Bryan Felder insists on going north when the crowd is going south. If you are making a right, he’s intentionally going left. He’s all about counterculture. The team leader and associate broker from TVRG Homes of RE/MAX Gateway learned early on the value of thinking outside the box.
Cultivating this mindset started when he attended summer camp. There was a family weekend, and he found out his grandparents were attending. Since his grandfather was always someone he admired, and was in a wheelchair, Bryan wanted to make it special. He roped off an entire area and made signage for the Felders.
The other campers thought he was crazy; it was open seating. He ignored them all. This simple act amazed and touched his family, and the bond grew stronger with his grandfather. His takeaway: “Don’t listen to the crowd and do what everyone else does. Think for yourself!” This drives him.
Another maxim he lives by: What are you doing today to bring you closer to where you want to be? Bryan is meticulous. Each weekend, he writes out seven goals for the week. He reads and reviews them regularly. His focus centers around “habitually serving my team members, our clients, our partners and anyone else we come in contact with.”
Finding His Calling
Bryan’s work ethic was cultivated young. When he was 16 years old, the family ran a vending company out of their garage, in Burke. At 21, he attended George Mason University, graduating in 1998. He spent some time in the banking and finance industry before investing in real estate.
Building a sizable portfolio with a partner eventually set him on a whole new trajectory. In 2003, he decided to get his real-estate license. This serial entrepreneur initially thought he’d do investments, but once he had a taste of the impact in selling residential, he was hooked. Almost immediately, he decided to get an assistant; he knew he found his real hustle.
The team started shortly thereafter. Bryan is adamant on keeping the focus on them instead of himself. “It’s never been about me. It’s always about the team, and real estate has allowed me to invest in them and give each member an opportunity to pursue and fulfill their dreams,” he says. He gets stoked just talking about the crew, which consists of six other agents and two administrators. He says the majority of his time is spent making sure they have the tools and resources they need. He is the support, not the other way around, and he is grateful for their hard work. Watching them thrive is his bonus. “Seeing an agent grow, or learn how to be a leader due to the culture we built, is over-the-top rewarding!” Bryan enthuses. Last year, they did nearly $60 million in sales.
At TVRG Homes, differentiating themselves is more than a bullet point, it’s a daily ritual. They refresh their voicemails regularly to keep those calls coming in, and bring fresh-baked cookies to client meetings, baking nearly 500 each month (they have an Otis Spunkmayer oven at the office).
Teamwork is what makes this dream work, and every quarter, Bryan orchestrates some sort of team-building activity. They’ve gone to Dave and Buster’s, rented out movie theaters, and gone to escape rooms. Each month, they do what Bryan calls a “lunch lotto,” where all names go into a bowl, and whoever’s name gets picked chooses the next restaurant. They also do an end-of-year dinner, with a gourmet chef for the team and spouses.
In addition, they host four client events annually. These are pivotal in creating community. Bryan said one of his favorite things is when he sees clients mixing it up at these events who were complete strangers previously, but by the end of the day, they have become friends and are exchanging numbers. “Community is everything. All we do is create the environment for them to connect. It’s a way for us to serve and give back.”
This has become the team’s way of life. They are constantly looking for and creating win – wins for all. As such, they’ve crafted a B2B business rewards program like no other. Not only does this help small businesses grow, but it also gives them a (value-added) reason to reach out and keep in touch every six weeks. They are particularly excited about MaxHousePrice, which they have seen success with. “Hearing from an agent who just helped their seller make an extra $30,000-$50,000 is awesome!” Bryan mentioned, noting the ease of this full-service system and full disclosure. He is an investor in this business.
“Family first” is this team’s motto. Leading by example, Bryan makes it a point to put family time on the schedule. He is ardent about booking four trips at the beginning of each year to ensure work/life balance. He praises his wife, Beth, affectionately calling her Bethie, saying she is his backbone and the reason for his success. They will be celebrating their 20th anniversary this summer. They have twin girls, Mollie and Madison, who are 14 years old, and enjoy playing sports like lacrosse, swim, and dance. The Felder family goal: “We run hard during the week so each weekend we can spend time with the family.”