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We say it all the time here at the Ussery Group, but what does doing “real estate the right way” mean for you as a buyer or seller? Johnny and Keene recently joined Atlanta real estate mogul Bonneau Ansley and best selling author Chris Tuff on their podcast, “Brokering Billions,” to answer this billion-dollar question.

In case you missed it, here’s an overview of what was shared on the podcast.

Humble Beginnings

Everyone has to start somewhere, and Johnny and Keene are no exception. After college, Johnny became a book salesman, then transitioned into selling the most talked-about commodity of the day—real estate. After doing a bit of couch surfing with Bonneau (who Keene met while attending school in Atlanta), Keene kicked off his career as the junior project manager of Palmetto Bluff, telling founder Jim Mozeley he’d do anything to work there. Over time, he realized that he thrived when working directly with people, and moved into a career as a real estate agent in the same community he had grown to know and love.

The “Why” Behind the Sale

In 2018, Johnny, Keene, Thomas, and Michael joined forces, with Jeff Ussery rounding out the team in 2022. But excellence doesn’t happen overnight. What motivates the Ussery Group to show up to the best of their ability each day?

For Johnny, it’s simple. The more houses he can sell in a short amount of time, the more time he can spend with his four children and 16 grandchildren. Johnny understands that life is a gift—a truth that came into sharp focus on the day he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given just a 5% chance of surviving five more years. That day was 12 years ago, and he’s been firing on all cylinders ever since!

Grit and tenacity have always been a part of Keene’s character. After getting cut from the baseball team at Ole Miss, he threw himself into triathlons and mountain biking. These extreme activities taught him how to push himself and overcome mental obstacles on the path to success. He’s a firm believer that the will to win combined with a hard work ethic will take you where you need to go—and that shows in the results he’s achieved for his clients.


Bonneau and Chris dug into what differentiates each member of the Ussery Group team by asking Johnny and Keene to describe their “superpower” (something they can do better than everybody else).

Keene’s superpower is the ability to relate to anyone and build trust at the same time, while Johnny’s core strength comes from the combination of his communication skills and positive attitude. Johnny credits the success of the Ussery Group to the diversity of the team, as each member brings something different to the table. “The five we put together, it’s just contagious because we all are good communicators, we all have high goals, we all want to do the right thing, and we’re service, service, service, service—and we keep hammering that. It’s not about us. It’s about the customer—and they feel that,” he shared.

Not Your Typical Culture

Authentic service-oriented representation, personal growth, and the success of the team as a whole are foundational pillars at the Ussery Group. With a mission to put the emphasis on the wants, needs, and dreams of each client, Johnny, Keene, and the rest of the team have built up a devoted clientele. While teamwork is a priority at the Ussery Group, this is not the prevailing mindset in today’s real estate industry. Johnny and Keene elaborated on this value, sharing that the group is stronger because each member pulls from the same side of the rope. The pressure not to be the “weakest link” is also a motivating factor. Combine this mentality with a healthy work-life balance, and you’ve got yourself a winning team.

Listen for Yourself

These highlights only scratch the surface of the stories Johnny and Keene shared about life, business, and friendship during their appearance on “Brokering Billions.” To listen for yourself, check out the episode on Spotify or on Apple Podcasts.

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We would love to put our team’s core values into practice and help you with your real estate needs this year. Whether you’re looking to buy, sell, or just learn more about available listings, don’t hesitate to call 843-757-7712 or email us at info@usserygroup.com. We would be honored to serve you!