Bryan Casella, our podcast guest for today, is someone who definitely knows what adversity feels, how pivoting affects life, and how being consistent helps you win. Bryan is born to immigrant parents, who immigrated to the United States with no understanding of the language. His father worked as a truck driver, and his mother is an assistant at the doctor’s office. He had two brothers who were born in Argentina. His grandfather died when his dad was only 14, so he had to shoulder the responsibility of being the breadwinner which cost him his soccer career. Back in their country, it was taught that money is the root of all evil, and those of their origin has no shot of being a millionaire. With no financial background, it is really inspiring how Bryan reached the success he had today.
Part of the reason why he succeeded is attributed to his early love for basketball. At age nine to ten, he fell in love with basketball. He dedicated his life to it, joined the varsity in school, got a scholarship, played in college, then went overseas to play for a couple of years. Life turned upside down when he got injured multiple times in the same ankle. His years of focus and extremely hard work went downhill, as after his third season it became difficult for him to pass physical exams due to his injury. He even did not walk after his injury for about six months! That experience weighed on him, physically and mentally. Until he decided he needed to give up his basketball career and shift careers.
He said he was done playing victim. He taught long and hard on which path he’ll take next. He remembered a colleague from school whose dad is in real estate. He contacted him, they talked and decided he’ll be in. Just after a couple of months in his real estate journey, he started social media and filming his growth through YouTube, Through that medium, he gathered a lot of followers with whom he connected and made business with. In this podcast, Bryan shared about all the hardships they had to go through as a family, as an athlete, and as an entrepreneur. He shares how he trained his mindset to be a winner and not a victim of adversities. He shares about using social media, particularly YouTube in reaching your audience. How important it is to understand psychology, body language, and negotiations, that even though you did not have the lavish lifestyle and grand car, people will see how knowledgeable and successful you are in what you do. Be prepared to be inspired in life and in building your real estate career with Bryan Casella!
Here’s What You Missed
- Bryan’s early life and fall of basketball career
- The power of videos
- Do you need Zillow?
- How to excel in YouTube
- Should you join eXp?
- How to get away with the indoctrinated belief in us, but listening to your gut feeling
[5:54] I took that student mentality. Instead of showing up to the gym and the basketball court, I’m showing up to the office now. I just got to change the role, but keep that same energy and transfer it to real estate.
[9:14] There’s this celebrity/expert effect that the video creates. I was just really sharing my journey, but the other part was this whole phenomenon we’re seeing with video now. I saw the power in it long before other people did. And I knew I just had to jump on it.
[12:43] Video now has gone from a luxury to what I believe now to be a necessity if you want to market yourself and Bryand yourself in this new age, because again, that’s where the attention is. The crazy part is this is all free.
[13:34] I’ve learned in my life too, whether it’s basketball or real estate and social media is you gotta do the work. You just got to get up and do it. And as you go along the journey, you’ll figure out.
[15:46] On Zillow: They’re trying to sell us that our techniques don’t work and that they’re old school yet they are using those techniques to try to sell us.
[21:28] On YouTube: It is such a bigger reach and has such a bigger impact even than what we thiink it’s one of those undeniable kind of feelings and energies that you get because when I look backand especially to where it’s at now, it’s undeniable. Just the amount of influence you can have by making videos. It’s growing much quicker than I thought it would which is the icing on the cake.
[24:43] On joining eXp: the KV core was incredible and helped me on the business side. So not to mention all the stock options and all that other stuff. I feel like all the errors that I’m running into with other companies, this company handled for me.Everything’s cloud based and we’re good to go. So it just seemed like they were a step or two ahead of everybody. I’m so glad that I made that decision because I see where it’s going. I see where it’s gone so far. And I’m just excited because I’ve been super happy. I haven’t had any issues with them and the growth that they’ve had been incredible.
[30:05] On perceived ‘recruitment’ by eXp by others: Everyone that I’ve met, including myself, all the other teams that I know that move to exp were focused on production and the recruitment aspect is more like a secondary type of thing where for me, most of my recruiting is done through social media passively.
[36:20] I went deep into the evolutionary psychology, the genetic makeup of the male and the woman, how we interact as a species. Read a lot of books, started studying body language and negotiations and all that. I just want to be an assassin when it comes to communication.
[42:14] On how to create content for YouTube: “if I’m going to start and do real estate videos, what composes real estate? And I started just writing stuff on my board. if I’m going to start and do real estate videos, what composes real estate? I’m just going to show people what I do every day. I make calls. I visit clients. I go door to door. I go to the office. I study and I role play my scripts. I study the contracts, that’s it. Then I’m evolving… So it was very spontaneous at the same time, even though I prepared a lot on the board. And I think that is what kept that air of like authenticity to what I was doing.”
[45:28] I think the dream is just staying in tune and connected to that voice and listening to yourself and saying, okay, my mind might be saying this because of what everybody told me, but my gut, my instinct, it’s telling me, my heart is saying, do this.
[47:44] So we have two belief systems governing our mind now. We have the one that was indoctrinated into us by our family, friends, wherever you want to say. And then we have our own inner voice. So it’s a matter of getting to the inner voice. But until you put it on paper, you don’t know what’s up in your mind. Then you can work on it.
Important Reads and Links
BOOK MJ DeMarco. He wrote a book called The Millionaire Fastlane,
book; the secrets of the millionaire mind by T Harv Eker
people: Jim Rome. Anthony Robbins
BOOK: I just want to be an assassin when it comes to communication
Click Here for a full transcript of this episode:
What’s up DreamNation. We are back again. And we have another real estate episode for you that you’re going to get so much value out of it. And I know because this man has been delivering value for many of years now to the real estate community and even to the business community. So without further ado, help me in welcoming my brother, Mr. Brian, Casella to the show. Brian, you want to go ahead and say what’s up to DreamNation.
What’s up DreamNation. Casanova, thanks for having me. What a journey this has been. So I’m excited to do this with you and get this rolling. This episode is going to be a fun that’s for sure.
Absolutely man and I always like to make sure that we start off with the proper introduction and so many people, thousands and thousands have seen your videos on YouTube of how you’ve educated and built your tribe. But for somebody who doesn’t know who you are, I always like to make sure that I give the proper introduction in one of the ways that I do that is I always say that I think of us as real estate agents and even entrepreneurs as superheroes. And the reason being is because we’re flying around the world, we’re putting on a cape, we’re trying to solve the biggest problems. Before you became a world renowned YouTube star, as well as real estate agent and coach, take us back to when you were just a young gun and tell us who is Bryan Casella.
We got a pretty interesting story. I come from an immigrant family. My family, originally, is from Argentina and I have two older brothers, so they were born there. My parents decide to come to the States.
I’m the first one. So first generation born here. We bounced around a lot in LA, right? The greater Los Angeles area and so I’m born and my dad and mom came over here with very little money. No understanding of the language. My dad tried to run his own businesses in Argentina, but didn’t do that well, just because of, the status of the country and a lot of the corruption and stuff, which most people from outside of the U S can relate to.
I’m growing up, he’s bringing me up playing soccer cause he played soccer and unfortunately my dad never made it in soccer because my grandfather, his dad died when my dad was 14. So he had to stop playing soccer and get a job to support his mom. I grew up playing sports and I happen to pick up basketball at age nine and 10 and I fall in love with it.
So that’s my childhood. I really just dedicated my life to basketball. And I played in high school, right? Played varsity, got a scholarship, played at a USF. Then I went and played overseas for a couple of years. And one thing that I always struggled with during my career was injuries. I was always having nagging injuries, but, my junior year in college and then my second year pro I broke the same ankle.
And the second time I almost completely tour the anterior tendon on the inside of your ankle. Which has all to do with the flection of your foot. So to this day, I don’t have full motion like this in my left ankle. So after my third season, it’s difficult for me to pass physical exams, cause of that injury. And I didn’t walk after the second surgery for about six months. I couldn’t walk. I was on crutches and it really weighed on me mentally. I lost that kind of killer instinct now cause when I got on the court, I was afraid of getting injured. So at age 24, I decided to hang it up and I stopped playing ball.
So for me from age 10 to 24, it was all basketball. When people are on vacation, I’m playing basketball. I’m getting the keys to the gym and I’m staying on campus when everyone else goes home like that was my level of dedication. And for about six months or a year, I was like depressed because I played the victim.
Why me? I dedicated my life to this. Why is this happening to me? This is, So I’m like, this is bullshit. Why me? I’ve dedicated so much of my life to this and it’s being taken away from me. Why ? I’ve done everything right. I don’t break any rules. So, after feeling sorry for myself for about a year, I say, okay, you know what, I’m 24, 25, I got to get my shit together. I got to get my life in order.
I have my whole life ahead of me. So I start hanging out with some friends who are entrepreneurs at the time. The very few friends that I had that were entrepreneurs and I was getting a feel for what they’re doing and nothing’s really resonating with me. So one of my old friends that play basketball within my first year at age 10, I remember his father was a real estate broker.
So somewhere along the line, my mind’s okay, check out real estate. I contact him. His dad has an office here in Downey, in California, which is like 10-15 minutes outside of LA. I go there and I talked to him and keep in mind, he hadn’t seen me since I was like 11 or 12. So I was this little guy now I’m six foot two.
He’s looking up and he’s damn, what the hell? Different person. We sit down for two hours. And at the end of that conversation, I’m like, sign me up, man. This is perfect. I was looking at it like almost as if he was lying to me, I was like, what do you mean?
I was like, you can come here and just get your license and start making commissions. that doesn’t make any sense to me. The office is empty. No one’s really working that hard. I don’t have to work my way up a corporate ladder cause I had a work study when I was in college. Could we add that as part of our scholarship?
And I remember working the same hours and everyone else’s in the break room, not doing anything and I’m doing all the work and I’m going to the manager saying, dude, why am I getting paid the same as everybody else? But I’m doing all the work. So that seed was already in my mind to say, you know what, I’m going to build my own thing c ause I can’t deal with this.
Growing up, what did your parents do?
Actually when they came over here, my dad ended up being a truck driver because he had another dude who had come here a couple months before from Argentina who started his own trucking business cause he had a little bit of money.
So he ended up being a truck driver, which he still is to this day. And he’s going to retire probably I think within the next year. Then my mom just ended up being an assistant at a doctor’s office, basically working the front desk. So very like low end type of labor job. Nothing special.
Going back to the story where we’re doing that, and I’m just like, you know what, dude, sign me up. It just made sense. I looked at all the discipline and things that I forged within myself playing basketball. I said, man, this is perfect for me. It’s not going to be easy, but I can figure it out.
So I’m going from, Jordan shorts and shoes to wearing a suit. And learning sales, which I had never done before. And I just attacked it head on. I took that student mentality. I said, look, instead of showing up to the gym and the basketball court, I’m showing up to the office now. I just got to change the role, but keep that same energy and transfer it to real estate.
And that’s what I did. And then a couple of months in is when I started doing social media and video. And I just took that same attitude. Student of the game. And I look up the people like, Kobe rest in peace and Jordan, and those were always my guys that were on my wall. And when I listened to their interviews, the stuff they would say, I’m like, man, I can relate to that when they’re saying, I don’t know if you heard that story where Jason Williams came in before he got injured and he was playing in the NBA.
He said he was warming up and Kobe was already warming up. When he left, Kobe was still shooting. And then they talked to him after the game. And Kobe is I didn’t want to leave until you left cause I wanted to show that I’m working harder than you. And when people would call him crazy and dude, I would do the same thing.
So I can totally relate to that. And I believe it was that type of mindset that I brought to real estate and social media that really allowed me to hit the ground running and really start to have success because as I met more people in real estate and started creating content, I saw that there was a disconnect there.
A lot of people just didn’t have that attitude of wanting to be number one. And that never made sense to me cause that’s all I knew growing up. Then I realized a lot of people haven’t forged that through athletics or whatever to have that attitude and that fire. But I always had that fire.
I love it, and we have the same mentality on that. It’s the little things and that’s something that I really got from Kobe, especially and there’s this story that Alan Stein Jr talks about all the time. And he talks about that basically he had an opportunity to meet Kobe and Kobe was basically, you got a call from Nike and they want him to go and do some training and went to Kobe’s camps. And so Kobe gets there like early in the morning, and this is because he wanted to get there like 4:00 AM and Kobe was already there. And so basically he sees them working out and he sees that they’re just doing elementary drills. So he said he waited for an hour or so. And then later on in the afternoon he was like, look, man, I had to go up and ask him. And he’s Kobe. like I saw you working out with your trainer and said I could have taught you. Why are you doing those elementary drills?
And basically you said the basics, why are you doing that basic stuff? And he’s you see where I am today. That’s why I do the basic stuff. Doing the little things. And I think that most real estate agents, they complicate these things. One it’s already in their mind that they are not someone of influence.
And so I want to really tap into that for you because you started doing social media right away, where you come from the basketball world. And now you’re in the sales and the real estate world. Where did you get the authority to feel like that you could be an influence from early on?
Two things. In the beginning, for me, it was opportunity like where we’re at today with video, I saw back in like 2013 and 14, because that’s just the way my mind is working now. I looked at it. I said, man, this is so cool that I can shoot a video and send it to a client. And I know no one else is doing it cause everybody’s scared or they claim it doesn’t work.
But when you look at, growing up who were the people that we admire, the people that we saw on TV. So there’s this celebrity slash eXpert effect that the video creates. I remember even shooting testimonials with people and how afraid they were. And I remember asking them, why are you so scared?
And they’re like, when you make a video and you post it’s there for the world to see. So they think the world’s going to see it. So I saw that opportunity early on and said, I got to jump on the ship before everybody else. cause everybody around me said, you’re wasting your time, but I knew it wasn’t going to go on anywhere.
But number two was the first two or three years that people go back on my channel before I ever started graduating more into a teacher role by, all the demand and questions. I was just a kid showing everybody what I was doing. People can look at the videos. I still have my braces, right?
I still have my goofy little century, 21 name tag cause I felt like I had to wear it to go door to door. I was always in a suit and tie because I felt like I had to prove myself. And it was just really, Hey, this is what book I’m reading. This is what I learned.
Hey, this is what I learned from this coach that when I try to infield this line, it worked. And let me tell you why, because I said this, they brought up this objection. So it was more of a video journal of me just showing the world what I was doing and me putting my money where my mouth is cause I remember going on Facebook and Instagram at the time, even though I didn’t really use them.
And I said, Hey. I’m getting my license and I’m going to tear the shit up. And I want you guys to watch because a lot of people say they’re going to get their license and do big things, but they don’t. But remember this name because a couple of months from now, a year from now, two years from now, you’re going to be coming back and saying, damn dude, like you said, you were going to do it and you did it.
And it was almost like that chip on my shoulder, cause I was always doubted in basketball on everything that I did and it gave me that extra kind of fire in the tank. Part of it was, I was just really sharing my journey, but the other part was this whole phenomenon we’re seeing with video now. I saw the power in it long before other people did. And I knew I just had to jump on it.
I love it. Do you still feel like the video has the same opportunity that it did five to seven years ago? Or do you feel like there’s something else that right now you’ve maybe started to transition towards that everybody else’s is fighting to stay away from.
It would be two fold I would say Casanova. Number one is yes, absolutely because as much as it was new and cutting edge back then, I remember going to appointments and meeting with people and they’re like, what do you mean you’re going to take a video of my home? That doesn’t make any sense, like Facebook, YouTube, get out of here.
Now I see clients as an example asking what’s your social media presence. So I think it’s gone and morphed more from a bonus or a new thing to now almost like a necessity cause that’s where the eyeballs and the attention are. When you look at Instagram, I think half the population on the planet has Instagram or something like that.
That’s insane. There’s eight, seven, 8 billion people on the planet. That tells you that’s where the eyeballs are at. I think along with the technological advances that we’re seeing at the same time, we’re seeing a decline in my personal opinion. And you can chime in, if you agree on the classic tools being neglected by people, meaning just straight up communication, like the ability to call cold call, go door to door and meet with somebody and genuinely connect with them. I feel like that’s being lost and it’s like a platform that’s being left behind where everyone’s too busy.
If you go out, I know everything’s closed down now, but if you’d go to a bar, everybody would be on their phone. I would see and go out with my girlfriend Loida who’s doing stuff on YouTube too. And I tell her, look around right now. And even families are all sitting there looking at their phone.
I’m like, we’re the only two people talking in here and everybody else is on their phone. I think it’s that. I think you need to be able to buckle down and get those communication skills and constantly refine them. But then video now has gone from a luxury to what I believe now to be a necessity if you want to market yourself and brand yourself in this new age, because again, that’s where the attention is.
And the crazy part is this is all free. First three years on YouTube, I use my iPhone. This is the new one, but I use an iPhone six, no mic, no editing. Of course it was choppy. I didn’t know how to get rid of the black bars on the side cause I didn’t know. You had to turn your phone over. A lot of mistakes, a lot of mistakes.
Casanova: I just learned that two weeks ago.
Yes, exactly. But those, and you hear it all the time. Those are the mistakes that will stop people from doing it. But I did it for three years with just my phone. And I let all that other stuff figure itself out, but I took the action first and that’s the biggest takeaway that I can give people that I’ve learned in my life too, whether it’s basketball or real estate and social media is you gotta do the work. You just got to get up and do it. And as you go along the journey, you’ll figure out, okay, I need to change this. I need to get a microphone. Okay. I need to edit my videos a little bit. You’ll figure that out as you go. But people are so scared.
They won’t do anything. They won’t do that testimonial with their client, or they won’t make a video, even though you’ve probably beat it over their head 20 times. And so have I. And that still seems to be that simple, basic, like your Kobe example, that basic dribble that people don’t want to do.
Right. Now, in theCasanova Brooks:
beginning everybody was paying Zillow right? Nowadays, zillow’s definitely obviously grown to be a monster but a lot of people are more vocal that they will not pay Zillow. Do you still think that there’s a lot of value in that or should people just be focusing on organic social media to try to generate leads?
That’s an interesting question because I think people are hesitant now because they’re seeing what these companies are trying to do. I’ve been on stage nationally and internationally where there’s reps from Zillow and other places and you hear them say one thing and then behind the scenes, you’re seeing what they’re doing.
So a lot of agents feel compromised now thinking, Zillow and Trulia and all these companies now claim they want to be my ally, but we find out they’re trying to create all these systems and new age technology things to push us out the back door. So I think it’s coming from that. That whole thing with Zillow and the instant offer and all that other stuff.
And some people actually complaining, they’re saying that they’re cheap. And then I know people who actually went through the process with them and said, in the end, they charge way more than a traditional realtor would charge for that transaction. It’s just they hid it and they would put different names on the fees.
So I think it’s that. Right in the beginning because of that magic bullet type of feeling. I can just pay these people. when they give me leads. What really put the nail on that coffin for me was Zillow. I remember one time, cause I’m sure you get the calls from the Zillow reps too all the time.
They call me and so I’m hearing them, I’m like, all right, let’s see what their pitches and the lady she tells me, you don’t have to cold call anymore. And that’s when the question mark and the exclamation point went off in my mind. I said, okay, hold on a second.
So you’re telling me I don’t have to cold call ma’am, but what did you do just now to try to sell me? And she didn’t have anything to say. And then two seconds later, she pretty much hung up and went on to the next call. And that’s when it dawned on me. I said, they’re trying to sell us that our techniques don’t work and that they’re old school yet they’re using those same techniques to try to sell us. Now, for sure. I have a confirmation that they were hypocritical. I now do cause I didn’t even get an answer to that question that I asked her and that’s literally what they’re doing. So from that standpoint, for me, it’s I haven’t given them a penny.
I remember back in the day, I knew people still used it a lot. So I got my 12 or 15 reviews or whatever you need to get the all star agent status, then that’s it. I’ve already created my own separate platform on my website for all my testimonials and all that. But as far as me supporting them, definitely not.
And I’m sure you eXperienced this too. And then I’ll pass it back to you. The public will go to that website and take it like the Bible against our word. And where do they get their information from? Us? And a lot of it’s outdated, but people don’t know that they have a disclaimer on the website. It says this estimate can be up to 10 to 15% off. But again, people don’t look at the details. They’re like, Oh, they can give me leads. I pay for it. I don’t have to cold call. Let’s do it. I don’t have to work.
Yeah and you hit Casanova Brooks:
so many nails right on the head when it comes to the techniques still work. But at the end of the day, people, it goes back to the basics. And I have this conversation because just I’m sure you do so many people reach out to me through Instagram, or if there’s something as Hey man, I’m thinking about getting my real estate license. And then they asked what do I need to do? And then you send them to something that has the basics and even if there’s somebody who’s just gotten their license. I remember when I first started my team and I had six agents really quickly, within about a month because of what I did. So agents like, Oh, I’m going to go learn from Casanova. And I told them, I was like, okay, here’s what I did in my first year.
That first nine months I was doing three to five coffee and lunches every single week with anybody. I was taking all of the pictures with anybody who would essentially take picture with me and we’re talking real estate. People don’t want to do that. They don’t want to get out of their comfort zone.
So I love that you’ve gone back to the basics and you also talk about cold calling, which is something that people hate doing, but I always say that at the end of the day, I get it. And this is just my opinion. You don’t have to cold call, but you have to get out there and let somebody know who you are.
Because if you’re not going to cold call, okay, then go door knock. I’m not going to door knock neither. Okay. then go sit at a Starbucks and then anybody that comes in there, you just hand them your card, try to build a relationship. There’s something you got to do to let people know that you exist.
Because that’s what I feel like so many agents don’t want to do. And I want it to bring this point up because you took it to another level and you’ve decided to build a national brand with YouTube and a lot of agents don’t want to do that. Where did you feel like YouTube was going to be your voice? Why was that the thing for you?
Originally, it even goes back to when I played basketball, I always saw myself, even when I was a kid envisioning myself playing in front of hundreds of thousands of people and being on TV. So part of it, I think was that. I knew I wanted to leave a legacy with my name, but instead of it now being on the basketball court, on the hardwood, it would now be through the real estate business and skills or communication, whatever you want to call it.
But very early on, I started getting recognition through YouTube and I realized the power of it and where I could take this. When I started posting a lot of those videos of me making calls and going door to door, cause door to door back then was like a sin to people. They’re like, what do you mean?
You go door to door. I’m like, dude, it’s scary. But I do it anyway. And there was so much character development in that. And there were so many people that I met, relationships that I built going door to door. I can name any suburban city here in LA and the greater LA area. And you can just go on a map and point to one, and I guarantee you I’ve gone door to door there or sold a property there that I got from cold calling or door to door, like everywhere.
And it was through that I think a lot of attention started coming and when the attention started coming first, locally, and then it started branching off to like Florida, Texas, New York. I started realizing, this is like two, not even a lot of followers. I think I’m two years in, I go to a Mike Ferry retreat on the East coast in Miami because I love Florida.
So I go, and at the time I don’t have many subscribers where I’m like two years into the game, maybe a thousand, 2000 subscribers on YouTube and people at the event are like, Oh man, Bryan. Yeah. I watch your stuff on YouTube. And this happened the whole week and I’m sitting there scratching my head saying, dude, I have a couple thousand subscribers.
How is it that I’m at an event with 3000 real estate agents and at least 30 of them. The last day are lined up to take a picture with me, this doesn’t make any sense. That’s when I really started seeing, there’s something here and that’s really what I started doubling down on it because you fast forward to now.
And I just opened up a team in central Florida, opened up another team in Delaware. I’m working on a team in New York, another one in Texas. So I’m opening up satellite offices with people from my tribe who have been following me on YouTube and who I’ve helped train over the last couple of years. So I think once you start going outside of your house and I’m sure it happens to you too where you live over in Nebraska, you can’t deny it anymore.
I’m going to the supermarket and people are asking to take a picture with me. I’m like, what the hell? you know me? that doesn’t make any sense. I go to LA and Hollywood to go out. Same thing pictures. Oh man, what’s up dude. Or they’ll take a picture from like across the room and say, Hey man, I saw you, I do want to say hi.
So it is such a bigger reach and has such a bigger impact even than what we think that it’s one of those undeniable kind of feelings and energies that you get because when I look back and especially to where it’s at now, it’s undeniable. Just the amount of influence you can have by making videos, but it goes back to what we were saying in the beginning about that effect that it has when you make video and then you come from the right place and all those other things that we’re going to talk about. So it’s nuts and it’s just growing so fast. It’s growing much quicker than I thought it would which is the icing on the cake.
So the thingCasanova Brooks:
that I take away from that from so much is understand that you’re providing value, right? That’s why people are taking pictures of you and waiting in line to take pictures with you. It’s because of all the value that you’ve presented. And so the thing that I thought about when you first said that is it took me back to my mind time frame, where you were like, look, I was just a young kid and I was just documenting everything that I was doing because for a lot of people that’s listening or watching this right now, they’re afraid because they don’t want to basically come off as an imposter.
But if you just document what you’re doing, understand that even if you’re level three, there’s somebody out there right now, level two, level one, or hasn’t even gotten started yet. And they love to see your documents. I know I just love to see documentaries t hat are on Netflix. We all love to see that. We all love to connect with another story and it can inspire someone else.
So that’s the biggest takeaway I had. Now, when you first got your career started, do you say you were at Remax? Century 21?
Bryan Casella: Century 21.
You’re at century 21. You had the name badge on every time I see you, I’m gonna be looking for your name badge, and you have now moved over. Big business, big tribe, and you decided to make a move that a lot of people right now over the last two years, you and I both can say that there’s a lot of people thinking about making this move. For you, what was the move that you made and why did you decide to make that move?
About two years ago, I decided to move to eXp because a friend of mine had joined about a year prior to me and started telling me about how it was, who was joining, what the platform was looking like. And at the time, because I’ve pretty much spent my whole career with a prior to eXp with century 21 and Keller Williams.
So I’m familiar with the big brokerages and the big name having the office and the locations. Once you get past a certain point, I believe as an agent, you want everybody and everything just to get out of your way so you can do your thing, right? There’s less red tape within the company.
If there’s less issues you have to run into, or, Hey, I need to talk to the broker, but then you get the run around that you have to email this person, or they only show up once a month. You have obstacles put it in your way that shouldn’t be there. And that’s what I was eXperiencing at the brokerages, or just little details that I didn’t like. We’d close the deal.
Then we have to wait five business days for it to pass through the accounting. And then for them to give us our check. And now I have to wait to then pay myself and my team members. When now at eXp as an example, we were paid the same day, or the next day. It was really little things like that.
And on top of that, just having everything cloud-based and systemized for me was seeing like, we get access to KV core, which has a CRM on the backend and a kind of like a lean website on the front end. Incredible and I had gone through so many other CRMs. The only one I hadn’t used, I believe was top producer.
And I just could never figure him out. cause I’m not that tech savvy, but the KV core was incredible and helped me on the business side. So not to mention all the stock options and all that other stuff. It made sense. When I looked at it, I feel like all the errors that I’m running into with other companies, this company handled for me and they just getting out.
I can do my thing. I’ve done trainings for them. We’ll jump on the online university. And I’ve done trainings where there’s four or five, 600 people online. And then that training is recorded in their vault and you can access it. And we have, I don’t know how many new hours, like 20, 30 hours of training new every week that send recorded and you can go at the comfort of your home.
Then you look at this, the whole Corona virus thing. We were ready for that in a sense, because everything’s cloud based and we’re good to go. So it just seemed like they were a step or two ahead of everybody. And they took what I feel again, this is my opinion, a lot of the glaring issues that were in most other brokerages and they cleaned it up and they put it together and said, Hey, this is our new company.
And the last reason, and probably one of the most important ones is many of us through our lifetime will come across ideas where we’ll consider jumping in and then we won’t. And then three years later, we’re like, damn, I should’ve jumped on that three years ago. I had that feeling with eXp and that’s why I jumped on early.
And I’m so glad that I made that decision because I see where it’s going. I see where it’s gone so far. And I’m just excited because I’ve been super happy. I haven’t had any issues with them and the growth that they’ve had, it’s just been incredible.
Now, when you came on, what was your business like in terms of volume and production? How much were you doing two years ago before you came on?
Two years ago, I think I had just hit about 50 transactions and our volume was, average price point was 550-600. So it was around 25, 30 million, I think it was 27 and change or 28 million or something like that.
When you first came to eXp, especially being that, cause you’re in LA. So I’d imagine, is there a lot of boutique brokerages and like big luxury brokerages?
Bryan Casella: Yes, at that time.
What was it like then trying to tell your clients? Did you have a lot of pushback telling people that, Hey, I’m at another digital brokerage?
Not at all. We had more curiosity. They were like, Oh, it’s cloud based. What is that? There was more curiosity around it. And, I would tell agents, regardless if you’re at a big or a small brokerage, I think it’s more about you, cause they’re hiring technically right on paper you’re broker, Remax Century 21, but you’re the representative. And I feel if you know what you’re doing and you have confidence and you’re leading your clients the way you’re supposed to, unless you have somebody who maybe had sold real estate, maybe in the sixties, seventies and eighties, when it was different, you may have some questions regarding that, but I really truly believe it’s us and our leadership that really is what’s most important because since I made the switch, I think I’ve gotten one question about eXp. And I think it was more out of curiosity, not so much, oh, I don’t know that brokerage. I don’t want to work with you. You know what I mean?
For sure. When you first saw it, did you have a lot of pushback or did you instantly know like this is where I got to go.
When I first saw it, I thought it was cool. But since I was happy at that time, I’m pretty content. I think like most people are who first come across, eXp or anything else. It was just like cool there, but I’m good. I don’t really don’t have any complaints right now. I’m comfortable.
I’m building my team. Like we’re good to go. And it wasn’t until simultaneously I looked into it more. And then I started having issues, that decision came very quickly for me. So I think from the moment I knew about it until the moment I joined was probably four or five months.
Got it. And you talked a lot about in the beginning, it was just your mindset. Now, because your environment was everything for you, when you decide that you’re going to make this move, what was your environment like then? Because now you’re leaving Century 21 or where you were at KW at the time.
I was with KW when I switched to eXp.
Got it. So now when you go to tell your broker, you go to tow your other team members. Was everybody on board for you or was it like I’m out on the Island? I gotta make it work and they’ll come later.
I had that discussion with everybody. I went through the whole thing. We probably sat down with my team and everybody involved, all my employees for about two hours discussing it and why I’m deciding to do it.
Why it’s better for us. And by the time that conversation was over in that meeting, everybody was pretty much on board, cause I wanted to make the transition. I didn’t just want to come out blue and say, Hey, we’re switching to eXp and make sure everyone knew why, where we’re going, what the plans are and get everybody on board.
Then if I had any objections that I could handle it, or if, for whatever reason everybody was against it. And I was the only one for it, then maybe I would second guess the decision to not do it. But we huddled everybody together as a team. And we just came to the conclusion after about two hours and it was pretty smooth.
Got it. And now that you’ve come over here, how big is your team now?
it’s about the same. I really want to keep a small team. I may end up growing it in the future, but right now it’s just three agents and our production has only gone up a little bit. I think with the whole Corona virus thing, it slowed us down a little bit, but our goal for this year was to do 80 transactions. And I think based on where we’re at now, we’ll probably fall somewhere in the sixties. But our average price point has gone up, like 150,000. So we’re floating around 650 or 700 right now.
Got it. I love it. Now, for a lotCasanova Brooks:
of people. when they hear about eXp they instantly think that Oh, it’s a recruitment company. What was your mindset in that? And what would you say to anybody right now that if you’re eXplaining the benefits and the features and they say, Oh, you’re just looking to recruit.
I really think it depends on the individual cause absolutely, like anywhere else, you’re going to get people trying to recruit you.
I think I’ve had more people throughout my career from outside of eXp, try to recruit me then before I got into eXp, people from eXp contacting me to recruit me. I think it really just depends on who they’re talking to and who they’re coming across because everyone that I’ve met, including myself, all the other teams that I know that move to eXp were focused on production and the recruitment aspect is more like a secondary type of thing where for me, most of my recruiting is done through social media passively.
Right where people are hearing about it through a video that I made, or maybe I was a guest visitor for a lunch and learn that somebody did. And maybe I did a training. It’s more like an attraction type model versus, Hey, we’re going to go reach out and pull people in. And I think there might be a few outliers that are forcefully shoving it down people’s throats, and it’s creating this, bad image for some people. But with me it’s more attraction based marketing for the company. I think to this day, I’m the number one, single agent recruiter for the company. But the majority of that obviously initiated through social media and some of these videos and interviews that I’ve done.
So just like we said earlier with YouTube, it was about giving value. You can see me and what I’m doing. I’m giving value, helping people, teaching, connecting people and so forth. And through that people are like, Oh, maybe I should consider eXp or at least take a look at it. So even in that, I’ve created a funnel as well, where, I’ve created with the guy who recruited me to AJ, shout out to him.
We’ve huddled up and said, okay, for the people that we sponsor, we can provide some additional training and guidance for them cause I do attract newer agent typically from YouTube, like 70, 80% of my recruits are newer agents. So we created a system where anybody who comes in under us. We’ve created like a little, eight week starter program and those kinds of things, and continuous support where we have a private Facebook group.
And we do like mastermind calls where we all jump on a zoom call like this and meet regularly just to help them. So they’ll go through to that platform, that website, watch the video, if they’re interested and they can schedule a call with us that we can rap back and forth to see if it’s a good fit for them, or if we should move forward or not.
Got it. I love it. You mentioned funnels. Do you use funnels to try to generate leads or do you only use funnels for attraction?
A little bit of both. We definitely use the funnel for agent attraction. I’ve used the funnel, to run some of my coaching stuff. I’ve done some funnels as well for real estate.
So it’s a little bit of everything. I wouldn’t say I’m heavy on that side cause I would say probably 90% of what I bring in is organic. And that’s something that we’re working on now is putting together, that strategy and that plan for, putting a lot more money back into social media to really start putting ads up and that kind of stuff.
But up until now, we can say any follower I’ve gotten, any attraction I’ve gotten for eXp has just been a hundred percent organic. Same thing with YouTube subscribers, Instagram, I haven’t paid or done ran ads to get followers ever.
Got it. That’s super dope. For a lot of people out there, they hear your wisdom and they’re like, man, this guy is a clean cut. He’s no BS. He’s going to give it to you straight. Would you say that besides the basketball and the competitive side for you to grow mentally and have all the wisdom that you’re given now, would you attribute a lot of it to a book, a podcast, a blog, or even a mentor?
Such a layered answer. Great question. Y
I guess the reason why I asked that is because for me, I think about this and I say, what was it that I did that when I first changed my mindset, I didn’t grow up this way. And I didn’t have any of these resources and definitely not the financial literacy.
And so I read two books. The first book was rich dad, poor dad, which obviously it’s a staple for a lot of entrepreneurs, especially our age demographic. And the second one for me was a guy, MJ DeMarco. He wrote a book called The Millionaire Fastlane, and both of those books was really profound. And then I think that eXposed me to like Jim Rohn and a lot of others. So that’s why I always ask that, was there any one thing that was for you that it helped you to click? And from there it became off to the races?
And it was a lot. It definitely stacked, but here’s a couple of books. If we’re going to talk books, especially from the financial literacy, like you said, that angle, I didn’t have that.
My family was very, Hey, if you get a job, get that safe little income, that check and be happy with it. Anybody who has money is evil, right? Cause people don’t know a lot of the culture in South America is very minimalist. And then your branded is evil. I still have, believe it or not, I have family in South America who contacts me privately and in their world, creating, what I’ve created is so like unbelievable that they’re asking me if I’m doing like shady stuff behind the scenes.
And Iwill tell you join in the Illuminati yourself.
Something like that. I gotta be doing drugs or something to have this kind of success because to them a common or like us, it’s impossible to reach that level.
And it’s just funny. Cause I’m like, man, that’s that mindset I came from, which is a total trip. So from the financial end, I would say if I’m going to pick up one book financially, that then opened up Pandora’s box, it would be the secrets of the millionaire mind by T Harv Eker. If you read that book, that’s the first book that I read, that I started to question my own beliefs about money and understanding of it.
I read that book, coincidentally, that same week, I think, or the week after I’m at my office. And I had come up with a plan. I might do it if I make. I just need to make five grand a month. If I make five grand a month, I’m sitting at the table with 50 cent and Floyd Mayweather, like I’m balling. That’s how I was thinking back then.
In LA, I feel like that’s gotta be another zero behind it.
But that’s all I was thinking. So I overhear a conversation in my office about two agents who are going to go together, a joint venture on a building that’s 5 million.
And I hear that. When I’m about to start cold calling and I’m like, I stopped for a minute. I was like, Whoa, 5 million. I was like, How much money is that? So my mind just starts running, right? So from the financial side, those were two pivotal moments. I could say that kind of opened up Pandora’s box.
And I really started eXploring more and getting into real estate investing and increasing my goals as far as income. From the education side, man, there’s so many, I’ve watched a lot of Jim Rome. I’ve watched a lot of, Anthony Robbins, but one thing I can say for sure, that’s a unique angle.
I opened up this box for me is I got in contact and became really good friends with a lot of people who were in the dating world, like the pickup artists and all that. Not from the angle of just getting girls, but because of their study and knowledge and like evolutionary psychology, the genetic makeup of the male and the woman, how we interact as a species.
What turns us on, what turns us off as far as attraction models. And again, beyond just sex, I’m talking like people you want to align with and that kind of stuff. So I went real deep into that and read a lot of books. I started studying body language and negotiations and all that.
That really got my wheels turning and that perspective, because this is like the manual on life. If I learn this stuff and have an understanding of it, I know I can connect with anybody. If I’m at a networking event where I need to meet that one person, I know that energy to meet that one person.
I know how to get people to like me. This is really cool. That’s where I spent most of my time. And that’s the stuff that I started with really honing when I started cold calling and door knocking was like, dude, I just want to be an assassin when it comes to communication, because I realized me being new and having braces and no eXperience.
I’m meeting with people who think I’m 21, 22, and they’re like, I’m not going to trust this kid to sell my house. He’s his oldest son. So I was like, I need an angle and it’s not going to be the fancy car or the fancy suit cause I don’t have that. It’s gotta be my ability to connect with people and get them to like me and trust me, that’s kind of where I geeked out. And I would say some of those figures and then the people in the dating world is what opened up that door for me to start studying these things. I’ll certified as a master practitioner, neuro linguistic programming. I’ve also done and got my certification as a hypnotherapist. So I’m all deep in that world then.
And I love it because the deeper you get into it, the more you realize people are so misinformed about those subjects, right? They think, Oh, you study that stuff. You’re going to hypnotize me with the little thing. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about understanding yourself, your mind and how we navigate between communication and linguistics and all that stuff.
And our mind, right? It’s literally like a manual to your mind in a sense. And the tool or the key to help manipulate it, not in a bad way, but change it is our communication. So that stuff is really what I dove really deep into and spend a lot of time. And then the financial literacy part, even though I learned it, I still made some mistakes, man.
I remember buying my first car and leasing it like a dummy spending way, too much money on it, high car payment. and then struggling that first year cause there was two or three months where it was difficult for me because at the time I’m paying my rent, I’m paying my car. And if people watch, I welcomed them who were scared to maybe make video, you can see my old videos in that apartment.
And I don’t know if you remember, the movie scary movie two with the Wayne’s brothers.
We have definitely seen that.
Marlin had the shirt where all the different, I think strands of marijuana at the time. I had a poster of that in my background. You can see in every video in the back and I’m not even thinking about it.
Nowadays people would be like, Oh, I shouldn’t have that.
And I’m in a suit right? In my little apartment. It’s 300 square feet, but you can see it in the background. I’m sending videos to clients. I’m not even thinking about it until six months later, somebody on YouTube says, dude, is that a weed poster in the back? But nobody cared.
I sent it to clients. I’ve never had anybody say anything. We look at that and it’s insane because it’s gotten me to eXplore so many different things. And I would say since then, it’s been more about me mastering my own mind, cleaning up my lifestyle and my diet.
I went plant based anout five years ago. So I’ve really been keen about putting the right things in my body, that’s helped me with so much mental clarity as well. I’ve been doing the cold showers. I’m just really researching human beings and the history as well of human beings and my culture in South America and all that.
So I’ve taken now that route, even more, just to know more about me and my history and then master myself physically and mentally. So that’s been my journey the last year or two specifically, but those first five, six years man was just mind, communication and just geeking out on that stuff.
Man, that’s super powerful. And just like you said, it’s not about that. It’s about really figuring out who you are. And I think there’s so much that gets thrown at us every single day, that it’s hard to really know who you are. And if you don’t actually cut off everything, that’s not aligning with you and that’s almost a distraction and intentionally focus on it. It’s very hard to ever figure out who you are. And I always say that everyone has a gift in life, right? We all. And like you said, you’re like, listen, if I don’t have the car, if I don’t have the suit, I have to figure out how to communicate with people because that’s something that you don’t need money for.
And if you can build off of the communication, there’s many books out there. Persuade by Robert Cialdini. There’s how to win friends and influence people. Obviously, Tony Robins has been big in NLP. And now looking at, do you have any videos on NLP?
I got a tonBryan Casella:
of stuff. I’ve done some stuff on YouTube. My coaching I’ve done a ton of stuff. And I would say my content now is probably going to go more towards that route because I think I have 1300 videos on YouTube at this point. And I’m just sitting here, what else can I talk about when it comes to like sales and real estate?
I’ve beat that subject to death. You know what I mean? I would just be recycling content. So now I’m probably going to go even more that route. Cause there’s a lot of stuff that I’ve used in previous videos. And I’m even thinking of putting my old video on the screen. Screen capturing it, putting myself in the corner and then eXplaining all the techniques and language patterns and stuff that I’m using in that video to influence people from three or four years ago.
I love it.
And I’ve done that too. And like I’ve seen, okay. I would tell people, look, I said this in this way, in this video, I guarantee we’re going to get a lot of comments on this video. And then it happened like at 150 comments on that video where normally I only get 40, so it’s cool to be able to mastermind that, like you’re playing chess,
Absolutely. Talk to me about how do you create your content for YouTube? Because There’s somebody out there right now, they say I would love to start a YouTube channel, but I don’t even know how to create my content for my emails or newsletter. Do you have a formulaic approach of what you take.
Before I really didBryan Casella:
because it was a struggle for me to get in that creative process of what does audience want to see? What do I want to do? And all I did was say, okay, if I’m going to start and do real estate videos, what composes real estate?
And I started just writing stuff on my board. I had a big whiteboard in my office. It would be to my left when I would shoot my videos and I just erased it. And I started writing. I’m like, okay. You have clients, right? You have a buyer and seller, you have listings, you have escrow. And then I started making little branches under it and saying, okay, what’s involved with the seller, right?
How they pick their agent? When they decide to put their home on the market.? And I ended up with this diagram of a hundred different things. And all I started doing was okay. You know what, for the next week, I’m going to focus on sellers and make a bunch of videos about them on the real estate process.
And I would just pick one or two. Then I have my little flashcards because at that point I wasn’t skilled enough yet to remember what I’m going to say. So I’d have little flashcards and I would put bullet points. So when I would prop my phone up, on the thing, on the wall and that little cube, I would put the flash card right behind it.
So right above the camera, I have my little lines. if you look closely at my old videos, you can probably see my eyes moving and reading a little bit, but I kept it as close as possible to the camera eyes. So it would be sleek. And you couldn’t tell. That’s how I started. I just started brainstorming every Sunday for 30 minutes or an hour and saying, okay, what content can I do?
And aside from that, it was just very naive. I was like, I’m just going to show people what I do every day. I make calls. I visit clients. I go door to door. I go to the office. I study and I role play my scripts. I study the contracts, that’s it. I’m just going to show people that. And then I started, evolving and saying, I’m reading a lot of books.
Maybe they want to know what kind of books I’m reading. So it was very spontaneous at the same time, even though I prepared a lot on the board. And I think that is what kept that air of like authenticity to what I was doing, because it wasn’t, how can I get views and a lot of followers? It was, what do people want to see? And that’s where my thought process came from.
I love it. First, let me ask you, what does having a dream and going out and executing on that dream mean to you?
I think that everybody on this planet, you mentioned earlier, you said they have a gift. I think everybody’s going to have their own unique desires in life.
And when we’re kids, we can say the sky’s the limit, even though it’s not right? I always tell people, imagine a kid walks up to you. It’s five, six years old. It doesn’t matter where they’re from. And they tell you, they want to be an astronaut. You could, as an adult, give them every logical reason why they’re not going to be one.
And they’re not going to listen to you. They’re gonna be dude, I’m going to be an astronaut, get out of my face. I’m not trying to hear it yet as an adult, somebody close to you, a random person on the internet and say, what are you doing, dude, don’t get your real estate license.
You’re going to fail and will suddenly stop. So somewhere along the process of growing up, our creative process, our imagination is just dumbed down and we’re molded literally because of media and all the other stuff. And you mentioned disconnecting earlier, which I love that word because it reminds me of the matrix.
We’re molded into this now robot that’s supposed to get eXpectations thrown on them, the media, the celebrities that we worship and all that other stuff. And you now become this one way robots. I just want to go to school and get my job, but there’s this inner voice still there. That’s says no, dude, I want you to be an astronaut.
I want you to be a doctor. I want you to be a track star or a rapper or whatever it is. And I think the dream is just staying in tune and connected to that voice and listening to yourself and saying, okay, my mind might be saying this because of what everybody told me, but my gut, my instinct, it’s telling me. My heart is saying, do this. And with me, it’s just about listening to that because we’ve all had it. And I’ve had a change cause it was basketball for me, but very quickly, just by listening, I was able to find real estate and what I’m doing, and I listened and I just listened to that voice.
And I said, you know what? I don’t have it all figured out, we’ll get this thing done. We’ll just take it a day at a time. And I think people have lost their capacity to listen to that voice, which is why lately I’ve been telling people, you got to work on yourself and get really in tune with yourself because it’s an ancient thing that we have as human beings that I just think people have lost. Otherwise our ancestors wouldn’t have created everything they’ve created to get us to here.
Wow. For somebody out there, that’s loving everything you’re saying, and they want to blaze their own path and become more in tune with themselves, just like you have, but they have that little voice in their head.
And that little voice right now is telling them that they’re not smart enough. They’re not strong enough. And maybe they just don’t have enough resources. Is there one additional thing that you would say to that person to get them to just take action?
And there’s a lot more than one Casanova. This is the first thing I would recommend people to do. This is an exercise that I tell a lot of people to do. When you present questions to your mind, if I was to say, what do you think about money? Many of you listening are gonna have a thought pop up. And for me, if we’re going to use me as an example, when I went to that event that I got from the secrets of the millionaire mind when they asked that I jokingly said, but my subconscious spine told me, money is the root of all evil.
So I sat for a second after I wrote that down on the paper and I said I’m here trying to build a career, make money, be wealthy, take care of myself and my family yet my subconscious response to that question is I think money is the root of all evil. So can I say that I’m going to get there thinking that and that being literally wired into my mind?
Of course not, you’re either not going to make the money or you’re going to make it in self sabotage. So we have two belief systems governing our mind now. We have the one that was indoctrinated into us, right by our family, friends, wherever you want to say. And then we have our own inner voice. So it’s a matter of getting to the inner voice.
So what I did was I took a piece of paper and I started asking myself those questions on a Sunday, I sat for two hours. When I think about this and relationships and money and, wealth and people who are wealthy. And I started coming up and listening to that initial response. And when I did that exercise, I was like, Oh my God, who is this person?
And I started finding out what I thought, but until you put it on paper, you don’t know what’s up here. Then you can work on it. Now you have a piece of material here that you can say, this is what I believe right now. This is what my own mind is telling me. Is this really who I want to be and who I think I am.
That’s when change happens and anybody can do that. I’m sure anybody listening to your podcast has a little bit of time, a piece of paper and a pencil or a pen.
Or you can have your phone and Evernote or Google keep or something where you could still write those things down because the biggest thing is you have to visualize it. And that is going to pose the question. I love that you said I listened to the first thought that popped into my head, because if you write those things down, that is the story that you’re telling yourself in that subconscious mind. And then I’m sure that we probably all in that first time that we look at even our top five to 10 answers. We’re probably going to say the same thing. Oh my God, who am I?
People are scared. And a lot of people don’t want to confront the possibility of those thoughts and what they can be, and they don’t want to do it. And if you are, you have to make a decision. Is this important to me or not? Because everybody hits that moment like in the matrix, when he says red pill or blue pill, you make the choice. And I’ve made a story on my Instagram about that. I was like, when you joined my tribe, this is what I’m going to take you through. But you got to make the decision to open the door. You have the exercise, but you got to do it.
And it’s a decision to say, is this important to me? Because it could be watching your podcast, but they have to make a decision within themselves. Okay. Am I going to take this and act on it and do something and change my life? Or am I just going to keep sitting on the fence and looking over and saying, it’s nice over there where Casanova is, I don’t want to do it yet. I’m just going to think about it.
Right. Facts. This has been such a phenomenal conversation. My brother, as I knew that it would be, and we’ll definitely drop all the links in the show notes, but for anybody who wants to stay connected with you, where can they find you?
At Bryan Casella? As you see on this zoom is my handle for everything. I would say the most responsive I’m on is probably Instagram. Cause I do my best at least once a week to go through all the messages that I get. So it’d be a little patient if you send me a message and it takes me maybe a week to get back to you, that’s the best one. Then you can find me on YouTube and everything else. But Instagram is the one that’s most intimate to me that I’m actually on replying to people.
Cool, my man. I’m sure there’s going to be many of people that will reach out to you, but remember dream nation and the dream we trust. But just as he said, you got to take action. Are you going to apply everything that you’ve learned?
Because if you don’t, it’ll only merely be a fantasy. We’ll catch you on the next one.
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