Mariana and Zach Castillo are a real estate family through and through. After getting their start in property management at 23, the young husband-and-wife duo decided to focus on residential real estate. And, from day one, they had a crystal-clear picture of the type of business they wanted to lead.
“We knew from the very start that we needed to follow a system. We did not want to reinvent the wheel,” Mariana explains. “We needed to know the conversation points, the knowledge, the systems to create a lead into a forever client. So we studied The Millionaire Real Estate Agent and we followed it to a T.”
Leading the Pack with Lead Generation
Since joining Keller Williams in 2013, the team secured its reputation as a top performer in the San Antonio area and beyond. With $77.9 million and 320 units sold for 2020, Mariana and Zach attribute the majority of their success to the essential, everyday Realtor habit that keeps on giving: lead generation. “It was the number one thing that we focused on very early on in our business,” says Mariana.
“If you see our numbers year after year, we’ve doubled them. And that’s because we never got away from lead gen. We never chased the new thing, and we knew that we needed to have these contacts done every day in order to get to the next place,” says Mariana.
At Keller Williams, the couple was able to leverage the tried-and-tested MREA lead generation strategy and confidently adapt it for their energetic 24-person team. “We knew that we had a set amount of contacts that we needed to do every day in order to achieve our goals. Knowing that we really had to make these contacts and create relationships with the leads that become clients was our number-one thing.”
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Most importantly, they have benefited from the defining education that turns leads into forever clients. “If someone hands you one thousand leads and you do not know how to nurture them, your business won’t grow,” says Mariana. “For us, the tools that have taken us to the next level are conversation talking points – knowing what to say when we talk to clients and being able to address concerns, time management and having accountability through coaching, and always learning from someone who has run the system before and has run it well.”
Building an Empire – And a Family
At Keller Williams, the Castillos mastered the blueprint for lead generation and nurturing relationships. And, in the process, they also nurtured their team of spritely young professionals. All under the age of 32, the Castillo Group team members are bound together in the same manner a family would be. “We’ve been through the hardest of times together and we’ve ridden it out together, especially last year,” Mariana says. “We met every day through Zoom and would cheer each other up. We kept each other sane.”
KW’s culture of life by design rings throughout this family environment. Every year, as the team comes together to discuss long-range business goals, they start delving into the personal. “We meet with our team members, and we talk about our survival number: what we must do in order to make ends meet,” Zach shares. “Then, we focus on what our life by design number is. Whether it’s an investment property, buying a new car, or purchasing your first home, we identify that, and now we have those numbers attached to what our team goal is.”
“Gary always says that you have to build a life big enough and goals big enough for your team to continue to grow. And, I think that’s what we’ve done every year. We set the bar up higher so that they know that they have the room to grow with us,” Mariana shares.
In the same way that they have grown for their team, the Castillos credit Keller Williams for growing for them. “It’s very hard to find a brokerage that actually cares about your growth, and that’s what sets Keller Williams apart from everyone else. They’re here to empower you to be a business owner.”
In their own family, Keller Williams has empowered the Castillos in one additional major way: to adopt their daughter, Emma. “We got the opportunity to present our family book to an expectant mom who had a plan for adoption, and she chose us because she wanted to be a real estate agent. We got to meet her, and as our parting gift, we gave her the MREA, and to this day, she follows it, and she’s a real estate agent now.”
“Mariana and I are in the process of adopting again, and we want to be at the level where our grandchildren and great grandchildren talk about what we did and the opportunity we provided for our family,” Zach shares. “We are setting up the foundation that will change our family tree for generations.”
For the Castillos, knowing that Keller has been vocal about the importance of equity for all has made all the difference throughout the adoption process, and to this day, as they raise Emma.
Keller Williams Is Home
From the very basics of their lead-generating business to their team and growing family, the Castillo Group is achieving greatness at Keller Williams. “We’re very prideful in our system and the way we take care of our clients, and we love that they will be our forever clients,” Mariana says. “There’s nothing you could tell me that would make me leave Keller Williams. I truly believe that we are where we need to be. For the opportunities that they have created for me, I am grateful and I am loyal.”