SUCCESS® Coaching™ Podcast
SUCCESS® Coaching Podcast
Jan. 7, 2022

Mark Castley - Take a Risk and Just Do It! From Liverpool to Leading a Luxury Real Estate Company in Dubai

Mark Castley - Take a Risk and Just Do It! From Liverpool to Leading a Luxury Real Estate Company in Dubai

Mark Castley is the Chief Operating Officer for the award-winning boutique luxury brokerage and digital destination LuxuryProperty.com.  Mark has been involved in Real Estate now for over 17 years where he has coached, mentored and managed high performing teams to an extremely high level all around the world. He takes the lead on guiding the company's strategy and vision for the future, leading both our brokerage and operations teams to new heights of success.

The experience that Mark has gained while working in multiple locations such as Miami, Orlando, Doha, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, London, Dubai and his home city of Liverpool really shows in his ability to develop real estate agents into top-producing brokers and build ultra-successful teams.

Mark places a lot of focus and attention on ensuring all agents have incredible product knowledge and are in a position to offer the best possible service at all times. He works closely with everyone on an individual and a group bases to promote excellence across the board.

Contact Mark by Email at mark@luxuryproperty.com
Learn more about LuxuryProperty.com
https://www.luxuryproperty.com/
Episode Transcript
https://www.successcoachingpodcast.com/mark-castley-take-a-risk-and-just-do-it-from-liverpool-to-leading-a-luxury-real-estate-company-in-dubai/#transcript

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Transcript
Voiceover:

Welcome to the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast. On today's episode, our guest, Mark Castley shares his own personal journey to success. Because success is a journey, not a destination. Here's the hosts of the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast, Todd Foster, Alyssa Stanley, and Kelley Skar.

Alyssa Stanley:

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast. My name is Alyssa Stanley. I'm here with Todd Foster and Kelley Skar. Today, we get to sit down with Mark Castley, who is a real estate agent of over 15 years, coach, mentor, COO of luxuryproperty.com and also a world traveler. Thank you for sitting with us today. We're excited to chat with you.

Mark Castley:

Great fun. So Alyssa really happy to be here and look forward to getting spoke in.

Kelley Skar:

Hey, right on. Thanks for joining us, Mark. Really appreciate your time today, man. I know it's you're in Dubai. So it's a little bit later there than it is here and on, you know, in British Columbia, Canada. You know, we're on Pacific Standard Time. And so I think you're about 12 hours ahead of us. I believe it's about what 9:40 there right now.

Mark Castley: 9:

40pm.

Kelley Skar:

Yeah, there you go, Hey, I Why don't you kind of introduce yourself to our network, give us kind of the Coles Notes version. And we'll jump into the conversation.

Mark Castley:

First of all, thank you again for having me. My name is Mark Castley, I am COO at luxuryproperty.com over in Dubai. I've been in real estate now for keep saying 12 years more. I've been saying 12 years now for the past six or seven years. So I think it's probably more maybe 17 years. And I've been all over the world. So Dubai, all over the US and Canada, all over Asia. And obviously, the UK where I'm from. So hopefully you hopefully the accent isn't too bad. You know, I've tried to shake off this, this northern England accent all the time. So hopefully you guys pick up most of the words I come up with.

Todd Foster:

Well, Mark, we truly appreciate you being here. And just in case we don't pick up on all of your words. The transcript of this episode should help our listeners read what you're saying. You mentioned that you've been in real estate for 17 years. At what point in your life did you choose real estate? And I guess the real question is why?

Mark Castley:

So it's really funny. It wasn't a choice. But it was a it was basically I played football. I thought I was great. Well, I played soccer, but we call football. I thought I was great. It wasn't. And I had no plan B you know, I was going to be a pro football. There's no Plan B and mom used to always say, you know, what are you going to do if you don't be a football? And I was like, well, it's okay, I'm going to be a football, don't you worry. And then when I wasn't dad was like, you're getting a job. So he took me to the local real estate company in on the high street. Small two guys. And there was one admin and he brought me and he said give him a job. And you ever were actually not recruiting? And he's like, no, just just give me any job, any job. And they gave me the job as the tea boy. And that's that's where I fell in love. And I was like this is so you guys just like it was mostly grandpa's he didn't do many sales. And he did property management. And I was like this is really, really interesting. So they let me do all their jobs. And I've worked my way up to head of property management and this is not where I really fell in love with real estate you know, because it's it's such a passion right you know, once you when you fall in love that's a that's that you for life. And I think thanks to Dad for forcing me into it as with surviving it.

Todd Foster:

It's amazing to talk to so many people in real estate, and it seems like the choice was made for the majority of us. It was either because we realized we weren't great at something we thought we were great at or we thought would be easy and an easy paycheck. Man. People are making a gazillion dollars doing this a year and then working three hours a week.

Mark Castley:

That's it. It's the order what what's what we all want to be right as the order taker. So only if real estate was like Burger King, there will be the best job ever. You know, we just want to stand there and, and just deliver and that's it, but it's not such a big dance involved. And you know, it's that's where it becomes fun. Right?

Alyssa Stanley:

Mark, you were talking about how you got into real estate essentially because your dad pushed you into working for a real estate company. I'm curious what kind of professional background you grew up in where your parents entrepreneurs?

Mark Castley:

Great question. This came up on on TV a couple of weeks ago and It's so funny because that's I was not surrounded by some from Liverpool, right. So it's a working class area you, you'll notice home with the Beatles. But it's a port city. So there's not. It's a working class, typical British city in the north. Not a lot of money in Liverpool. So the entrepreneurial spirit and from myself, it really came from, I believe, wanting to do something different wanting to do better. So my mom, she's been in the NHS, the National Health Service for 30 years, my dad is a care worker. So he's works in the same type of industry. Neither have owned their own business, or had an interest in owning their own business. And they're both you know, blue collar professions. They'd really enjoyed their job, it's something they really enjoyed. So growing goal, I am just a totally different type of human. And when I personality profile people, my mom is an S. You know, she's she's a, she's, I call it scares, I know, it's no, it's it should be social, but I call it scared. Because that's when we use us in real estate. I can go into this maybe a little later. But as the person who's just scared of everything, I told my mom, I was moving to Dubai. And she was, she was petrified, you know, and then moving to Asia. No, I'm moving to America. Oh, you know, whatever it is, you're scared of everything. So I'm not I'm a high D, you know, a super high D personality, I like all my decisions to be made within less than a second, somebody sends me a voice, no time, for longer than 10 seconds, I won't listen, or put on to x and play as fast as possible. That's not a bad thing. That's just who I am. And then when you realize who you all, if you allow yourself to be that person, you turn into somebody. And what I turned into is somebody who's really passionate about doing really great things in real estate. And I've been afforded some great opportunities to travel the world. And, you know, there's an element of look. But we have to go back to the question, I apologize. The question was, did I grow up around them? No, like, not at all. So it's the polar opposite to what was our whole. And I think that's just wanting to do things differently. And seeing an opportunity, hey, I might be able to do things differently if I do this. And you know, stand out okay.

Kelley Skar:

So after the soccer career didn't work out and your dad took you to the dad, your dad took you to the to the real estate office, is that kind of weird that this this whole thing, you were able to discover truly who you were as an entrepreneur, or, you know, I mean, you're a tea boy, I'm not entirely sure what that is. But I have an imagination. I'm just, you know, you're obviously getting the tea and the coffee for everybody.

Mark Castley:

Prescription right. That's the tea, the coffee, the biscuits. That's it. Yeah.

Kelley Skar:

Right. So so your exposure to real estate inside this office. Do you think that was a tipping point where you were able to kind of take your personality and kind of inject it into this entrepreneurial environment and discover who you

Mark Castley:

I think so. I don't think it was there. But I truly were? think that's what inspired me to want to do more. And I'll tell you why. When we sue, whenever we do anything, we like to look up to somebody who we want to be, you know, so that's who I would like to be in. And I it's important to have them within our office. So we have the number one real estate agent in Dubai works in our office. So he works for me, he's fantastic at what he does, and he's the poster boy. So people who join might not know this is the career for them until they're inspired by seeing what great things he's doing. Now, when I started my career as a tea boy, the guy who owned the company, Chris, I remember he had 52 properties. And we rented. So like this guy, not not like anything special, but he owns 52 properties, and we still rent as a family. It's like wow, what are you what does that look like to be you? And I remember going to his house after Christmas party. And his house was just like, oh my gosh, like I've never seen anything like this in my life. And he's got 52 properties. I remember he has a he has a Range Rover and I was like I've never been in a Range Rover before and it's like all of these things was like oh wow, I never seen it so you know the old saying that people have you seen a million dollars? No, but do you know it exists? Yes. Okay. It's a traditional saying people have a new Range Rover is existed in nice houses but never been in one so I don't didn't know, I felt like, then all of a sudden it was like, Well, this is something I can do. You know, I'm 16 years old, I could probably do this. So I developed my career and cut out maybe four or five years, I started buying property. And we had in the UK, it was called day one lending where you could flip, it was option agreements. And it's a whole nother podcast, probably. But there was a, there was a way where you could take an option agreement on a property, buy and sell on the same day you take the cream is great. And then that business model stopped. But that's where the entrepreneurial side came in. Because I was exposed to somebody who said he did you know, you could buy and sell properties and make, you know, 10,000 pound off one. I was like, 10 pounds one year's salary, that's 10 years salary as a tea boy. And then we were doing and I was like, this is just unbelievable. And that's what a lot of doors got open for me. Because I'm a, I'm a yes person. In terms of if somebody says, Can you do this? Yes, like, I can do this. And then I'm okay. Now I need to figure out how to do this. And that's opened quite a few doors for me, I think. So it was probably just after being able to see it was possible. That made me realize it could be possible for me, I think.

Todd Foster:

Early on in your real estate career, you went from a tea boy to buying your first property. Do you remember your first property that you bought?

Mark Castley:

Yep.

Todd Foster:

And was it a flip? Or was it a flop for you?

Mark Castley:

It was it was the best one I've ever done.

Todd Foster:

Wow.

Mark Castley:

And the history of all I don't buy anymore. Stopped about 18 months ago. I've sold everything. And for retirement plans. I can tell you this. So when we retire in the missus, we've got a little girl She's six, she's fantastic. And our plan when we retire is that all your tea farm in India, so we won't buy proper retirement, you know. And real estate home was making me even more bold than I am now is just the benefit wasn't really there. You're making you're making good money, but it wasn't hate tax. Obviously. That's why I live in Dubai. So it was it just wasn't giving me the enjoyment anymore. But the first one I ever done. I can tell, can we talk figures, I'm allowed to tell you what that looked like?

Todd Foster:

You can you can tell us everything.

Mark Castley:

So we bought the property for 60,000 pound, we spent 7500 on it. And we sold it for 86,000 pounds. So made light. It was something like 20% or 30% in my first deal. And I was like, this is easy. I'm obviously very good. This is easy. Never again have I seen such great returns in a short space of time with very little effort. We bought one me and the wife bought it. We spent an absolute fortune on attendance when Airbnb never forget, it was the 18th of October was the first Airbnb clients, the 17th of October, the ceiling fell through. The whole ceiling fell through in the kitchen with a leak Airbnb client was on the way from wherever they were coming from, you know, hours. And that's just what made me think, yeah, I don't want to do this anymore. So we saw the open, you know, all all wealth creation is we're looking at other options for wealth creation. I love I think real estate is definitely one where we've done really well from it, and it stresses me out. But that first deal was the best it was really was the best.

Kelley Skar:

I'm curious about your journey from from the UK and around the world. Can you can you maybe give us some insight as to what your first stop was before you eventually

Mark Castley:

Dubai was first. So what happened was, yeah, so landed in Dubai? what happened when the flipping, it was called day one landing, and we couldn't flip anymore because the banks brought in a rule where you had to live on the property for six months before you could move on. Now, I used to use bridging finance, sometimes at one and a quarter percent. So it was you know, 9% it would have cost me to hold it for the six months or give or take whatever it is. And it there was no there was no skin in it. So I had no business model. So I said to the missus, what do we do? And those jobs in Dubai? Let's just apply for one. Let me see how I get on. I applied and interviewed the 70 for training down in London. We did a week's training flew to Dubai left the missus a home for a month to see because everybody was like don't go to Dubai, especially in my mom. My mom was like, Don't go. I'm so scared. But then everybody else was like, oh, you can't drive. Oh, you can't go. You can't do this. You can't do that. I was like, oh, we should all Okay, so we jumped on a plane, and it was just not like anybody it said it was the party capital, it was just amazing, fantastic place. And that was the first stop when I came over as a rental agent, you know, right at the bottom of the ladder. So I'd gone from tea boy, up to be this guy who buys and sells properties to having normally because I had no business model. And I was like, What do I do? So I went, rentals in Dubai. And so where I'm from, we've got a way about us. We are quite, I'm not shy. So I'm not shy, and I'm quite ready, ready, I'm ready to get involved in wherever I need to get involved in. So roll up my sleeves and did really well, really quick. So I went from mentals into sales and then was brought into management. And I was really successful because people bought into me. So very, you know, because I've gone through that process. And I coach this when I'm teaching people. It's hard to teach a rental agent to do something if you've never done manforce. You know, we take on an ISA and it's hard to teach an ISA what to do if you've never made phone calls. So it was great because I went from rentals into management that I open my own company here 2014, I sold my shares when we found out we were having our little gal was offered a coaching role in Florida, where I had 200 agents between Jacksonville down to homestead, where do I cross over to Tampa, that a two year old daughter, we were based out of Orlando, we actually lived in Davenport, which is like eight minutes from Magic Kingdom. So we were in Disney every day, the best to really enjoy that. And we then went up to Toronto to Montreal coaching with Blair, and then over to Qatar. So, Qatar is one of the next countries along here really is the richest country on the planet. But it's like Dubai, maybe 10 or 15 years ago. So it's just really finding its feet. But there's incredible wealth there. I was general manager for a family office. So they brought me in as such good fun, because they have 1500 properties, but they have like five restaurant chains, a coffee import business. And you know, think about this, and they were like Mark, come on, come and run it, you'll be fine. How it's like, Okay, I'm coming. Let's go. And it was we spent two years there. And it was amazing. Like we absolutely loved it. There started nursery and stuff there. And then when COVID hit we went back to the UK to to make things safe. Because that's what you do. You're like, okay, get back to the UK, what's going on. And then I was over in Asia, Asia was good foreign. English is not their first language in Vietnam, you see, really isn't. And another's mind. People tell me english is not my first language too. So it was such good fun. But they really bought into me, that was a start, I was a really well funded tech startup that had they wanted to grow the brokerage. And they wanted a figurehead that they could lean on to, to to get more funding, basically, you know, to leverage and it worked really well. And they're doing fantastic now. But that was a short term contract. And then now look to party.com this is this, I'd like to say this is my forever home, because it really is, you know, our plans, what we're doing here and the owner of the company is genuinely, he's just fantastic. His vision support and what his plans are for the company. Great. So yeah, this is what I do now is probably the most fun I've ever had. I mean, I'm in the office, it's 10pm. And don't worry, I'm here because a lot I absolutely love it. So yeah, that I mean, there's there's been little bits in between something I always you hear me say that about? If you haven't done it, it's hard to teach. So I was I was coaching people in the US saying, Look, you guys need to, at some point, take on an Iisa to deal with your lead flow, most Ishs coming out of Manila, to say what I'll do is I'll go to Manila. And I'll spend 10 days there, and I'll coach them and I'll let them coach me and I'll see what the problems are. And then when I'm teaching you how to recruit and I say I'm not guessing. I've been and I've spent time with them Metro and it was great. We stayed in Makati City fantastic place. And yeah, I learned so much in that 10 days. So I've done some crazy things you know, but I think that's what helps helps you helps you do well when you're when you've traveled the world because you you're able to have a more founded opinion on on life of some of these days. What's it like to be I say well, I know that their biggest problem is they have no Wi Fi. Because there's never any Wi Fi. So that's a big problem we need to overcome. Now, if you just take an ISP on and she's, she's intermitting, contacting you, and you get really frustrated, we have to understand it's not her fault, or his fault that the Wi Fi is really bad. So just just deal with that. That's a big problem, but deal with it. So yeah, that's, that's my journey. So far.

Alyssa Stanley:

As I'm listening to your story, and you've picked up most of your life went around the world restarted, rebuilt ventures, the word that really comes to my mind is courage. I mean, it takes a lot of courage and guts to pick up and move and find success wherever you decide to park. So two questions come to mind. One I'm dying to know. So you had mentioned you are High D on the DISC. What is your wife?

Mark Castley:

D. She's more high D than me. She's the boss, you see.

Alyssa Stanley:

So you're saying when you come up with an idea, she's 100%? Ready to roll?

Mark Castley:

Oh, no. What happens is I come up with an idea. And she goes, No, then she rewords it makes it her idea and tells me and then that's what we do.

Alyssa Stanley:

Yeah, I have no idea what you're talking about there. So my second question, because you are a coach, I'm sure you hear a lot of things along the lines of I wish I could have the courage to do what you did. Or I wish I could have the courage to pick my life up right now. And go somewhere where I could be more successful and find happiness? What would you tell listeners that are thinking the exact same thing?

Mark Castley:

Yep. I think there's only there's a couple of reasons why you would make that decision on it. One is necessity, because you have no other option. And that's when people become the strongest right? Is when you've got no other option to be the strongest you can possibly be now, because if you don't, what does it look like? And that is a great reason to be successful. Because you have no other option. I think another option to take that path would be? Do you have something to give? You know, so I think with me, it was both I run out of cash. And I felt like I could help people and work really well. So you have to have something to give back. Right? If you're going down the coaching path, if you're going to go down the coaching path, you have to add value. And that's all if you can add value to someone's life, then you've definitely got a place within the coaching world. And if it's if it's going to be a case of this, or oh gosh, what does it look like? Then? That's a great rocket, isn't it to make you to take action over a daughter or wife in Dubai right now, I'll tell you because you live in my house. So in my office, I'm the COO of good 65 agents, 28 brokers, 65 agents, 28 Ops, and they all come to me and think that I'm good at what I do. Mark, you're really good. I really like you. In my house. It goes. The mother in law, the wife, the little one. We have two dogs, we have a nanny and then me. So I sit right at the bottom of that pile, right? When you when you've got to support the whole pile. And you've got to be the one stepping up. I think that's what really makes you step up, right? It's it's a requirement. It's no, there's no option. There's no option to be anything other than successful. And I think, you know, to go back to your question is what's going to make you do it, and you really got a want to and it's got to mean something. And when it does, it will work out just fine. I think that's that's probably the best way to answer that.

Todd Foster:

Yeah, I really like what you're saying, because most people don't do things or they get ready to get ready to get ready. Why? Because they have a huge fear of failing. And you've proven to not just our listeners yet to yourself and to everyone around you that you failed a gazillion times. And as Alyssa said, you took some risks. Yeah. Many people think it's risky to go from one job to new job across the street. Yeah, you're unique though, because you're like, What the heck yeah, moving across the street or packing up and moving to Dubai. Yeah. without really even knowing anything about Dubai. And so you went from living in Liverpool, which my UK buddy Sammy has described as not being very posh. Exactly. And now you're posh and living in Dubai. Yep. What do your family and friends think of your posh lifestyle compared to, you know, the Liverpool kid who was going to be a professional soccer player?

Mark Castley:

It's funny, because when we go home, he have to tone it right down. You know, so when, when we left Dubai originally to go over to the US, it was Rolex, Range Rover, because I've never had one I was like I'm getting a Range Rover, business class, we've gone to New York, Vegas, Thailand, all this type of stuff before we had a little one. And then you go home at Christmas to see everybody. And it's like, take the watch off. Put some old clothes on. And don't let anybody know you flew business. You didn't fly you didn't turn left left, you did not turn left on the plane, you turn right, like a regular person. Don't be messing like that Mark. And, you know, something? The truth is not everybody wants to see you do well. And that's a it's an unfortunate, you know, it's not really I don't want to talk about it too much, because it's a negative. But really, people don't necessarily always want to see you do well. So you don't need to show them. As long as you know you're doing well. And as long as your family are happy. I think that's the key. But yeah, it was for the people who do come and see us. It's we live on the palm. We have a nice life and it's like people couldn't see where I used to live to where I live now. It's a little different, you know?

Voiceover:

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Todd Foster:

As the COO of luxuryproperty.com, what vision do you have for the company in the future? And what is the current vision of the company?

Mark Castley:

We've been open for years and in four years, we've positioned ourselves in the Dubai real estate market as a brokerage that everybody knows very well and everybody respects because the specific part of the market that we play in, we really do well. And we don't compete with other people. Our brokerage level in because we don't need to, we have a share of the market are really healthy share of the market that we wouldn't like to say dominate because that's not fair on the rest of the brokerage just because the Dubai real estate markets really competitive and the other brokerages here are fantastic. But we do things slightly different. So the average age in our brokerage is slightly higher, we've got another look old. And we've got a lot of people in the office have kids. And our average price point is different than the rest of the brokerages because we're able to think this is the most important thing in real estate and we're able to generate leads, price points, orders may struggle out. So all websites the most visited real estate website in the Middle East. Most brokerages in Dubai don't really don't really need a website because they benefit. Well. You know we have our version of Zillow is we have two portals here, they'll do really, really well. And you actually don't need to have a website, you could do a great living just from the portals. But we have our websites as well. And our brand is luxuryproperty.com. So the type of clientele that comes through the types of leads that we generate typically fall within a decent price point. So we're able to compete at levels other people aren't other brokers aren't able to jump into that space, just because we've got an asset that is not available in the rest of the market. So we've done really well where we are now I see our brokerage probably increasing by about 40% this year, and I think that will be where we'll set we'll set our 100 agents, which is really nice place to be. And then our goal is the three things I put forward that the early meeting for the year was a market share markets, authority and transactions. So we want to make sure that Palm Jumeirah, which is a very popular community in Dubai, we should be the authority in that community. If you want to buy sell or rent, we do not consider calling anybody else. Now, when you've got that authority, you're actually not competing with anybody. Because you can't compete with us, because that's just what we do. You can come in and you can compete with us. We're just not going to we're not competing with you. We're not We're not worried about what you do, because we're so far ahead of the game. And that's something you know, in our company, we have daily meetings, probably 10 meetings a day to discuss how to be better, and it could be anything. We have a customer CRM. So how can we make our CRM better? Along with the front of our website better? How do we make the back of the website better? How do we get more press? You know, I chased you guys down, I wanted to be on your podcast, this is the best podcast can't say the best guy. In case of on another one. This is one of the best programs to see the truth. The truth is true. So we're constantly looking at ways that how do we tell more people about how great we are? And how do we stay ahead of the curve? You're what's what does that curve look like? What's the market going to do next year? How do we get ahead of that? And what we see is a lot of other brokerages following suit, and it's not copying, it's not copying. And so they're trying to be as it's they're seeing best practice from the brokerage that we are, and they follow best practice, which is really nice for us, because other people might see that as well. Why are you doing the same things as also, Alpert press article out in the press every week, somebody offers similar press articles saying similar things. And I really liked that because that means I'm probably saying the right things, maybe a couple of weeks ahead, because I've thought about on the way to work, I've got our content writers to produce it editorial, we've sent it to the press, and we've said here's why his mark thinks this and they've got okay. And then that becomes a thing. And I think that's a really important part of our brokerage is to be way, way ahead of the game. And I don't mean that I genuinely don't mean that in a negative to the rest of the market. I just think that we're thinking slightly different, because our plans are really aggressive in terms of growth. We want to be open in New York, LA and Miami in the next quarter. We already have exposure that we do really well at the moment, we're already doing transactions in London, which is fantastic. And, might I would like to open 25 cities by the end of 2022. I mean, I genuinely think this year is going to be the best year we've ever had, in my in our generation, I can't see who's having a better year in real estate. I just can't I can't see how it could be.

Kelley Skar:

I definitely want to have that conversation with you. But I want to I want to just kind of back up for one second. So in our preamble, you know you we talked a little bit about lead generation and lead conversion and whatnot. And you've talked a lot about, and I think you mentioned like anywhere from we've seen anywhere from point 2% all the way up to as high as 12%, which is unheard of, you know, in my career, I've never heard of someone hitting 12% conversion rates. But what I what I'm interested in knowing is, you know, with your experience from all different levels of real estate going from, you know, focusing mostly on property rentals, property management, that sort of thing, and now into luxury property sales. Do you see a correlation between the point 2% to the 12%? Is there a correlation between the lower end of the of the spectrum versus the higher end of the spectrum? I guess the question is, with luxury property calm, are you converting at the highest levels just because of the exposure to the market that you guys in the positioning that you've put yourself in?

Mark Castley:

So a great question, I think our conversion rates right now are right at the lower end of that conversion rate spectrum that we just discussed upon two to 12%. And the reason we're at the lower end of that is because of our extremely generation. So we are in a really fortunate position where when new people join, we can give them an abundance of leads, like, hey, look, all of these people have just said they want to buy or they want to rent a Can you please jump on top of them. Now, in Dubai, most about 50% of the stock is non exclusive. So it could be with 25 agents. So it's the need to have good stock. But then if you if you spend time getting stock, you're not calling your tenants or your buyers and be calling all the buyers, you know getting stock, you have to come to split and it's it's a it's a real interesting position that we're in where we we have to recruit because our conversion rate could be better. So our conversion rates are low, but not because of poor quality agents. It's just because we couldn't get to all the leads. Yeah, which is insane, and really is insane. And I think your question was the differences between a million dollars and when I moved to the US, the first thing people said to me was Mark, I want to start selling 2 Million and above. Don't buy real estate please tell me how do I sell properties at 2 Million and above? And my answer always was you don't want to do that. You really don't. I would soon a really I would much sooner do four or $500,000 properties than one 2 million because the risk levels around the four transactions if one falls was off was still okay. You know that one $2 million falls off. It's the big stressful and the, the dynamics of the clientele you work with. Not in Dubai, but across the world slightly differently egos and mostly egos that you're dealing with when you're dealing with all cash purchases, we we do transactions here are we have one of the moments just shy of $100 million. And the nicest guy you've ever met in your life, you've you've seen him in the street, you would never know his wealth. And that's typically on both sides. But sometimes when we go into the West, and we do transactions at that level, there's a big ego that comes into it. And it's just not enjoyable. But that's, that's not the answer you want. That's just my opinion, the answer is to enter the luxury market, you have to have bias. Because if you want to get stock, my big thing is it's got to be duplicatable, right. So if you by chance, get a listing, that you don't have a system that's going to leverage more listings, there's no point in having it, you might make some money from it, let's say you list something for $3 million. And that's great. And don't have a system that get getting the more $3 million listings, then there's no point in that referral. Because you don't have no leverage. But with if you've got a system that delivers a buyer into your inbox, who wants to buy a $3 million, and then you turn it into a commission check. And it's somebody you didn't know it's a stranger that's duplicatable. And then once you've got the buyers, you're able to get the listings, because you can walk into a listing appointment and say, I sold this property, have somebody might want to buy yours. Give me your listing. Okay, that's a very basic way of placing it. But that's, you know, that's the rationale of approaching the luxury market, you have to have something of value, and it can't be, hey, I've got a really nice suit, drive a nice car, and I'm going to do a really good job for you. Nobody cares. We've we all do that. What else can you do with the buyers? Do you have buyers? And if you've got a duplicatable system, I think that's the best way to enter any market. So when we're looking at market share, which is one of the three things we're focusing on for 2022. How do we get market share? Well, we have to have people who want to do transactions within that specific arena. So if I bring someone with a $50 million budget into a target market that we don't cover right now, 50 million dirhams, about eight $70 million, by can bring 10 buyers who are ready to buy in that area, I'm going to be able to dominate. But if I can't bring the buyers and I ask a seller to list with me, you've got to have some serious, serious listing presentation to justify nothing, you know, and we can I'm not saying that's impossible, because we can all do that. But is it duplicatable? I don't think so.

Todd Foster:

I have a question about luxury listings and overcoming the so-called imposter syndrome. As a coach, how would you coach someone to believe that they are worthy of having the luxury listing instead of telling themselves that I'm not good enough or as good as the other agent?

Mark Castley:

I tell you the best answer. I grew up. I thought it was something really funny, right? When we were I remember getting you know, central heating, you call it the same thing in the US and Canada. Yeah, central heat. I remember getting central heating in our house. Because we didn't have it. I remember when we got Windows fitted with the double glazed because we only had single glazed and winter, it will be wet on the basically everywhere in the house. To keep warm. We had a gas fire at the top of the stairs at Windsor. From Liverpool. I am now COO of the largest luxury real estate brokerage in the sexiest richest country on the planet. Right. So you could easily say I don't deserve to be where I am. I could sit here and say I don't deserve this extremely amazing opportunity that I have. But if you've done something to get that listing, even livable, it was a referral. And it was by chance. If you listen back to the first 25 minutes of this podcast, most of my career was by chance. I just said yeah, okay, let's go. Let's open that door. Let's see. So you do deserve it. Otherwise you wouldn't get it we get everything we deserve. My wife always tells me the one thing we always get the dog we deserve. And that's because our dog loves my wife more than me. So that's what she always tells me. You get the dogs that you deserve. Our dog loves the message more than me. We Do you get what you deserve in life and you really do. So if you're stuck thinking you're not good enough, the hard thing to understand is, people like me who think we are good enough now are going to call your seller and take it from you. And then you'll be upset. And that's not nice, but it's true. And I'll pick the phone, and I'm not in the US market. So I apologize. But somebody like me, will pick the phone up and say, I can do a better job. Because you haven't had this experience with me yet. Because the guy you're using is not, you know, the knockout skier. So you do deserve it, because you've got to stop feeling sorry for yourself, because that's what it is. Step out of first gear and go for, like, go for a while, what's the worst that can happen? You know, I say this to the guys all the time of going off into low or don't want to put forward? What's the worst thing that can happen here? As they say, No, no, no, that's the worst thing that can happen. Get on the phone and get off the floor. And let's go you know, so I think you know, it's very common, it's a very common thing to happen. But people like to find reasons not to do things right out. You know, if you can find a reason to not do something, then I'll find it. And so it's a basically, you're that it's dark, it's 6am, it's time to get off. And you don't want to go to bed because it's dark, right? Because I don't want to get off, I want to go out and do a day's work. But you have to, you have to, and that's what you're doing, you sat there, and you think I don't want to do anything with this lesson. And the truth is, you're scared in case you don't sell it. You've never done it before, you're scared in case the activity that you do doesn't result in a sale, and you get fired. And you don't want to get fired, because this is the best listing you've ever had. So I'm not going to do anything. Don't scare it away. Don't do anything cases scare. And the truth is you just need to do the same thing you would do a $200,000 listing, and it gets sold. Yeah, take the phone up to the last 20 People who sold a property in this zip code or the zip code next door as a similar price points, call them and say, Hey, Todd, I took a listing on you sold one couple of months ago, do you have any buyers that might want to see it? That's not a bad thing to do. Right? You know, just do anything. sell a house, man. Get the house sold.

Alyssa Stanley:

You said something fantastic at the beginning and correct me if my memory doesn't serve me, right? I believe you called yourself a Yes, man. And then you when you say yes, right, you figure out how to make it happen. And I see that as a huge proponent of your success, because instead of saying yes. And then fearing the process and thinking, oh my gosh, how am I going to make it happen? Is this going to happen? It sounds like you sit back and you go, yes. Now let's make it happen. The how is it relevant? You already said yes. So you figure it out. Which again, is a huge proponent of your success. And it seems like a really simple process. And it is once you actually follow through it and do that process. But it's deciding to do it that has to happen first. And I believe people get so caught up in the steps and the how that they become paralyzed between the yes and the success?

Mark Castley:

I write on the board everywhere. I've got whiteboards all of my office, I write why when I'm doing coaching or training or breakout sessions. It's not it's not how this property is going to get sold. It's why what's the what's the why. So if, if you're in a position where you're trying to make any decision, everybody makes a plan, and then another plan, and then a backup plan and all this type of stuff. And it's like no, why is this going to happen? Why is this property going to sell? Well, this property's going to sell because this guy wants to exit at this price. And this family needs somewhere to live. Okay, so that's the why let's build around that. And let's talk around them two elements, the whys, you need the money, you need somewhere to live. Let's go. Let's go create problems. And there's a way to every transaction there's a way to every decision. And that's, I think that's really important, or do you really think that's important? Why is such? You know, a question. It's such a funny question. When we're doing qualification. We could say to somebody, Hey, there's three of you living in this house, but you want you want a four bedroom? Why? Right? That question alone, people are so scared to ask because it's like who can't ask that question. But then when you understand the answer, you deliver both better results for your clients. Well, actually, I don't need it. The wife said she wanted more space, but we probably can't afford it. So I don't want that many bedrooms. That's just what I came through on. You just saved yourself. Probably three weeks worth of mess. Yeah. All you might say it's a home office and you've got Okay, great. That's really essential. We're all working from home now and make sure we've got that. But that's just asking why people don't do it. It's insane. But why is such an important question, right?

Todd Foster:

I mean, any questions important? Yeah, there's a wise man that goes by the name of Ben Fairfield. And he says, You're paid in direct proportion to the questions you ask. Love that. And also, the questions you do not ask. Really like that. And many people won't ask questions, because they're afraid of the answer. That's so good. They're afraid of that huge two letter letter word that begins with an N, and ends with an O. Yep. The no prevents people from taking chances, or risk and you Mark, on the other hand, have taken countless chances and risks. A great example is happening right now. And that is you've been on this podcast right now, which may be the riskiest move you've ever made. You really have to be okay with knowing that it's not always going to be a winner, winner chicken dinner situation. Yeah. You thought for sure that you were going to be a professional soccer player? Yeah, you had your mindset on it. And you also believed because I'm guessing that you just didn't pick up a ball one day and say, Okay, I'm going to be the greatest player out there. Right, you probably put a lot of work and effort into it. That's right. And you had results at that time, you have the result of being a professional soccer player in the future did not just happen. That's right. Many times we get stuck in the future. And we don't realize what it took for us to get to where we are now. And that type of thinking can prevent us from being happy in the Now moment. We all must get better with being okay, with being okay, where we are right now. Because more than likely, we really don't want to go back to where we were before.

Mark Castley:

No backward steps. Because when you look back, you're like, I don't want to do that again. You know, it's not easy to get to where you are, it doesn't matter who you are, or where you are. It wasn't easy to get there. But you can speak to anybody on this planet now and say, What was it like the past 10 years to get to where you are, even if you're in a great position or a pole position? Everybody will says tough. So yeah, so if it was tough, then it was worth it. Right? And, and that's it. That's nothing. Nothing worth doing is easy, in my opinion. And this is something we see in real estate quite a bit people come in, and we set this up the staff, it was all the takers. I just would like to take the order and and that's all Thank you. Can I just have all the money from my desk? That's the goal, isn't it? I don't want to move, just give me all the money. And I'll call a few people. And then you look at the top 1%. And they say I say this a lot the top 1% We never taught something that bottom 99% don't already know. Right? So if you look at the top 1% and say, Well, what did you learn when you got your real estate license, and they learned the same as the bottom 99% There's no skill, the number one real estate agent in Dubai has that the worst agents in Dubai does not, it doesn't have his new skill, right? Because real estate is so simple. You have to find somebody who wants to buy a property. And then you have to find somebody who wants to sell a property that they like and can afford. And then you do a transaction that genuinely is all we need to do. All of the other fluff is nice and it can result in all kinds of great things. It's a black and white offers to buy Hong Kong title London, Miami, Orlando, Toronto, wherever I've been saying you could budget of this amount of money and this is your requirements. If I show you exactly that property, are you going to buy it? Yes, that person is a real buyer a great this you could afford this. So buy it and then they do and that's real estate. There's no skills there you know the skills are actually the work ethic and the the what we put into the business and Bob I call it the terms of business to what's our terms of business on ourselves so my terms of business all as a real estate agent I don't broke up I don't broker because they think it's a conflict of interest if it did if I was the best which I think it will be but if it was the best may be seen as I'm getting all the best leads or so I don't I don't broke it but anyway ever ever was. The rules are having myself I have to make 50 calls every single day. I have to meet 10 people every single week face to face every single week. I out of them. 50 calls a day. 40 have to be strangers. So I have to speak to 40 Strange people that don't want to speak to me every day. Now they're my terms of business on myself. So I'm probably going to be successful That's not a skill, you know? It's not it's, it's just having a diary and doing what it says in your diary. make calls. Okay? You know, that's not a skill. It really isn't. You know, these people being a nurse, that's a skill. You know, that's a skill being a doctor being even been, I tell you, I've been in the Armed Forces s skills that I don't have, right being a vet will have that skill. Been in real estate. It's just what you put in. And the funny thing is, we're paid better than everyone. We really are. And there's no skill. It's just and that's not me saying we're not skilled, I don't want you to think I'm being negative to the industry, because we're the ones who do it. Right. We're hardworking. And we do have a mindset different than others. But there's no skill to making somebody buy something they don't want. You know, and that's what people think, of the top 1% are able to convince people to buy. No, the not because you've never convinced somebody to spend $2 million when they didn't want to spend it. They just can't do it. People struggle to convince people to get extra fries. You know, so if that decision is difficult, you're not getting a $2 million property over the line. By having this crazy technique you land doesn't exist. It's just the process is going and getting a raise and doing the right thing for your clients. And I think that's the thing people often miss.

Todd Foster:

Man, Mark. You've got to make sure you say chips instead of fries next time you go back home.

Mark Castley:

Hmm. Stacks don't you see? I have to remember these? I also say a lot of things wrong. I call a line I say line now back home. It's a queue. In a normal well we say line we say fries it's chips I apologize. Yeah, for sure.

Kelley Skar:

Well, they're you know, there's there's something that I've I've actually just put into my my own journaling this year. And that is to recap the day. So I journal at the end of the day. And I put in this this, this whole idea of recapping my day. In the end, what prompted that was I you know, I've often been asked this question, you know, how was your day and my A lot of times my answer was fairly uneventful. Right now, it was fairly uneventful. And so when I started thinking about that answer to the question, I started thinking about the day and I was like, Well, what if I just recapped what I did, and started writing down everything that I did that first time that I did that I was blown away, because it was anything but uneventful. Right, and so when I started kind of putting a little bit of a coaching twist on that, it then became this account, this this accountability partner that I had in myself in that if I'm going to write down something that I did during the day, it better not be something that was completely a waste of time. Right? It better not be, you know, me sitting on YouTube for two hours looking at this, that and the other thing, right? It better not be me picking up my phone and playing a video game for Candy Crush for an hour like because that isn't something that I want to write down. How do you stay motivated through the day through the week? To continually you know, other other than looking at the big wine, your family and the things that you want to do? What is what is the big motivator for you? And how do you hold yourself accountable to your success?

Mark Castley:

So there's a couple of things a couple of points on I really love that you you write down each day. That's That's so good. I think that's such a great thing to do. To keep myself accountable. Real estate is commission only I've got 65 Real estate agents who all rely on me. And they genuinely do you know, I'm very hands on. I know everything about everyone on every deal. And that's what motivates me is not letting them down. You know, the family why is huge. Our head of recruitment said to me before, it's insane how much when you walk outside the office, you have a queue of people or line of people all waiting to talk to you and say, Mark, what about this? What can I do here? What did you hear how he's about to have a baby? And he said, How do you stay motivated at the same energy level when you get home? And you have a six year old daughter? And I was like, because that's the highlight of my day. You know, so get home see the missus see the level one. That's where I look forward to every day. So that keeps me motivated to to not crash, you know, to not burn hours and be in a position where I can still do the fun things when I get home. I would you know, I'm not gonna lie, I'm picture perfect life. Sometimes I get home and fall asleep straight on the couch. But the goal is to stay as motivated as possible because that's what I look forward to. Without how to do during the day. We have a thing well, I'll set a timer for one hour and you set your phone for one hour and you let it go. You carry on doing work, and then you stop after an hour and see what you've done. And then we say, Okay, how much an hour? Should you be getting paid $100 an hour? We didn't $150 an hour to $200 an hour? Would you have paid yourself $200 to do our last hours where, and when you first do this with people is really interesting because like, Nope, I would never pay myself $200 To do that one hour of work, and people don't, because you just did. You know, you just you just did. And that's a real good way to manage your time throughout the day. I think my personality profile helps. I'm a pretty excited person. Like about everything, either. I'm on the positive person, I'm really excited about everything, every deal we've got going on gets me excited. And that helps stay motivated through the day. Because you know, when you've lost some you lose more than you win. I mean, like, way more than you wish. So you have to find a coping mechanism. And that's to just be like, okay, it's fine. Let's go again. But I think that's the way to stay motivated. People ask me that a lot. Like, how do you keep them energy levels up? Maybe coffee has a major part and I don't know, but she's got coffee, probably good.

Alyssa Stanley:

Mark, there is so much you can share and teach others. If someone is interested in in real estate within your area or purchasing real estate, maybe joining your team or your coaching opportunities. What is the best way to get in contact with you?

Mark Castley:

You can email me direct mark@luxuryproperty.com. I have done other podcasts and I got a load of emails and it was so much fun. So there's people all over the world picking them up. So Mark, tell me more about kind of the first thing people say is tell me more about Dubai. And I've got like, Okay, what do you want to know? Let's go so you can reach me, you can reach me anytime by email. Everybody does and I really enjoy that email comes straight to my phone. And I love all emails it's really good for so you can reach me anytime.

Voiceover:

The lightning round.

Kelley Skar:

Alright, Mark. So we've got this segment that we call lightning round. I'm going to pepper you with a couple of questions. And the whole idea is just to kind of answer off the top of your head. Are you ready to go? I'm ready when you are what advice would you give your 20 year old football playing self?

Mark Castley:

Go for it man don't be scared go for it!

Kelley Skar:

How do you start your day?

Mark Castley:

It's the same every single day without fail uh it's not OCD, although others say it is for everything is the same every single day to get up have a cup of coffee on the couch with the little one before she goes to school, we watch pretty much the same TV episode every single day. I get ready. I don't drive to work, I take a car to work so I can work from the car. Answer emails from the US. I go into the office and I get the same cup of coffee from the same coffee shop downstairs. And then all hell breaks loose. I have to help up their fridge regimented daily session who knows what happens from 8am again in the office at 8am Every day, anything could happen from the not planned from there.

Kelley Skar:

Awesome. Alright, so you've traveled obviously travel a world out of anywhere that you traveled or anywhere that you haven't traveled to? What would be the the ideal place for you and your family to live? And are you living there right now?

Mark Castley:

I've never in my life been anywhere as good as Dubai for family. So it ticks every box. It's super safe. It's actually I think it was the most safe place on the planet for females. So you can walk the shops at like 1am and it's just so there's no crowns or drama. It's absolutely fine. So I've never in my life been as happy or believed to be in the right places I am right now. However, where we want to be is on a tea farm in Kerala in South India. That's the goal you know, acres and acres of tea leaves were British we like tea you know, the Mrs. Likes tea. And that's that's the retirement goal once the once the little ones goes through university, so we've not been there yet. That's the goal.

Kelley Skar:

Getting back to your roots as a tea boy, I had to throw that in there. Okay, second to last question. What's your favorite hobby?

Mark Castley:

Golf, really enjoy golf. Yeah, I'm not that good. Sometimes I am sometimes I'm not. I think that's golf though. So I don't think that's me. I think everybody is the same so yeah, I enjoy golf.

Kelley Skar:

Alright, last question. Do you miss UK winters?

Mark Castley:

Ah, no. But however, I do love the winter. Right. So we were in Toronto just before COVID hits back to the UK or was it Toronto? And it was six foot of snow. which we just looked. And it was amazing, right? But then the UK doesn't have six pots of snow. It's just cold and wet all of the time. So now it's raining here at the moment. It's raining in Dubai, you get about two or three days a year, and it's now it will be hot again probably from tomorrow. I don't know I don't miss the cold. No way. Awesome. No, I think that's the high D personality in me though is if it's going to snow is snow the whole place in and let's never let's not go out for a week. Don't just have a better snow. You know, that's going to rain. Let's have proper rain. If it's going to be a storm, let's have the biggest storm we've ever had and enjoy it. But the UK has none of that.

Todd Foster:

Alright, final question. The Beatles, or Elvis Costello and why?

Mark Castley:

The Beatles everyday so John Lennon grew up on the wife's family home, four or five doors up. And he's way rooted, The Beatles are rooted right into us. So yes the Beatles all day every day.

Todd Foster:

It was a test. I didn't know if you'd say fries or chips.

Mark Castley:

You had to test me. No, I passed that one.

Voiceover:

Thanks for listening to this episode of the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast. If you've enjoyed this episode, please follow or subscribe to the SUCCESS Coaching Podcast at your favorite podcast provider. For special access to past recordings, videos of past episodes and more, please become a SUCCESS Coaching Podcast Companion at successcoachingpodcast.com.

Mark Castley

COO

Mark has been involved in Real Estate now for over 15 years where he has coached, mentored and managed high performing teams to an extremely high level all around the world. He takes the lead on guiding the company's strategy and vision for the future, leading both our brokerage and operations teams to new heights of success.

The experience that Mark has gained while working in multiple locations such as Miami, Orlando, Doha, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, London, Dubai and his home city of Liverpool really shows in his ability to develop real estate agents into top-producing brokers and build ultra-successful teams.

Mark places a lot of focus and attention on ensuring all agents have incredible product knowledge and are in a position to offer the best possible service at all times. He works closely with everyone on an individual and a group bases to promote excellence across the board.

When not leading sales teams to success, Mark enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter. He is also a very keen golfer.