Honor & Equity: A real estate investing resource for military members, veterans, and their families

RElationships: Q&A with Momentum Realty’s Brittany and Jon Brooks

In our latest edition of the RElationships series, we are thrilled to have Momentum Realty’s founders, Brittany and Jon Brooks, sharing insight into their journey to real estate, starting their own brokerage, and some of what they have learned along the way. Brittany and Jon reside in Jacksonville, FL and are members of the GoBundance Tribe. We hope that you find their story as informative and inspiring as we did!

How did you get started in Real Estate?

The inspiration to pursue real estate came after purchasing our first home. The service from all parties was sub par and the agents were unresponsive, to the level that Jon knocked on the Seller’s door to ask if they had received our offer to purchase their home after 2 days of waiting…. Surprise… they had not! During the transaction, because of our accounting and finance experiences, we felt like we knew how to control the process better than the agents and vendors. We also noticed that the level of customer service in the industry was severely lacking. Jon was paying attention and getting inspired. In 2015, due to his limited income via W2, Jon decided to leave to become a real estate agent and pursue real estate sales full time. He started with $80k in debt in 2015 and with no network, in a new city (moved in 2014 from VA), and with limited money, Jon was able to sell 66 homes in his first year in real estate and 74 homes in his second year. He realized he had hit a ceiling of sales he could accomplish on his own. In 2017 Brittany was working as an investment banking analyst and, after much convincing on Jon’s part, decided to leave her W2 and join him to form The Brooks Group. In 2018, they sold 143 homes and went on to become an award-winning sales team and a Top 1% sales team in Northeast Florida.  

What inspired you to start your own brokerage, Momentum Realty?

We found our ability to scale profitably while also maintaining a great lifestyle was fairly unmatched in the industry relative to other top producers. What we had learned on our journey to becoming a top sales team was not what our brokerage or others were teaching to its agents. We then noticed that many of the leaders at the brokerages around us were ineffective because they had never experienced business or financial success themselves. And many of the big teams across the nation selling thousands of homes were not profitable; yet were claiming to be the best operationally and earning recognition from industry leaders. It was frustrating to say the least. But we have found that the best opportunities for us have come from frustration and wanting to make a change. 

So after we had our first child, we decided to slow down. Raising a baby and selling homes at our previous levels was not sustainable. Our priorities had to re-rank. We began brainstorming where we could next leverage our skills and entrepreneurial desires, while also having time for our family. At the same time, one of our top agents on our team brought to our attention that even though she was selling many homes, due to the high brokerage splits, along with our team splits she wasn’t making any money. This was a trigger for us, realizing that the model at typical big-box brokerages was broken – charging high commission splits for little value in return. We knew she wasn’t alone in the industry. We realized we could give back to our community by sharing what we had learned on our path to becoming millionaires through real estate and real estate sales; all on a platform that was affordable for real estate agents. In January 2020, Brittany passed her Broker exam and Momentum Realty was formed. To be honest, we had low expectations, but the company exploded with agents wanting to onboard, as they had seen and heard of our prior success. Today Momentum Realty has 165 agents at the brokerage. 

What are your top 3 pieces of advice for anyone considering starting their own business?

  1. Don’t underestimate the amount of grit and energy it will take to get your business going. Show up consistently, every day, and put in the work. All great gains come from compounding returns over time. Stick with your profession long enough to see the exponential growth over time. For most, success doesn’t occur overnight. 
  2. Find the best mentors in your industry who are valid and have lifestyles that you’d like to have. There’s a lot of noise out there, so be someone who questions everything and gets to the bottom of it. 
  3. Invest in your personal development and health. People stall out when they stop investing in themselves. People leave industries when they lose their health. 

What advice do you have for spouses and/or family members who are thinking about going into business together? 

Create clear responsibilities (put in writing) and stay in your lane. Do a Gallup Strengthsfinder assessment to see what you are both good at and then choose tasks for each of you to commit to based on those strengths. If neither of you are good at a task, hire someone else to do it. One person needs to be the decision maker, and make sure that the family members have deep respect for each other’s abilities ahead of launching. Problems and conflict can occur when there is a lack of respect for one’s abilities or one member stops pulling their weight. Make sure to be in alignment from the start. 

What software or tools do you use in your business that have  provided significant value to you? 

Google Sheets is a phenomenal tool. You really don’t need more than that to run a multi-million dollar business, and it’s free! We track all business data in Google Sheets. Keep it simple. 

Toggl helps me track where my time goes daily. I can see inefficiencies, and if items are repeated that I need to create processes around or leverage to my team members. For any entrepreneur, a time tracking app is a powerful reflection tool!

Another tool that we use, which makes me laugh out loud, is a massive whiteboard in our home. Anytime we have a moment of inspiration or creativity we break this out. Almost every business idea has been created or evolved because of this white board! It never misses a brainstorming session! Constantly front of mind.  

With such a large military community in the Jacksonville, FL area, what guidance do you offer active and former military members who are looking to purchase a home or begin investing in real estate?

Interview. This market is one of a kind. To win, you and your family deserve the best. More experience means a higher chance of you getting the right property and beating out other offers. Interview agents to find the best fit for you; don’t just fall into a random agent’s lap. 

Also, know that typically you do not have to work with an agent or vendor “assigned to you” through military connections. Challenge this! There are many misconceptions in the industry and sadly we see “trusted” vendors prey on military professionals through their loyalty. Ask questions to top professionals and then corroborate the answers to ensure you have the best experience!

Lastly, what do you want your legacy to be?

Our kids. We want them to be happy, curious, productive members of society, who add value to it, and have fun along the way. We want them to be givers and not takers. We’ll do our best to be present parents to help them achieve those ideals. 

We are so grateful to Brittany and Jon for sharing their time and knowledge with us at Honor and Equity. If you’d like to learn more about Momentum Realty’s story, you can visit https://movewithmomentum.com/mission

 

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