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Real Estate Sessions Rewind – Katie Day, Team Lead, MoveMeToTexas Team, Powered by Real Broker, LLC
Bonus Episode27th December 2022 • The Real Estate Sessions • Bill Risser
00:00:00 00:35:09

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Real estate is not just grinding content for your online marketing strategies and waiting for people to come knocking on your door. In reality, you have to put in a lot of work and effort to produce engaging materials that resonate with your target market. Joining Bill Risser is Katie Day, Team Lead of MoveMeToTexas, powered by Real Broker, LLC. She looks back on her ups and downs as a college management major who jumped from one business to another until she achieved residential real estate success. Katie talks about how she builds a large following through her YouTube videos, the challenges of marketing in Instagram, and the needed mindset to win now that the real estate competition transcends to digital platforms.

Katie Day, Team Lead, MoveMeToTexas Team, Powered by Real Broker, LLC

Welcome to Episode 304. As always, thank you so much for tuning in and telling a friend. We’re going to talk to Katie Day. Katie is the Team Lead of the MOVEMETOTX Team Powered by Real Broker, LLC. We’re going to talk to another real operation. I’m excited to chat with Katie. She’s doing some great things in the world of technology to help our customers with their marketing and other things. Let’s get this thing started. Katie, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much for having me.

Katie, thanks for being on the show. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ll start at the beginning like I always do. I did some digging, and somehow, I think there’s a Florida tie with you. Is it possible that you’re a Florida native, or do I have that part of it a little bit wrong?

I am not a Florida native. I grew up in Maryland, so I lived there for the first portion of my life through high school. My parents were retiring to Florida when I graduated from high school, so they wanted me down there. When I went to the University of Tampa, toured it, I saw the campus and everything there, I was like, “How could I not go here?” That’s where I ended up for college.

I live in St. Petersburg, just across The Bay from Tampa, and that University of Tampa campus is spectacular. I think it originally 100 years ago was a hotel. Would you mind sharing your thoughts about that campus and your experience there?

The University of Tampa was right on the Hillsborough River. It’s an absolutely gorgeous campus and the hotel is now administration buildings, classrooms and stuff like that, but they have these big minarets. It’s like the Russian-style architecture minarets. It’s a stunning campus. They have Wi-Fi at the pool. It’s 30 to 40 minutes from the beach. As an eighteen-year-old that’s being told that they are no longer living at home and can do whatever they want, why wouldn’t you go live near the beach and have Wi-Fi at the pool?

I said it was to study. I never took a computer to the pool, but it was an amazing time. I loved living there. I lived in St. Pete for a little while as well, Orlando, Naples, but as my time in Tampa, especially as a young adult getting out of my parent’s home, was an absolute blast. I loved my time in that area of Florida.

It probably was the perfect distance away from mom and dad, right?

Yeah. They live in Naples. That’s where they moved to. I was looking at Florida Gulf Coast, which was like 30 minutes away. I’m like, “That’s an unexpected pop-in.” Two and a half hours, you’ve got to put some time and thought into coming to visit. I also looked at the University of Florida and things like that, but that was further away. It was a good happy medium between the two. Being close enough to drive home for the weekend or a meal or two, but far enough away that they weren’t popping and I was popping on them on a regular basis.

What area of study was your degree in?

I got a degree in Management. I didn’t know what direction I wanted my life to go in. I knew that business seemed the smart route as far as college went. I was like, “I’ll get a Business degree.” Getting a degree in Management, I’d like to manage people or things. That was my route and I got the General Business degree, figuring it would bode well in any circumstance.

Part of my research showed that you worked for Carrabba’s. It’s part of Bloomin’ Brands, a big company based here in Tampa. Is that right?

Bloomin’ Brands, that’s not what it was when I worked there. I worked for Carrabba’s. It was my favorite restaurant. Fun fact, I worked there in high school. In my town in Maryland, the city that I lived in, they opened up a restaurant and I saw it driving. I was 16, maybe even 15, but I saw it and was like, “I’m going to get a job there.” I got a job as a hostess. I worked there throughout the rest of my high school timeframe. Once I was eighteen, I became a server.

When I moved to Florida, they obviously had them all over in Tampa and Naples, where my parents live. I worked in both locations there, whether I was home for the summer or at school. I loved it. It’s also great being a poor college student is getting money paid in tips. You come home with a couple of $100 cash at the end of the night. I was rich compared to my friends at that time. If there’s food that’s leftover or things that were cooked that were mistakes or that the chef or cook throw away for a couple of extra bucks, you’re getting good food to eat. I was eating very well through college.

The reason why I like to go back in time when I talk to my guests is for stories like that. I’ve been doing this show for a few years. It seems so many realtors have come out of either servers or bartenders, right behind that would-be teachers and nurses. Why do you think it’s so for the real estate industry people to have that level of service?

Online Marketing: Many realtors originally came from hospitality jobs, with teachers and nurses following closely behind them.


I definitely see a lot of the bartenders and servers. I think that hospitality is a hard industry as well. Not that real estate is easy, but I think that a lot of people see similar parallels of the harder I work, the more money I can make. I think it’s the customer service and taking care of people aspect of things. People always need food and housing. I think both are high-stress environments. There are a lot of parallels. I do think that people in hospitality do well in real estate. I see a lot of that bartenders, servers, hospitality hotels, and stuff like that coming into real estate.

You had a training role during your time with Carrabba’s. Can we talk about that a little bit?

I was a trainer with them throughout college, but when I was graduating from college, it was like, “Am I going to stay in hospitality and go into management? Am I going to go find a job? What am I going to do?” For me, in doing what my parents wanted me to do, I looked for jobs with law firms or business-type jobs. I did end up leaving the service industry. I guess that would have been 2008 throughout probably ’06, ’07 and ’08. I did train and do stuff like that for Carrabba’s.

Somehow, we now have to get you into the wonderful world of multifamily real estate. How did that happen?

I got into multifamily directly out of college. I interviewed for jobs for insurance agencies, law firms and legal assistance. I got a Management degree. It’s not like I had this super-specific degree that I had a specific career path. I was like, “What business jobs can I get that I make decent enough money to be able to pay some bills now that I’m out of college?”

I found a property management company that was hiring what they deemed a manager in training or a manager in a training program. Basically, their thing was they brought people on at leasing agents. Looking back on it, they bring people on as leasing agents and people that showed promise, they would show them different aspects of the business like the maintenance, management, budgeting, finance and paying bills.

If we went through that program, they would potentially move us to another apartment community where we would become the property manager. It’s a great program for them. Looking back on it now, I was twenty years old when I got my first property. I’m like, “What were they thinking?” It gave me so much business knowledge on how to manage.

I don’t think that I would be where I am now if I didn’t have that. I totally now think that was too soon. I had too much responsibility and made so many mistakes. I don’t think there’s any other job or industry that I would’ve gotten that much knowledge, high-level management and business knowledge anywhere other than the path that I took and what happened there.

Initially, you worked in the St. Petersburg, Tampa area, but I think this company took you around the country. Is that right?

Yeah. Initially, I worked in South St. Petersburg, Orlando, Naples, Birmingham, Alabama and Houston, Texas. Looking back on it, hiring young kids right out of college, you normally don’t have kids, spouses, pets and stuff like that. You’re young and have nothing going for you. You have no ties. It’s great for them to call and be like, “Do you want to move to Orlando next week for $5,000 more a year?” “Yes.” “Do you want to move to Birmingham, Alabama for $10,000 more a year?” “Sure.” “Do you want to move to Houston, Texas?” You always say, “Yes.”

Looking back on it, a lot of them were lateral moves, but it’s a new city and it’s a challenge. They find people with that drive or personality that want to fix and do everything. It was definitely a great move on their part. Looking back on it now, my negotiation skills clearly were terrible. I’m like, “I’ll move across the country.” I was all over Florida and Alabama, very briefly for about four months and then to Houston in 2011.

How does residential real estate enter the picture?

I was in multifamily here in Houston. I ended up working that and going into single-family property management for a while. All of the experiences I had, I learned a ton about business, management and how to be and not to be a leader and all of that. It got to the point that I was working hard until 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 PM, and getting paid the same amount of money every two weeks. I was working hard. For some of the companies I worked at, there are a lot of red tapes of like, “I’m in charge of everything,” but one of my departments is headed up by someone else.

They may mess things up, but I’m responsible for what they’re doing. I have no authority over the type of things. It was frustrating to me to get beat up on calls with our executive team or earnings calls or things like that because other companies I worked for were publicly traded. It’s like, “I’m getting beat up for things that I have no control over.” I have to take these licks. It was frustrating to me to be putting in all of this time and energy to something that I didn’t have full ownership over.

One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is posting content that they think other people want to see, not what actual consumers want to see.

When I left property management to go into residential, I basically had saved up money. I had a year-end bonus and stuff like that. I was like, “I’m putting six months of money away in the bank.” I gave it to my fiancé at the time and was like, “Here are six months’ worth of my bills and I’m going to try this real estate thing out and see what happens. If I’m going to work this hard, it is for myself and roll the dice on myself rather than work this hard to make the same amount every two weeks.” That was my moment.

Who was your first brokerage? Who did you hang your license with first?

This is a funny story, and something wasn’t that funny until 2021. I got my license and affiliated with Real back in 2015. I was with Real from 2015 to the end of 2016. Now, I’m back. This is why it’s a funny story. I saw an ad online that was high splits, low fees and no monthly fees and this and that. I don’t even remember now at the time if they had monthly fees then, but super-agent friendly brokerage and tech-focused, this that and the other. I was like, “This seems cool.” I like money, so I affiliated with Real to start my real estate career.

Many of the agents I’ve interviewed on this show started off their careers with what we’ll call the training brokerages, yet you didn’t. You decided to go with the one that had the technology and the cool compensation. What was the difference? What made you leave Real that first time?

The company was founded in 2014. It was in its infancy stages. They did have a lot of training, even for a very small brokerage that was tech-based with no local offices and all of that. It’s nothing like it is now, but I still got my training. There are people that were then that are still here now. It’s funny seeing names again that I saw years ago. For me, everything was fine and I think it was good. In Texas, that’s big as apartment and home locating for rentals. I was doing a lot of that. You don’t need a ton of training for that, especially since I came from multifamily and single-family management.

I understood the process. I knew how to work with apartment communities. I knew all of that, but one of my friends, who’s still a good friend to this day, was an agent with Coldwell Banker. That’s how I knew him from different circles. He ended up getting promoted to be the branch manager of an office. He called me and was like, “I want you to come in and meet with me. I just got promoted.” I was like, “I have no interest in leaving my brokerage. I’m good. I appreciate it. Congratulations to you, but I’m good.”

He kept wearing me down and was like, “Why don’t you come in and see the office?” I’m like, “It’s four walls and a roof. You’ve got maybe some cubicles and desks. I’m good.” He wore me down again and was like, “Come in. We’ll grab lunch, whatever.” I go in and I’m dressed in a t-shirt, jeans and cowboy boots. That’s my casual wear. He greets me and walks me around a little bit. I think nothing of this. He’s like, “Let me introduce you to someone.” He opened up a door and was like, “This is my buddy, Chet. I’ve got to take this call. I’ll be right back.”

He closes the door. I realized at that moment, when he closed the door, I was like, “I’m in a job interview right now. I’m in here in jeans and a t-shirt, and this man is in a full suit.” Clearly, I can have a conversation, but I was not planning to have a conversation about my career or goals or what I’m doing in real estate. I was there for almost two hours. I totally hit it off with another manager, Chet. I ended up signing with Coldwell Banker on Monday because I had such a great conversation with them. My buddy was going to be managing the branch. I was with that branch for almost five years and it was great. They got me.

I love a good recruiting story. However, this one doesn’t last because even though you were at Coldwell Banker for five years, something brought you back to Real. What was the difference? Why did you go back?

A few years ago, Real started to change their compensation and agent model and things like that. They added in the stock program and the ability to cap. With that, depending on how much production you have, you can get shares of stock and things like that. I’d always kept an eye on them. I had my news alerts on as you do for a lot of different companies, businesses and names. I was seeing what they were doing. I stayed in touch with our CEO and founder. We would message back and forth over the past five years. He’d be like, “This is happening. You should come back.” I’m like, “I appreciate you. That’s nice. Thanks so much.”

I was all in with Coldwell Banker, but something happened in 2021 that we suddenly were shopping around for a new brokerage. We met with a lot of brokerages. We weren’t planning on leaving and thinking about it. We’re meeting with five different brokerages and seeing what it would look like if we made that move. At that time, Real wasn’t even in the conversation, but I was like, “If we’re considering making a move, we need to call my buddy, Tim Macy, out of San Antonio. He’s been at Real for a year, and I want to see what he thinks about the decisions we’re making and if Real would be a good fit for us, our business and team.”

We started the conversation. I linked back to Tamir, who I’d been talking to for the past five years. I was like, “I think I want to come back. We want to do this.” It escalated quickly from there. We moved our teams. It definitely wasn’t something that we were necessarily planning or looking to make a change. Somehow, we found ourselves interviewing with brokerages. I was like, “If we make a change, it would be one of those moments where I knew that was a mistake, not at least to have the conversation.” We decided to have the conversation and then ended up moving the business.

Now that we’ve got you back at Real, let’s talk about your team. What’s the makeup look like? Buyer’s agents, listing agents or admin, what’s the breakdown?

We are a team of nine agents. We have three admin and a videographer. We’ve got a combination of listing and buyers agents. Generally speaking, when we bring new agents onto the team, they come on as buyer’s agents to understand and ensure that they are good at our processes and how we do things. Especially if they’re experienced and know how to sell a home, but there are different things and processes that we do that differentiate us from other agents or teams in the marketplace.

TRES 304 Katie Day | Online MarketingOnline Marketing: Real estate is a relationship business. It is about conversations with your clients and providing value to them.


It’s so that they understand how we do things and can potentially move into doing both listings and buyers if that’s something they want to do. Our admin, we’ve got a marketing coordinator and she helps with social media and getting things scheduled, client events, client mailers and stuff like that. We’ve got two transaction coordinators. We have a videographer who works with us probably about 15 to 20-ish hours a week or so on top of his other stuff.

Katie, let’s talk about your...