“Always strive to be greater than you are. You must surpass yourself, in each successive act, test, encounter, thought, try to be greater than in the one previous… You and I are the architects of the minutes. We build ourselves every moment… With every turnaround of the clock’s second hand, are you building yourself anew? Are you changing, altering, revising, remaking, increasing? Are you?”
– Og Mandino
These are the words that Ryan Nicholas has not only built a career around, but a life.
He was born and raised in Clifton, VA, to parents who were both REALTORS®. They originally didn’t think Ryan was cut out for sales because, as a child, he was on the quieter side. After studying economics and psychology at the University of Virginia, though, Ryan became the district manager of Vector Marketing, in Fredericksburg, VA. Over the time he was there, he interviewed close to 5,000 people, trained over 800 sales people, and worked about 100 hours a week.
“I learned how to be an entrepreneur. I learned the value of working hard, how to overcome obstacles, and learned negotiation skills and people skills,” he affirms. His dad took notice, and told him that the same skill set is required in the real estate field. Ryan decided to start in real estate full time in 2014 and works on his parents’ team. They have been the number-one Coldwell Banker team in the state of Virginia for several years, and, for the last two years, they were the number-one Coldwell Banker team in the entire Mid-Atlantic region.
“I love it. I love working with my parents,” Ryan states. “They are great people and hard workers, and there really isn’t any family drama.” I asked him if they talked about real estate at the Thanksgiving table, and Ryan laughed. “Yes, we do talk about it. My dad was my basketball coach; he would always say that everything in life does relate to basketball. Soon after I got into real estate, he started relating everything in life to real estate. ‘Dad, why do you have to relate everything to real estate?’ ‘Because everything does relate to real estate.’ It really does.”
“My favorite part of being a real estate agent is probably helping buyers find and close on their perfect home,” he enthuses. “Seeing the excitement in their eyes and body language as we walk the house, checking in with them in the days and weeks after closing, stopping by to see the renovations they did after closing, seeing them post photos on social media of them and maybe their kids enjoying the new house… It’s so rewarding. We don’t just sell houses, we help people find homes where they spend their time, entertain, relax, and raise their families.”
Ryan has been married to his wife, Cynthia, since 2017. Their son, Brooks, was born in August 2019, and life hasn’t been the same since. “Now that I have a son, I just want to do everything I can to provide a great life for him and to set a good example for him.” Aside from spending time with his family, outside the office he enjoys playing basketball, golf, and poker, reading, serving at church, and traveling.
“I define success not by transactions or GCI or any of that, but by whether or not I’m 1) enjoying and am challenged by what I do, and 2) growing. In my business, am I enjoying myself? Is what I do rewarding? Am I challenging myself and stepping outside my comfort zone? Am I growing my business by the numbers? Am I growing my business by learning and implementing new strategies, tactics, and technologies? Am I growing my capacity?” Ryan states that he is always looking to improve. “In my personal life, am I enjoying my relationships, my hobbies? Am I complacent in them, or am I challenging myself to improve? My relationship with my wife and my son are everything to me, and I’m always looking to grow as a husband, father, and friend.”
What makes Ryan different is this inspiring, strong, inner drive to evolve and grow — a hallmark trait of those who strive for greatness. For this rising star, it is only just beginning.
Ryan can be reached at [email protected]