It’s Not Always About The Money | Brett Hagler – 005

05 Blog

When you see a problem facing the world (or even just your local community), you might be invigorated to act. But how do you go about solving the problem? In today’s episode of the Be Better podcast, Donald is joined by founder and CEO of New Story, Brett Hagler, to discuss how he works to solve the global housing crisis.

What made Brett join real estate?

  • Brett didn’t plan on joining real estate. However, a post-college trip to Haiti changed his entire perspective. 
  • He saw the reality of homelessness and realized there are still over one billion people without adequate housing.
  • He first searched for charities that excited him, but frustrated by many organizations’ old-school approaches to problem-solving, he made a list of things he wished were better. And then, he made an organization that solved those issues.

Going against the status quo inspires you to be great. 

  • It can be anything, from attending graduate school, founding a company, or switching careers.
  • Many people become paralyzed by uncertainty if they don’t know how to start something. The solution? Dream big, but start small.
  • When Brett founded New Story, his goal wasn’t to house all one billion people; it was to house one family. So start with a small, attainable goal you know you can reach. 
  • Looking at a significant problem like inadequate housing can be challenging, but it gets markedly easier when the issue is broken down into attainable milestones. 

Brett’s strategy to identifying problems: 

  • Usually, the problems aren’t rocket science. If you see something operating a certain way, ask yourself if it needs to be like that. Chances are, it probably doesn’t.
  • It’s about creating a better experience and being transparent in your goals and results. 
  • For any nonprofit organization, donors want (and deserve) to know exactly how their money is spent. 
  • New Story has two bank accounts (with one dedicated to home building), and people can donate directly to that specific account.
  • There is a massive opportunity to use technology to make processes more efficient and effective, from software and cryptocurrency to direct hardware used in construction.

The next phase of New Story:

  • Brett started New Story with two co-founders without money or connections. They saw a problem, and they set out to fix it.
  • The takeaway? Make something people want. “People” doesn’t have to mean everyone; it just needs to speak to the group of people who care about the topic.
  • Since its inception, New Story has helped tens of thousands of people find multi-generation housing.

Brett’s advice for listeners? Go after your dreams, and don’t let others influence what you do. If you see a problem, think about how you might solve it with a fresh perspective because bringing a creative mindset to solve a problem is a win-win for everyone involved.

Connect with Brett and New Story on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn. Also, they’re hiring! Visit for more information. 

This episode is brought to you in part by Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate.

Looking for a new role that allows you to become your own boss, create your own schedule, and have excellent income potential without the headache of starting a new business? Become an agent with Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, an American icon trusted in all things related to the home. Explore career options at

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