Angela and Chuck Fazio, Revelation Real Estate
Chuck and Angela Fazio are best friends, husband and wife, and co-owners of a dynamic and fast-growing Arizona real estate company ranked by the Wall Street Journal as one of the “Top 10 Single-Office Brokerages in the Nation.” With Chuck’s marketing background and Angela as designated broker, Revelation Real Estate has become the top-producing single-office brokerage in the East Valley marketplace, growing from a team of 15 agents in 2005 to more than 800 agents currently on track to close $2 billion in sales this year.
In this exclusive interview, the Fazios discuss their passion for putting agents first, the Christian foundation that inspires them and their unique and multi-faceted approach to building a successful business.
Barbara Pronin: Can you tell us a bit about your personal backgrounds and how you came to lead Revelation Real Estate?
Chuck Fazio: I’m originally from New York. I did a lot of things in my years back East—even ran a nightclub for a while—but in 1998, I moved to Arizona in search of a better life. It was the best thing that ever happened to me, because that’s when I first went into real estate, and that’s when I met Angela.
Angela Fazio: I started in Arizona real estate in 2001, and Chuck and I partnered very soon after we met—but we had a hard time getting started. We would pray about it all the time, and soon everything seemed to open up for us. In 2002, we closed nearly $12 million in business, and we continued to increase sales: $17.5 million in 2003, $22 million in 2004, and $40 million in 2005. That year, our team, not including us, closed $89 million. At the end of that year, we started Revelation Real Estate—a name that truly reflects our faith—and we grew right through the recession years.
BP: Your office building in Chandler houses more than 800 agents—plus all your support staff. Tell us a little about that.
CF: We have just one office building, which is a huge complex that dominates the Valley. It’s called The Forum. There are 21,000 square feet inside, as well as a 7,000-square-foot, resort-like patio area. We have a full-service cafe with a chef on staff that’s open to the public. In fact, we have areas that can be rented out for special events—and our on-staff event planner schedules live concerts, mystery dinners and other entertainment free of charge, where our agents can spend some quality time meeting, greeting and building relationships with their clients.
AF: The Forum not only houses Revelation Real Estate, event space and the bar/cafe, but also houses our real estate school, as well as six conference rooms and sound-proof “prospecting rooms” where agents can duck in to make or take important calls. We even have a game room equipped with a pool table and arcade games.
BP: How did you develop this very creative approach to your business?
AF: By the grace of God, the strength of our own relationship and a strong commitment to enriching the lives and the mindset of our agents. We have six children ourselves, so we understand the importance of family and how vital it is to balance your work with your home life. We put a lot of time, money and effort into seeing that our agents are happy and fulfilled, because happy agents tend to be the most productive.
CF: We also have a great team—a staff of 20 or more who are dedicated to the success of our agents. From Tracey Couture, our CEO, and Catherine Shaeffer, our managing broker, to our amazing corps of training, marketing and agent support leaders, this is a team like no other. Jennifer Aldridge, our office manager extraordinaire, helps keep everything going. In all, caring is the secret sauce that creates our amazing culture—which, as Angela said, helps make our agents the very best in the business.
BP: Your firm has certainly enjoyed a spectacular growth rate. Tell us a bit about your recruiting strategy and your agent retention rate.
CF: We’re very picky, because we provide such a high level of value to our agents, but our recruiting team leader, Kristen Cantrell, is one of the best in the business. Some referrals come from agents already on board—and many agents in the region seek us out because they’re drawn to our business model.
AF: That’s why we continue to grow quickly—in just the last two years, for example, from 500 to about 800 agents. Many of our agents and staff have been with us for a long time. Chuck and I have an intensity that many people don’t have, and we apply that intensity to enriching the lives of our agents. They know the deep caring we have for them.
BP: What’s your approach to training and coaching?
CF: We have our own real estate school, so we know our agents are getting a good start. And we’re very hands-on and personal in our training and coaching. We want our agents to reach the very top of the mountain.
AF: I used to be a teacher, so training is important to me. New agents can choose our mentorship program that lasts a year. Experienced agents receive ongoing training and coaching on a variety of levels for as long as they’re with us. It’s critical for us, and I’m personally gratified when an agent tells us, “I’ve learned more in this one class or this one training program than I’ve learned in my whole career.”
BP: What about your marketing strategies? How are you connecting with consumers?
CF: Primarily through social media, and through our own very personal approach to business. We have media resource rooms in our building, and a staff to help agents prepare videos, provide awesome presentations and other necessary marketing visuals. We also have staff working our agents’ databases on their behalf, keeping in touch, sending out videos and providing a calendar of social events designed to keep agents connected to customers. Nicole Shambre and Sheridan Caprisecca lead in those areas.
BP: How do you stay ahead of the curve on technology?
AF: We ask the young people! No, really. Our daughter, Danielle Neilson, is a whiz at social media and works as our resident social media guru. She creates and manages the company brand and media specifically for the purpose of business development.
CF: Social media and technology aside, we encourage our agents to maintain meaningful connections, especially with past and present clients. We hold what we call “mindset meetings” every Monday morning—a 45-minute time designed to prepare agents to meet the challenge of the week ahead. Agents don’t have to be there in person—maybe 30 to 40 agents are there on any given Monday—but hundreds watch each week on Facebook. We focus on mindset, and on the realization that we aren’t here just to sell real estate, but to connect with people in meaningful ways. We even wrote a book to help our agents out. It’s called “Marketing Your Real Estate Career.”
BP: How would you describe the state of your market? What are your challenges and opportunities?
AF: In certain price ranges, there’s still a shortage of inventory, which makes for a hot market—and we also have a very strong rental market. In all, the business environment is good, and unemployment is low. The opportunities are really unlimited. It’s a great time to be selling real estate.
CF: Our biggest challenge is time—time to manage our complex business lives and make time for our kids and our grandbaby. But we’re builders and creators and motivators by nature. We’re dedicated to inspiring more agents to be happy and successful, because they, in turn, inspire the success and well-being of the company.
BP: What’s on deck for the future of the firm?
CF: We’re excited about the future. Of course, we will continue to grow Revelation here in the Valley, but God has called on me to do more. I know I can positively affect many more agents. Revelation isn’t duplicatable, but I have big plans to attract a team of talent nationwide and invest into their business with the same intensity as I do here locally. That’s why I moved my license to eXp Realty. Part of the plan is to share my expertise with anyone who wants to excel in business and could benefit from my scripturally-based coaching and training.
AF: Our company culture is based on scripture—specifically Proverbs 27:17, which says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” We see this as the next stage of our own development, and, we hope, as an opportunity to widen our circle of customers and friends.
For more information, please visit www.revelationrealestate.com.
Barbara Pronin is a contributing editor to RISMedia.
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