Sonny Moyers: The Architecture of the Real Estate Practice

On episode #225 of The Author Factor Podcast, I am having a conversation with nonfiction book author Sonny Moyers, a prominent figure in the Texas real estate landscape.

Sonny Moyers and Mike Capuzzi

Sonny's nonfiction author journey has crystalized 50 years of hard-earned expertise, becoming an indelible part of his legacy. Publishing The Architecture of the Real Estate Practice has not only cemented his status as a thought leader but has been a transformative avenue to share his innovative methodologies, aiming to uplift aspiring agents and seasoned brokers alike.

The Architecture of the Real Estate Practice isn't just a book — it's a comprehensive masterclass in building a resilient real estate career, underscored by Sonny's own success stories. Listeners will find the integration of QR codes linked to ingrained educational videos especially intriguing, a testament to the book's depth and Sonny's dedication to reader engagement and value.

Unlocking the Author Factor: This Episode's Big Takeaway

The key author factor from this episode is the emphasis on creating a real estate practice that is not only successful but also distinct and provides lasting value. Sonny Moyers shares his extensive knowledge and experience, highlighting the fundamental importance of psychology and interpersonal skills in real estate. He encourages real estate professionals to move beyond viewing themselves as simply salespersons and instead operate as consultants and problem solvers for their clients. Sonny's book, "The Architecture of the Real Estate Practice," serves as a master's course in real estate, focusing on building sustainable practices that can adapt to market changes and client needs over time. This approach aims to differentiate real estate agents in a highly competitive industry, ensuring they stand out and build long-lasting client relationships.

Sonny Moyers shares his Author Factor...

Learn more about Sonny Moyers by visiting:


Mike Capuzzi: Ever imagined how psychology can revolutionize real estate. Meet Sonny Moyers, president of the Renaissance Group, a real estate brokerage, consulting, and publishing company in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Sonny is a titan in the Texas real estate scene, blending behavioral science with property sales to climb into the top 1% of agents nationwide. In his new book, the Architecture of the Real Estate Practice, Sonny unveils the groundbreaking approach of applying social sciences to real estate, offering unparalleled insights into client relationships and sales success. Sonny, welcome to the show.


Sonny Moyers: Well, thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity to be here and speak to your audience.


Mike Capuzzi: I appreciate you being here also, especially because you've written and published perhaps one of the more unique books that I have seen on this podcast. But before we get into that, Sonny, I just barely touched on your impressive background. Can you share a little bit more about who you serve and how you serve them?


Sonny Moyers: Well, I've done my business model is quite different than the typical real estate broker or agent. Our business model was three different sections. Our profit centers, commercial representation, tenant representation and commercial, large buildings, residential real estate, and consulting. I consulted in real estate matters over 20 different countries throughout the world. I've taught in almost every major market in the United States about marketing and sales related to real estate businesses. So my business, real estate, is targeted for tenant representation in large buildings, typically 20,000 sq ft or larger. I also have, my wife was my partner, and she was the lead in the residential side. However, a few years ago, I took over that lead and then the consulting side is dealing with people who have lease matters, problems, problems with their lease, with the building.


Sonny Moyers: So it's quite different than your typical real estate business model. And in fact, it was very, we were very successful in it because the blend of commercial with residential was what I would call a singular solution for someone. We could provide solutions to the real estate needs in almost all areas, investment properties, residential properties, vacation homes, and of course, their office space needs, which frequently we did, all for somebody who, that gave us a much broader business model than a typical real estate agent.


Mike Capuzzi: Yeah, to say the least.


Sonny Moyers: You obviously have to have a lot of knowledge to do tenant representation in large buildings. I gathered that from working with people all over the world.


Mike Capuzzi: Very interesting. Well, what's so interesting, Sonny, is that the book that you've published is definitely different than most of the authors who come on the show and, you know, paperback and self-published. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, you did self-publish this, correct?


Sonny Moyers: Did. I did. For a particular reason. My book is unique and different. And it's more of a textbook style book.


Mike Capuzzi: Literally, right? Like, literally a textbook, yes.


Sonny Moyers: It's not going to compete in the space for the book that you can sit down and read in an evening or in two nights. This book will take a significant effort to read the book. It's much more along the style of a Malcolm Gladwell book like blink or tipping point than it is a typical book about. About real estate. It's not about flipping homes. It's not about becoming a millionaire overnight. It's about how to build a real estate practice, regardless of what the business model is and what pieces it includes. But building a real estate practice that will sustain and deal through multiple changes in the marketplace and people over time.


Sonny Moyers: And so it really is a book about how to build a real estate practice, how to set a culture for that practice, and how to build a business that will sustain and last for several decades.


Mike Capuzzi: Now, Sonny, I'm not in your space, so forgive me if I don't say this correctly, but is this book for the real estate agent or for the broker owner? Like, who, who is this ideally suited for?


Sonny Moyers: Well, it was targeted to the real estate agent, who is either an aspiring agent wanting to become an agent, but doesn't know how to begin and has a lot of misconceptions about how to begin. And it's also targeted toward the person who owns a real estate brokerage but needs to develop a culture within that brokerage that is different than what the typical real estate model is. And what I mean by that is the book is really targeting the consultative, collaborative agent rather than the product salesperson agent. So I don't see myself as a product salesperson. I see myself as a consultant and a problem solver. And so the book is really written. So to answer your question, as someone who's been in real estate, but is not getting the results they wanted, it's a great book for them. Someone who's starting out, but doesn't know how to begin, it's a great book for them.


Sonny Moyers: But if you own an agency and you've got, say, 100 agents, and you don't know how to build that agency, to be different, to be better, and to be superior to the market in general, all the other agents who are somewhat ubiquitous in the world, because most people see them all as pretty much the same, then this is a book that will help you do that.


Mike Capuzzi: Interesting. Okay, so I want to talk and spend some time about the book itself. Literally, the design of it, the physicality of it. Because when we say this is a textbook, it is a hardcover, I'm not going to steal your thunder. So I want you to describe that. But I want to, I'm very interested to understand the psychology and the reasons why you went this very in depth. It took you a number of years to publish why this type of book, Sonny, versus the kind of books that we help people publish, which are 1 hour read. It's the complete end of this other spectrum.


Mike Capuzzi: Quick reads but designed that way. But tell me more about why this format, and then, if you don't mind, go into some of the unique things you've done, even inside the book.


Sonny Moyers: Well, the book is different in this respect. I didn't write the book with the idea that someone would read the book and when they got through it, say, oh, I found five or six really good ideas in that book. I wrote the book with the idea that they would read one chapter and would have to put the book down and reflect upon that chapter because it would be so significant and so profound that they would want to think about how to make it work. So I wrote the book more as a reference manual approach, meaning, let's say that you were in real estate and you read the book, but you were out and about and you were talking to a client and something came up in that discussion that you would go back to your office and pull that book off the shelf, go to that chapter, which, by the way, the index is very, very good. Go to that chapter and find that section and say, here's what he said about that. And that's why the book has language in it that teaches the language of real estate. It's got scripting, over 5000 words of scripting that show an agent how to deal with a competitive situation. What do you, how do you respond when a particular person says something to you that's complex? How do you deal with a highly emotional client? I'll take just a minute to tell you one quick story, and this will demonstrate what I'm talking about.


Sonny Moyers: I had a client that was going through a divorce, and I was showing her a home. We had sold the couple's home. They were estranged and had not yet finalized in the divorce, but they had sold her home, and she was going to be buying a home. And when we got home, we walked in the front door. She said, this looks a lot like my home. She immediately went over and sat down on the sofa and burst out in incredible tears. So how does an agent handle a highly emotional client buying a very expensive home? We're talking in Texas, a home of around $800,000. How do you deal with that? How do you deal with highly emotional people who are in? This book is about interpersonal communications.


Sonny Moyers: It's about the psychology of working with clients. It's about those. So when I wrote the book, I really wrote it with the idea that this was a master's course in real estate and that it would be something that someone, it might take someone a month to read this book, and at the end of that month, they'll revisit it multiple times. So we wrote the book with scripting and color in the interior of the book. And the exterior of the book is a hardback, eight by ten book. It's really, truly like a textbook you'd go to if you went to a college or university. Yeah.


Mike Capuzzi: And what I think is so interesting, and I'm a geek. I'm a book geek, so I gotta, I love diving into this because you were so intentional. You really thought about how you wanted your targeted readers to use this book. So the, the very fact that you went hardcover. Beautiful. You showed, you know, you can show it up on the screen here, even though we don't have the video. Maybe we'll grab a screen cap. It's a beautiful looking book.


Mike Capuzzi: You went through the expense of, you know, designing that book and creating that book in that, in that capacity because you thought you were so thoughtful about how you wanted to use. I mean, that's a book. You're right. That'll last on someone's bookshelf for decades, you know, their entire career. And then, I know you mentioned it, but I don't want to gloss over it. You also went through the investment to make it easier on the reader because, like you said, you had questions and then scripts in the book that you colorized to different colors so that it was easy to pop out, easy to see.


Sonny Moyers: Exactly. Right.


Mike Capuzzi: Yeah.


Sonny Moyers: Scripting is a very important feature of the book because it really teaches the language of real estate. And that is how do you communicate and talk to people about real estate matters? And let me put it this way, a new agent who, if you believe in the 10,000 hours rule that it takes 10,000 hours to become a true professional and expert in something, then the typical agent comes into real estate. They don't have five years to spend to get 10,000 hours of real estate practice. They need to get a quick start. They need to learn the language of real estate quickly. They need to learn how to build a practice quickly. They need to become profitable within a year or less. And so most real estate agents go in and suffer.


Sonny Moyers: If you look at statistics, there's a million, 520,000 agents in the United States associated with NAR, National association of Realtors. There are 3 million real estate agents in the United States. And you think about the population of the United States, 320 million people, roughly, maybe a little more. Now, you take that population, and you divide it by 3 million. There's not that many people for every agent. And so, Mark, one of the most important things that it does, it gives someone the foundation of how to build a real estate practice, how to become successful, and how to speak the language quickly. And who else can you better learn that from than someone who's been in real estate for 50 plus years and has been successful not only in commercial, but in residential, but in consulting with real estate? That's the big difference. The book was designed for.


Sonny Moyers: It's written. The paper, even in the book, is designed for someone to be able to take notes. It's designed for them to be able to make comments, underline and identify where certain passages are that are important to the book. And so even the paper was done with thought. Why is the book, why is the book more expensive? Because it's color. It's a hardback. It's not available in paperback, and it's not available on a presentation. Someone would be totally lost listening to this book because I have a master's degree in psychology.


Sonny Moyers: So when I talk about the psychology in the book, it's complex. It's brain theory. It's things like professionalism is synonymous with value. Why does someone intrinsically believe from seeing someone who's highly professional that they're worth more? And how do you compete on your commission structure based on the fact that you've convinced the client that you're worth more? That's the psychology.


Mike Capuzzi: You know, Sonny, I have to just kind of interject here because it's obvious that you come with a wealth of information and experience.


Sonny Moyers: Thank you.


Mike Capuzzi: In this book, I would venture to say, and I'm sure I'm not the first person to say, this probably is a textbook for a lot of different types of business owners, not just those in real estate. I mean, it really sounds that way because everything you're sharing, I'm thinking, you know, who couldn't benefit?


Sonny Moyers: Well, Mike, if you permit me, just take, for example, one of the Keystone concepts. Professionalism is synonymous. That Keystone concept applies to almost every professional services business that you can imagine, from financial planners to whatever. So, yes, the book has a very broad footprint as far as who it can help, but it's really intended for real estate people and people who want to understand real estate agents. I would also say one other thing about this book. It is an absolute phenomenal book to give to a college grad in a business, psychology, or communications disciplines as a starter when they graduate from college, it'll make two years of difference in the career.


Mike Capuzzi: Sonny, my daughter, two daughters just graduated from college two months ago. My one daughter, my oldest, graduated with a communication and psychology degree. She just started her job yesterday, thank God. But I'm not sure she's gonna pick up this textbook, but I wish she would. She used to read a lot when she was younger.


Sonny Moyers: Well, what I would say is it's a great gift to give as a graduation present, or if you know someone who wants to decide where they're going to go in a career, because it'll give them the Keystone concepts represent the foundation analogy, similar to building a home. And then the structural elements are the psychology and some of the things that you have to do. And then I also bring up key concepts like, have you ever heard anyone write in a real estate book about how to develop an account plan for a client? Are how to develop a client management program that assures that you stay in contact with your clients for 20 years.


Mike Capuzzi: Wow.


Sonny Moyers: And that they keep coming back to you. This goes way beyond the typical real estate book. It goes way beyond in the sense of that. So it's worth more because it's something that will guide them to places they've never seen in a real estate book. There are no books like mine in the marketplace.


Mike Capuzzi: No, I've never seen anything like it.


Sonny Moyers: And QR code is a good example. Yeah, right.


Mike Capuzzi: Please share that.


Sonny Moyers: We have 18 QR codes throughout the book, and there's even one on the back cover that when you go to that and you get there, it talks about why the author, I believe that you need to know a lot about me to understand why I have a voice that you should listen to. And so when you talk about the QR codes in the book, the actual QR codes, when you're reading the book and you're wondering, I get what he's saying here. I understand it. I wonder why he thinks this. You can hover over the QR code. It'll take you to an exclusive video that's only available in the book on my YouTube channel. And there's 18 of those videos scattered throughout the book.


Mike Capuzzi: This is not a book you wrote in a week. And I would think two years. Two years.


Sonny Moyers: Two years.


Mike Capuzzi: But keep in mind, I'm sure, too.


Sonny Moyers: Keep in mind it's 50 years of experience. By the way, I weave in really interesting stories about my clients there, too. Okay? For example, Sandy, the lady I talked about who broke into it, was an emotional wreck. She needed a friend. And you know what I did after she became that emotional wreck was I sat down on the sofa with her and did nothing for 30 minutes. I believe that a real estate agent's time is the most important gift they can give to a client. Most real estate agents are in a hurry. I can't be in a hurry with my client.


Sonny Moyers: I've got to give them the time they need to digest what I'm saying, what they're seeing, and to understand and recognize the emotions that go with them. Because real estate, particularly residential real estate, is an emotional decision. They're talking about their lives, their families, how they're going to live, et cetera. So you have to be very empathetic. And I tell the stories in the book about situations like this. I talk about connectors. Connectors were talked about. Malcolm Gladwell's book, the Law of the Few, why it’s important in real estate.


Sonny Moyers: Another key concept from Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell, as you can tell, I’m a big fan of his. I’ve read all of his books and I’ve taken many of his concepts in here. I’ve also used a book, a Good to Great by Jim Collins, which you’ve probably heard of, and then another book, Ken Blanchard's book, raving fans. And that’s another thing I refer to a great deal, but there are eight or ten pages of sources of information. This isn't a book written just about what I think it is based upon sound psychology, the mental brain theory, how to teach, how to learn. All of these things are covered deeply in the book. That's why it's a complex book.


Sonny Moyers: And that's why it's a textbook that will take someone's significant amount of investment and time to read it. I had two powerful people, two real estate influencers that are very successful people. One of them is, well, I can't know how much he's worth, but he's worth a lot. And these two people reviewed the book and they both said the same thing to me. Sonny, this is different. This is not your typical book. Are you sure you want to do this? And I said, why? They said, you're telling all your secrets now. I was in the top 4% of all real estate agents nationwide for ten straight years.


Sonny Moyers: I was the number one voted by the Dallas Builders association, the number one agent in the city of Dallas. And there are thousands of agents, and only one person could win that award that year, and that was me. Why? Because I’m different. And I would say to someone who’s thinking about getting into real estate, its great if you’re better, but you have to be different. You have to be distinct. You have to be able for someone to pick you out on a crowd and choose you because the competition is too great.


Mike Capuzzi: I was talking to a real estate agent, a local real estate agent here where I live out in Pennsylvania recently, and I was encouraging her. It turns out we both went to the same college, and I was encouraging her to do exactly what you're saying, to be different. Right. And so my, we publish books I wasn't even selling. I was just like, you know, why don't you think about writing a book and publishing a book about why, you know, moving to this particular area and why it's such a beautiful area and some things to think about. Right.


Sonny Moyers: Right.


Mike Capuzzi: She looked at me and she's like, well, why would I want to do that? You know? And I sort of dumped, like, really? Like, you don't see the value of being different and being able to hand someone your book and say, here's why. You know, I just wrote a quick little book on why to move. You know, I get it.


Sonny Moyers: I think, keep in mind, Mike, that real estate is a copycat business. Many real estate agents come into real estate and they don't know what to do. So they look at other realtors and they copy what they're doing. And so they tend to enforce the idea that all agents are alike and that all agents are money hungry. And money is the only thing that they care about. I care about client success. I care about, I care about making my client like me so much and believe in me so much and trust in me so much that they want me to be successful and they want me to make money. That's a psychological approach that's very different.


Sonny Moyers: I always put the client first, always. And when doing so, you earn the trust and confidence of the client, and that's why they keep coming back to you year after year. And that's why I've sold some of my clients 810 different properties over time. And that's why they come to me for more than just their residential real estate needs.


Mike Capuzzi: So, Sonny, before we get ready to start wrapping up here, I do want to just ask you this question, because, again, you went through a very unique process here, publishing, a very unique type of book, including even going through the effort of the videos and all that, knowing what you know now, would there be anything you would do differently relative to your book, or at least something you'd want to warn someone else who might be thinking, wow, I never thought about doing it textbook, or I might not, you know, is there anything you'd want to warn that listener about?


Sonny Moyers: You know, Mark, that's a great question, and I'll tell you why. It's a very. It's a very personal story. My first version of this book, I shared with someone and asked them to tell me what they thought. And they said, Sonny, it's too scientific. It's too. Science is oriented. It doesn't have enough stories about you and what you did for clients.


Sonny Moyers: And so I went back, and I reworked the book completely. So I would say to people, don't write the book to be shallow. Write it to be deep. Think about what's most important for you to share and communicate with your audience and how you can help people truly be successful and give them something that when they get through reading the book, they say, wow, I didn't just get eight or ten things. I got 200 things from that book. And that book will be on my bookshelf for a long time, and I will go back to it as a resource many, many times, because it survives time. It's not shallow, it's deep. That was the biggest mistake.


Sonny Moyers: I started out with that idea that I was writing a textbook, and then I ended up having to put in the personal flavor. So I tell stories in the book. I start out with a story about a very significant failure of mine, and I go through how that got me into real estate. And then I tie in how these concepts caused me to be highly successful and how I stood out from the crowd and how I became very successful in real estate over many years. And at the end of the book, I return to a very sad, distressing story of loss. You cannot go into real estate and think you're always going to win. You go into real estate knowing that some people are going to reject you and you have to be able to handle that. And that's the psychology that's important in real estate.


Sonny Moyers: You have to be able to sustain yourself and fight through when you don't win every time.


Mike Capuzzi: I can't wait to hear your thoughts here. But as we wrap up here, Sonny, I'd love to hear what it has meant to you to be the author of this amazing work.


Sonny Moyers: I won that award. It's another really good question. I appreciate it. I won that award, and I was standing up in front of a very large crowd when I won the award for what's called the MCSAM award by the Dallas Builders association for the best realtor in Dallas. And as I finished that speech and thanked people for my good fortune and for winning, I also thought to myself, you know, what can I do? I'm reaching a point from age perspective. I don't want to work like I did. I don't want to work that hard. And because I'm reaching a point where I'm ready to move down the road in different chapter.


Sonny Moyers: And I said, what can I write? What can I do to help people? So this book, for the price that it's charged for this book, will provide significant value to people because I want them to be successful. I don't want them to have a false start and fail. I want them to go into real estate and be successful and compete against others and win. And that's what the book's about, really. How do you win? One final note. Okay. One chapter of the book is the business model, the exact business model that I used to create my real estate business. The book is about how to build a business model and how to create it.


Sonny Moyers: And I give them the footprint, the outline of how to do it by giving them mine. So that's when those reviewers said to me, you're opening the kimono and you're showing the world all your secrets. Sonny, are you sure you want to do this? Yes, I do.


Mike Capuzzi: Sonny, this has been awesome. I truly appreciate, you know, it's inspiring to hear what you've done at the point in your career that you've done it to the level that you've done it. It's quite impressive. How can my listeners learn more about you? Where can they grab this amazing book that you've created?


Sonny Moyers: Well, I found them. I would start with the book website, And actually it's tied to the architecture of the real estate practice, which is the name of the book, the psychology and art of the real estate profession, which is the subtitle. But they go to dot. They can also go to my real estate, dot. And they can also go to, I have a blog on blogger, and I have a blog on my personal website that I share information. And then they can go to my YouTube channel. The architecture of the real estate practice are a 23.


Sonny Moyers: They can see videos. I have over 70 videos there on the YouTube channel. All about the book and the concepts in the book and other things in addition to that. And then they can just Google Sonny Moyer, DFW realtor. They'll get a whole bunch of stuff if they go to YouTube and put in my name. There are all kinds of videos. Okay, but the best place to order the book, IngramSpark will be distributing it through their network of resellers worldwide. They're not out there yet, and they're waiting for those people to choose to be there.


Sonny Moyers: If they want to order the book, they can order the book off my website right now, which is, and I can ship it to them. And it's, there's, right now, currently, there's no tax. If they buy it, I'll pay the tax. And the shipping and handling for this very nice size book is $9. Okay. So. And I'll ship it to them. Ups.


Sonny Moyers: And all they have to do is go on there, fill out the forms, subscribe to my webpage at my, and I'll ship them the book. And it's $64.95 and it's worth thousands.


Mike Capuzzi: Well, Sonny, I appreciate it. Thank you very much for your time today.


Sonny Moyers: Thanks, Mike.

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