Meet Our Coach, Elias Astuto
Seventy bucks, a backpack, and a dream. That’s what took Elias Astuto from San Diego to Lake Tahoe, and eventually to the Bay Area, where he carved out a path for himself as the Director of Sales and Coaching for #TEAMFAST. His story of success and inspiration is what fuels his passion for helping and inspiring others.
Anyone who meets Elias will tell you that his larger than life personality is perfectly suited for the role he’s in now, helping #TEAMFAST and its agents achieve remarkable outcomes. But make no mistake – he isn’t where he is today because he took shortcuts.
“At one point, addiction had completely taken over my life. I was living on the streets of San Diego,” he says, adding that he went to the “school of hard knocks” before eventually hitting the books and getting his GED.
But addiction was just a season of his life, because Elias realized he needed a change. That’s when he traveled north and began working at the second largest resort in Lake Tahoe. In less than two years, he was promoted to Director of Marketing and Public Relations, managing the most successful marketing team the resort had ever seen.
A few years later, Elias bridged his tourism experience with real estate, getting his license so he could sell timeshares for Hyatt in Carmel, California. Then it was off to the Bay Area, where he tried to get a job at Coldwell Banker. They initially turned him down because he “wasn’t the right fit.”
…But it’s not like Elias to take “no” for an answer.
Saved by the bell
Minutes after his rejection from Coldwell Banker, the fire alarm went off in the building and everyone had to evacuate. As he was leaving the office, he told the person who interviewed him that he wanted to continue the conversation because he had more to say.
…So they talked a little bit more, and the rest is history.
Elias was offered a district sales manager job with Coldwell Banker, and that was all he needed to make a name for himself on the Bay Area real estate scene – because that’s what happens when you hit #2 in the country for lead conversion in your very first year on the job.
That success catapulted Elias into a job at Climb Real Estate, a Bay Area indie brokerage that was eventually shuttered after being acquired by another company. But when one door closes, another door opens…and that door was Elias’ relationship with Kenny Truong, founder of #TEAMFAST.
Elias began working at #TEAMFAST as a sales manager, and is now the Director of Sales and Coaching. It’s a gig that he has no intention of leaving anytime soon.
“#TEAMFAST is great because we threw conformity as far out the window as we possibly could. We wanted to create our own movement in real estate, and we have. It’s funky. It’s fresh. It’s innovative. It’s the hip hop of real estate.”
‘My claim to fame isn’t financial gain’
Elias doesn’t do what he does for the money. He does it to help the team and its agents grow and achieve their maximum potential, because he truly believes in #TEAMFAST’s vision.
“It’s all about how many people I can help in this business,” he says. “I always ask myself how I can help others rise, how I can create more leaders.”
It turns out he’s pretty amazing at helping agents and businesses rise. He’s been an integral part of growing #TEAMFAST from 10 agents to almost 300 agents in less than two years, and turning it into one of the top producing teams out there (it ranked #2 for eXp globally in 2021, with the sale of 883 units and a sales volume of $672 million).
“I’m the voice of the team, and I’ve helped catapult the vision of who we are as an organization. I assisted in building our training department, our coaching department, and molding leaders. I consider it an honor to be able to do that, and I take a lot of pride in having that role.”
The team’s success is impressive indeed – but perhaps that’s to be expected when you’re being led by Elias, whose nickname is derived from his non-stop energy, passion, and dedication.
“My buddies call me ‘E-Train’ because they say I’m hard to stop, like a locomotive.”
When it comes to coaching, E-Train’s approach is straightforward. He chooses to prioritize people over numbers on a spreadsheet.
“I coach the human being because I think that’s what really creates results. If you drive production on numbers, you won’t reach your goal.”
Sipping coffee on a porch swing
When Elias isn’t working, you can find him hanging out with his partner Amanda, his children Silas and Lily, and his “bonus children” Larissa and Michaela.
You can also find him enjoying music, whether he’s listening at home or attending a live show (he went to 30 concerts in 2019).
“I love all kinds of music. I’m a classic rock junkie, a huge Grateful Dead fan. I like reggae, Motown, soul, any singer that has depth,” he says, adding that he also has his own musical talent – he can play the harmonica.
Anyone who visits his home office immediately knows what his preferred method for listening to music is, because the entire space is adorned with vinyl records.
“You can’t beat the way a record sounds. I love listening to music the way my parents listened to it. They had crates full of vinyls when I was growing up.”
Elias also likes to read, write, and enjoy all the “baller sushi” he can eat. But at the top of his hobby list is his beloved 1967 Volkswagen Beetle.
“That’s my side project, it’s so much fun to drive. It doesn’t have a name yet, but I’m probably going to name him ‘Papa Smurf.’”
Looking forward, Elias hopes to visit a few exotic locales with his family – the Amalfi Coast, Maldives, Fiji, and Bora Bora, to name a few. But if he never gets there, he’ll be perfectly fine staying home with his favorite person.
“I really just want to have a porch swing, drink coffee, and grow old with Amanda,” he says.