Let’s start off with something everyone from Youngstown has an opinion on - pizza. Who has your vote for number one pizza in Youngstown?
Avalon has Partick's vote while Uptown takes the number one spot for Sue.
Speaking of Youngstown... What is the best part about being the exclusive real estate partner of Youngstown State University athletics?
The free swag...just kidding. The roots of Burgan Real Estate, as well as both of ours, are firmly planted here in Youngstown. Seeing as both of us are alumni of Youngstown State University, the best part to being the only company to hold the title of official real estate company of YSU athletics is continuing our relationship with the University that has been a part of our lives forever. The plans President Tressel and the University have developed has already energized the campus, classrooms and city. To be a part of that allows us to not only heighten the awareness of our brand, as evidence by our national coverage of the Better With Burgan Mortgage Mania Challenge, where a fan hit a half court shot and we paid their mortgage for a year, but also links the two of our brands together in an effort to continue to move Youngstown State University and our city forward in a positive direction. Not to mention, the former Penny the Penguin is now a part of the Burgan Bunch so we're basically family now, right?
What are three pieces of advice would you give to college students who want to become entrepreneurs?
Find something you love to do and go after it. Most people spend their entire lives doing something they don't have a passion for. Instead of focusing on money or notoriety, find something you love to do and you will never feel like you work a day in your life. The money and notoriety will follow. The second thing is to realize that nothing will be given to you: everything will be earned. Relationships are great and will open up many doors for people, but it is how you take advantage of those opportunities in doing the work and putting in the time to be successful is what will make an entrepreneur. Finally, make mistakes. As an entrepreneur, there will be more failures than victories along the way and that is alright. It is through the toughest times that you realize how badly you want what it is you are seeking, as well as learn about yourself in the process. Without those challenges, you'll never know how you can become better.
We know the saying…. “better with burgan” - What sets you apart from other real estate agents in the area?
Simple, we don't think of ourselves as "just real estate agents." We don't just buy and sell homes. We are working with people on, what may be, the most important financial decision they will ever make. The decision will impact their lives and our community as a whole. We take that very seriously and have created established three core areas we work on everyday to be, well, better. First, we have a culture that embraces the idea that what we do makes everything better and, to do that, we operate on values that were established more than 40 years ago. We do things with transparency, honesty and integrity. From our involvement in the community to our expertise as the oldest independently owned real estate company in the Mahoning Valley, we are here to make lives of our clients and the community we live in better. We also focus on developing our agents by providing them an environment learn, excel and grow. Just like our clients have dreams, so do our agents, and we want them to know we will do anything to make them come true because they are our family. Finally, it is about a commitment to being financially responsible and successful. Profit is a good thing, and for us, it means that we have more money to reinvest in our Burgan Bunch agents and the community we love, like the YSU partnership or the Habitat For Humanity home built last year. These three things not only make us better people, but viewed differently by our peers, as evidence by our invitation to be only a handful of companies and THE only real estate company in the Mahoning Valley to ever take part in the globally renowned Leading Real Estate Companies of the World MAESTRO Leadership program. What we learn here will only help all of us become better.
How do you find people to bring into your organization that truly care about the organization the way you do?
More than 40 years ago, Burgan Real Estate was founded on a core set of values that guide what we do and who we welcome into our Burgan Bunch family to help making things better for our clients, our community and our company. While it is good to have people who are good REALTORS(R), it is more important that we find good people who fit into our culture. We look for people who want to succeed but not at the expense of everyone else. There are many real estate companies who focus on attracting anyone and everyone to sell homes. We want the right people who believe in our philosophy of doing business with transparency, honesty and integrity, just as much as we believe in their abilities. They meet us, meet our agents, and are evaluated through tools we uniquely have through our affiliation with LeadingRE to evaluate if they have the traits that will not only help them succeed in our culture but help make our entire organization better. We make sure that we partner with agents who have the same strong values which has and continues to guide our organization for more than 40 years.
What is one way that operating a business today is the same as 15 years ago, and one way it's different?
It is still about relationships. Whether you are one of our most tenured real estate agents or freshly off passing your licensing exam, it is about relationships and listening to your clients. Establishing relationships based on integrity, transparency and honesty ensures that our clients are comfortable with entrusting us with this monumental decision and journey we will go on with them. Today, however, there are so many ways individuals can find, sell or buy their home, with or without a REALTOR(R). The difference today is that more than half of the decision is already made when an individual contacts you to help them buy or sell a home. Because of this, we have to make sure our story and our agents are presented and top of mind for people, whether that is done through social media, grass root efforts or personal connections. We have to continue to contact and stay engaged with everyone because the availability of solutions to sell or buy your home are much more accessible today than, say, 15 years ago.
Would you say you’re more of a hunter or gatherer?
What's the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone?
Patrick: I love to be out on my boat with my wife and dog, Bobo, who has become our pseudo mascot. Nothing like a good cigar, though.
Sue: I love to cycle and my favorite place to do that is our own Mill Creek Park. Oh... and binge watching "The Office"!
What was the best piece of advice you ever got in your career? The worst?
We watched our fathers grow an idea into one of the largest and most successful real estate companies in the Mahoning Valley. While handwork makes all of this possible, it goes back to the values our company was founded upon. Our fathers both told us that no matter what career path we were going to choose, if you treat people with honesty and integrity, while not just working hard but doing what is right, then success will follow us in anything we aspire to do. They are simple words and a simple concept but, in life, it is easy to forget this.
Someone once said, "Don't take too many risks, be safe where you're at." The greatest accomplishments are never done by "playing it safe." We would rather fail on the largest stage and learn what it takes to be victorious, than have small wins that don't build ourselves and our team. If you refuse to take risks to get better and want to content with where you are, you actually are getting worse because there is always someone out there who is taking risks to be better than you. And at Burgan, well, we like being better.
Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?
Tomorrow isn't promised to any of us but if we have to look into the crystal ball at the future, we know we'll still be enjoying the outdoors and finding the time to enjoy what we have achieved together. We also know we will be leading an even stronger group of Realtors than where we are today, growing and developing them and their businesses to make a positive impact in the community, our company and the clients they service. In 2 decades? The same as 10, just a little wiser and wishing we looked the same way we do now.