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NLR Stories

Outgrowing My Mom & Pop Brokerage: Success with a National Brand

June 30, 2023

About 12 years ago, I was tired of the lease game and decided to purchase some land of my own. Even though I lived in Texas, my search led me North to Oklahoma where I found and bought a 120-acre tract of my own. I was a member of a Texas hunting forum and decided to document my journey online to keep up with all the projects. It didn’t take very long for me to start getting requests to find fellow members their own place and assist with their improvements as well. Having a W2 job made me reluctant to get my real estate license, but after considerable thought, I felt I could do both! After getting licensed and getting on with a local mom & pop brokerage I was off and running and the rest is history!

I wanted the ability to grow my business while maintaining my W2 job. Being a part of a mom & pop brokerage didn’t give me access to the resources I needed to really get to the next level, and the commission splits were terrible for what I received in return with regard to support. Establishing a foothold in my area was also challenging, especially since I wasn’t born and raised here.

My struggle is and has always been needing more time. Juggling my job, family, and real estate took up every waking moment I had to keep the ship upright. My entire focus was on keeping the wheels on the car. I was burning a candle at both ends and needed to find a system to streamline my operation to avoid burning out!

The business of real estate has many moving parts that require different specialties, and I did not have the time nor the expertise to handle them all. I was searching for a better way to maximize my time so that I could focus on closing deals!

Eventually, it really came down to a lack of resources. At my local mom & pop brokerage, I had to develop everything and perform all of the duties from A-Z just to compete. It didn’t take me very long to realize that it was a physical impossibility if I was going to compete at the next level. Something had to change!

Once I had made the decision to make a move, I began researching what options were available out there. I am not one to bounce around, so I wanted to be methodical in my approach so that I made the right choice regarding my personal situation. 

I am a planner by nature, so thankfully I never hit rock bottom, but I was well on my way to hitting the wall when I discovered National Land Realty and changed course. Once I got in the cockpit and learned the system, I could focus on closing deals and not the multitude of other duties needed to keep the machine running.

With my original brokerage, they viewed the listings as their own even though I was the individual that brought the client there. I knew that I wanted to move, but I also had an obligation to my clients and could not leave them without first fulfilling that obligation. The timing was crucial and planning had to be precise, but I was able to make it happen so that I could take care of my clients’ needs and make a seamless transition to a new home!

Since making the transition to National Land Realty, my business and reach have grown exponentially. Along with having more time to focus on finding and closing deals, I am also able to better serve my clients, both with the tools provided and time to service my obligation to them. 

Real Estate started out as a hobby for me but turned into a lucrative side job that has opened doors that I never thought possible. The field to me is completely fulfilling and it allows me to do more for my family and pursue other ventures that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to do. 

Unlike most successful agents, I have a regular day job that requires a substantial amount of my time as well. The tools and team atmosphere that National Land provides allow me to continue real estate while maintaining my day job. This in and of itself should resonate with those contemplating pursuing this career path while still having other occupational obligations!

Achievement is nothing more than a collection of efforts made by the contributions of one team. The efforts vary in weight from small to large, but all play their part in success. Any individual who meets the mark of high achievement didn’t make it there alone. By leveraging the talents of others, you can go much farther than you ever could alone!

About the Author
James “Jay” Cassels joined the National Land Realty team in April 2021 and is currently a broker associate out of the McAlester Oklahoma Branch Office! Jay has been developing, marketing, and selling turn-key hunting properties since 2012 and serves as the only land certification inspector in the state of Oklahoma for the National Deer Association (NDA). He currently owns and manages a Legacy designated, highest certified, property for quality deer management by the NDA and served as a Green Beret, for 8 years, in the United States Army Special Forces. As an avid outdoors man, Jay's unique expertise and personal experience will deliver guidance and service that is second to none whether you are in the market to buy or sell! Jay received a bachelor's degree in management information systems from Lamar University and a master’s degree in telecommunications management from Oklahoma State University. Jay is actively involved in the National Deer Association as a lifetime member, land certification inspector, certified deer steward I and II, legacy designated property owner, and president of the Eastern Oklahoma branch. Jay is also a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8789, a distributor for Texas Hunters Products, and an Accredited Land Consultant from the Realtors Land Institute. Jay currently resides in Checotah Oklahoma. When he is not working, Jay enjoys hunting, managing his own property, and spending time with family.