Curaytor’s impact was immediate and now Jay has recently added four agents, six agents in production, a property management company and an admin team brining the size of his team to 12—his agency’s reach now expanding from Dallas-Fort Worth into Oklahoma and beyond.
Jay Marks has made a career of being genuinely interested in people. Watch any of his Foodie Friday restaurant reviews and you’ll notice the ever-present glint in his eye along with his unrestrained smile as he interviews local restaurateurs while showcasing their culinary specialties.
A Community-Minded Leader Devoted to Giving Back
“Every business should always give back,” Jay says. “Foodie Friday has enabled Jay Marks Real Estate to have a vehicle to give back to our community at a high level.”
It’s clear Jay puts so much effort into connecting with others because he loves it and the benefit it’s brought to local eateries has been remarkable. “It’s really cool to walk into a restaurant we’ve featured and see the look on the owner’s face because it’s made a difference. We’ve had restaurant owners call us in tears as they were so happy.”
Jay’s reviews, which bestow free publicity to the establishments he features, have led to undeniable benefits for both Jay and the region’s small businesses. Though establishing a presence as a familiar, trustworthy member of the community is certainly a goal for any brand, that hasn’t been Jay’s primary reason for this endeavor. “I have never ever counted on getting business from Foodie Friday… We do it because we truly care and want to give back.”
Getting in Front of the Camera Wasn’t Easy At First
As a United States Army paratrooper, Jay Marks had no fear when it came to jumping out of airplanes, but in 2013 when his Marketing Director, Kari, told him he should start making videos for social media, it took Jay four years to work up the courage to get in front of the camera. Once he finally took the plunge and his videos began taking off, Jay found he was getting recognized everywhere, even in cities as far away as Las Vegas.
“The majority of appointments I go on people recognize me right away and they feel like they already know me,” Jay explains. “People acknowledge that what we do for the community is good.”
The Curaytor Community Had Instant Appeal
Back when he decided to introduce Jay Marks’ Real Estate as an independent brokerage, Jay already had twenty-three years experience as a realtor, but knew Curaytor would be the perfect partner for his new enterprise.
“I actually applied to be considered for Curaytor in 2015,” Jay says. “And got told ‘No.’” Luckily, that initial set back didn’t deter Jay from reaching out again. “I ran into Chris in Vegas in the Fall of 2016 and saw him speak at a Realtor.com event.” After getting dinner with Chris and his other clients, then hitting the roulette tables, the two ended up chatting till after midnight. “It was one of the most amazing conversations I had… and I’ve been a client ever since.”
The benefits of working with Curaytor were immediate. “The first thing Curaytor did,” Jay explains, “was make us very well known. Then, in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 we won Best of Denton County for Best Brokerage and Best Seller’s Agent. Because we’re with Curaytor, our business has grown and our price range has gone up. We’re now regarded as a more luxury brand.”
Kari, Jay’s Marketing Director of nine years, adds that individuals within the Curaytor community look out for each other. When a strange glitch began affecting the brokerage website, it was a Curaytor community member who first noticed it and alerted her. For someone who handles the company’s appearance to the public, it’s helpful to know that, with Curaytor, there’s a whole team of people looking out for each other.
Jay’s Community Appreciates His Authenticity
Jay’s advice to others eager to connect more with their community: take your iPhone to your local town center and give people a tour of your favorite spots. “Say Hello rather than Hi Everyone,” he says, explaining the goal should be to make the connection with the individual viewing your content.
The Numbers Tell a Clear Story
Kari notes that in the first year of going solo, Jay Marks’ Real Estate handled 64 deals and $17 million in close volume. Now, after working with Curaytor for five years, they’ve enjoyed $55.5 million in close volume as of 2021.
“One thing I always tell people about Curaytor,” Kari explains, “is that it’s allowed us to discover the connection between marketing and sales… Curaytor has really helped us beautifully stitch those two together.”
What’s Next for Jay Marks Real Estate?
Now with a team of six agents and twelve employees total, Jay’s business is continuing to grow, expanding their reach to include farms, ranches, and resort cabins in Oklahoma. “We use Curaytor as an absolute core partner in our brokerage,” Jay insists. “If I ever ran into budget problems or financial problems, Curaytor is not something that would be cut. At all.
In addition to his partnership with Curaytor, it’s obvious Jay’s enthusiasm for relationship-building is a key factor in his success. When asked why sellers choose his brokerage over others, Jay answers: “They trust me, they believe we are the solution to the problem, and they chose us because they believe we have the best resources.”
When discussing Curaytor’s influence, Kari says: “Jay and I have loved being around other people who think like we do, who want to grow their businesses like we do, and who think about marketing the way we do. We’ll be in meetings and I’ll say ‘who do you know from Curaytor that you can call and brainstorm some ideas with… so the main value it adds is being around that community.”
Jay adds: “It is absolutely possible to succeed on your own using Curaytor to send out the message of what your brokerage stands for and believes. We rebranded and using Curaytor to relaunch that brand made a huge difference.
Perhaps the most significant result of Jay’s success has been the individuals and families he’s been able to serve. One client testimonial on Jay Marks’ instagram states: “I would recommend their services to any of my friends, because they have taken care of my family as we sold our home. I will be calling them when I need to move again."
Jay attributes consistent, positive feedback like this to his amazing team members.