We had the good fortune of connecting with Bryan DeBates and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bryan, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have spent over 37 years in formal and informal education. When COVID struck, the non-profit I was the VP of Education for decided to downsize to save money and I found myself out of work. Through a series of fortunate events I found myself with the opportunity of becoming a real estate broker. I hadn’t thought very highly of real estate agents in the past-considering them similar to used car salesmen, so to take that step was very difficult. However, I realized that I didn’t want my professional and financial future in the hands of someone else making very poor decisions. I needed to be my own boss in a career where I could still help people and make a solid financial future for my daughter and me. Fortunately, I found my way to an incredible team at EXIT Realty Pikes Peak.
This amazing team of brokers, even though each one is their own boss, works together to support each other-a true team. They taught me to look at this career, not as trying to get sale after sale no matter the cost, but to be of service to others. I am able to utilize the skills I learned as an educator for 37 years and as a leader of a large team, to help teach buyers and sellers the real estate process. I get to use my position as a real estate broker to help first-time home buyers find their first home, others to find their dream home, some to find their final home and sellers looking to move onto a new adventure.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
EXIT Realty has a very unique structure when it comes to real estate. First, the tools and training are second to none. It allows the brokers to become the best they can be and help our buyers and sellers achieve their real estate and financial goals. Second, the structure of the organization is geared to support and encourage each other. As I sponsor other brokers into EXIT, a percentage of each of their transactions is paid to me by EXIT International. More importantly, if something were to ever happen to me, my percentage of those transactions can be willed to my daughter. That is truly caring about your people and their futures.
What sets me apart? I would say that anyone who is truly successful in life, and that doesn’t always mean financially, has taken a long and winding road with struggles along the way which allow that person to grow. Believe it or not, I started as an elementary teacher in a two-room school house in the middle of South Dakota. I’ve also taught in San Antonio, TX. My last career allowed me to become one of the top aerospace educators in the world impacting over 1 million students and teachers globally.
My work ethic. I grew up in a farming family and in a farming community where I learned an incredible work ethic. No one will ever outwork me. No matter how hard life gets, “It sure beats baling hay!” Being around those people during my developmental years helped to instill that work ethic. Additionally, playing high school and college football taught me not only the physical and mental work ethic needed to succeed in life, but also perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds. It also taught me how important working as a team is and to completely rely on other people to do their jobs well in order to do yours well is critical.
When it comes to real estate, I think my background in education affords me an insight and perspective which I can share with my clients to help them achieve their dreams and goals. And, my many years being in athletics and coaching has taught me the importance of team and teamwork which is vital in today’s world. No one should or has to go it alone.
How did I overcome the challenges? It sounds cliche but persistence and never giving up. Most importantly, realizing that the adversity, trials and hardships of what you are going through now is shaping you to handle the next part of the journey. Remembering that the challenges you are facing aren’t the final destination. They are just part of the journey making for a great final story.
Anyone who has a great story, always had to overcome challenges. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a great story.
I’m most excited about my future, my daughter’s future and the world of real estate. I have the opportunity to meet some amazing people that have become true friends. And, I learn as much from them as they do from me.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, it’s Colorado. So, we will be outdoors! You can’t live in or visit Colorado without being outdoors. That’s sacrilege! Since they are probably flat landers from sea level we would have to ease into it. Garden of the Gods, in Colorado Springs, is a great start with easy hiking and beautiful scenery. Slowly getting them acclimated, we would gradually do some harder and harder hikes just around the city like Ute Valley Park. or venturing farther into the mountains.
If they’re friends of mine, we would probably do some road riding or mountain biking. Doing a long climb up a mountain is what I call fun suffering. After that, we would drive up into the mountains to take in the views, see the Continental Divide and see some alpine lakes where we would set up camp for a couple of days of tent camping and kayaking. During these excursions, we would definitely be stopping at any of the hundreds of microbreweries and hole-in-the-wall restaurants to get a bite to eat and down some liquid refreshments.
The finale would have to be driving (or cycling) up Pikes Peak. The view from the peak is incredible and it can give you a fresh perspective on things.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost my family. My parents showed me and instilled in me an incredible work ethic. They have always supported me and my goals, and no matter what, were incredibly encouraging. And of course, my seven year old daughter. who is my inspiration and why I do what I do, now.
My amazing team at EXIT Realty Pikes Peak. The broker owners, Sheryll and Marc White have created an incredible team atmosphere. Jeni VanOrnum, the managing broker has put together a phenomenal team in our office. A team that supports, encourages and coaches each other to success. And, of course, the other brokers in the office who are constantly sharing their wisdom with others in order for us to all be successful.