Teams Spotlight: Rylie Schroeder, Schroeder & Co. Real Estate

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Name: Rylie Schroeder

Title: Team lead and founder | Realtor

Experience: 5 years as a real estate agent

Location: Houston and Austin, Texas

Team Name: Schroeder & Co. Real Estate

Team size: 14 agents, 2 transaction coordinators

Transaction sides: 1300+

Sales volume: Over half a billion dollars

Awards: NAR 30 under 30

How did you get your start in real estate?

My start in real estate was purposeful. Autonomy and financial freedom being the goal, I ultimately went into college knowing I was there for the experience and not because I needed to utilize my degree for my career. I took it upon myself to search for opportunities with local real estate agents in college and ended up landing an assistant-type role where I got to shadow the No. 1 agent in San Marcos, Texas, where I went to college.


Knowing myself, an introvert to a T, I knew if I wanted to be successful as a real estate agent where it is 100 percent commission, I decided to obtain a sales job right out of college to get myself out of my comfort zone and learn some sales tactics I could take with me.

I’ll never forget being in the final phase of my job interview with a high-end custom suit company when I asked the CEO if there were any hesitations that I was the right person for the job. He said his fear was that my lack of job experience would mean I wasn’t going to stay at his company long term, and he wanted this to be a long-term career for people. Little did he know, it had nothing to do with my lack of job experience and everything to do with what I felt my purpose and passion was.

I was at the company for two years before quitting to obtain my real estate license and work for the No. 1 real estate team nationwide (at the time). Unlike most real estate teams, this team had a four-step interview process. This was a team of nearly 100 agents who sold thousands of homes per year. I was there when they sold their millionth home.

They also partnered with Barbara Corcoran and I had my sites set on starting my career with them, not necessarily because they were No. 1, but because of what came with being No. 1 — the leads and the training. Most new real estate agents take 8-12 months to sell their first home, and average 6-8 home sales a year. I sold 6 in my first month and 65 in my first year.

When I quit the team in 2021, I had sold 75 homes and was their No. 2 agent, right behind my now-business partner and then-mentor, Britni Davison. I did not want to wait around to learn. I wanted to take off running and that I did, with the partnership of that team. I not only built a solid foundation of clients who trusted me but, more importantly, after closing over 150 transactions in two years, learned the real estate industry and market inside and out.

What do you wish more people knew about working in real estate?

It’s not easy money. I get multiple people a month reaching out asking about getting their real estate license. A lot of time, it’s “To make some extra money.” My first question is always why? If they are passionate about it, they want to help others, they want autonomy and have the motivation, it could work. But if you’re doing it for the money, it’s never going to work.

The level of intense discipline this career takes is not for the weak. And to that point, the “extra money” doesn’t go far when you consider 30 percent to 40 percent for taxes and then the amount of dues we owe monthly, quarterly and annually. Not to mention how seriously this career should be taken. We are helping people make the largest purchase of their life or sell their most valuable asset.

I have worked a minimum of 50 hours a week since the week I got my real estate license and have not stopped. Whether it was producing at an extremely high level or now running a team of 14, there are constant needs and nothing about it is easy. For me, though, and for anyone willing to put in the work and understand the gravity of what we do … beyond worth it!

Tell us about an epic fail you’ve experienced since you’ve been a team lead

Absolutely epic; buckle up. In 2021, upon leaving a previous team, two of the more tenured agents and I teamed up to start a team. I had left two months prior to them, but it had started a ripple effect and everyone at the team was running for the hills due to ethical concerns and unprofitable months.

I was in talks with a brokerage when an agent reached out to ask for some advice on leaving. For me, leaving was a non-issue. Not only was I a risk taker, but I knew I could and would do better, somehow. She was petrified though, as she had been with the same team for nearly 10 years and so had another agent who was leaving with her.

I was a top producer doing 75 transactions a year, had no significant other or kids, and was a natural risk taker. They both had families and consistently did about 30 to 40 transactions per year. I understand why they wanted me. We were vastly different people, and looking back in hindsight, had no business doing what we were about to choose to do.

Nonetheless, she asked if I wanted to join them in starting a team, and I found myself excited to do so. The brokerage had already made them an impressive offer, and by pulling me into the picture, the offer nearly doubled. We had a number of conversations about our plan for the team, and I was confident we were on the same page.

It only took four months into the partnership for the first conflict to arise. It’s important to note, I fully expected conflict. I just trusted it would come with a motivation to find a solution and not as personal attacks and berating. I found immense passion in building a beautiful brand for us — creating a stunning website, exploring lead sources to continue increasing our businesses, building our social media which went from 0 to 2000 followers in 2 months.

My production took a back seat, and, considering I had just transacted 150 homes in two years and was extremely burnt out, I was grateful for it, not to mention the relief that came with being the team lead and owning the team and having the ability to work according to my own schedule, something I hadn’t been able to do the two years prior.

To my business partner, however, my production volume equated to my value, and without continuing to produce at a high level as I had at our previous team, I was useless to her. There were a number of actual arguments where I, as ashamed as I am to admit this, sat across from her with tears in my eyes as she devalued my work as an agent and team lead.

The things we agreed to, such as adding additional agents and growing the team, were shot down again and again. I had nine agents reach out to me over that year from our previous team about joining our team, and for one reason or another, my business partners shot them down. What could have been.

For 12 months, I tried to help them see my vision. To see my value. The beautiful brand and website and strategies I was creating on the backend. At month 12, I had deep regret that I didn’t choose to trust myself a year ago. This team was supposed to be my end game, and was I really about to start over, once again? How embarrassing.

But what mattered more to me is what I thought of myself, and that these were no longer people I wanted to align with or build with. I had, and have, immense value to offer beyond producing and closing homes, and I wanted to be in business with people who saw that and trusted me. I had to walk away. What a fail.

A 12-month-long, depressing, cruel and frustrating epic fail — and the most major, and freaking beautiful, fail I have experienced. Because I learned to trust me. I learned my strengths of brand building and strategizing, recruiting and leading. My value as an agent goes so far beyond closing on homes but helping other agents positively impact more people with my processes and systems. And the most affirming piece of it all to me is that 13 agents have seen my vision, trust me and have chosen to embark on this, Schroeder & Co., with me.

What’s your top tip for newly formed teams?

For starters, be extremely clear and honest with yourself about why you are starting a team. Then, work backwards.

What is your brand experience? This is what your clients will come to know, love and return to your team for. What is your brand strategy? What kind of agents will you hire, and what kind of agents won’t you? What processes and systems are you going to put in place and what are your goals? Branding is everything and creating a cohesive brand from the get-go will go far.

My top tip for newly formed teams is to put your agents first. No matter the structure or the strategy or the commission plan, the agents who choose to represent your brand deserve that. Being a team lead shouldn’t be a money grab or revolve around ego. You are taking other people’s careers and livelihoods in your hands, and that shouldn’t be taken lightly, whether building a team of 100 or a team of three.

What makes a good leader?

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I received a text this morning at 9:10 a.m. from my agent, Karen Frakes, who has been in real estate for over 20 years and has helped over 200 families buy or sell real estate.

A good leader is selfless, which is an extremely hard decision to make. And I do believe it is often a decision and not a trait.

In real estate specifically, most team leads become one after being in production for some time. The difficulty of stepping out of those shoes to ensure your team is able to access you when needed and giving them the opportunities to grow their business instead of your own is a decision you have to make.

Choosing your agents first. To me, the decision these agents have made to go into business with me is not taken lightly. Not only are there a number of successful, well-established teams to choose from, but they could just do it on their own, with no one to answer to, at all.

But each of them has seen something in me and in what I am building to choose otherwise and that is my motivation. To not let them down, to show up for them in every way possible, to ensure they had the support I never felt on any of the four real estate teams I’ve been on. To give them a structure that I would have thrived in as an agent on a team. To choose them and their career, over me and mine.

Email Christy Murdock

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