Timothy Calise knows how to scale a business. He’s personally raised over $625M in capital and had 6 exits. To do this, he recognizes the power of:
1) Fishing with a net by going UPSTREAM and getting ahead of all competition.
2) The key business metrics on which to focus to ensure scalable growth.
When you’re ready, here are a few ways I can help you…

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Justin Stoddart 0:00
Fishing with a net? Doesn’t that sound better than fishing with a poll? Today’s guest has expanded businesses across the country. He’s an absolute guru when it comes to scale and growth. And today we get his mind his expertise, and helping us to do that for your real estate business. Stay with his folks gonna be a great episode.

Justin Stoddart 0:19
So the big question is this, how do we those of us in the real estate industry with crazy amounts of ambition? How do we think bigger than the building of our own empires? How do we simultaneously see success and significance, income and impact? My name is Justin Stoddard. And this is the Think bigger real estate show. Alright, welcome back. Well, look at that we’re trying to go twice. Welcome back, everybody excited to be with you. Today I have with me, someone who’s a personal friend. He’s also an absolute guru when it comes to business, a quick background on today’s guest, and then I’ll introduce his full name. But he has raised over $325 million in capital had six business exits. If you don’t know what that means, it means that he has got a business up to the point to where it could sell. So if you are interested in actually growing a business that grows and scales, I don’t know anybody personally, that can teach us how to do this better than my friend Tim Calise. Tim, thanks for coming on the showtoday.

Tim Calise 1:19
Really appreciate it. Justin, thank you very much.

Justin Stoddart 1:22
Yeah, my pleasure, man, let’s talk to us briefly about your background, kind of what you did that will create some context, before we get into the topic of again, how to fish with a net, which again, sounds way better than with a poll.

Tim Calise 1:34
Sounds great. So I have a varied background, and I look at kind of things through seasons. And so I started my career out of college, I raised $325 million for a hedge fund that I was a growth partner in. And then I moved to a tech enabled business in fitness. So we basically took a personal trainer, and replaced it with technology. I then moved into the consulting and coaching space, I was on the executive team, with Alex and Leila Hormozi, over at gem launch. And in there, I also built one of our products, one of our sister products, Allen, which and that business had an exit in 2021. And now I work with service based businesses, primarily that have a recurring revenue component, but are looking to add $100,000 or more in top line revenue, while taking increase, you know, taking distributions along the way, and preparing that business to potentially be a saleable enterprise. So that’s, that’s me a little bit in a nutshell. And I think one of my my superpowers, if you will, is just I’ve got a lot of experience and a bunch of different things. And I bring that to bear with the coaching clients that I have, and really excited to be here.

Justin Stoddart 2:50
And from a business standpoint, that’s a sexy introduction, I’ll tell you, Tim, you got to be very proud of what you’ve accomplished. I don’t know how old you are, you look pretty young to have that kind of resume. And just the people that you’ve worked closely with are absolute, again, icons in any industry. And that’s pretty impressive. So excited and really honored that you would come on and pour into us here and I think bigger real estate show. I know you and I had a conversation about, you know, the book that I authored the upstream model, and you’re like, Yeah, that’s what I teach. So let’s kick off this concept, which is really fishing with a net. Right? Yeah, we’ll talk us through kind of how, like what that means to you to fish with a net, and which good coincides with going upstream? And maybe how that’s impacted the businesses that use have served and will serve moving

Tim Calise 3:34
forward. Yeah, and I think, in line with your introduction, I really appreciate that. I think one of the most important things is I founded my own business. And I think when you are a founder and one without infinite resources, you have to be creative. And you have to get the most out of every opportunity that you have. And so fishing with a net for me, is looking at what relationships can we develop, that are kind of a you once you set them up. And as long as you foster them appropriately, they can continue to pay dividends over the course of time. And I think the reason I’ve gotten to where I am is because I have always been relationship driven and relationship based. And so even back in the hedge fund world, it was, you know, I was looking for investors, and so who could I, you know, shut me up being a good steward of capital, we would go out and look for, you know, CPAs attorneys, anyone that I could get to know and say, you know, you don’t have to worry about about referring a client to us. And once we set those relationships up, they continue to pay dividends, you know, over the course of time. And so as I as I stand right now, I went through kind of the fitness world as well. So we set up relationships and joint ventures and partnerships with a number of hospital chains and Physical Therapy Solutions, you know, things at places where where our core client lives, and I think that’s good for any business, which is if you can find and narrow in on, on your core client and your core avatar, and you solve a problem for them go out and find the people that have those people, you know already in their, in their database or in their, their, their umbrella. And it’s, and I think, Justin, I think you and I connected on kind of the authenticity of the service, right. So if we feel good about what we do, we should be able to set those relationships and relationships up and feel really good about them.

Justin Stoddart 5:25
You know, I, I couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s almost as if you authored the book to almost feel like I plagiarized your ideas. But I followed your lead. So you know, the concept that for everybody here that’s listening to this, where your content, okay, how does this apply to real estate? Right, if you’ve already read the book, the upstream model, you know, if you haven’t, let me just give you a little brief insight is that most everybody that I know would prefer a warm referral over a cold lead, like working with friends, working with people that I know you trust you like is way easier and way better, right? We all agree with that. The only challenge why people will actually go and start pursuing cold is because they run out of warm. I didn’t know the reason to do it other than that, and the problem is, like, how do I do that, because I get limited by the number of relationships that I have, right? It takes so much time to go build new relationships. And I want to spend all this time away from the people that I love most in life. So I get stuck. And what you just described there, Tim is is is exactly what I believe in wholeheartedly, is that there are other professionals in the marketplace, who already have the relationship with your ideal client, they’ve already established it, they’ve actually taken months, if not years, to build great trust with those people. Now you can think to yourself, and they’ve done it on my behalf. What I mean by that is, when you add enough value to that one individual, they can open the doors to all the relationships they’ve already built, guys, it’s just common sense, it’s so much faster, where you get to stay in warm market, yet at the same time, it’s scalable, right, because their relationships are much greater than you could ever go create on your own.

Tim Calise 7:07
Yeah, spot on. And it’s funny I was I was speaking to my parents recently, and they said, you know, as a kid, you always did things the hard way. And I think sometimes we were programmed to some extent that it has to be hard. You know, if we think about kind of the the cycle that somebody goes through, as far as making a buying decision, there’s kind of five core components to it, starting with kind of a cold lead, and ending with a hand raise, saying I’m ready to buy. And I think the Referral Engine and the joint venture partnership concept that we’re talking about, you know, accelerates that process. And I think we don’t want to lose sight of also the fact that the referring party, if, if, if I’m looking if I know someone that Justin conserve, and you know, just you can serve, and I send them to you, and they have a great experience, not only has that helped you, but it actually reflects really positively on me. And so I think the symbiotic relationship, when done right. And, you know, you have to make sure you take care of those relationships. But I think it pays dividends and you know, you set them up and you prune the tree over time. But that it’s it’s the foundation, but really say on your kind of scalable business. And the folks that I work with, are trying to provide, you know, set up a business that can ultimately potentially sell one day. And one of the main risks is what’s your acquisition strategy. Right? So imagine if they came to your business, and it was, you know, sometimes we run some Facebook ads, and when things start to dry up, I go and try to figure out another way and see what everybody else is doing. Or they come to you and you say, I have 510 15 2050 partnerships that I’ve already established. And I you know, this is how I take care of them. I mean, imagine it’s an in my world, it’s like, what’s the value of that business, the business, you’ll look at what’s called a multiple, so you take effectively either draw revenue or profits and multiply by a number. And the less risk or perceived risk there is, the higher the multiple you’re going to get. So I think this is like long term thinking which some short term gains, if you think of it that way. And so it’s truly a win win. In my world.

Justin Stoddart 9:15
You know, it’s really interesting when you put it that way, and so on this call are probably their wheels are turning, they’re like, I had no idea that I could scale, a referral based real estate business. And they’re thinking to themselves, you know, what, I always thought that I had to, like, essentially recruit a big sales team, give, you know, a large percentage of every deal I make to, you know, to an organization like Zillow, and I’m hiring a bunch of people to pursue leads all day long, right? And that model works. Don’t get me wrong. There are people here that have built beautiful businesses on that model. But I get to that there’s something that’s gonna hear this today, it’s going to be like, Wow, what if I were to be able to build a similar model but instead of by buying leads, is by creating strategic upstream partnerships. Right now we’re coming into a different market. This could be with, like REO type properties, right? Like, the attorneys like there’s some things to be watching on the horizon right now, we’re not everybody has put aside six to 12 months of living expenses and business expenses, there’s going to be some opportunities, unfortunately for some, some opportunities for people to step in and help large amounts of people. And my question to you, for those that are listening, and are having that internal dialogue right now is are you positioned right now, to be able to have one key relationship that opens up the door to potentially 1000s of transactions? Guys, this is exactly Case in point one application of the upstream model. I love that you shared that Tim.

Tim Calise 10:39
Yeah, spot on. And the part that I didn’t share about my my experience, when I when I ran my hedge fund or was a partner there was, we actually shut that fund down in 2007, in advance of what we saw to be a shifting market climate, so I know personally, what it’s like to go through that. And probably everybody that’s listening to this has heard the phrase, you dig your well before you’re thirsty. And I would say if you’re listening to this, you’ve got a huge and following Justin, and you’ve got a strategic advantage. Because the market is shifting, it’s already started. And the next there will be a lot of opportunity over the next 612 24 months for those that take action now. And it starts with one start with one opportunity, one relationship, someone in your network and then build from there.

Justin Stoddart 11:27
You don’t want to I want to take just a minute, this is the you know, a little bit of self promotion. But I know that there’s some people that are looking for some help right now. I’m going to put up here, on the screen below it. There’s a Facebook group called successful real estate agents, I created the group in there we talk about scaling, warm market business, we talk about the principles that Tim’s teaching us here today. And so if you’re not yet a member of that group, get in the group interact with me ask Justin, how can you help me build this upstream stuff, and we’ll just have a friendly dialogue about it. So in case you’re not already in there, please do. So. Again, that’s just a free group for anybody that’s that’s not in there yet and not fully engaging. We’re giving away just gems of gold to help you create the, you know, these kinds of relationships. Alright, so let’s move into our next topic here, which is really, as you’re looking to scale businesses, right? And you’re looking to scale, there’s certain metrics that you’re looking at, right? There’s certain things that are that are essential. And I would love to hear kind of your thoughts around what what you help business owners to focus on, because there’s so much right. And amidst all the distraction, they might miss those metrics that are most important. Talk to us a little bit about what we should be focusing on?

Tim Calise 12:34
Sure. So the two things that I hear most common, most commonly are I don’t, or how do I stand out in my market. And the second is some version of I want to make more money. And the solution to both of those, and I love when one once you know kind of one change can can can affect multiple things. We work in three primary areas, it’s positioning, its product, and its price. And the reason why I focus on those is because the positioning piece is where I work with, again, a concept called like the and this is other folks, I’ve learned this from a mentor of ours that just knows as well, Sharon Srivatsa What is your only statement, I am the only person who and I think in every market, there is something that you are uniquely gifted in or positioned to take advantage of. And the more clear you can be about the problem that you solve, it then leads into what product? Have you can you put together to solve that problem. And if you have a very clear product spec for a very clear avatar, you can you deserve, and you can demand a premium price. And so I work in those three levers to say, you know, if you’re not standing out, well, what is it that that the customer or the client wants that they’re not currently getting? Or do we need to go more niche? Is it because we go from real estate agents in general to, you know, folks that are between 35 and 45, and are relocating and have kids, because I’m a dad, I have three kids, I know the pains of what that means, whereas a 22 year old agent may not feel the same way. And so you know, I think there’s so we work in those with with those with those levers on the metrics. Yeah, go ahead.

Justin Stoddart 14:32
So problem solved. That was number one, like what problem you solve? What’s the product that solves it? And then what’s your price to do it? I love it, guys, if repeat is super simple, crazy stuff. So

Tim Calise 14:41
yeah, we try to simplify everything. Because I think our nature is to be to make things more complicated. And that’s usually because we’re trying to solve multiple problems for multiple people. So it’s better to hit the same nail you are trying to solve the same problem 100 times single problem 100 times, then try to solve 100 problems at one time, because that’s where our efficiency comes in and systems and things along those lines. So, so we look at what’s the cost to acquire a new customer, new client? And with the upstream model and with, with partnerships, we can actually reduce that, that hard cost, if you will, and then how quickly do we get our customer acquisition cost? How quickly can we recoup that? Because every business, I think, no matter how small or large, you are, capital efficiency, is, is key. So if I can spend $10, to acquire a client, and the daily, you know, as soon as possible recoup $20, I can continue to reinvest that business effectively, forever. And then, and then the last part is kind of pricing as it relates to margins. So we want to make more money, most people want to have more take home. And so we look at that as a as a single metric as well.

Justin Stoddart 15:58
For those that are listening right now, want you to know that, at the end of this episode, we’re going to share a link that you can go to, to actually download, like a summary sheet that Tim has prepared for us, it really helps us to understand these. So in fact, I’ll just put up right now it’s Tim kelise.com, t iemca, li s e.com, forward slash Think bigger, he created just for us, it’s an opportunity for you to really take these principles and evaluate your own business, and really see kind of the genius behind who Tim is and what he does. And again, apply it to your business. So great stuff, Tim. What other measures? Are there any other metrics that we might have missed that that people should be looking at? Or does that does that cover?

Tim Calise 16:37
The other, I think there’s one more that I wanted to mention. And it’s it’s a small change. But I think it’s important for everyone to recognize, which is, as we’re thinking about these partnerships, a lot of people that I work with a lot of my clients, when I asked about this area of their business, they will give me the average, like number of leads that they get from a partner, or average, they use the the word average. And I would change that to be this kind of goes back to grade school. But if you remember, there was like mean, what is the average, median, and mode way, way, way back when in school? Look at the median. And the median is important, because what I have found is when we create partnerships, a lot of times there is a skew, there’s a concentration of where maybe one partner, they’re not all created equal. So which one is actually driving the most opportunities. And when I say we have to prune the tree, I would look at, let’s say you have 10 partners, look at each one individually and find the middle. Because that’s what will actually tell you the quality of your partnership program. So if you have 10 partners, and the top one is producing 90% of your opportunities, then you need to look at well, what is it about that partner? Was it the first one you brought in? Were they onboard it differently? Were they positioned differently? Are they in a certain industry, because I think it’s really telling because again, and then you can cut the ones that aren’t producing. And that’s about expectations, because you know, how someone enters your world is how they will how long they will stay in your work. And I think it’s really important to pay attention to that. So and that’s applicable to probably anyone in your audience, I think

Justin Stoddart 18:15
I oftentimes will debunk the myth that if we do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always gotten, it’s not true. In an absolute stagnant world where nothing is changing, that would be true. But I think we would all agree that we’re in a very dynamic world and doing what you’ve always done will get you less and less and less, you actually have to do not necessarily more need to do better. And I think what you’ve given us here, Tim is a tool chest to be able to say, Okay, let me evaluate are the things that I was doing in 2019? Are they still working as good? Now in 2022, you may realize they’re not I need to prune that tree. And we all know that when you prune a tree, it looks bad at first, you’re like, dang, I had to cut this and it cut that a little bit painful. But afterwards, that’s where it produces the most fruit. And I think oftentimes entrepreneurs we get so so hung up on trying to do so much that we don’t take time and maybe bake that into our calendar to say let’s evaluate maybe on a monthly or quarterly basis and see what’s working, what’s not. And let’s cut the stuff that’s not these are not our children that were cutting, you can get rid of stuff. It’s okay. Right? Just because it worked previously doesn’t mean it’s going to work in today’s market. So have an objective view and say, You know what, that’s not working. Let’s double down on the stuff that is in Tim, that that insight is great for any of us that are really looking at building a business, right, that grows and that could potentially someday sale or we could turn it over to somebody else. There’s actual value. There’s actually we actually have a process through which we’re constantly improving this spot on. Tim, I want to I want to kind of end with this question again, you in fact, let me put in the chat everybody in case you didn’t get that. Hopefully you you’ve realized kind of the you know the genius behind Tim KALISE here, I feel again, super fun. fortunate to have him as a friend, and grateful that he is willing to come on and teach us. But again, it’s Tim kalise.com forward slash, think bigger, go there and you’ll get his resource. Some of that you definitely want to have in your world. So I’m going to, I’m going to put that that will show up in your timeline. If by chance you don’t get it, if you listen to this as a podcast later, and you miss that just message me, DM me wherever you can find me, and it will be sure that we get you the resource. Tim, I want to ask you this final question. You are somebody who, who is a big thinker, right? You surround yourself with big thinkers, you are big thinker yourself, you help other people to think bigger. What is it that you do on a regular basis, to continue to expand your possibilities to continue to grow? What does it look like for you?

Tim Calise 20:41
Yeah, I, I’m a big proponent of mentors, and coaches, I am one myself, but so I am a dad of three. And so for me, it was, and I love the phrase of reverse engineering. Because I think in so many ways, you know, we can be, you know, kind of have our heads down and be looking at our feet and kind of take one step at a time. But we don’t always end up at the, at the destination that that we’re we’re looking for and so setting intentionally where I where I want to go. And some of this is just around beliefs, I had the great fortune to work with, with Alex from Mozi, who, who’s a great business coach, and also through through that that relationship was exposed to someone who is in the service business has primarily in color wellness and coaching, who does over $50 million a year in revenue, and currently works two days a week, for three hours a day. And if I go back to my younger self, I absolutely felt like there were a certain set of rules of the game that I have to follow. And the longer I’ve been doing this, I’ve realized two things. One, anything is possible. If you set a very conscious, if you have a conscious thought pattern to say this is what I want to build, chances are, you’re going to build it. And the second is the value of time and compounding. So there’s that old phrase, we you know, kind of overestimate what we’ll do in a day, but underestimate what we’ll do in five years, I would challenge anyone to say, you know, how do I build momentum, what can I do today that I can stack again, tomorrow and the next day and the next day, and relationships and partnerships are part of that. And the clearer you can define where you want to go, the easier and more dynamic people will will fall behind you. Because they know where you’re going and they know how to help you so so just for anyone out there, don’t be afraid of dreaming big. You know, we think of big, big goal. And I think through through just in your podcast and what I’ve seen you put out there, you fill in the plan that allows people to get there. So you know, I I really appreciate you having me as a guest and I’m excited to to continue to hopefully deliver value for you and your audience. Yeah,

Justin Stoddart 23:02
great stuff, Tim. Well, that was that was a mini course right there on how to expand your life in a very beautiful way. So congrats on being a great dad and for being a great leader in our industry. Thank you so much. It’s such a pleasure to have you on if everybody listening here today. You know what my final request is? It is these three simple words. And they are go think bigger. Tim, thanks for helping us do that today my friend.

Tim Calise 23:23
Thanks, Justin. Appreciate it.

Justin Stoddart 23:28
If you enjoyed this episode that I have a very special invitation for you. I have created a private Facebook community called successful real estate agents where the focus is going beyond success having both a successful business and a significant life. If you’re not yet a member. Go sign up now.