Justin Udy, CEO of Justin Udy & Team Real Estate, got his start in the real estate industry over a decade ago aggressively buying and flipping properties around the Salt Lake City, Utah area.
Since then, he's built up a successful team of agents behind him, co-authored a book entitled "Winning Real Estate" and racked up numerous accolades along the way. Most recently, he and his team were named the “Large Sales Team Of The Year” by the Salt Lake Board of REALTORS®.
Here, Udy chats with us about utilizing your database to connect with agents and stay top of mind with clients, as well as what he sees as the next big trend in real estate.
What first drew you to the real estate industry?
The week before I graduated college, one of my high school friends called me during finals. He told me how he was doing loans and that I could make zero dollars or as much as I wanted. I left the call center life and became a loan officer—I was used to being on the phone and quickly became successful. When I had a $10k month, I started buying properties and flipping homes. When I referred the 15th client to my agent in a two-month time frame, he told me that I should really consider getting my license...best advice ever.
And how did you end up at CENTURY 21?
It took some hard times to get me to CENTURY 21. My primary brokerage shut their doors in 2007 with the market meltdown and I went to another small boutique brokerage. Unfortunately, I was their only high producer out of over 20 agents and they were bleeding so badly that at one point they owed me $70,000 in commissions. I called a friend that was a broker at CENTURY 21 and explained the hemorrhage occurring. I told him that I thought I could orchestrate a merger of the agents to his office, but would need his help talking to the owners. It took a couple months, but the boutique brokerage paid me, the agents merged into the CENTURY 21 system and everyone was happy.
What was your biggest obstacle as an agent?
There were always seasons that I was trying to figure out how to hire the right people, find the right systems, decide on the right marketing and get leads. Those were all big obstacles. However, the biggest obstacle I've had is figuring out how to always stay ahead of the real estate market. I always ask myself, "What's next?" Staying top of mind and in front of the industry with changes in technology, social media and how clients consume content takes forethought and constant improvement.
You've grown quite a large team in just over 10 years in the industry, what are some tips you have for growing a successful real estate team?
Grow a team for the right reasons. Really think about why you want to start a team. When you have a real purpose you're working toward, it keeps you pushing that rock uphill. You also have to realize that you now have a stewardship and responsibility for your team; you work for them, it's not the other way around. They are sinking their time, energy and livelihood into your dream. Therefore, knowing why you're starting a team and having a real purpose behind it will drive it forward even in the toughest times.
How have different emerging technologies aided your ability to grow and train your team?
Technology is a part of every piece of our business now. From finding the right people, using systems, implementing marketing and generating leads, technology has given us an edge and for me it's the ultimate leverage. It has allowed us to generate more business, find the right people to help us grow and allows us to have a consistent training system.
Everything from Google Docs to track agents' productivity, virtual meetings to discuss issues and online video training courses have been created for our agents. It allows me to scale my time and provide value to agents even if I may not be in the office. At the end of the day, technology allows me to lead, manage and keep people accountable at a much higher level; plus it allows me to focus on big deals that will help the team in the future.
You've been very successful in building a database, how do you utilize it to get the highest ROI possible?
Your database is really the most valuable asset in your business. The world is so noisy and people establish new relationships all the time, therefore, we're in the business of keeping relationships. We have a 50+ touch program, which ranges from sending out educational videos every month to monthly market updates from quarterly newsletters to inviting them to client events. We call [our clients] quarterly with the intent of making them aware of what's happening in the market, notifying them of changes and just being a consistent resource for them. The key is always being top of mind, so they reach out to you when they need real estate assistance.
What’s the next big trend going to be in real estate?
Social media. If you're not seen, you cannot do business. It's so noisy out there and social is how people are connecting and communicating.
Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
We will be selling over 600 homes a year and in a few different locations. I still love investing in real estate and it will always be something I do. However, I see myself spending the majority of my time coaching, building leaders in my businesses and even more time with family and involved with charity. I am excited for the future!
Featured Image: Justin Udy & Team Real Estate