Ryan Sautman & The Education of Real Estate

Ryan Sautman has always loved helping and teaching people. So much so, he began pursuing a degree in elementary education at Southwestern Illinois University at Belleville.  But when he transferred to Greenville University to finish up his degree, Ryan realized that others in his degree program seemed to have a passion for elementary education the he simply did not. It was after graduation that he concluded that elementary education just wasn’t the best route for his career. 

“In high school and college, I bought and sold cars,” Ryan begins. “Unlike teaching, sales has an entrepreneurial aspect that I liked. So, I started working in sales as a State Farm Insurance agent.” After working for State Farm for a year and an independent insurance agency for a year, Ryan returned to his hometown of Highland, Illinois, and started his own independent insurance company, Just4You Insurance. But soon, a career in real estate seemed like another option he had not thought of before. 

“I noticed after being in insurance for a few years that it is hard to create relationships with people because you are doing so many transactions,” Ryan says. “I did a lot of real estate transactions through my insurance business and soon figured out that I could make the same amount of money working in real estate doing fewer transactions while also making relationships with clients looking to buy and sell homes.”

In 2020, Ryan got his real estate license but continued to work in insurance at the same time.  By the end of that year, however, he was stretched too thin and knew one of his businesses had to go. So, he sold his insurance agency at the start of 2021 and went all in on real estate - and he hasn't looked back.

There are many reasons why Ryan chose to focus on a career in real estate, with forming relationships being near the top of the list. “Relationships are BIG in real estate,” says Ryan, “and I not only love client relationships but also the agent-to-agent relationships I have formed with my colleagues, even those in other brokerages.” 

Investing in the future is another aspect of the business that Ryan finds appealing.  “I overanalyze everything,” chuckles Ryan. “I wanted to understand the business and get to know properties well to purchase as an investor.”

Today, Ryan leads the RYZN Group powered by Keller Williams Realty, and his background in education helps buyers and sellers make the most informed decisions in their real estate transactions. “Kids don’t always want to learn, but when a new buyer wants information and wants to learn about the process, I love educating them,” Ryan adds. He also prides himself on his communication skills, relaying every aspect of the transaction and data that is available to help clients make the best decision. “The number one complaint that we hear in the industry is lack of communication. I am good at communicating, and I like to put things into motion in advance. I try to demonstrate these skills and let people know what is going on throughout the process.”
In his free time, Ryan enjoys spending time with his wife, Jocelyn, who has her own baking business, and their four children, Payton, 9, John, 7, James, who is almost 5, and their youngest, Nora, who is about to be 3. “We are very involved in sports: golf, soccer, and baseball,” Ryan beams. “We also love watching movies and shows as a family. We have a home theater in our basement that we use all the time.”  In addition, every Wednesday night, Ryan and his family host their entire extended family for dinner, a tradition carried over from his grandmother. They typically average 15-20 guests, but sometimes the number is closer to 30 family members!
At the end of the day, Ryan’s favorite thing about real estate is simple - watching a buyer’s reaction when they find the right house. “You can show them 15 houses, and when you walk into ‘the’ house, you can see their face light up differently. Something about it – it’s different. It may not be the shiniest, newest house, but for them, it' home. That is always a fun moment.”