From Major League Baseball to Major League Properties
Matt Luke, a two-time All American and World Series winner turned independent broker and real estate business owner, knows that hard work is integral to success. Both on and off the field, Matt has committed himself to outperforming competition on every level.
He says, “For 11 years I poured my heart and soul into professional baseball and played in the big leagues with several teams, [in the US] and internationally. A couple of shoulder surgeries and a back injury forced me to transition out of the game.” So how did he make the leap from baseball to real estate?
Matt says, “I had a great friend that had just gotten into real estate in the early 2000s, and that’s really when the market started taking off. [I had] a lot of opportunities to learn, and I saw real estate as a natural transition from playing baseball locally to helping people in our community.”
As it turns out, there are tons of similarities between real estate and baseball, and Matt found real estate to be a natural fit for the skills he perfected on the field. Matt explains, “Professional baseball is a grind. Every day, you play a new game. [So] every day, you wake up, and you go through the same routine. Hard work, discipline, strategic planning, and teamwork - a lot of those life lessons learned through baseball have now translated to real estate.”
As he worked his way through his first ten years in the business, gaining valuable experience, the process ignited his motivation. Matt realized there was an opportunity to grow a team and capitalize on having full control over his business. He says, “Real estate offered so many different avenues, and I had always dreamed of having my own brokerage.” And with that, the decision was made. Matt became an independent broker and led the Matt Luke Home Team for five wonderful and prosperous years.
Journey From Independent Broker to Founder
Though there was no financial need to join Side, as an independent broker, Matt began to feel increased pressure to keep up with and stay on top of technology. He says, “The need to make a change [came from needing] to stay relevant with the way that buyers and sellers are now looking at real estate. Our world is changing, and the real estate market is changing.”
Technology is frequently a double-edged sword for top producers turned indie brokers. As a top producer operating under the umbrella of a big brokerage, you may have access to top software, but you usually don’t have the ability to customize tech to fit your individual business.
Top agents who transition and become independent brokers quickly find that it’s expensive to vet, test, and provide access to the tech tools needed to keep the front end and back end operating smoothly. When you’re not able to purchase enterprise-level seats at the table, creating a custom tech stack for a small team becomes quite challenging.
Matt says, “[Technology] not being my expertise, it really started making sense to me to partner with somebody that could fill in the gaps.” Side’s tech expertise ended up being a great compliment to the skills and strengths that Matt was already bringing to the table.
Signing on with Side
Matt has always valued the importance of operating as a team, and he found that to be a shared mentality at Side. Matt says, "We have a team in place, it's not just me, there are other agents and people behind the scenes, there are teams assisting me throughout the branding, managing transactions, and the real estate process. Partnering with Side has allowed me to be more of a complete player, if you will. More of a complete professional for my clients.”
Another important carryover that translates well to real estate is the ability to study your opponent, study your game, and identify your strengths and weaknesses. While Side agents aren’t competitive with one another, they all represent successful teams that are prime for study. Matt says, “As a business owner, I'm always trying to learn and figure out what I can do better. The fact that we're communicating and collaborating with different partners all over the state is exciting. It's another growth component of the business. The interaction with various partners has given me great knowledge and input [that has allowed me] to be able to run my team better.”
He continues to explain the added value that comes along with having access to a community of top performing agents. Matt says, “Collaborating at quarterly Side agent partner forums has opened me up to new relationships all over the state. We're already getting referral business from some of those partners. That’s been great, and it’s something that we didn't foresee or think about as we entered this relationship.”
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Building a Team Within Major League Properties
As a boutique real estate business owner, acting as a team is an essential element of success. Matt says, “A famous baseball coach once told me that you don't play for the name on the back of the jersey, you play for the name on the front. And if you take your approach into baseball in business in the same way, you realize ‘it’s not about me.’ It’s about the larger organization as a whole and as a team. How can we support each other? How can we be commonly goal-minded and oriented to accomplish much larger things? That's what successful teams do. I’m so excited to be a part of Side because there are a lot of individuals and a lot of people that have that same drive and the same goal to be excellent.”
To achieve the goals he set for Major League Properties, Matt had to bring on more agents. He says, “Within just two months, I went from two agents to four agents, and that's been exciting for me. At weekly meetings with those agents, we’re discussing all the things that Side is offering and doing to support us and we’re starting to formulate business plans that are larger than they were before, and more effective than they were before. Everybody is excited about what that means for them individually, and I look forward to talking to a team. It brings me back to those baseball days where it's not just about a person doing their job, it's about the team.”
Bringing it Home
To Matt, building a top performing real estate business is much more than a job or even a career. He says, “My purpose in life is to impact the lives of others, and that's my goal. If I can help people through real estate, if I can give people guidance, if I can help a kid learn some baseball techniques, that's exciting. That's what it's all about. I had great support in my life, and now, to be able to pay that forward and help guide people is truly rewarding.”