Rodney Wittbrodt

Image of Aaron Pfeffer
Aaron Pfeffer
HubSpot Video

Unknown Speaker 0:02
Hi, everyone, July 28. It is a Thursday it is time for 30 minutes with Spyglass lending. Thank you very much for joining us today. We've got a good one. We've got a great guest, someone I've known now, not that long. But in such a short period of time we've gotten to know each other very well. We've already done some business together, which is always cool. Good man. Great person, Rodney wit Brode. He is a real estate agent with Compass. He's a social activist. We're going to hear his story. He's going to tell us a little bit about what's going on in the market and how he sees it. Rodney, welcome to the show. Hello, everyone, Aaron Pfeffer from Spyglass lending. Thank you so much for having me here today. You're an incredible human, you're so good at what you do. And I'm really excited to have this conversation with you about the the world, the real estate market trends and activism. And, of course, I love talking about me. Oh, yeah, well, we're gonna start with that. And we might even end with that, too. So let's get right to it. And I appreciate all the kind words, but man, this is about you. And again, thank you for being here. So Ronnie, let's hear about you. We're just started. Where are you from originally, because so few people are ever from Los Angeles. Wow. That is a loaded question. I'm Rodney Wipro. I'm originally from Flint, Michigan. I'm sure you've heard it all over the news. Yes, for all the wrong reasons, sometimes for all the wrong reasons. But I can highlight Flint and say that it is a really cool metropolitan city that allowed me to become the man that I am today. I was valedictorian of my high school, I went to the University of Michigan, go blue, go Wolverines. I just came back from Spain, and I saw Michigan shirts everywhere. So pride for University of Michigan is loud and proud throughout the whole world. Um, I graduated, I started working in insurance for 12 years. For let's put a pause on that. So you graduated from from school and went directly into insurance? Or what, what? What were your degree? Yeah, okay, tell us what your degree was in it admission, my degree from U of M was theater, because world, All the world's a stage. Sure, um, I also dual degree in social justice, advocacy. So I have a degree and creating equality among communities and groups, and through dialogue. And it was one of the first certificates ever offered at the University of Michigan, and an intergroup relations and social justice advocacy. So Jack of all trades. And before I went in, before, right after I graduated, I was hired by this incredible sales manager. And I think that's the reason why I went into insurance was it because of the relationship that I had with the sales manager and the connection that I had, and it just happened to be an insurance.

Unknown Speaker 2:51
I ended up staying there for 12 years after a throughout, I was a sales manager. I was a top agents throughout the country, with Liberty Mutual, and I definitely taught me all the skills that I think are important for me to have today in the world of real estate, no doubt. And look, you know, I've known you again this year period of time, but you are one of the better sales people I've ever come across. salesperson to lower for sure. And it sounds like you've cut your teeth for over a decade in insurance doing I mean, there's no better industry, right? I mean, to really break through even more than real estate, insurances, because everybody needs it, nobody wants it. And you got to convince them, you know, not only do you need all of this, but you better let me do it for you. Yeah, I mean, the great thing about insurance is that it's recession proof. It's something that everyone needs. As you said, the reason why I stayed in it for as long as I did is because of the type of people that I got to interact with and meet, because everyone needs insurance. I met people ranging from, you know, nonprofit, all the way to attorneys, from teachers, to independent contractors to construction workers, I mean, you name it, I was in their living room trying to sell them an intangible product called life insurance. So it's not something you can feel or grasp or touch or love, like you can hugging a house in real estate. But yeah, it was the challenge was offering a service that was intangible, not something that you could feel or touch. But you had to create a story and an understanding or hunting behind the necessity of meeting insurance, having adequate coverage and protecting your family. Shoot, something happened to and it was it was a great experience. I would say that I thrived in it because I just really try to connect and offer something that was suitable for them. So I would I would formulate a package, as they say in the insurance world that was specific to their needs.

Unknown Speaker 5:00
needs by listening and might not seem like that because I'd love to talk. But you really have to just hone in on the cues that they give you sitting down understanding needs and formulating a package that works specifically for that family or, or that individual. It's their life. It's it's, you know, are their families live certainly. So, they're gonna tell you what they want and then you tailor make it for him. Now what by the way, was this in the Midwest? Forgive me was this in the Midwest or Los Angeles that you're doing? It was I hailed from Michigan. Like I said, I'm a University of Michigan, we hail or Victor's? Um, so I held from Michigan. Never forget, never let an Indiana University graduate forget that Michigan is a better school all around.

Unknown Speaker 5:44
Oh, trust me, I am a diehard Michigan fan. And I wear it with pride. Um, I'll say Go Blue. If I see the color blue, and it's not even a Michigan shirt.

Unknown Speaker 5:55
Yeah, you got to be more specific. But um, so yeah, I started in Michigan, where I was there for 10 years selling insurance with Liberty Mutual, and I knew something was missing. And I knew what that was. It was warm weather. So I decided to migrate over to the West Coast, as many people have. And I worked for Liberty Mutual there for three and a half years in the Elsa Gundo. Office. Was that an easy transition? By the way? Was it just like, hey, man, you went to the to the powers that be back in Michigan and said, get me to the sunshine? Or was it a little harder than that? I thankfully, it was a very easy transition. Liberty Mutual's a large corporation. So really, all I had to do was reach out to a local sales manager. They saw my numbers, and they're like, yes, we want you to come to our office. And they met me in person, and two of them were actually fighting over me. So I was originally supposed to move to San Diego, I tried LA, I ended up connecting really well with a sales manager in Los Angeles. And the rest was history. Unfortunately, they closed down our office, because it was a high risk being in Los Angeles. So they wanted to minimize their exposure. So they relocated everyone in our office to other locations throughout the state. And I decided to take a severance package, travel the world for a year, I met this person in real estate. And I started off as their personal assistant. So I was doing all of their odds and ends and they're, you know, picking up their dry cleaning and grooming the dog. And we're gonna we're gonna get to this person and exactly what you did and what they did specific in real estate and what you did for them and how they helped you cut your teeth and net side of the fence. But you just said you traveled the world for a year. And I think everybody wants to hear a little bit about that for one quick second, where'd you go?

Unknown Speaker 7:51
Oh, I have the honor of going to my favorite place on Earth, which is Australia. I also went to Tasmania and New Zealand, different parts of Mexico. And believe it or not, because I work so much. And as a salesperson, it's really hard to take time off. I very seldom traveled domestically. So I went to many places for the first time, right here in the States. So I was able to travel to places like

Unknown Speaker 8:21
I was gonna say Vancouver but that's Canada. Vancouver is my favorite. Seattle, Oregon, Boston, New York, Miami, Austin, Phoenix, Chicago, which I love so I focused primarily on domestic travel Mexico Australia.

Unknown Speaker 8:43
And adding color to your own life and filling your own cup. And traveling the world is the number one way to rejuvenate to see that there's a world bigger than what we are accustomed to in our own. We get we get trapped we get you know we get so caught up in our own work life that it's it's hard to remember to check back in with yourself and I think by traveling you're able to to check back in and rejuvenate and I encourage anybody who's listening to this take time

Unknown Speaker 9:17
set aside some a lot of time for yourself to travel to save for that those expenses traveling because it's you know, it's it's pretty expensive, but maybe not as expensive as you thought. Yeah. Especially if you're backpacking and do it young do it. Well. You have the energy and the health and you could sleep on the floor somewhere that's always helpful. So you got back to LA and you met an individual who was in real estate how that happened.

Unknown Speaker 9:41
A friend of mine was

Unknown Speaker 9:44
you knew that I had been in mind you I was actually just dipping my toe in the world of acting and background acting. So while I was in my hiatus, and when I was traveling, I also did some acting, theater diploma to good work right? Yeah, I might

Unknown Speaker 10:00
i, i The world is a stage. So every one that I interact with, you know, you have to kind of just who you are, and speak at their level. So I think the life life, life is a stage as they say. But I was able to, I was in a bunch of commercials. I'm a professional hip hop dancer, I was able to choreograph some music videos, I was able to grab some concerts, dance with some celebrities dance with some singers. So I really took that time to kind of do the things that I was never really able to do being in Michigan, and also being consumed with insurance. So that was kind of my introduction to this person. They they just needed an assistant.

Unknown Speaker 10:46
And I decided to try that out. I'm really, really good at multitasking. I would say that I'm a supporter. So somebody who's able to say, Hey, give me a task list. What can I do to make your life easier? I did really well. And hap he happened to be in the world of real estate.

Unknown Speaker 11:03
And I started, you know, with showings, I started with, you know, contracts and paperwork. They were an agent where they invest in themselves as well, or was it is it just agency. It was an an independent agent, under a brokerage. So I worked for this individual who was under a brokerage as all agents have to be under their own brokerage unless they have their own broker's license. So I was instrumental in all facets of his business. And what really kept my interest was the process of listing a property for sale. So from the beginning to meeting with the client, understanding what can we do to freshen this up or stage it to really make the listing sing, so it gets more exposure and more showing requests, we take beautiful photos. So the process of listing a property was why I was why I became so interested in real estate and I love people. I know that's a cliche statement. But I love

Unknown Speaker 12:10
understanding how people work and where they come from and their background, and being able to adjust your who you are to their needs. And real estate is a perfect conduit for all of that. I can't I can't think of a better industry for robbing Woodbrook, to be honest with you. So that that makes a lot of sense. And you know, at this point, now, we're close to five years with you in Los Angeles, right? Because you did the three and a half and Elsa Gundo working in insurance, and then the other you took a year off and or maybe a little over five, it's over. Yeah. So I actually, you're looking to this individual where I moved here in 2014. So I've been in Los Angeles for nine years, almost nine years now. But I'm in I'm in a bit at this point in time after working for just that year, for that individual. So, so close to five years. And let's talk about some other the other degree that you have have, that you had from the University of Michigan. So a little bit of activism, a little bit of social, what was it? You said? What was the degree again, intergroup relations and social justice advocacy. Okay, so tell us a bit about that, and what you were getting involved in on the ground floor here in Los Angeles. So as somebody who's from a low income, low income family from Flint, Michigan,

Unknown Speaker 13:20
I have always been around individuals who have experienced lack of resources, lack of education, lack of support, lack of funding.

Unknown Speaker 13:31
And it is mainly in minority or underprivileged communities. And so I was introduced to this program at the University of Michigan called intergroup relations and social justice advocacy. Because I've always been someone who is in support of finding equal rights, understanding disparities and communities and trying to bridge the gaps, and connecting with people in different communities and trying to understand because the knowledge is power, the more you understand about a group of people or an individual,

Unknown Speaker 14:10
the gap between you and that disparity will will shorten. So I love understanding people, I love understanding how people work. And you find that when you speak with somebody, you understand that you have so many commonalities, and so few differences, and you can find the beauty in the differences that you do have with them. And so this program really allowed me to, you know, meet a person of color for the first time or a person who identifies as gay, lesbian or bisexual and really understanding that there are a lot fewer differences between myself and them, and then I can relate to them and I build trust. And so, you know, I just really wanted to be a part of a bigger picture. So

Unknown Speaker 15:00
But the program really was just about creating diversity in the workplace and in my own life, and understanding groups that I thought were so much different than me that actually aren't. So stringing commonalities and promoting awareness and diversity, especially in the gay and lesbian community, which I am a part of, and always have been, and just finding a voice and finding outlets. For me as a gay man coming from an underprivileged, and low income family growing up and always kind of fighting my way through life has made me a bigger person has created, I like to say that I have one of the biggest hearts you'll ever meet. So, you know, I think, by the way, again, in a short period of time, I'm gonna, I'm gonna back that up, this man has one of the bigger hearts that I have come across. And the Yelp review, or the Google review that you left me really shows that and I, I framed it, it's it, it's living rent free in my memory is, as everyone says, I meant every word. Thank you. But yeah, I think it's important as a business person, or, as someone who's interacting with all different types of people, especially in Los Angeles, I mean, we're a melting pot here is to understand everyone and be open and vulnerable and have an open heart, as they say, to differences and finding the beauty in those differences, finding color and texture in your in those differences. So you can see commonalities, and you can relate, and you can identify, because it's really the only way to grow as someone who's running their own business, especially in real estate, I am an independent contractor, who is responsible for connecting with all different types of people. That's how my business thrives. So from my social media posts, to the people I interact with, to the different communities of I'm a part of,

Unknown Speaker 17:09
it's important to just continuously outreaching, to exploring, asking questions, relating, and really just being vulnerable and open hearted, you know, tremendous, and obviously, you know, applicable, often to business, you know, not to, to bring it back to that, but especially in the world of real estate, when you're ultimately

Unknown Speaker 17:33
dealing with so many people. And it's a great way to bring awareness, you know, and a great way to not only, you know, vibe with everyone on a daily basis and get into network to network, but it really sets the tone for what you want to do. And it's a really nice duality to it. I think all of us feel that in this business. So let's get back to that for a second. Because obviously, after the year that you had cut your teeth working with this particular agent, and sounds like doing very well, did you end up branching out on your own or what happened exactly?

Unknown Speaker 18:00
Well, I think a lot of the feedback that I got from other agents that I was working with, and the actual the agent that I was working for and under was you should really do this on your own, I have the knowledge base.

Unknown Speaker 18:16
A lot of agents and assistants actually go into being an assistant because they want to eventually learn the ropes and breakout on their own. And I had really never, I think that being somebody who is who's from the community that I'm from, and the environment that I lived in, I kind of thought very small, and I didn't really think that I was able to sell a million dollar property the idea behind being somebody who can help someone with with, you know, that kind of money or that kind of investment in themselves. I never really thought that big. And so being someone's assistant allowed me to see kind of like peeling back the layers of real estate and understanding it step by step, I created this confidence within myself that I and I created purpose. And I created this confidence that I could do this, I can sell millions of dollars of real estate I can

Unknown Speaker 19:14
Why stop at just a million multi million, right? I closed on a $3 million property and I closed on a $2.25 million property with you. So that was a good one, supporting my clients from A to Z and providing the most professional streamline communicative service that I've ever seen with a lender and we're here to argue but I appreciate that they kind of gave me that feedback. I'm just giving you back the facts. That's it.

Unknown Speaker 19:45
So um, yeah, I think that I was just ready to sink my teeth into real estate. And I built myself up to this point and understanding and acquire

Unknown Speaker 20:00
We all have these tools along the way. So why not put them to use. And literally all it takes is just trying just see what happens. I mean, even me being on this podcast today is this is my first time being on a podcast. So thank you, Erin, for this opportunity. But I like to say the more you try, and the more you invest in yourself, you're going to be surprised in the end result. So real estate is I was born to do it. And I would not have had this confidence if I didn't try. So I'm thankful for my experience being a personal assistant transitioning into being their real estate assistant and their director of estates. And now being my own agent with a with the largest brokerage in the country compass. Let's talk about them for a second, if I may, you know, compass is an incredible company, they have shot to the top of the rankings, just in the past couple of years. What do you think makes them so special?

Unknown Speaker 20:57
I think we're why'd you join? Yeah, I think that what drives compass is the fact that it's a technology company gone real estate. So at the core compasses is what can we do to streamline our process all through technology? It is, it is the most streamlined company I've ever worked for, from the marketing, from the paperwork to how we're paid how we communicate with clients, the CRMs the there's a manager for everything, from marketing to the agent experience to the sales manager, there, it's just everything is compartment compartmentalized. There's a there's a process for everything. And it's all about what can we do to streamline the agents experience and the clients experience. And that is where I think compass sets themselves apart is creating a seamless experience for the client, and providing me tools and resources to make sure that that that process is as simplified and streamlined as possible, possible. And their encompasses doing well, because of that, that's one niche. But it's also because they're recruiting really great successful agents,

Unknown Speaker 22:19
and offering a lot of resources that weren't available to them before. So it's really just honing in on the agent experience and figuring out ways to keep it moving forward. And the more streamline it is, the more clients you get to find and work with. And I think that that's why compass agents do so well. Those are some pretty good reasons to join a company, I would say. And now, drumroll please. Because I think a lot of people listening are ultimately gonna say, Well, this guy is in real estate agent, and he's on the forefront. And here we are, at the end of July. The Federal Reserve just hiked their rates again, yesterday, the market is shifting beneath our feet, no doubt about it. What are you seeing out there? What has happened in the past six weeks? What do you think's happening in the next six months? Well, I'm glad you asked.

Unknown Speaker 23:04
To date, I have about $11 million of sales under my belt just in 2022. And I would say I do have my finger on the pulse of how the market trends are going on. It is it is a volatile, volatile market. It is ever changing. And I'm sure you've heard the terms ebbs and flows. But there's there's, in one aspect, we are coming off of an unprecedented historic low interest rate. So people were getting 2.5%, which has never been seen before in the history of interest rates. So we were kind of spoiled over the past few years. So inevitably, we're going to have to offset the low interest rates. And I'm sure Aaron, you can attest to this as somebody who is in the mortgage industry. But to offset inflation, really the only way to go is by increasing interest rates. And I think we're expected to have three more meetings with the feds throughout the year, which I think are anticipated to have a rate increase.

Unknown Speaker 24:08
And so as a result, some buyers are being kind of hedged out of the market, because they're no longer to afford or they have to adjust and maybe find something that's a little less expensive. And also we're seeing an uptick in inventory because sellers are are trying to take advantage of the lower interest rates that we're experiencing today. We don't have a crystal ball. We don't know what's going to happen with the market moving forward. We don't know how much more the interest rates are going to increase. You might have a better idea than me, Aaron. But

Unknown Speaker 24:43
everything I've read has shifted that the next three meetings are supposed to we're supposed to see an increase in interest rates to offset and hedge against inflation. Yeah, I mean, certainly the interest rate rise from the Federal Reserve which has a major effect of course

Unknown Speaker 25:00
on credit cards on car payments on my credit lines of credit now it's it's an indirect correlation to mortgage rates. But there's no doubt that what's happened in the past six months. And the notion that the raising or dumping their papers well has caused a pretty significant bump in the interest rates in the mortgage industry, it's as well. But, you know, certainly want to ask you as well, I mean, and that's one side of the equation, right, that that the interest rate nearly doubling, if not more, you know, over the past six months has caused this major shift, because the the equity had skyrocketed so much in the last two or three years. But have you noticed any change over the last six weeks? Have you seen prices come down at all? Or have they leveled off or what type of inventory is being affected? Yeah, I think I mean, so I actually wrote something down from the buyer side, and also the seller side that I want to read to you. And I think that this is going to share some some some insight into

Unknown Speaker 25:52
the current market trends of real estate buyers in the market today may find more negotiating room than they had in years. And a slowing growing share of first time buyers proves that they are certainly aware that locking in a home today at a long term price is a terrific hedge against inflation, and rising rents. So that's one side of the token, it's great to invest now, because we don't know where these interest rates are heading.

Unknown Speaker 26:19
Inventory has increased, but because some buyers have decided to take a step back and see what is happening with the market, it's creating more inventory and a shift in a seller's market to a buyers market. Because now buyers have a little bit more of a negotiating power. I'm seeing my clients not remove their loan appraisal, not remove their appraisal contingency. They're going full, you know, term on all of their contingencies they're offering at asking, in some cases, depending on how long the market or the house has been sitting on the market, asking or offering less than asking, we're not seeing properties get as many offers as they were before. For sure. And there's not a lot of there's the sense of urgency isn't there, that there people are able to breathe and kind of think about the process of what what does my offer look like, instead of being pushed into a competitive situation where they have to remove all contingencies. I mean, I received multiple offers on my properties over the past six months 100,000 to under $300,000, over asking simply because buyers were just eager to one lock in an interest rate or to do whatever it takes to get this property because they want to work from home. So there they need the outdoor space. But that sense of urgency is is kind of subsided from a seller perspective. For sellers, price growth remains robust. And typical time on market has stayed incredibly low. A signal that their homes are reasonably priced, well located, and in decent shape, they can expect plenty of attention from buyers, I would like to say that that's more applicable to big markets like Los Angeles, New York,

Unknown Speaker 28:12
you know, in more rural America, where people are migrating to I think that that is is not necessarily the case, things are sitting for longer. But you're in an auxilary market. There are areas of LA, for example, in West Adams, where I had a property things are sitting for longer because there's not as many buyers in those auxilary markets as they are in more populated areas like West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. So I do think that there is becoming a shift and even more to a buyers market and those more auxilary markets. And as it will continue to happen as we see interest rates rise. how quickly things change. And last question here. What about the inventory itself? Have you seen more or less on the MLS? In the past? Absolutely. I've seen an increase in inventory inventory. I think it's because we're coming off of a market where sellers were just eager to find a buyer at the at the lower interest rates. And because of us not knowing what's happening in the future, they want to try to lock in a buyer get as much profit as they can, in this it coming off of like one of the hottest markets we've ever seen in the history of real estate. But the fact is, inventory has increased, but the number of buyers is slowly decreasing. So the demand is less than the supply and the supply is actually increasing. And that's interesting because it's slowly turning into a buyers market but yet there's you know, less demand for it. So, you know, it's extremely interesting, very informative, highly entertaining. Robbie whip wrote, Our 30 minutes are up. Ronnie Wood wrote compass realtor, you are a good man, a good person. Greatly appreciate your time today. Thank you for joining us. We'll do it again. Thanks for coming on my honor. And

Unknown Speaker 30:00
I look forward to working with you more in the future and thank you for having me today this was wonderful I'm looking forward to it as well thanks my friend All right thanks Aaron





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