Location: Alabama | Launched: 2014 | Number of agents: 130
Gusty Gulas headed the number one real estate team at the top brokerage in Alabama when he was being courted by a competing brokerage to move to their company. Rather than make the decision on his own, he gave his team the option to vote. They decided against it.
“They told me if I wanted to start a brokerage, they would follow me,” said Gulas.
Later that year, in 2014, Gulas formed Brik Realty and brought his team with him. It was perfect timing since they were looking to increase their income and Birmingham was going through a revitalization.
“I wanted to create a place with a more positive atmosphere and office culture,” Gusty said of the new brokerage. In a short timespan, they’ve gone from one office and 75 agents to three offices and 130 agents.
Company culture at Brik Realty
Gusty believes a little friendly competition never hurt anyone, though he insists the environment stays positive and agents are encouraged to help each other out. “Our agents understand there’s enough business to go around,” he said.
The heart of what drives the culture at Brik Realty is very simple. “Treat others as you want to be treated,” said Gusty.
The brokerage provides opportunities to further professional growth through different classes, accountability groups and team leader masterminds. Agents can also learn by shadowing someone more experienced.
There is an open-door policy and Brik is big on getting agent feedback. Gusty’s mission is for agents to reach their goals and grow. “If there’s something that makes sense and it improves what we do, we’ll move forward with it,” he said.
A Brokerage made of teams
Today, Gusty still works with his original team of 10 agents known as the Gusty Gulas Group. Other team structures exist within the brokerage and this works well for Brik Realty. “We now have the top three teams in the market,” Gusty said.
Sales have been rewarding. During their third year of business in 2017, Brik closed over 2,200 homes with over $400 million in sales volume, ranking them as the No. 3 brokerage for number of units sold and No. 4 for volume closed out of 400 brokerages in the MLS.
Marketing with a modern bent
The brand has a young, urban and modern vibe to it. Walk into a Brik office and you’ll find “#BRIKYEAH” on the wall. There is also reclaimed wood on the walls and cool desks lining the office. “It doesn’t have the more traditional feel typical of other brokerages in the area,” Gusty said.
He characterizes the brokerage as young, savvy and involved in the community. Everything from belonging to REALTOR® associations to serving on executive committees is part of what agents activities.
One of the first things Brik Realty did as an office was start a newsletter, and this struck a positive chord with the agents. “It gave them information they didn’t have access to,” Gusty said.
Online, social media is a big part of Brik Realty’s presence. They’re active on Facebook and Instagram and have engagements on Snapchat and Google pay-per-click.
In addition to being online, Brik Realty makes it a point to go into the community as well. The brokerage does a chili cook-off with The Exceptional Foundation, a non-profit providing social activities for those with special needs. In 2018, Brik Realty will be holding their inaugural golf tournament to raise money for the non-profit, Kid One Transport.
Because there are so many people giving back to the community, Brik Realty gives out a Good Neighbor Award to celebrate and recognize someone in the office for their volunteer work.
Currently, Brik Realty is looking to reach at least 200 agents in the next few years. Despite this goal, they’re still looking to stay local in the Birmingham area.
The current agents range from newer professionals to people with four decades of experience. The majority of Brik Realty’s affiliates have been in business for less than four years. Some agents reach out to the brokerage while others may be recommendations who could be a good fit for the company.
There is an application process. Gulas has found this helps find agents who are a good fit for the company. For agents who have been in business for three years or more or have done $3 million or more in sales volume, the brokerage requires one sponsoring signature from a Brik Realty agent vouching the applicant would be a good fit. For those with less than three years of experience or less than $3 million in sales volume, three sponsoring signatures are required.
“Ultimately, being a good culture fit and positivity are two main factors that will help make someone an ideal candidate for Brik Realty,” Gusty said.