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Andrew Undem is a real estate entrepreneur with a decade of experience under his belt. Andrew Undem founded the SURE Sales Group in 2014. Since then their organization has grown to over 20 agents and staff with annual sales consistently over $120,000,000.
SURE Sales Group is known for their unique blend of sales, marketing, and negotiation mastery. Over the past 5 years SURE Sales Group has been recognized by WSJ, Remax as well as the #1 brokerage in Baltimore and the #3 brokerage in the state.
SUCCESS STORY PODCAST
The Success Story podcast is focused on speaking to incredible people who have achieved success through trials, tribulations, wins and losses. In each episode we sit down with leaders and mentors. We document their life, career and stories to help pass those lessons onto others through insights, experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.
Machine Generated Transcript
people, real estate, sales, sell, works, building, business, podcast, agent, Baltimore, real estate agents, brand, marketing, salespeople, lead, brokerages, industry, Scott, money, ton
Scott D Clary, Andrew Undem
Scott D Clary 00:06
Welcome to the success story podcast. I’m your host, Scott Clary. On this podcast I have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, politicians and other notable figures, all who have achieved success through both wins and losses. To learn more about their life, their ideas and their insights, I sit down with leaders and mentors and unpack their story to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between. Without further ado, another episode of the success story podcast. Thanks again for sitting down with me very excited to be sitting with Andrew random. He’s a real estate entrepreneur he has over a decade of experience in real estate. He is the founding partner at sure sales group that he has been sort of driving forward since 2014. Their organization now has grown to over 20 agents and staff and their annual sales of consistently over $120 million. Now, Andrew is making a name for himself in real estate and not only just through his successes, but he’s also very heavy on sales, marketing, branding, to speak through some of the items that he’s accomplished over his career. He’s been featured in The Wall Street Journal, as a top team is the shirt of being a top team in the US. He was featured in bom bom as a top video influencer. He received a Social Media Award from Baltimore, for obviously the work he’s doing in the brand he’s building through sure group. He’s in the REMAX Hall of Fame. And he has a circle of Legends Award. He wrote he frequently does podcasts, obviously real estate and other and he is various panels speaker keynote speaker certified DRS agent. So obviously Andrew is not just in real estate he is, you know, he’s a brand. He’s, he’s a persona and he’s and he’s doing it purposefully. And I want to sort of, you know, thank you for sitting down. But I want to sort of unpack where your head’s at, like, where you started off how you came to be and why you’re doing all the things that you’re doing.
Andrew Undem 02:15
That was an awesome intro, I’ve never been introduced with such a litany of bullet points there. I don’t think I’ve been a keynote speaker before but maybe one day like you, Scott, I can I cannot pull that off. But um, yeah, thanks been in real estate for 10 years started out as a finance guy out of college 2009 Some young guy 32 And coming out of college and like, you know, after, oh 809 Being in finance, super tough. So I ended up taking a different route. And I ended up getting into real estate in the new home sales world. So I worked with one of the top builders in the country had an awesome experience there. And after about three years of that I’d had about enough and I said, you know, I’m gonna start my own thing and get into the Residential Brokerage world. And it’s kind of taken off ever since. And we’ve been growing every year, that’s a pretty good hockey stick growth. And I attribute it a lot of it is is the following guys like yourself and always be constantly learning and improving in each kind of functional silo of your business, whether it’s sales, marketing, negotiation, mindset, etc. So happy to be here and happy to share anything I can with your audience.
Scott D Clary 03:26
Yeah, and I appreciate it. Um, so first, let’s unpack like, like your story. So like, you know, you said you, you went finance real estate, what was like your driver that that brought you into finance and made you want to go into real estate? Like, is that something that you’ve always wanted to do? Or do you find like a knack for it? You found you’re great at sales, like, you know, working, like retail or whatever, I don’t know what what’s, what’s your story that sort of led you to want to jump into real estate?
Andrew Undem 03:53
Well, if I’m being honest, I was always really motivated by making money. And that’s
Scott D Clary 03:59
as any good salesperson should be. So
Andrew Undem 04:03
I you know, just growing up, you look around, it’s like wow, money, you’re like these like little fun tickets. This is a tool you can use to do things that you want to do. And you get a lot of independence from that. And of course, it’s not the only show. It’s not the money itself. It’s what you can do with them on what you can do for other people with the money. So I just knew it was a powerful tool, and that’s kind of what I wanted to pursue. And that’s kind of what happened with the finance game. And how I got into real estate taxes pretty funny. Right after I graduated college, I started selling cars. Just for nine months shorts, dad couldn’t get a job in finance. I figured I’d sell something. I’d sold cars in the summers in college, that my parents helped me get a job. So I wasn’t sitting around just being a beatnik all day. I ended up selling a car to one who was a manager. This person was a manager at Ryan Homes and we are Nkwanta you know the darling of the new homebuilders and Wall Street twirled big builder and she said, Andrew, do you like working here. We had such good report this point like we’re buddy, buddy. I said you, I actually hate it. Thanks so much for asking. I wake up at 9am I don’t leave till 9pm It’s dark and I get up dark when I get home. I work six days a week. dealerships are open every day. He said Sunday. But now I mean, but I had a good attitude about it. And she thought she said you should sell houses dead. That kind of, I don’t know anything about real estate. up into that point, nice and family ties. You know, my mom’s family does some real estate stuff up in North Dakota, Minnesota, but nothing me personally. But it was at that car dealership where I met a guy was really involved in sales, training and sales consulting. And that really changed the trajectory of my career because I started practicing these different sales techniques, you know, someone walks into the dealership, what do you do? You don’t just call them? Are you thinking to the car? No, you have to be really polished and professional. We’re doing Porsche and Audi. So I was dealing with really kind of top notch business people, often people who do business with. And so I, I kind of took a lot of that training, I got over to real estate, and the rest was kind of history didn’t show up off anyway, we went and never took our foot off the gas.
Scott D Clary 06:18
So so I like that story. And I think that a lot of people that are in sales. There’s a gentleman by the name of ROB Jepsen, I consume a lot of his content. He has a sales podcast. And I think one of the things that he says is accidentally, the quote, what is the quote exactly, just something along the lines of like, accidentally involved, but purposefully successful or something like something along those lines, like nobody plans to get into sales, but when you’re in it, and when it doesn’t matter if it’s its software, it’s homes, its cars, people who love it, love it, and they love it for money, they love it for accomplishment, they love it for they love it for controlling, like what they have they how they hold themselves to accountability as to like what they can achieve. Now, a lot of people, I think, move over to a profession like real estate, and they would stop as just a real estate agent. But you’re taking it to the next level, you’re building out your entire organization, which is now one of the top brokerages in the US. You know, there’s obviously some very big names, but in Baltimore especially like you are like one of the if not the largest brokerages. So how do you, you know, that’s an entrepreneur, that’s an entrepreneur venture at the end of the day. So how did you move from just selling to building a business?
Andrew Undem 07:42
Yeah, it’s a good question. It’s, you know, there’s a lot of good real estate teams in Baltimore, we happen to be the number one REMAX team in the state. But there’s, there’s a lot of really good professionals in residential real estate, great people to learn from. And there’s also a lot of people who are just struggling to figure it out real estate’s one of those businesses, I’m sure your audience is aware of. Anyone can be a realtor, everyone knows 10 Real estate agents, because the barrier to entry is, if it was any lower, Scott would just trip over it, and not compete that like anyone can be anyone can be an agent. And that’s the problem and Leto, attorneys and doctors to kind of have that different barrier to entry. But in sales in general is a kind of typically an eat what you kill environment, they’re willing to bring you on and throw you into the deep end. So But to answer your question, how do we kind of start growing this business? What I found that there’s only one thing that matters, and it’s giving the client exactly what they want. And that’s just sales in general. And that means you have to be really good at listening, you have to be really all in on helping people get what they want. And in today’s environment, with all the technology, you can sell real estate, the way you used to. It used to be a solo operation, and there’d be maybe 10 agents over here, they all kind of did their own thing had a little friendly competition, that doesn’t work anymore, because you need to deliver so much value to the marketplace if you expect clients to work with you. So, in building out our organization, we realized, hey, we need a full time in house videographer with drone capabilities. So anytime Scott, if I’m gonna go list your condo, I’m going to be circled A drone around the building, getting some sweet B roll of the gym and all that cool stuff in the condo building. And I’m gonna create some compelling content about your home, not just take and of course I call it a course marketing. Of course you take the pictures and the signs and the brochures, and all the other stuff that maybe even some other agents don’t do. And then of course, you’re gonna have to have someone to handle all the paperwork and do all the back office. And really, you have to put the right people in the right places on the bus, like like Jim Collins would say, and let the salespeople just do what they’re best at and go out and sell and serve and have a system in the back in the works. So that’s kind of where we’re pushing all of our energy into and how do we arm good salespeople? Great salespeople with everything they need. So they don’t have to do the $10 $15 $20 an hour work, they can go do the highest and best activities that are going to lead to, you know, them hitting their goals and having a good bottom line, you really just kind of treat it like a business. And unfortunately, in real estate, because you can get your license and you can go sell your cousin’s house, and maybe have a little bit of success. That behavior is kind of rewarded so much that people keep coming in and doing it. But there’s 1.3 million real estate agents, at least in the US. And 50% of them don’t even sell a house here. So that’ll give you an idea.,
Scott D Clary 10:46
So,so that all makes sense. The way you build the business, the way that you you make sure that the right people are doing the right job, you know, the customer success, and paying attention to the details and whatnot, and sort of like, you know, delivering excellence to the customer while still enabling the sales individuals and whatnot to sort of be as effective as possible. But that is that something that you found intuitively, like how did you use I’m trying to draw out is, why are not more brokerages doing what you’re doing? And not like all these things you’re saying are like the, the bare minimum for most businesses to succeed. But like you said, a lot of real estate agents, they have a little bit of success, but that’s good enough, or whatever. I don’t know. I’m sure there’s a lot of top brokerages that also do what you’re speaking about. But what, like, obviously, you’re doing it very effectively. And very quickly, I find as well. So how did you? How did you come to this conclusion? Like you’ve never built a business before? So what was like what was the sort of like your guiding light your principles or led you here?
Andrew Undem 11:47
Well, I know why a lot of people don’t do it, because it’s really hard. Managing people is hard. There’s in real estate, there’s no salaries, no insurance, no nothing. And I know a lot of b2b sales roles, you know, you have this company package, maybe get some base salaries and bonus, there’s a little net here in this business to take on so much. Because the buck stops with you. People always like to think Oh, but there’s no ceiling, you can make unlimited amount of money, which is true. What they don’t talk about is there’s also no floor, you can plummet yourself in debt, you can max out these credit cards and just go bananas and just hope it works. But it is a lot of hard work to build organically from scratch and very, real estate’s awesome because anybody can get into it. And with the right attitude, mindset, hustle and entrepreneurial spirit, you can build it, which I love about it, they should let it be semi easy to join. And I think it works relatively well are we do a lot of people out 87% of people get out in the first five years, which is a wild statistic. I don’t think any other industries like that.
Scott D Clary 12:51
Leave an industry appropriate? Probably not no, that’s pretty crazy.
Andrew Undem 12:54
That means one out of 10 If you look around at all your colleagues 90% are gone in five years, and then again, and then again every every five years. But how we go to we had a lot of help. And I know what I’ve taught you before I dropped this word, I’m gonna use it again. But you have to be an autodidact, which is just a nice polysyllabic word. Do you want to write that down autodidact, you just have to be a self taught person, you have to be so hungry to figure out what’s going to get you to the next level. Because what got you here won’t get you there. And vice versa, how you sell 10 pounds is not how to tell 50 100. And your last year, we did like 460 a whole different slew of problems at each tier. And I’ll tell you what the other people who are doing it, they’re not the people who are going to come in and try to help you rise, they’re going to be taken their lunch a little bit. So you really have to be just that kind of student mindset. Go out and and just soak up as much knowledge as you can. And it’s not just you know, there’s a couple columns I like to think in our business which is a you have to know how to sell real estate. That’s what we know all the contracts know the right process, how the whole operation works with buyers sellers, mortgage company, Title Company, Home Inspections, contingency lawyer, there’s a whole lot of going on there. A whole lot of different personalities and people that have to deal with it’s a tough thing to navigate, which is probably why so many people fail because it’s not just you telling your friend to house. There’s a whole lot of people and everyone’s seriously involved and there’s a ton of money changing hands, every transaction, you better be sharp on that. But just because you have to sell real estate doesn’t mean you know how to sell. Sales is its own skill, and it’s its own thing you need to pursue mastery in. And most real estate salespeople, realtors, whatever you want to call them have never had any sales training. Now they can navigate the process Yeah, it’s like a dentist, they know how to pull the teeth and do this, but do they know how to actually sell themselves on the service? I think that’s kind of missing in the industry, in a lot of ways that there’s a whole bunch of great training, most of its motivation mindset get after it. I’m talking hardcore sales training, kind of like the stuff you went through. And, you know, at the companies you run, like, you got to learn the sales process. And then after that, is the management component, how do we bring this all together and grow into something bigger than yourself. And that’s what gets me excited, is making it a worthwhile pursuit.
Scott D Clary 15:37
I like that a lot. And I like to you sort of double down on on the the proper training to enable people and that’s probably why, like, I’m sure if if you named awesome stats of people that work with your firm, they’re very much not aligned with the rest of the industry in terms of of their successes and their retention rate of like your your realtors. But what I think is also interesting is you’ve focused on something that I’m a firm believer in and that’s branding, self branding, marketing, social media, like I’m looking at this list of things that you’ve that you’ve sort of done and places you’ve been featured in, in various publications. Obviously, branding is important for both sure and for yourself. And I apologize for calling you a keynote. I didn’t mean I saw a panel speaker I just figured out that he speaks a lot he must have done
Andrew Undem 16:27
it now. I’ve been to a panel once but it sounded do it now I have something to aspire to listen like it’s a hire me.
Scott D Clary 16:35
Yeah, exactly. No, no, listen, you’re like you’ll you’ll get it eventually. If you keep this up, it doesn’t take long for the requests are coming in. And especially now with them. With everyone’s you know, everyone’s sitting at home right now, unfortunately. But people are having all these virtual conferences. And it’s and it’s very easy to just like I get tons of requests just to chat about this, that and the other like, and it’s it’s a great easy way to build out your brand. Because some of these organizations that host these events have big followings and whatnot, and you don’t have to travel, you don’t have to take four hours of United just hop on a zoom call and you have access to their entire so you know, that’s one thing that I love doing now. But anyways, that’s that’s sort of getting off topic. So why are you focusing on building out you know, your brand, and also the brand of the company? And why are you so heavy on social media when real estate which is I think we can agree is a very obviously, it’s one of the probably the oldest industries that you can, you can you can think of a lot of these companies, you look at their social media to be quite honest, it sucks. Like it’s just horrible. It’s horrifying, what they think is acceptable to post. So, and this is not, they’re not so different than a lot of like fortune 100 fortune 500, like very few companies that I find get it. And that’s why I think it’s so interesting that like these startups or even these solopreneurs, or individuals can build a brand for themselves that is equivalent, if not more exciting and engaging than what a fortune 500 entire marketing department can do. So, you know, you’re you’re doing this properly. And why is that and speak to me about why you you you see the the use for
Andrew Undem 18:00
why, you know, the brand is so important if you want to stand out in a crowded marketplace. And when you know the rise of social media happen. And like Gary Vaynerchuk talks about this a lot, but the playing field just got leveled. Like, you know, Mercedes Benz can make this a beautiful commercial, I have a camera to my iPhone X Pro, and a little bit of editing, I can make something almost as awesome. And once you realize that you can put out super high quality content now it’s not easy, and you’re gonna mess it up. I’ve made every mistake putting out a video that’s known demand, at least as far as I can tell. So you got to fail forward, just throw yourself out there. But the branding is so important, because if you don’t get attention, if you don’t get people to know what you do, why you do it, how you do it, why you might be better, then you’re never going to get the chance to even have the conversation. So there’s the old age old thing marketing versus sales, marketing and sale when they’re both equally as important. Because, you know, hey, salespeople, like to say all sales is the king sales skills, number one, number one and, you know, I’m kind of in that camp a lot of times, but if you don’t have anyone to talk to if if you’re not getting opportunities you can’t market it doesn’t matter how great your mindset is and how great your presentation is, if you can’t give it to anybody. The same thing vice versa though. Like there’s there’s you got to marry those two together and give them equal amount of energy and effort. Because if you do if you are good at marketing, and we’d like you said we spent a ton of time on that every time we list a house for sale. I don’t care how low the price range might be. I don’t care the location. We do everything full blast all the time. Because if it’s going to have our brand on it, we want you to know you’re getting world class photography, hundreds of HDR pictures that we’re going to take down and maybe use the best 3040 or 50. We’re going to get the drone out and get some aerial footage We’re going to do a video, whether that’s me on a green screen explaining the house with, you know, the pictures coming up in the background or me physically at the property, given you the kind of HGTV, here’s all the things you need to know about this house that you might miss if you just looked at the pictures. So we create all this content. And that’s very important. And let’s be honest, that does help sell the seller on you. Now, the only way it’s going to help you actually sell the house and deliver on your promise is if you know how to distribute that content. And Scott, you know, that if you put out amazing content all the time, so I’m preaching to the choir, but for your audience, it’s like, and I know, You’ve had some help, I think your girlfriend’s like in the game help consult?
Scott D Clary 20:44
No, like, listen, like even even she does. She’s into, like, the whole social media scene, she runs a marketing company with her sister. So she’s very much like, you know, like headfirst into the whole social media. And that’s, that’s what literally her entire businesses. Now, it’s not my entire business, but it’s still you know, I, I’ve, I’ve been a fan putting in lately since since I saw the opportunity, and I saw the the ability for like, the just the individual to make to have that kind of reach with like, very few marketing dollars. That’s what I find so incredible. And so the opportunity is right, like really, really fresh still. So, yeah,
Andrew Undem 21:23
I mean, it’s fertile soil. And like, if you follow Scott at all, like the book you just put out, it’s gonna be awesome. I did order it, by the way that hasn’t came yet. But this guy’s an amazing influence on LinkedIn. And it’s because you have to do you have to create the content, and everyone kind of has a hard time with that? Do I look, okay? Is what I’m saying good enough? Am I gonna be able to impact somebody? Do I need a better guest. And then even if you can cross that bridge, in capture this content with some decent audio and video, you have to know how to distribute it. And in my world, that is very important for hyperlocal real estate’s hyperlocal. So just answer your question, like, we went so big on branding, because we want to be known as the people who do it right the first time, get it done. You know, if you think hiring us is expensive, try hiring someone else, when you have to list it twice, go cheap, and do it twice, kind of thing is every business.
Scott D Clary 22:20
Now Now, one thing I like to pull out of this just like you know, your agents, how comfortable are they selling like this? Because I don’t see, again, a lot of brands doing this. So when they when they join when they join your group? Is that sort of like, a little bit uncomfortable for somebody that’s been selling for, you know, 20 years, 30 years?
Andrew Undem 22:38
You know, it can be and it’s not like we run this Auschwitz camp where it’s like, you have to do it this way. Yeah, we like to grow people on and everyone does things a little bit differently. So the way I sell is going to be different than the way you sell, it’s going to be different than the way you know each agent on our team sells. But what we want to do is we want to give them the canvas, hand them the right tools, hey, this is available to you this is at your disposal, and show them a lot of examples. Like I think one of the things we’ve done well, at the share sales group here in Baltimore, is we lead from the front, I’m not asking people to do things that I’m not doing all the time myself. And it’s very often than when you grow a team, that the CEO or president these Realtors call themselves CEOs all time I find it hilarious. I’m just a realtor like everyone else I happen to kind of manage some of the deals. But what this managing partner will do, will take themselves out and just direct everyone else wants to do in this collect. And that’s okay for a little bit. But this market changes so much in industry changes so much just like all of our industries. And if you’re not sitting at the kitchen tables, even what you kill, understanding the buyer and seller personas and how they’re changing and different technology comes into the marketplace, and different disruptors come in, we’re going to fall behind. So all we do is try to we’re in it every day. And we have our weekly meeting, and we share and say look, this is what works for me. Like last week, I just did a whole presentation on why 2008 crisis is different than this COVID-19 mad all the charts. And I got like 10 referrals from God, it was crazy. I blasted it out to my database. Say I wouldn’t try to sell anything. This is why we think this is different. There’s a lot more equity equity in homes now, people haven’t been borrowing like crazy. The appreciation hadn’t been crazy before this and yada yada yada. And I just shared that with my team and said Look, you guys should probably consider doing this. Rip off my presentation. Do it yourself. So we we do a lot of encouraging, but you don’t have to do it. But if you’re not going to do the behavior that we know leads to results don’t come crying to me that you’re not hitting your goals. Because it’s
Scott D Clary 24:58
I like that the lead from the front I like the way you put that. And I think that’s very relevant. It also speaks to it, there’s, there’s so many things that you can take out of that. Like you’re setting by example, like showing what works, giving them the tools, doing it first. And I think that that can be used in any organization, right to make employees feel comfortable, use it as a training tool, use it as an onboarding tool. But I think that a lot of the things that I, you know, when I speak to you and I, and I hear you speak about how you run your firm, in all seriousness, I really enjoy it, because there’s so many things that you’ve done, whether or not intuitively or through trial and error, just, you know, iterating and seeing what works, what doesn’t, you’re obviously very self aware of what works and what doesn’t, because even leading from the front doing things before asking people to do them. It seems like such a, you know, common sense thing to do, but how many people do know, like leaders that don’t do that. And they’re just saying, you know, do more or do this, and they don’t even know how to do it themselves. Like, it’s, I don’t know, if you have thoughts on, on, on leadership as a, you know, outside of real estate, but I’ve seen that a lot, to be quite honest, where people don’t take that attitude. And I think that’s why a lot of leadership fails. A lot of, there’s a lot of high turnover and sales. A lot of people leave sales organizations, because they feel like, you know, they’re just being told to do more and not being told how to do it. And these are all issues that a lot of companies deal with.
Andrew Undem 26:22
Yeah, it’s like, don’t tell me show me. Like, I like say, we play this game called Show downtown, I’m going to show you, I’m not sure what happens, a lot of these managers will go to a conference or they listen to someone like you speak and you drop some really good ideas. And in our world, we’re heavy on video. That’s something people are uncomfortable with putting themselves out there. So they go to a conference say, hey, videos, really important look, and I’ll lead you’ll get if you do this right on Facebook, and they come back to their team and say you guys got to do all this, you want to get the lead in anyone can do that. Like any idiot can come in and just give you a good idea. But the where the rubber meets the road to the execution. And that’s another thing that’s been beaten to death ideas or shared executions, everything. But if you peel back a little bit deeper, you have to be really self aware. And kind of, you have to have your EQ button at a high level on how it feels when you are executing something, you might be able to actually take someone along the ride with you. Okay, I know it’s uncomfortable. I know that. You might not like the way this looks. Let’s try it anyway. I’ll stand here and give you some lines. Or I’ll leave if that makes you uncomfortable, too. Because sometimes it’s weird when someone’s over your shoulder. Yeah, yeah. And sometimes other people like it. And it’s, you just have to, and that’s leading from the front, it’s given. It’s just like we want to give our clients what, what they want, and want to give our employees and the people who are helping, and we’re working together, give them what they want. But everybody’s different.
Scott D Clary 27:53
Yeah. I wanted to, I have a couple questions that are actually just more focused on like, bringing out your knowledge about like, what’s going on with it, because I think this will be very topical because we want to listen to obviously like the how you built and how you know you’ve built success. But I also want to understand your I guess, viewpoint on what’s happening to real estate market with like Coronavirus, if you don’t mind going down that road, I would love to get some of your thoughts on that as well. But I want to before I do that, I guess for you know how you built this business and where you want to go into the future? Let’s let’s, let’s close that off. So I think that my question to you would be you’ve built this agency you built successfully, you have the leadership lessons, the sales lessons and marketing lessons that you’ve all done, and you’re sort of you continuing to do, obviously very well. What do you see? Or what are your goals for the agency? Where do you want to take it?
Andrew Undem 28:49
Yeah, that’s a good question. I think about that a lot. And one of the main goals has been, and still is that I wanted to get to a point where we’re selling 1000 homes a year. You know, it’s like three a day, right? Very hard to do. And there’s a handful of people who have done it, but everyone who has accomplished that has done with these teams that are like 100 people, 150 people where, you know, agent, Z doesn’t no agent, a and this kind of huge web, I want to try to do that with like, less than 30 people, 30 agents, now we’re going to anything staff. And that’s doable. I mean, every agent would be having to sell like 36 units a year, three a month, get 30 people selling three a month to get to 1000 pretty quickly. So that’s the goal. And it’s gonna be very hard to do because, and this has happened to us. We’ve had very low turnover, but people do leave. And I’m proud of them when they leave. It’s scary to go out on your own and leave our umbrella to do your own thing. So you have to really have really good retention. But that’s the goal and we want to arm people that hey, I want to be around other A players. And if you’re going to be an A player, you You would have the wherewithal and capability to go do this yourself. So I am okay with that. So that’s the hardest part is how do I keep 30 Navy SEALs together when they want to go do their own thing. So you really have to be the keeper of the vision and never, never take your foot off the gas of that either because it’s tough. And if you if the team doesn’t follow that vision, they’re gonna go follow somebody else’s vision.
Scott D Clary 30:27
Yeah, no, I agree. What I wanted to what I want to ask, I want to get your opinion on this, because this is obviously relevant to leadership, and this is you’ll still make sense. It’s relevant to leadership. It’s because you’re in real estate. I follow. I’m sure you know him Ryan, sir. Hart Serhan, excuse me, like the Million Dollar Listing guy. And he was speaking about an agency that had fired a lot of their real estate agents in in wake of COVID 19 Coronavirus, and I don’t know this story. So I’m curious as to what like why would that ever happen in real estate? And and what kind of agency would do that? None of this makes any sense to me. To be quite honest,
Andrew Undem 31:11
I don’t get a couple of things. I’ve met Ryan, sir him virtually. He came into our sales meeting at the end of 2019 to give our team a pep talk. And it was awesome. And I get to call Brian Serhan all the time, because I’m gray hair I guess or something like that. But people always say you look like that guy. And it’s flattering because he’s like a big deal. And I’m not. So it’s Ryan Serhan. Or anyone who knows Ryan through and if he’s watching I told him when we’re on this conference call. Million Dollar Listing. I can get to New York in three and a half hours. You show the penthouse. I’ll show the first floor. I’ll be many Ryan, sir. Hang on, like 510. Six for wear the same suit. It’s quality television, guys. Million Dollar Listing. Side note to that. What he was talking about was Redfin, which is this tech company that came into our industry and they had a bunch of salaried agents. And they get a little bonus when they sell a house. And a lot of people give them a hard time about it. I think it’s an interesting model. I actually bought bought some of the stock at one point, I thought it made sense. They seemed like some smart people running the show. But Ryan went on this diatribe about how it’s so unfair, that you’re gonna just take these people’s jobs away. But what he was really doing was bashing this this company, this tech company, who thought they could come in when the market was great. And use all these people. And then there’s a minute it gets hard. Just wipe them out, which is kind of what I understand.
Scott D Clary 32:43
That’s also that’s also really shitty. That’s still very shitty.
Andrew Undem 32:49
Yeah, and he made a lot of good points. I think I was watching the same thing. I think you put it out on LinkedIn. Is him just sitting in his living room?
Scott D Clary 32:56
Yeah, exactly. No, I have I think I can’t remember. I’m like a second connection. Or if I’m actually connected to him, I tried to get him I’m trying to message him get him on the show. He hasn’t answered me maybe one day, you know, fingers crossed. But, um, but no, I remember seeing it. And I just I was sitting here like, from like a, a person who’s not involved with not a, I enjoy understanding real estate as an investment opportunity, but I’m definitely not as heavily into it as you are. So I just I didn’t make any sense to me knowing the traditional model for like a realtor was zero, you know, $0 salary. So that’s what
Andrew Undem 33:30
if a realtor needs a salary, you probably don’t want them working for you. Because I mean, they’re what I call an indoor cat, an indoor cat needs to be fed, they can’t go out and kill anything and eat themselves like an outdoor cat. If you’re going to go buy or sell probably maybe your most expensive asset, you know, half million million dollars. You don’t want the indoor cat you don’t want someone who couldn’t make it in the in the real world. So they took a salary and they’re just playing this game with the tech companies feeding them all the time. You want your agent to be, of course, you have to have empathy and compassion, but you also need them to be a this is cutthroat. If I’m representing you, I will get you every penny we possibly can. I’m going to get the deal done. I’m going to get you what you want. Now you’re going to go with somebody who’s built built a company who has all the resources a crazy track record selling hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate every year, where Sally, she’s got a five star rating on Redfin. She has a 50k salary, you’re in good hands, good luck. Of course, some people don’t, especially when the market gets hard. Of course, you’re not hiring family, friends, and you’re gonna want someone you trust, someone’s going to put their money where their mouth is someone who Oh, by the way, you don’t give them a penny until they deliver you what you want. So
Scott D Clary 34:43
so so that makes more sense to me now knowing that their salary is not great. It’s always you know, horrible when when mass layoffs and I think that I think that anybody who is still working and still making money right now is very fortunate and they don’t have to rely on a stimulus checks here in the States or there’s some opportunities where I’m not in Canada So it’s just it is very, it’s very sad, but it’s definitely not the same. It’s not the same as laying off a whole bunch of individuals who didn’t make any money in the first place. So it makes it makes more sense, but still what’s happening with real estate and Coronavirus, like why why would they? So? A lot of companies are, in my opinion, having knee jerk reactions.
Andrew Undem 35:22
Scott D Clary 35:23
why would a real estate company have a knee jerk reaction? What are they noticing is just nothing selling nothing moving markets are down right? Like what’s what is the general atmosphere of real estate because you obviously see it you live it every day.
Andrew Undem 35:37
Well, we’re still pretty bullish at least here. Now. Everything is hyperlocal. So you got to keep that in mind. I’m here in Baltimore. Baltimore’s one of these areas that beautiful place doesn’t get nationally recognized as a beautiful place. Unfortunately, but but Baltimore city this is home to some 13 original colonies stuff. This is east coast you got Yeah, Ironman Cal Ripken, ravens Orioles, Inner Harbor amazing brick row homes, incredible downtown neighborhoods. You don’t hear about that. You just hear about crime Baltimore up. So the reason I mentioned that is because over the last three to four years, everywhere else around the country was appreciating really hot, everything was good economics were so strong, everyone’s super bullish stock market, everything was going up. Baltimore really wasn’t. It just stayed the same. So Baltimore is pretty resilient in the fact that what goes up does tend to come down when things you know, when should it Baltimore was never up. So it’s also not really gone down that much. The value is really stable. So we’re lucky with that. But nationally, a couple of slides, I was looking at him. Here’s why people don’t really need to freak out in the real estate sector. And I looked at this and I thought it was really compelling. Before Oh, a home prices were going up insane. Like every year 10% 10% from 2000 to 2005. It was just jumping. hasn’t done that. Okay, so price is probably not out of whack. In terms of appreciation, too, is there’s not hardly any inventory in us. In the United States. There’s an inventory shortage of homes. Back when the bubble burst, and oh, eight tons of inventory. That overbuilt tons of options. They use a ton
Scott D Clary 37:19
of the reasons that led to the crash in the first place. Was all this financing giving it to people that couldn’t Yeah,
Andrew Undem 37:25
yeah, well, his club was crazy. Everyone was able to get alone. And then even with that there was tons of inventory in the market. There’s just it was everything was over built was a really bad situation. So that’s another thing. That’s just apples and oranges. We have low inventory. Now we have low inventory prices tend to go up. Right if there’s not as much, of course. Yeah. So it’s basic. Third is the financings cheaper now, and, and the people are making more money, it requires less of your median income to buy a house now and it’s hidden away. That’s another thing. And then one of the major ones is people aren’t using their homes as ATMs anymore. Back before 2008 People are sucking out on average 200 to 300 billion a year home equity line of credit. They’re not doing that. There’s a ton of equity in homes now. And then finally, here’s a real interesting stat in the last five recessions. And we’re probably going to go into one which is why bring it up in the last five. Home values went up three in the last 519 80, up 6% in 1981, up three and a half percent 1991, barely down 2% 2001, recession, home values up 6%. And then of course in 2008, and drop 20%. But just because you’re in a recession, for real estate, that doesn’t necessarily mean your asset, if you are a property owner is going to go down. And based on those things. I said, Hey, there’s low inventory, people have equity, people are making more money. The macro factors are pretty decent for them. Now what we don’t know here in the US is apparently we just lost 22 million jobs now grows every week. Yeah, that’s a problem. So, so
Scott D Clary 39:16
I just I just wanted to get your insight on that. Because I just found that it sort of led me to think about the market itself when I when I saw that clip. But I you know, so many, it’s more than just it’s more than just people looking at markets and making decisions at this point. I think people are just it’s just emotions that are driving a ton of decisions, which is the worst way to do business doesn’t matter what it is. But
Andrew Undem 39:42
I mean, that’s a warren buffett always says, you know, when everyone else is fearful, it’s time to be greedy. And you get vilified for saying things like that.
Scott D Clary 39:52
But it’s not you know, I can see the history and see that Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, no, that’s I appreciate The same and that’s good. Obviously, you’re not you’re not, you’re not stressed right now. But the markets are, like you said in Baltimore in particular, but I guess we have to see what happens.
Andrew Undem 40:10
We can only focus on what you can control. I learned that a long time ago, all these external factors, job loss virus, the rate of the spread the politics, which is just gross, all there’s all these things. You can’t let that impact you, if you’re a business owner, if you’re in sales, and your job is to, you know, hit your quota, or help XYZ customers, you can’t let that interfere with you, you got to focus on what you can control. And that is, it’s a lot more than you think. But it’s hard, very tough to do.
Scott D Clary 40:44
Do you find do you find, and this is something that I’m finding in my business, and in my company, like we’re having to try new things, we’re having to do different positioning just iterating on the marketing style campaign messaging, you know, the way we reach out the conversations we have when we reach out, to be to be quite honest, I found that because of Coronavirus, has made everyone just be a better marketer, a better salesperson, because now you’re leading with empathy, you know, 10 out of 10 times what you should have been doing anyways. And I’ve posted a couple times on this, like how to connect with people when everybody’s stressed out. And it’s really just caring about what matters to them first and being authentic and being empathetic and having and not being like, I don’t know, just cheap in the traditional sales vibe that you get from not everybody, but a lot of people when they’re selling Oh, yeah. So I think that it’s just forcing people to be better. And you know, like now the marketing campaigns and what I find works and what I am doing now with with my own with my own sales, my own marketing is, is to take out any sort of feel of automation, being very careful about you’re sending an email blast like you can, you can not only if you’re not hitting that right person, or if it’s not a custom tailored message to that person. It’s like it’s gonna blow up in your face. And I’ve seen, you know, comments on on LinkedIn as a reference point. People saying like, you know, I got this message and because I got this message at this time, while Coronavirus, everyone’s stressed out. Normally I just delete it. But because I got this insensitive, insensitive, it’s probably just like a, you know, like a boilerplate message blast out, during this time, I’m not going to do business with you, even when times are good, because you’re you know, you’re so so into whatever. So I think that it’s just forcing everyone to be a little bit better be a little bit more human. That’s what I would hope I think that everyone’s stressed out. But I think that marketing and sales practice across the board, in my opinion has definitely just made everyone a better commercial professional. So I’m hoping that that kind of continues. But I was wondering if the way you work with clients, the way you approach clients, where you market, the clients, anything changed, for sure group for your team.
Andrew Undem 42:51
Yeah, and you kind of nail that, that you have, if you’re not leading with empathy right now and connecting in an authentic one on one level with people that you’re showing that you’re really care, it’s probably not going to land. But the caveat is, if you try to please everybody, all the time, you’re gonna end up pleasing no, but it’s you can’t be afraid to still put yourself out there and brand what you feel is true, honest and accurate and a good reflection of the way you do. So you can’t be crippled by the fear that someone on LinkedIn might take a shot at you. That’s okay. And that’s always always going to happen. So, yeah, we’re doing a lot of things differently a lot. Obviously, a lot of people don’t want to leave their house or go into someone else’s house. When you’re brokering real estate back. It’s really interesting. We’re doing a ton of virtual things. As we talked about before, we’re already pretty heavy on video and technology. So we’ve had a leg up here,
Scott D Clary 43:46
it’s helpful. Yeah.
Andrew Undem 43:48
But when I told my team in was that imagine, just imagine, Scott, if you could pull a lever, and have all your competition take two months off. Can you imagine what a gift that’s like winning the lottery, if I can pull this lever, and all my competition stops marketing, they go into a hole. That’s kind of what we have right now. This right now is the best opportunity that we’re probably going to see in a long time to really connect authentically with people, put yourself out there, do all the things you know you need to be doing. And you’re going to start really catching, catching up to your competition or creating more separation from them. So that’s the mindset that you have to have in times like that. Focus on what you can control, get it done your competition sleeping, you need to be working twice as hard.
Scott D Clary 44:39
I love it. And I and I love that. You know, you mentioned that he pulled that lever everyone takes two months off, the noise is so significantly reduced right now. So when you come in with an authentic message, that message can be heard. And it could have been authentic before but it could have been you know, you look at all the doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. You’re just getting bombarded nonstop. And it’s very hard. That’s That’s the difficulty. That’s the game of sales and marketing, right? So now you have the opportunity to deliver that authentic authenticity, your true self true brand to company, your true persona as a salesperson, and really get in with customers. So you know what I actually like that I like that a lot. So now is not the time to, to relax now is just the time to end. Now, I still think that if you’re selling something that people don’t have the attitude or aptitude or ability to purchase, or they’re just stressed, like, I think that now is maybe not the time in some, some markets to focus on, on building a connection to sell, I think it could just be building a connection to build a connection, which is something, again, is very important in sales, building a connection to potentially potentially sell in the future. But if not, it doesn’t matter, because you’re going to be seen as that person that actually cared about your clients. And I saw I saw something that I actually really liked. It’s like right now, there’s the best way to separate your sales and marketing activities is to divide your clientele into two camps. One of them is the the industry that just you know, laid off 200 500,000 employees, they’re going bankrupt, you know, you they’re, they’re not doing well. And that’s the people that you reach out to you say, Hey, how are you doing? How are you? How’s your family doing? Like, let’s chat, you know, if you watch Tiger King on Netflix, like, what what’s going on in your life right now, like, and not a single word of commercial activity or anything, and that’s one can. And then the other camp is people that can still buy, like, you know, if you’re selling to zoom, you’re not going to stop selling, reselling, to Netflix, you’re not going to stop selling, you’re selling to probably in real estate, a lot of people to sell people stuff to move people stop that, you know, you’re not going to stop but you just it’s just starting with empathy. So if you divide those two those two camps, I think you’re gonna be pretty safe. But yeah, you’re right. The opportunity is is definitely right there. Very, very, I like that. I like the lever analogy. I’ve never heard that before. But it’s valid. This is like, you know, everyone’s quiet.
Andrew Undem 46:53
Scott D Clary 46:57
Yeah.That’s all I got for for for casual chitchat about Coronavirus and real estate man, I you know, you know this, I’m sure you you. We did this once before, and I screwed it up. And that was my bad. But this is take two and I’m happy we did it. And I think that I hope you’re happy with this i the stuff we talked about and chatted about we didn’t get into the first one. So I’m happy to be went there. But the way I like to close it off. I like to you know, this is an origin story about you, but how you got to where you are today. So a couple of life lessons to pull like out of you. One question I like to ask is obviously a lesson that you tell your younger self?
Andrew Undem 47:37
You still hear me by the way? I feel like I hear my your body your pods dying? Can you hear me?
Scott D Clary 47:42
I can hear you fine. Yeah, you’re good. You’re good. Cool, cool.
Andrew Undem 47:46
tell my younger self. I forget what I how I answered this last time. But I think I gave a good answer. But I think that the biggest one for me is never stop investing in yourself with the, with the types of training that you’re going to need to excel in business. Because there’s no better investment than investing in yourself. You can buy all this stuff, you know, stocks, bonds, legitimate investments, but nothing’s gonna pay the dividends of you trying to get better with your skills, with your technique, with your attitude with just learning from people standing on the shoulders of giants who’ve been there before you. So I was lucky that I did kind of do that as a 22 year old I was in like the sales training all the time. And I never stopped. I can only imagine if I started doing that at 18. While I was in college, I would have been that much further along. So like what I look forward to telling my son who’s one years old is invest in yourself start now. And of course no one year old not have no most college who’ve done what they want to do when they grow up. But when you do now, you go all in and you never stop investing in the training.
Scott D Clary 49:01
I think I think the answer was along those lines, to be honest, but it’s a good answer. And I think that that’s why I remember this. It allowed me to easily dovetail into the next question, which is where do you go to learn? You know, mentors, podcast books, audibles, whatever doesn’t matter. What’s,
Andrew Undem 49:18
what’s your go to? Well, I’m on podcasts a lot these days. And I read a lot of books who I have some behind is going to be right now. This is an old one is the Steve Jobs by Disney here, tech boy is a thick boy. But where do I go to learn? Well, luckily, I’m still really close with a bunch of sales consulting friends of mine who see all kinds of unique things from different perspectives. So I like to take what other industries are doing and put it into my industry, which is a good tactic, not just for sales, but for anything what’s working in, you know, big tech that we could use in our neck of the world. So I like to be around people who sharpen sharpen me up, you know, people sharpen people. But I listened to a lot of podcasts, a lot of sales stuff. And I watch a lot of your content because I kept reaching out to you. And thanks so much for having me.
Scott D Clary 50:10
You hyped me up too much?
Andrew Undem 50:15
Well, it’s true. Like I saw your stuff like, this guy’s on top of his stuff. I want to get on there and just throw myself out there. But like Tim Ferriss, I’m not sure if you listen to his podcast here.
Scott D Clary 50:25
I do. I love it. I love it.
Andrew Undem 50:28
He’s one of my favorites. Currently, podcasts, books, and then just being around people who can make you better.
Scott D Clary 50:35
Yeah, very good. If people want to get in touch with you, where do they go? Is you know social website? What’s, what’s your thing?
Andrew Undem 50:45
I’m easy to find my kind of hashtag name across all social media. It’s just my name Andrew on them. I think I’m at on them on Instagram. You can find us at sure sales group.com. And if there’s ever anything I can do for anyone watching. If you want to pick my brain on anything we’re doing. I’m always happy to connect because I’m sure there’s things I can learn from you too. And I really appreciate the opportunity and the platform that Scott provided to share a little bit today. So
Scott D Clary 51:12
yeah, no, that was good. That was good. That’s all I got. Man. Thank you so much for doing that again.
Andrew Undem 51:17
Home Office quarantine edition.
Scott D Clary 51:19
That’s all for today. Thanks again for joining me on another episode of the success story podcast. You can download or stream this podcast wherever podcasts are available, including iTunes, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, I heart, radio, and many others. You can also watch this podcast on YouTube. If you haven’t already. Please subscribe and share this podcast with your friends, family, coworkers and peers. Please leave us a rating on iTunes takes about 30 seconds as it allows other people to find our podcast and lets our amazing guests reach even more people with their message. And remember any rating is fine as long as it contains five stars. I’m Scott Clary from the success story podcast signing off