks to him. He he trusted me. And things have gone very fortunate. Things have gone pretty well since then.
George El-Masri [00:16:20] And when you were, say, twenty five years old, were you still part of the top 10 of Royal Page, that kind of thing, or were you kind of still not not quite there yet?
Matthew Regan [00:16:30] We weren't quite there yet. We definitely weren't quite there yet. Please don't take it the wrong way. The business was still very good and very profitable. But no top top 10 at that point wasn't wasn't wasn't in the cards.
George El-Masri [00:16:44] OK, what did you have to do in order to take your business to the next level? What do you think were some of the steps that you took or some of the changes that you had to make?
Matthew Regan [00:16:52] Yeah, easy to look back on it. Right. So back then, we the simple answer, I think there's two simple answers. One is learning to let go. Basically, you have to have a conversation with yourself. Where does the business rely on one person, like if it's truly a business as opposed to, say, a sole proprietorship where it's it's one person taking on the world? Isn't it easier to take on the world with a bunch of really great people that share similar similar interests? So we began, I guess, in the real estate world to grow a team where we brought where we needed help. And and I'm not going to sit here and say that happened by design because it didn't it happened organically. And I think when the when we really began to sell more houses, make more money, was the day we really began to run it like a business. And you notice I'm now saying we like we had an admin, we had a couple of of, let's say, assistants, which is a terrible word, like they are really just their business partners in the truest sense from the standpoint that they have skin in the game. They come to work every day. They care. They want to help grow something special. They see somebody maybe that wants to take this business to another another level and you can't do it by yourself. So they're they're buying into this. And then other puzzle pieces come together in in the form of some really amazing people that are aligned and want to have successful careers, but also want to have a pretty good work life balance, which is maybe another segue into another day or maybe it comes later in this conversation. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:18:38] All right. So you're saying that one of the key things in order to help you get to the next level was to build your team, was to bring on help, to grow your team and to have, like you said, not assistance, but business partners.
Matthew Regan [00:18:50] That's a great, great way to put it. You know, I have a pet peeve in our industry, and that is the word team. What is a team? There's different ways to define it. I've heard Jim Collins, who's got a great businessman and author, great book, good to great would call it. Is it a genius with a thousand helpers? So is the team leader this this brand name and underneath him or her, they've got a thousand people just helping this person be great or is a team where everybody has a role? A role could be from selling to answering the phone and you can't sit there and say one is more important than the other because they are pieces and one can't function without the other. And I think when you actually look at a business, there are a thousand moving parts. And I don't know if you can wait, say, a sales person's role, who you rely on sales to, to service clients to ultimately earn a earn a paycheck and be profitable. But you can't do it without, you know, the most the most basic of necessities. And it could be somebody doing paperwork.
George El-Masri [00:20:08] Yeah, for sure. Well, that's great. I like I like the way you look at it as treating everyone like a business partner and whatnot. How does your team today generate most of its business? Is it through see print marketing or is it through referrals, radio ads, whatever? What's the
Matthew Regan [00:20:27] track track? All our business and we we we track it's pretty detailed. It is. It's somewhere it hovers around. Eighty five percent of our sources will come from our sphere of influence in our sphere of influence could be our repeat repeat. What we ultimately aim for is past client referrals. It really when you take that approach, when you take the client a client centric approach, your business actually begins to compound organically. And what I mean is if you start with if anybody is listening, you just got your license. Well, you got to start with one. You have to start with one client. And my advice would be give that client the best experience that you you you know how. And by doing so that. Lyon is going to go and sing your praises and they're going to tell it to others, and those two others are going to come to you. Well, now you've got three. And then you talked about Warren Buffett before. What is it? The seventh wonder of the world is compounding interest. Well, that that and that approach can be taken in sales as well.
George El-Masri [00:21:37] Yeah. And another thing to keep in mind is that the things you're discussing, they are principles that could be applied to other businesses. It's not just real estate. And in fact, a lot of people that listen to this podcast, I don't think they're involved in real estate as realtors. But even if you were, say, a restaurant owner or whatnot and you provide that customer service to the clients, they're going to go share that message with other people. So well said. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, exactly. And that's great that you said. Eighty five percent is from the sphere of influence. And so how do you what do you do to nurture those relationships that you have with previous clients and with your sphere of influence?
Matthew Regan [00:22:14] That's an awesome question. It's hard. I mean, if you think about it in its truest form, like if you've got, let's say, 50 past clients and a past client to us is is a label. At the heart of it is a relationship. So, you know, if I've got 50 relationships to go and have 50 coffees, separate coffees with these people who you like, admire, it's not easy. You're trying to juggle your personal life and your your business life, just simply not enough hours in the day. So as we've grown, we've found it to be more challenging. So what we do is two to three times a year or two or three times a year client events in the spring, we hosted movie morning or third time we had 700, just under seven hundred and fifty people come out and, you know, you get a bit of face to face with them, but you get on stage before the movie and you thank them and you say what you want to say. And, you know, it's great. It's not, again, on the same level as having a coffee. But if you come to the realization that that's impossible, what's the next best thing to more intimate things that, you know, are actually at the core of, say, me, but also the the the heartbeat of this this grouping of people where we might host or help sponsor these sick kids fundraiser at the local grocery store every every September where we get face to face interaction. And it's some place we actually truly want to be at and we know the work we're doing is going to a greater good. Yeah, what a great excuse to see and invite these people, these relationships that we have that we don't get to see every day. So you're looking to be creative and innovative. But again, you know, make sure that it's hopefully going towards something that isn't just self-serving. Right.
George El-Masri [00:24:10] Well, I'm just curious what movie theater holds. Seven hundred and fifty people.
Matthew Regan [00:24:15] Yeah. So. Well, they all do. Well, a lot of them do like we needed. What do we need. Three or four actual. No we need to two of the biggest actual theaters within the complex to to do that.
George El-Masri [00:24:29] Do you rank your relationships. I know it sounds kind of weird. Like there are people. I get it. But do you have see certain people that have met more. It's hard to kind of freeze it, but that have helped you more maybe in your business or that you treat a little bit differently from other people or you have more more meetings with from time to time, give back a little bit more to those people.
Matthew Regan [00:24:52] Yeah, that's a that's a two pronged answer. Um, we do follow a bit of a textbook, I guess, instruction manual. So there are certainly relationships that we have with people that seem to constantly be singing our praises. They there are those people that climb to the top of the mountain and sing sing as loudly as they can on your behalf. And I think naturally there is a gravitation to speak to them more. And and I emphasize the word naturally. It's just I think it's what is it? It's reciprocity. Like there they're out there doing some great things for us. I want them to know that that actually that really means something to us. And it's not to say that a past client or a relationship that maybe just isn't as active. I thought that that's that that they mean anything less. That is not that's not the case. What whatsoever? I think if again, I know it's not specifically for real estate, but if you do own a business, you know, we we will look at, you know, well, where is our next transaction coming from? Who who needs to be serviced from a priority standpoint sooner than the next person. In a really quick example, a real life example would be a family we're working with right now where they're pregnant with or she's. With their second, they've got a couple of months until this baby comes, they need to be in a house, in a house and settled as opposed to somebody that they can afford to wait longer to find the quote unquote, perfect house. So naturally, again, and I emphasize naturally, there is a an urgency factor that we would look at there.
George El-Masri [00:26:41] Yeah. And the other part of that is there are some people that want you to reach out to them more often, whereas some people will say, OK, you help me with the business. That said, I don't really want to talk too much beyond that. Great point. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And another because a lot of the people that I have interviewed on this show were investors. And since you are involved in real estate, I'm wondering if you also invest in real estate.
Matthew Regan [00:27:05] Yeah, I absolutely do. I find it easier to, in this case, invest in something that I understand as opposed to simply something I don't understand. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:27:18] So you've got a very successful business here. Like we said, you're you're number nine out of eighteen thousand in Canada for real estate teams. You're obviously generating some decent income from your business. What do you have a plan in place for how you invest your money and maybe what percent of your income goes towards your investments and what your goals are?
Matthew Regan [00:27:37] Yeah, I don't know who coined it or whose idea. This was probably a guy like Warren Buffett or a Benjamin Graham, somewhere between five to seven sources of income. You know, that could be something like a dividend on a mutual fund you own. It could be a basket of stocks you own. You might buy an exchange traded fund. You might own an apartment building. You might have a property management business. You might do private lending on mortgages. You would have a you know, I think of firefighters. What an amazing yet at the same time, possibly burdensome, but they've got time because of the shift work that they do. And I think of the TTC guy that made headlines years ago where he's making six figures because of all the overtime he's doing. You know, so I there is definitely a plan. I think money, you know, often over, I suppose it can be the root of a lot of people's problems. I think once you understand money and how money can go to work for you, it becomes a smart thing to to do. I've chosen to buy and own my real estate if I if I can, and of course, diversify into other avenues outside of the tangible bricks and mortar because the word diversify is something that hopefully will will pay off.
George El-Masri [00:29:07] Can you share with us some of the the types of properties that you invest in and maybe kind of discuss some of the other investments that you've been in?
Matthew Regan [00:29:14] And I take no credit for what I what I've learned. It's all through others and just listening to them. So I own I own twenty five unit apartment building as an example. And why am I also own single family homes. The difference, say with the twenty five unit apartment building in the single family home is so, so the constant would be they both have a roof but if the roof needs to be replaced on the twenty five unit apartment building, I essentially have twenty five people that are pitching in to pay to replace that roof. Whereas the single family home I, I only have one. So I own, I own multi residential, I also own some commercial and I own a commercial building that actually has for let's call. Yeah. For revenue streams or cash flow streams where there's actually two apartments in it, there's a basement in it that gets rented out to an art studio and a business on the main floor. So I try to find buildings that have multiple cash flow streams just because it's a little bit easier to sleep at night if you're missing a tenant for a month or two.
George El-Masri [00:30:32] Yeah, yeah, for sure. It helps with a vacancy. Totally, yeah. What's your goal for your investments? Do you plan on paying everything down and maybe just living off the cash flow or are you aiming to expand quick as not quickly but continually grow your portfolio and just leverage and
Matthew Regan [00:30:49] move forward that way? Yeah, you know, I listen to a podcast, The Deeper Pockets podcast, and there's a strategy. These guys have coined the bear strategy. So it's by what does it buy? Rehab. So in other words, fix up rent to refinance it and repeat. And it's a relatively simple concept. I think what's difficult, like most things in life, is just actually doing it so. My goal is to end up with a portfolio that I've had to use as little of my own money as possible, and that generates enough passive income to, you know, live a pretty good lifestyle and in a number of years.
George El-Masri [00:31:35] Right. So at this time, you're not really looking to pay it all down like you're not. No. Yeah. You're just acquiring properties comfortably and.
Matthew Regan [00:31:43] Yeah, yeah. I think there's good leverage. I think the word is leverage. Bad leverage would be financing a Ferrari depreciating asset. Yeah. Might be fun for a while but man oh man. I just know not maybe not the best business long term move but then there's good leverage or good debt and that and I believe that is in the form of real estate. Money's cheap. Historically it's super cheap. You don't need to know a ton about math to make the math work if if that makes sense and leverage what you've got, refinance it and keep on, keep buying and do it in an intelligent way. Don't let greed creep in. I think greed can sabotage a good plan pretty quickly.
George El-Masri [00:32:24] Sure. And are you working with potential partners on are you acquiring with other people? Are you trying to do everything on your own?
Matthew Regan [00:32:30] No, currently it's on my own. It's interesting you ask that question. Your timing is good. Um, in the midst right now of raising some capital, like basically pool some some money, the fund. And I've had a few past clients that are looking to do the same, and that is diversify but admit they don't know real estate. So you got a bunch of guys together or people together pool your money and go buy some assets and that's something that's in the works. It'll be a pretty interesting movement moving forward.
George El-Masri [00:33:01] How do you find the time to do all of this stuff? Are you managing your own properties?
Matthew Regan [00:33:06] Let's go. Fifty fifty. So my portfolio is not so big right now that I need a full time property manager. I'm pretty lucky to just I guess by default of the industry in a sphere of influence or a network where, you know, one of the properties I don't know, let's say there's a flood. I mean, I know I know who to call to go and go and address that. I won't be fixing the problem. Right. We have people on on a within a team or a network that can take care of that.
George El-Masri [00:33:35] Oh, that's great. All right. So you've got a couple of things in the works. And you were talking about running your real estate business as a business. Yeah. And that mindset switched very early. Now that you have such an intricate team where you have twenty plus members, what is the most important thing here? To make sure that you continue to look at it as a business and not get too involved in it?
Matthew Regan [00:33:59] If you think of Apple for a second Apple, I think of the late Steve Jobs and Apple, if you're not familiar with it. I mean, it was almost a bankrupt company. Apple, not all that long ago, almost never existed. Steve Jobs started it. Then he was kicked out of the company. Company starts to go downhill. He comes back in and he saves the day. Well, he didn't save the day by taking on every role and responsibility within the company. Richard Branson was quoted as saying or crediting. His success is that he hired people or he surrounded himself with people in his business that were better at doing things than that he was. And I took that to heart. You know, the success of the company is only as you know, it's as it's as great as the people that are that are in it. And there's a there is another over you saying, like, you're only as good as your weakest link. And we've got some pretty strong links. So you want to you want to maintain that. You want to service them. And you you want to give these people the tools, the resources that they they need. But you also want to give them the, I suppose, the knowledge and wisdom that you've built up. And and just to break that down, knowledge and wisdom. It's not to say that what I know is right. It's to give them a bit of a twist on what they're already thinking. So give somebody your thoughts, let them run with that in a way that they know how to and and interpret it in the way they they they understand it. Because just because I do it one way doesn't mean that you might not have a better way or a different way of of doing it. So really, it's coming down to support.
George El-Masri [00:35:43] Well, that's great. Now, when you're talking about our side, when we look at your team, what is the highest and best use of your time in order to continue to fuel the success of it?
Matthew Regan [00:35:54] So if I look at we look at the business from two standpoints. One is organic growth. So organic growth would be taking the people that you've got currently and helping them get to the next level. And the next level is usually defined by them with a little bit of a push from us. The status quo is not something that we're we're at all interested in. So if an agent were to come here and they're complacent and they just kind of want. Hover through their their day, week, month, year career. Probably not a great environment for them, but if this is somebody that does want to grow and wants to grow in a way where I always with I'll often say they're not doing twenty five hour days, eight days a week, three hundred and sixty six days a year, because this industry, I am convinced is a it's a vortex mannitol suck in pretty quick and before you know it, they don't have hobbies, you don't see your family in it. And quite frankly, it scares the hell out of me. So we work for organic growth, but with a cautionary approach that doesn't take away from family time. And then the second way is, of course, new new business. How do you attract new business in an economical way where you're not spending? I don't want to see necessarily a lot of money, but you want to you want to invest strategically. It's such a simple industry to to to waste a lot of money. As Jim Collins would say, you're firing a lot of bullets at a battleship that you're trying to sink, whereas if you want to sink the battleship, you need to actually fire a calibrated cannonball. So meaning do your homework, don't be blindfolded. And how you invest money to attract new business, find out what attracts you business and then invest the money.
George El-Masri [00:37:39] Interesting concept. So to sort of summarize the answer to my question, which was what's the highest and best use of your time right now? You said there's two parts. One is to help your team grow organically by giving them the tools they need and such. And the second part was where does the business come from? How do we find new business? So those are the two things you're focusing on. You're not you didn't say anything about like going out and doing listening presentations or showing properties. Your focus is totally different, which is interesting.
Matthew Regan [00:38:11] Yeah, I you know, about two years ago, two and a half years ago, I adopted a what's called the Management Empower Team, and that's approach. And basically it's a business model that says the team leader should probably not be swimming in the in the same pool as the people that he or she works alongside of, because essentially I'm taking up space or if I'm being really blunt, I'm competing with my own team. I mean, there's no secret to the real estate industry that team leaders take the the lowest hanging fruit and they kind of give away the you know, they they leave what's left to the rest of the team. And I know this is probably going to upset a few people, but it's how I see it. There's there's been so much study, especially the US done on done on this, that kind of woke up one day and said, well, if I truly want to help my business partners grow their businesses organically, I probably should stop competing against them. And the best way to go about doing that is to look at the people that are that work alongside you and ask a really simple question. Do you trust them? Would you hire that person to sell your own home? And if the answer is yes, you you the writing's on the wall. But if the answer is no, the writing's on the wall. So simple. A simple question can be a very tough answer if you're being honest with yourself. But once you figure it out that organic growth, soliciting presentations, now you can sit down. You've got more time to invest in these these people and teach them what you what you know, and give them the tools that you that they that they need.
George El-Masri [00:39:53] Yeah, that's a great perspective. And when I was actually reaching out to you, when we were talking about setting up a time to to record the podcast, I think you were saying that you don't work on weekends.
Matthew Regan [00:40:04] Yeah, I man, I haven't. So let me let me clarify that. So I told you that I don't I don't work on weekends. And what I really mean is I won't book an appointment on a weekend anymore. I mean, getting me into an appointment after five p.m. is probably not going to happen. And here's why. What happens, say, after five PM is what's been coined not by me, but by the by smarter people that me, as we as humans have so many hours in a day where our mind shifts into a creative sense. For some people, they get creative very early in the morning or they get creative in the evening. I'm very lucky. It's very early. I'm a 4:00 a.m. guy. I don't even think of trying to get a hold of me or keeping up with me at that hour. I'm flying. I'm into my creative time. And I also hit my stride again somewhere around like three thirty to say seven o'clock at night. It's somewhere within there that let's just say the magic begins to happen and you're probably sitting there going, well what are you really talking about? It could be diving into a book. It could be looking at the numbers like what our numbers were for the past quarter it. Would be the conference notes that I took from two years ago that I'm going back to reread probably for the fourth, fifth or sixth time, because time has changed. The business is different today than it was back then. I'm constantly looking for ways to to improve. So just to be clear, it's not a matter of not working. It's what I'm doing with the time that I've got in my day, week, month or year.
George El-Masri [00:41:45] Oh, yeah. I've never heard anyone say that before, but I really liked your approach. I think that's great that you're you don't put ever one before you. Like you said, the business really is a vortex and that could apply to a lot of businesses. Any business owner probably goes through it and you end up, like you said, not having time for your family, your friends. You just spend all your time trying to serve your clients. So it's great what you've done. Thanks. Yeah. All right. Well, why don't we hop into the next section here, which is the random five. I kind of warned you a little bit about this. Very simple. Ask you five questions. You can just let me know what what your answer is right off the top. What is your nickname and why? If you have one
Matthew Regan [00:42:25] man, I guess I guess it depends what they whisper behind my back. Yeah. My friends would call me Tony. That's my my nickname. It happened at bowling when somebody put in my my name wrong and it just kind of stuck. So, yeah, it's, uh, it's, it's Tony and it's kind of boring, but that would be it.
George El-Masri [00:42:44] So who calls you Tony
Matthew Regan [00:42:45] by close friends. Usually the guy's OK. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:42:49] Yeah, OK. That's a pretty funny story. As a child, were you bullied or were
Matthew Regan [00:42:53] you the bully? No, I was the bully and actually, no, you know what? I was oh, you know, bully in the way the. So yeah. Honesty's the way to go here. So, yeah, early, early days. I was the bully from the standpoint that if you wanted to play my game and you had to give me your snack at recess, otherwise you weren't, you weren't coming in. But on a more serious note, with the anti bullying or the bullying, how much it's come to light in the media over, let's say, recent years? There is a couple of times and I can still see the guy's face where now. And I was definitely bullied and not not a good feeling. And I'm very thankful that, uh, I at least I don't think it had any adverse effects on self-esteem or confidence. I actually know where this person works. And I've often seen him, um, working there when I when I've been in to his establishment. And I can't help but think he remembers it to just surely, by the way, he doesn't he knows who he knows who I am, which sounds a bit arrogant, but, uh, and I've often thought if I see him again, I will approach him and just say, hey, man, I'm like, I don't know if you remember, but I remember. Just want you to know I forgive you. You've actually you know, you've thickened my skin. And I appreciate it's weird, but I wouldn't change it. Um, but I it's not to say that I condone bullying.
George El-Masri [00:44:28] What ever it'd be interesting to see what this person is. The response would be if you did say that to him, because I have a feeling that a lot of bullies do actually feel very bad, even though it was something they did as a child. But if they never actually share that, how they feel about it, then something they hold on to for many years. Yeah. So the it would be interesting if you actually had a chance to have a conversation.
Matthew Regan [00:44:53] It's a real possibility. I'll circle back with you.
George El-Masri [00:44:56] Yeah. All right. Sounds good. At number three, what's the greatest compliment you've ever received.
Matthew Regan [00:45:02] Oh, wow. Wow, that's that's that's really interesting, you know, kind of by accident, I got into some public speaking. There's a broker owner out in the kitchen or Waterloo area, Mark Wolly, and he I think by accident, he set my public speaking career on fire. When I say career, I don't get paid to do it. So one of the things that I recognized that I had was a mentor, as we've talked about it, my father pretty young. I essentially had a free education. So if I get an opportunity to share in some of the wisdom or knowledge that I've been that I've accumulated over the years, if I can give it back, then I. I want to do it. So long story short is, you know, when people just simply say thanks, you know, or I can think of numerous emails I've gotten over the years where it's been months and months, if not years since I spoke at an event and somebody calls up or emails them to say, you have no idea how much you that thing you said resonated. And it's helped me and changed my my business like man, that is an amazing compliment. Like to actually know that it was nothing monitary. There was no hidden agenda. Like sometimes it's just the simple things that people really appreciate, um, and maybe need me to hear that that makes a big difference. And then it comes back you as a compliment. It's pretty cool.
George El-Masri [00:46:36] Well that's great. That's great to hear. Let's move on to number four, which is would you rather be organized or an action taker?
Matthew Regan [00:46:45] Or an action taker? No, I'm an action taker, like, do you mean like we got work to do, like let's get out to get out of the way?
George El-Masri [00:46:55] Like, would you rather plan B, a planner and an organizer? Or just somebody who goes and just does it.
Matthew Regan [00:47:02] OK, so if you asked me that 10 years ago, I'm the guy that just goes and does. If you ask me that five years ago, I'm still that guy. Three years ago, I'm beginning to shift because I do believe that if you want to get somewhere, you probably need to take a deep breath and maybe maybe build a road map. And that might take some organizing and planning. And it's interesting, I, I think it's more of a 50 50 balance today. And I hope I'm right in saying this, that I'd like to keep it that way because I think both are equally as as important.
George El-Masri [00:47:38] That's probably true. But it's interesting that if you look back 10 years ago, that's what helped you build your business, being an action taker. Yeah, right now things are a little bit different.
Matthew Regan [00:47:49] So, yeah, I think I think you're just a bit smarter. Hopefully with years you're a bit smarter and you've learned from your mistakes. So instead of diving into shark infested waters, you kind of sit there and go, wait a sec, I've been there before. I know I have an idea of what's coming. Let me plan this out a little bit before I dove in and go full steam ahead.
George El-Masri [00:48:10] Yeah, yeah. Well, I guess you learn from your mistakes and then you make adjustments or you or people can learn from mistakes of others like what you're sharing. All right. And the last one is what word best describes you. Hmm.
Matthew Regan [00:48:24] What word best describes me? I think, you know, I guess it depends who you ask. I think this is a good word and a bad word at the same time. And that is focused. It's great because you know, the comment. I don't work past five o'clock. Well, no, I do. It's all my brain is always on. There's always something going on up there. And I'm at my best when I'm focused. I'm at my best from a business standpoint when I'm focused. And you know, the reason why you can probably hear me struggling a little bit is because as much good as being focused does, if I'm not focused on either the right things or have a balanced focused, then I find as a as the business gets bigger, my focus gets taken away from some of life's more important things. Could be friends, could be family, could be hobbies, like it could just be doing things outside of work. So lately it's been a struggle personally to, you know, focus my efforts on things that are outside of the business. I mean, if I died tomorrow, it's not going to say on my gravestone you had the biggest or best real estate business. At least I hope it doesn't. So now I really want to keep, you know, stay grounded on how I'm focusing my time. It's time is is is a limited, limited thing.
George El-Masri [00:49:52] Yeah. And this isn't part of the random five. But I'm just curious to know, do you have goals of continuing to grow your business and to be number one, or are you happy with the results and you maybe want to focus on something different?
Matthew Regan [00:50:05] Yeah, I mean, it's this is a lot more vulnerable, vulnerable than I thought this would be. I personally struggle with with that internally. Like, when is enough enough? How big is big enough. There's, you know, phrases over the years. The the bigger you are, the more problems you have. What does it do to egos, more money, more problems? I mean, there's a lot of truth to the to this stuff. Yeah. And somebody said to me recently that you're either a grower or not. You can't it's not a light switch. Are you going to wake up in ten years and not want to grow your company? I mean, time time will tell. I can say that today there is a growth plan. Whether that plan gets executed perfectly is almost something that I don't care. What I do care is that there is a growth plan. And so long as, you know, I can stick to that and it doesn't pull me in one to one extreme or the other extreme, then then growth will be a good thing. But my my radar will will come on and I'll do a self check. You know, sometimes it's daily and sometimes it's monthly just to say, hey, like are you happy if because if no one in this or no one and that comes out at a cost that isn't monitor monetary. Martha, are you OK with that? And you know, right now I am OK with that. I said I had a conversation with a number one, not to say names, but somebody who runs an incredible business. I go, you know, when is enough enough? And he couldn't answer the question. And it kind of freaked me out of going. If this person's number one and they don't know the answer to this, that's just scares me.
George El-Masri [00:51:56] Yeah, that's true. The questioning. Why? You want to become number one, is there a purpose for that or is it just for the credibility?
Matthew Regan [00:52:04] Yeah, I think it comes back to my dad's philosophy. Put the clients ahead of yours and good things will do right by the client and good things will come to you. So, you know, if it's a money has never been something that that drives me and I'm certainly competitive, but I try not to have maybe those that know me would disagree, but I try to never let you go get in the way of of decisions within the business. It's very easy to do that. And it is a trap. It can also destroy businesses pretty quick. I think the thing that if there's any new business owners out there and people just entering real estate, you know, if you think for one second that there is an agent in your office or in your community that advertises number one, that's number one that you just keep in mind. Ask yourself the question, what is their balance sheet look like? Because you know what? If I make a million dollars, but I spend nine hundred and ninety nine thousand dollars to do that, it's probably not worth it.
George El-Masri [00:53:06] Absolutely. 100 percent right on that. Yeah, well, it's great. I hope that you will continue to achieve all the things that you want and hopefully you will figure out when enough is enough at some point. Thanks, George. Yeah, it's been great chatting with you. Before we end things, do you want to share with people what services you can provide and how they might be able to reach you?
Matthew Regan [00:53:29] Yeah, you know how to reach me. That can be a tricky thing. Smoke signals and give me about a month to get back to you. You know what? I think I'll give you a couple answers. If if you want to just talk about, you know, business or as corny as it says, life. And, you know, from the limited knowledge, life, knowledge that I've got, you know, feel free to text me, call me. It's going to be the most personal way for one six six one six one eight nine zero. And, you know, truthfully, if it's if it's business related from the standpoint of you, you're interested in joining a team or getting into the industry, you're not sure whether to go on your own, be with a team B with a brokerage. Then again, reach out. That is time I will always make for you. And then if it's like the buying and selling thing, I mean, you're more than welcome to call me. We'll probably really work to understand, you know, your needs and wants and put you align you with a partner that we've got that we feel will be a great, uh, a great fit for your for what you're trying to accomplish.
George El-Masri [00:54:36] And you are covering Mississauga, Burlington, Oakville.
Matthew Regan [00:54:40] Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's down the basically the the greater golden horseshoe there and a little bit into a.. Tobaco. OK, good.
George El-Masri [00:54:50] Well thank you very much for your time. Appreciate it. I'm sure there is a couple of good things in there for people to take. So. OK, so thanks for your time. Thanks, George. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Law podcast, if you enjoy the show, then I'd really appreciate if you left us a review on iTunes and let us know your thoughts in order for us to get a larger audience. It's really important to have reviews. So your support is extremely appreciated. And also, don't forget to share the podcast with your friends and family. Until next time. I'm George Elmasry. Have a great day.