Culture Scan

At the intersection of real estate, media, and pop culture.

Making the Most of Your Career

Top-ranked podcast explores what it means to be success-minded in real estate.

“There are three places we can be in life financially,” said Ian Pruckner, speaking to host Aaron Amuchastegui, in a recent episode of the Real Estate Rockstars podcast.

“We can live in the land of not enough. I remember what that’s like…The lack of money consumes you. Every decision you make is being made out of a position of lack.

“The second place you can live is the land of just enough. There are so many people who live in that land. The bills are paid, and things are OK. They’re not incredible. They’re not around the world. They’re not life changing. To me, it’s just so sad to watch people live their whole life having settled for something less than what they were capable of.

“And the third place you can live is the land of more than enough… You’ve got the money thing under control. You’re not worried about that anymore.

“I’ve lived in all three,” Pruckner said, “and I promise you the land of more than enough is the best of all three to be in.”

It’s All in Your Head

From there, the two men launched into a discussion about shifting your mindset.

“Most people try to change actions, but they still think ‘money’s hard to make,’ or ‘I’m not good enough.’ People want to go to a seminar or get a new app,” Pruckner continued, “but if we don’t change our beliefs, what we get won’t change much.”

“People think it’s hard to be an entrepreneur, agreed Amuchastegui. “Let’s look at that belief and talk to people who got over it. There are so many things you can do.”

Real Estate Rockstars Podcast

So goes the 973rd episode of the popular “Real Estate Rockstars” podcast. The podcast is ranked in the top 20 for business podcasts on the Apple podcast charts, and it’s not hard to see why. With its upbeat, tone, and enthusiastic, business-savvy guests, the show delivers a power dose of motivation to real estate agents. Plus, each show is chock-full of information agents can use. Episodes cover a wide range of agent-focused topics, such as sales, marketing, lead generation, the merits of joining a team vs. going solo, and state-of-the-market and economic analysis. New episodes are available every Monday and Thursday.

Originally branded as “Pat Hiban Interviews Real Estate Rockstars,” the podcast was created by former real estate broker Pat Hiban, who decided—after making millions in real estate—that he wanted give back to the industry that had given him so much success.

Hiban wanted to share his knowledge with as many people as possible in a format that would be free for all.

Hiban got to work, interviewing top agents as well as up-and-coming newbies to get their secrets for success. And each guest on the show had to bring a “gift” to include in the podcast’s “Agent Success Toolbox,” which includes sales tips, sample marketing materials, business articles, and anything else a guest believes listeners can use to improve their real estate business.

The toolbox is free to anyone who visits the website and joins the email newsletter.

Aaron Amuchastegui host of “Real Estate Rockstars”

Hiban hosted until late 2019 and then realized—after conducting over 850 interviews—that he was burned out. He put the podcast up for sale and received three bids—two from real estate brokers and one from Amuchastegui. Hiban knew Amuchastegui—a real estate investor, entrepreneur and former home builder—from GoBundance, an adventure travel group that Hiban had co-founded, and decided to accept his bid.

“I knew Aaron would understand the guests and enjoy the process of interviewing agents,” says Hiban.

Now known as “Real Estate Rockstars,” the podcast has recorded over 900 episodes and had over 5 million downloads.

According to Amuchastegui, the success of the podcast springs from their carefully selected and curated guests.

“Our biggest goal is to provide value,” says Amuchastegui. “We look for active agents who are producing right now.”

It’s Not About the Money

New agents will also find a lot of inspiration in the show. In a May 27 episode titled “How Any New Agent Can Outsell Industry Veterans,” Taylor Tolbert, an agent with Gray Realty in Woodbridge, Va., who received his license in December 2019, explained how he was able to thrive as a newcomer during the pandemic. In 2020, Tolbert had 26 closings for a total of $10.5 million in sales volume.

Tolbert’s number one tip for other new agents? He recommended not thinking about money—but thinking instead about serving people. “If you start looking at people as numbers on a spreadsheet,” Tolbert said, “you’re not going to do well. Put their needs first. Focus on serving and helping your clients.”

Real Estate Rockstars” also offers in-depth economic analysis in their “State of the Market” episodes, which began airing in 2019 and appear on Mondays and Thursdays. What makes these episodes special, according to Amuchastegui, is how they break down complicated financial and economic information, which can sometimes be intimidating to listeners.

“We try to decipher the news,” says Amuchastegui, “and find the elements that are applicable to the average agent.”

In the May 31 SOTM episode “This Is Nothing Like the Last Foreclosure Crisis,” Sean O’Toole, CEO of real estate data company PropertyRadar , discussed the reasons 2021 won’t produce a wave of foreclosures like 2008 did, arguing that market conditions are very different today than they were back then. (NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun has also compared conditions between then and now and pointed out key differences, such low inventory and no subprime mortgages in 2021.) O’Toole also discussed the specter of rising inflation. He said he doesn’t believe it’s likely to cause a decline in the housing market this year. One potential cause for an increase in consumer prices, he says, is simply that people are getting out again and starting to spend all the money they’ve saved during the pandemic.

O’Toole touted real estate as a hedge against inflation, particularly for those looking to invest in a home for their family and remain there for years. “If you’re an investor—not a speculator—there’s never a bad time to buy.”

Greatest Joy: An Agent’s Success

Above all, Amuchastegui says, he wants listeners to feel inspired and to find the tools that will help them succeed.

“We want people to love real estate,” he says. “My greatest joy is when we get a listener who becomes an agent and then gets to come on the show and give back with what they’ve learned.”


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