Life Behind the Highlight Real

Ep 37: From Hitchhiking Hobo to Founder of RE/MAX Results: The Journey of John Collopy

July 11, 2022 Sarah Huffman & William Huffman Season 1 Episode 37
Ep 37: From Hitchhiking Hobo to Founder of RE/MAX Results: The Journey of John Collopy
Life Behind the Highlight Real
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Life Behind the Highlight Real
Ep 37: From Hitchhiking Hobo to Founder of RE/MAX Results: The Journey of John Collopy
Jul 11, 2022 Season 1 Episode 37
Sarah Huffman & William Huffman

The founder of RE/MAX Results, the largest RE/MAX franchise in the country, is our guest today, and John Collopy never fails to entertain and inspire. 

In his book, The Reward of Knowing, John details a life of abuse, trouble, and addiction. And he dives deep into a few of those stories on today's episode. 

Stories that include leaving home as a teenager, and going to school while working a full time job. 

Stories that include beating up a police officer, hitch hiking to California, and living within the counter culture of the 70's. 

He then transitions into the moment his life started turning around and how he discovered a passion for real estate. A path leading him to where he is today, owner of the most successful RE/MAX franchise in the country. A franchise Will and Sarah love, and they explain why. 

And we can't forget about the roots of the Results Foundation, and the impact it is making on the Twin Cities. 

Get ready for an episode you won't be able to pause as we sit down with John Collopy. 


The Results Foundation:

The Reward of Knowing:

Show Notes Transcript

The founder of RE/MAX Results, the largest RE/MAX franchise in the country, is our guest today, and John Collopy never fails to entertain and inspire. 

In his book, The Reward of Knowing, John details a life of abuse, trouble, and addiction. And he dives deep into a few of those stories on today's episode. 

Stories that include leaving home as a teenager, and going to school while working a full time job. 

Stories that include beating up a police officer, hitch hiking to California, and living within the counter culture of the 70's. 

He then transitions into the moment his life started turning around and how he discovered a passion for real estate. A path leading him to where he is today, owner of the most successful RE/MAX franchise in the country. A franchise Will and Sarah love, and they explain why. 

And we can't forget about the roots of the Results Foundation, and the impact it is making on the Twin Cities. 

Get ready for an episode you won't be able to pause as we sit down with John Collopy. 


The Results Foundation:

The Reward of Knowing:

William Huffman  0:00  
Hey everybody, William here and Sarah and we just need to let you know that we are licensed real estate agents in the state of Minnesota with REMAX results of Good Life Group and that's our legal disclaimer. Hey everybody, today we're talking with John Colby. We're going to talk restaurants we're going to talk how to be a homeboy, California and how to become one of the most successful people in North America and real estate. I know we're covering the gamut.

William Huffman  0:24  
When I was 23, I got arrested. I was driving without a license. I was intoxicated. Two was my third DUI. And then to make life very complicated, I got in a tussle with the police officer who arrested me, okay, and I won the tussle.

William Huffman  0:48  
Oh, Lord, that's winning the war is winning the war or winning the battle.

Accouncer  0:52  
Welcome to Life behind the highlight reel. The podcast that takes things beyond the curated life we all see online. Join hosts, Sarah and William Huffman, as they dive in with their friends to talk about the good and the hard things that come with a real not perfect life behind the highlight reel.

William Huffman  1:13  
Everybody, William here, and Sarah, and Matt and John. Mr. John Collopy. The man the myth, the legend. Yeah, I know, right. So most people know that you're a very successful real estate person here in Minnesota. And actually, it's kind of funny when we travel like, Oh, John Coffey with REMAX results like you're, you're kind of like working for him. Yeah. And I'm like, that's usually a question we get quite a bit. But today, we want to learn about you and like, Where'd you grow up? Where did you go to school? What happened between the eighth and ninth grade, I guess? Wow. So once you start there, like where do you born? Where'd you grow up?

William Huffman  1:59  
I was born in Columbia Heights. Okay. And I was born on the side of Columbia Heights that we refer to as northeast Minneapolis because it was close to the, you know, the other side of the freeway. So Columbia Heights and northeast were identical. I went to Catholic grade school in Columbia Heights, immaculate conception. And then I went to De LaSalle and downtown Minneapolis. And my life began to get a little bumpy. DSL was a four year high school. Okay. And it took me five years. So that's just indicative of that. Things are going a little different back then.

William Huffman  2:42  
Have you got an extra year of Yeah, so the good for them.

William Huffman  2:45  
I was in with my disciplinarian getting yelled at for skipping classes or something. And he said, Why don't you do us all a favor and quit school? And I went hell, that's a good idea. So that's how I ended up having a year off kind of in the middle. I

William Huffman  3:05  
guess you would will kind of share something in common. Yeah. Yeah. How many times did you do the seventh grade? Seventh grade was only twice okay. Yeah. Eighth grade. They just passed me along. They didn't want me back in the school. Yeah. All right. So you went to school? In Minneapolis there. Yep. And so I can take it you love school?

William Huffman  3:25  
No, I was such an underachiever. There wasn't words for it. When I dropped out and went back, I cut a deal with my dad that I would go back to school. If he would sign for a car loan. Oh, hmm. So I bought a new GTO. And so I go back to high school as a junior driving a new GTO. And I also was a little different and I didn't live at home I'd already moved in with some Yahoo's. And so I worked at a factory. My dad ran over northeast, and so I had a regular, you know, 330 to 11 o'clock, almost a full second shift job, and that's how I went to school. And that's just what we did.

William Huffman  4:18  
All right, real question. What color was the GTO?

William Huffman  4:23  
I think if anybody knows me, you know what color was?

William Huffman  4:27  
Black? Black? Black. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Black, black. Okay, so I was just making sure so from the beginning, it's always been black cars.

William Huffman  4:34  
Not always because I bought a lot of used cars. And you know, so if I bought a 60 Ford Chevy, you couldn't always find a black one. But that was one that was new, and it was black. Yes.

Sarah Huffman  4:46  
So you went to school at De LaSalle. from, let's say eight to three and then a full time job from 330 to 11. Yes. Wow. Okay. And you were 17? Yes.

William Huffman  4:59  
We labor laws? And is that just what was the work ethic behind that? Was that more to pay for the car just

William Huffman  5:05  
the money and stay busy? I could leave earlier. I mean, you know, I did have some advantages with my dad being the big shot. But you know, I worked as long as I could, you know, sometimes, especially the worst times were Fridays, where we'd want to get out early. Couldn't always get out early on Friday. And then there were different times, like in the summer and and after I was done with high school that I worked there full time. And then you had the joy of working two weeks of first shift, two weeks of second shift and two weeks of third shift. You rotated.

William Huffman  5:41  
Oh, my gosh, that's a nightmare.

William Huffman  5:43  
It was a little weird. Yeah. There was a bar that still northeast called Tony Jarls. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I was in greenies. Yep. And that was our go to place at eight o'clock in the morning when you got off on Thursday and Friday. And as anybody who knows me knows that might have had a little bit of drug and alcohol problem in my youth. And when you would walk out a Tony Jarvis in the summer, after drinking for two or three hours, is pretty depressing to be on a sunny day, and you're buzzed already. But the nice thing was on Fridays, we'd get off work. Get drunk, go home and sleep. Get up and go back out again. It's Friday. So yes, we we've misbehaved a little bit I lived above LCS bowling alley at the time, so I had a very luxurious estate. Northeast. Yeah.

Sarah Huffman  6:41  
Oh my gosh, so were you a pinky guy or a greeny guy.

William Huffman  6:44  
I didn't drink any of that shit. I had a I had a beer. Oh, I should have green belt guy.

William Huffman  6:51  
Norton are these guy. Yeah, there we go. Give me a green belt. All right. So we've we've made it through high school like, Well, tell me about that. Do you have any brothers or sisters?

William Huffman  7:02  
That is three years older than me. And you she is so much the opposite of me. All the behavioral issues I had, she didn't. In the family I had which sometimes had a little dysfunctional stuff. She was often the adult and she's just a wonderful glue. mazing lady raise two boys that are just a plus. Plus, just I couldn't have been any luckier to have her. She always got me out of jail. Because very young. My dad goes fine getting him out. And Kate would always get her boyfriend to take my mom down to get me out. So I would probably still be in Naka County, if whatever, Kate.

William Huffman  7:50  
Wow. We all thank you, Kate. Yeah, Kate. Is Kate local or she's still around or, well.

William Huffman  7:58  
She grew up in Columbia Heights. She lived with my mom and dad till she got married. I sold her a house. I'd say in 78. Three blocks approximately from where she grew up. And she still lives

William Huffman  8:18  
there. So she is the glue. Like she sticky. Just right.

William Huffman  8:21  
Yeah, Columbia Heights goes to the same church. We went to his kids and just that's just who she is.

William Huffman  8:28  
That's awesome. Awesome. Every family has a glue member. Do they? I think so. Okay. Who'd be the glute member in your family? Me? Yeah. 100%. I knew that. Yeah. Cool. So So you went to high school? And what was your life path at that time? Like, did you have any intentions of higher education? Did you just think you're gonna work at the factory with your old man for a long time? What were your thoughts?

William Huffman  9:01  
had none. Okay, fair. I was most interested in being playful, tough guy, rowdy, whatever you want. There was a period of time where I hitchhiked out to California and hitchhiked up and down the coast a few times. And very, very, very much like that lifestyle. One of the things we used to do is it gets cold at night down by the ocean. So we'd go in restroom and stand on top of the stool. So when the security came in and flashed the lady couldn't see anybody's feet and so then we'd have a warm place to stay that night. So that's what being a whole bowl was and breadline in LA and so I was complete and total vagrant for a while out there.

William Huffman  9:54  
How long does it take to hitchhike from Minneapolis to California?

William Huffman  9:59  
We got to ride most of the way. And then ultimately, when we returned, we got a ride from Nevada to North Dakota.

William Huffman  10:09  
Oh, wow. Okay, so Blake was always in somebody's vehicle in the back of a truck,

William Huffman  10:14  
no. Car in a car. No back then. There was semi driver's didn't care for you, because I had, you know, pretty long hair back then. In one time, my friend Rick and I were hitchhiking out in the desert in Nevada. And we hear a semi downshifting. Wow, that's weird because semis never picked you up. And as the truck gets closer, the guy's leaning out the passenger door with a pistol. Oh, Lord, and he starts shooting? No, I don't think he was shooting at us. I think he was trying to scare the pants off us, which you did. And so Rick and I drop our backpacks and are just running across the desert. And, you know, he probably thought he was pretty funny with those grubby long haired kids.

William Huffman  11:07  
So, okay, so that was on the way back, hitchhiking around. He taking around. Yeah, I don't think there's a way there in a way back. Well, I think it just is like, Okay, I need to go back to the California breadlines and stuff. Tell me more.

William Huffman  11:21  
Oh, I didn't have any money. And I didn't have any place to live. And we were hitchhiking around. And we got stranded in LA and a very hard to get out of LA because you can hitchhike on the freeways. So we were stuck there for a couple of days.

William Huffman  11:36  
Okay, so it was hard to get out of LA because you couldn't. It's hard to hit check hitchhiking? Because lots of freeways correct. So why can't you check on a freeway?

William Huffman  11:44  
Because it's illegal. You can hitchhike on freeways and back even in the hippie hitchhiking days. So we had to go to work at a carwash that paid you daily to get enough money for Greyhound bus fare to get out of LA to get down toward Laguna Beach and that kind of stuff where we could be get back on Highway One and off the freeway.

Sarah Huffman  12:10  
Okay. All right. I know your question. I have I have more questions, because this is not the time of cell phones and GPS. No. So how did you know where you were headed? Did you care?

William Huffman  12:21  
Well, they call it a map. Back

Unknown Speaker  12:23  
then. That paper map?

William Huffman  12:25  
Yeah. Yeah.

William Huffman  12:27  
Okay, my next question. I've got more. Yes, you do. I love this. How did you like, what were your parents thinking at this point? They're like, oh, good old John boy is just off and running. Or did you like check in with them?

William Huffman  12:38  
No. My dad could have cared less because he thought I was not some he was smart enough. And I applaud him for that. If he wants to do that. Let him go. I'm not you know, my mom was anguish because she's a mom. Yeah. But dad's like, that's his choice feelings to be a bumblebee bomb. Wow. Didn't let that interfere with his personal

Sarah Huffman  12:58  
Yeah. And then did you hitchhike via thumb or via sign?

William Huffman  13:03  
I never saw signs back then. Okay. I don't know if they existed or not. But I didn't use a sign.

Sarah Huffman  13:11  
When my brother hitchhiked during the time he followed the Grateful Dead. He had a sign. horse died, need a ride.

William Huffman  13:23  
And when he showed up one day, like back in Minnesota, there's a sign like all tattered, and that was his way. All right. So leave Minneapolis was then you go to California for a while. And then you were kind of around and about and then what happened from there? Like, did you come back to Minneapolis right away?

William Huffman  13:40  
Well, if you really want a story, that's kind of silly. Yes. We were in Berkeley, California. In Berkeley, California was the counterculture headquarters.

William Huffman  13:56  
What is the counter culture? What do you mean by that?

William Huffman  13:59  
It was the hippie era back then. Yeah. So that's where the corner or the beginning of the hippie movement was was in Berkeley, okay. Okay. And by the time I was there, it was a little bit past because 67 was the big change of culture. So this is probably 7071. And we meet this guy hitchhiking. And he says, Where are you guys going to stay? You know, nothing. He says, You want to stay at my place. And he was in a big commune. And they had a huge house. And they had a big detached garage, that at one time had servants quarters above the garage. And so we got to sleep on the floor in that building. And then they were into meditation. He didn't do drugs. These are people that had long when passed. You know, the hippie stuff and So we stayed there a few days and dug it. And then their leader, the Maharishi, somebody came from India to, you know, inspire them. And I observed human behavior that I had never seen. I never want to see to them, and I'm not trying to be disrespectful to anybody. But to them, it was as if Jesus Christ had just walked into their living. And they went nuts. And I saw them weeping and rolling and thrashing. And I went back to the garage and got my bag and headed back. That was enough. I am done. I don't need any more California. This is California for what lifetime? I'm going back. Yeah. So that's kind

William Huffman  15:58  
of so that's how you decide to like boot camp around back? Yeah. Okay. Roughly, how old are you that you don't remember? Well,

William Huffman  16:05  

William Huffman  16:09  
Right. So we're 1920 years old. We're now coming back to Minnesota. What is it? What is it? What does John do?

William Huffman  16:20  
Oh, I'm a bomb and sold the object is to get high. And I got a job. Once again, working at the factory. And I signed up for college. And there used to be a college that still lives there down by Loring park called Metro State. Right up the road yet now, back then it was like next to nothing. It was a teeny teeny school. And I went down there for a couple quarters to become a counselor. And after I found out how much counselors got paid after the second quarter, I went that no job for me. And I just went out, bombed around for a while till I exasperated my chemical dependency and got incarcerated and went down that road.

William Huffman  17:19  
Wow. Okay, then. If somebody wants to know more about that you have a book out which is fantastic. And it's the art of knowing not of knowing the reward of the reward of reward. Jeez, darn it. I have like doats in my file Cunningham's right. Yeah, the

William Huffman  17:39  
next book will be out, hopefully in January. And it will be called reward of doing so if you haven't bought the last one. You cheapskates go buy it. That'd be another one coming out next year. All the money for all the books goes to the results foundation.

William Huffman  17:57  
That's super cool. Super cool. So if you want to know more about that parts part of John's life, feel free to ask him because he's very open about it to the point he published it. So how long in your life were was shit kind of bad? Like, you know, you were till I was

William Huffman  18:15  
23. Okay. And so when I was 23, I got arrested. I was driving without a license. I was intoxicated. It was my third DUI. And then to make life very complicated, I got in a tussle with the police officer who arrested me, okay, and I won the tussle.

William Huffman  18:41  
Oh, Lord, that's winning the war is winning the war or winning the battle?

William Huffman  18:46  
So I broke his arm in the fight. No, you didn't. And then when the police came, they beat me to a pulp. Yeah, they can't even imagine how much I got beat up. And I don't blame them. That's what you do with an idiot like me. So I wouldn't went to jail. And I had a lawyer who had helped me out in the past, I had had some personal problems. I was in a house that burned down and I got severely injured was in the hospital for months. And so that, wow, okay, there's a story. Yeah. And so I had a lawyer who helped me out of that. And he came to get me out of jail. And he says, number one, you're going to treatment. Number two, you're going to jail. Number three, I'll keep you out of prison. Let's do it again. Yeah, jail. Yeah. Treatment. No felony, you want more than that. Go get another, you know, our finger, shall we say? Yeah. And they went no, I'll take that deal. So you I went to the workhouse for approximately 60 days and then went to the treatment center St. Paul Ramsey hospital, because I was in Ramsey County when this stuff occurred. And that was the beginning of my sobriety. I got out of treatment. I hadn't been sober in 10 years. And one of the weird phenomena was after a month or two of sobriety, I liked it. I liked knowing what was going on. I liked not having Where did you get that? What happened? I liked it. And there's a part of a that talks about serenity as a goal. And that became more of my goal. And sobriety worked for me. So I got my first real job and, you know, started moving through my life.

William Huffman  20:55  
I just want to do some math here. This happened at 23. And you are sober. You are clean for the first time in 10 years.

William Huffman  21:01  
13 I started heavy drinking. Wow, we drank every Friday and Saturday. Now my friends are all two years older. Okay. And so I'm 14 and my best friend's got a car. Okay. And that's where the real behavior issues started when you have a car to creep around northeast in because then you can do pretty much anything

William Huffman  21:24  
and was the drinking age 18 At that time, I was at 2121. Okay. Wow. Okay, so I mean, started at 13. And I was in at 23. Two months of sobriety. It's like, the clouds have lifted and like yourselves are lifting, lifting. Okay, lifting. Okay. So like, what is that? Well, so 23. Now you have another full time job. Are you back at the factory? Or you're away from that? Because maybe that was a part of it. Like, where are you at now? No,

William Huffman  21:49  
I was back at the factory for a bit. Okay. Yeah. And then I got a job. Oh, let me I'm not sure I was back at the factory. I went out and applied for a community based job. And I got offered a job for the Anoka County Community Action Agency. And I remember this part of it in that the job, paid minimum wage $2.32 an hour, okay. And I was using my best friend's truck to go apply for jobs because I didn't have a license or a car. And so I was at his house when he came home from work. And my he's my bestie Steve. And I'm saying, You know what happened today? These sons of guns offered me a job. And they offered me 232 an hour. Is that embarrassing or what? And my friend Steve, very blue collar very construction guy just my like I said my bestie he looks at me and said, How much make a now? While I'm not working? He goes, I don't know. 232 sounds pretty good. Yeah. And so I went and took the job. Wow. And I started working at the Community Action Agency. I started developing weatherization programs insulating and fixing up low income and seniors houses and went on to do that for the state. was making a little money, bought my first house, fixed it up. And after I fix it up, I went, I think I'll get a real estate license and listed myself. Okay, so that's how I got into real estate.

Sarah Huffman  23:46  
So what company were you with initially

William Huffman  23:49  
old time company called the spring company. One of the first companies Coldwell Banker was the first national real estate company at the time. They were based out of California. And they were buying up local brands. So there was no national real estate company before them. So Coldwell Banker, I was with the spring company for wild and Coldwell Banker, bought the spring company and then I got talked into being a manager. That's how I got started. I sold for a few years but then I went into management

William Huffman  24:23  
so but I mean, at an early age, you wanted to be a counselor because it's you have this giving back thing inside of you. I feel you have your entire life just based upon wanting to be a counselor but then obviously saw what it was going to pay. And then taking a community action program job, you know, I mean that you know, that obviously had to be a passion. Yes, it was $2.32 More than zero an hour.

William Huffman  24:46  
You're being too nice it it wasn't that premeditated. At the time. I'm sure there was a low level Yeah, of those kinds of behaviors. It was mostly about this is what I'm being dealt. I'm going to Take it that much deep thought do any of it. Okay, well, because these are my cards. Thank you. This is what I'm doing. Thank you.

William Huffman  25:08  
setting me up play these cards, maybe some new cards will come in. Alright, so you bought your first house was it in northeast course? You guys don't realize these are pretty the Northeast guy over here. Where was it? What did you buy?

William Huffman  25:22  
I bought a 600 square foot house that was on the very, very, very, very back of the lot. The only thing between the House and the Alley was a place for me to park my car. And like I said it was about 600 square feet and I renovated it.

William Huffman  25:42  
And what did you pay for it? Remember the price tag?

William Huffman  25:44  
I think I paid about five grand for that something. And when I sold it rehabbed I got 29 Nine for it.

William Huffman  25:53  
Wow. I would I would buy 100 of those right now for that.

William Huffman  25:58  
Right and that it's long gone that got tore down and you know, $500,000 houses on the lot, but it was really a dump that I fixed up. But yeah, in the bedroom that was so small. You could either have a bed or a chest of drawers in a bulk didn't fit. So I put a chest of drawers and slept on the hideaway couch.

William Huffman  26:22  
Wow. Awesome choices. Yeah, yeah. So your northeast, you decide to get your real estate license, you're to sell your own home. You work this company, CB buys them up. They ask you to be a manager. And how did you like that?

William Huffman  26:41  
It had its moments. Okay. Concept of recruiting and retention. I liked going to the corporate meetings was pretty depressing. How old were you at this time? You know, working for a big company. Yeah. And the guy that hired me as a manager, Bill Saunders. And he also became my partner that we started REMAX results.

William Huffman  27:08  
I didn't know this. This is awesome. And how old are you? I'm sorry.

William Huffman  27:12  
Well, it was 44 years ago, so I was probably 2526.

William Huffman  27:19  
Holy shit, when you think about like getting out of the workhouse at 23. And already, boom, boom, boom, now you're in management at a CB 26. This is like incredible. Yeah.

William Huffman  27:35  
Well, so Bill, talked me into the job. And it wasn't a good job compared to selling houses. But I was stupid. If I'd kept selling houses. I'd be so rich by now. We wouldn't be sitting here. I went into management. And then we're at a Coldwell Banker meeting one day, and the President of Coldwell Banker was being replaced. And the obvious person that was going to replace him was Bill based upon his experience and what he did and stuff like that. So I met this meeting. And they announced a different guy as the new president. And he had been a manager like I was, and I knew him kind of like, wouldn't work for. I can't work for somebody that knows less than I do. So I went after this meeting, I went down to Bill's office. And I said, I don't know where you're going, but I'm not staying. So I think we should get together, talk about what our options are. And we'd both looked at how REMAX had taken over Chicago and completely kicked Coldwell bankers backside. So we had observed that independently and so when we were looking for alternatives, it was let's start REMAX

William Huffman  28:59  
and this is when REMAX was early, right i mean it's been around

William Huffman  29:04  
36 years ago Yeah, yeah there were no REMAX is in the air and REMAX

William Huffman  29:08  
turns 50 this year because that's what it is that are four. So that's a pretty early adoption, to be quite honest. I mean, if there's nothing in the Okay, alright, so I never had the pleasure of meeting Bill Saunders. Was he your age a little bit older? 10 years old or 10 years older, okay. Okay. So, you know, compared to you, I mean, you're 2535 Okay. So what is what is bill say? What is Bill Bill's like, Okay, let's do REMAX or let's do a research or how did how did that conversation happen?

William Huffman  29:39  
Well, I can't really recall but I think we were pretty much both thinking that this REMAX thing was the way to go okay. It was based upon the 100% Commission concept that was non existent at the time now there was a local company that did a little bit of it counselor Realty, but this was a national come Panini that was starting to have they were very strong in Denver. They were very strong in Kansas City. So they're starting to have a little pizzazz. And we thought that sounds cool. Do it. Yeah.

William Huffman  30:12  
So it must have been cheap to do that, right? No. So how do you go about it? So when you decide to

William Huffman  30:21  
start a REMAX and you get a hold of them, and you do have this, who's at that first office?

William Huffman  30:27  
Well, Bill and I both want rental properties. Okay, he had bought them for plexes and I had bought duplexes. And so they funded a lot of our get started. Okay, it took six years to break even. Wow, our first office was in Eden Prairie. Our second office was in Plymouth, and our third office was in y Zetta. And we were destitute. And then after about a year, plus, we both went back to selling so we could survive. So we were recruiting and wow, brokerage, but we had to sell houses because we had no more money left. So we took every dime, we hadn't kept plowing it into the business. There's so many stories about, you know, having meetings with the landlord, and they're pounding on the table when you can start paying and Bill would sit back and go, Well, I'm sorry, we're not. And you know, we didn't have any money. What are you gonna tell? Yeah,

Sarah Huffman  31:26  
yeah. What's the worst that's gonna happen? They're gonna kick you out, I guess. Yeah,

William Huffman  31:30  
we got evicted from one building.

William Huffman  31:32  
No, tell me more.

William Huffman  31:34  
So we went down to the insurance company that owned the building. So we drove down to Chicago because we couldn't afford to fly. And we go to this building, and we're sitting in the lobby. And we said, We'd like an appointment with solid soul. Lady calls back and comes back out front says he won't meet with you. You don't have an appointment. And we said, That's okay. We'll just wait here. What? No, we'll just wait here. He'll have some time sometime today or tomorrow. We'll just keep wait. And eventually we talked him into not evicting us.

William Huffman  32:11  
You got evicted? Like this isn't going to happen? I got

William Huffman  32:14  
evicted many times from Mark Two big buildings.

Sarah Huffman  32:20  
Okay, he's the same buildings today? No, they're different buildings.

William Huffman  32:24  
Yeah. One is a major office building across the street from our Eden Prairie office called one southwest crossing. And our first Plymouth office was in an office tower on 55 and 169, called the 505 built. Okay, and those are our two first offices.

William Huffman  32:41  
Wow. And so there was a lot of sounds like there's a lot of stuff going on just to keep these things going, like in constant and then at what point were you like, hey, this might become like, were you always confident this would become something

William Huffman  32:56  
or never confident are still not that confident? Know, what do you mean exp they're kicking my ass. You know, I'm not talking about anything. There's always competition. There's always somebody new in the market. Okay, you know, we're the number one brokerage, we have a bullseye on us. It's okay. It's, it's different. But it's never easy. And you sell houses, you know, you gotta go home find every person. Yeah, it's no harder to it's no easier to find client 200 than it was client two. It's just our job. And we repeat it. And I've never found this job to be easy. But here's the one thing that I've shared in many ways to many people. When I go to work in the morning, a smile comes across my face, and I'm glad to be gone. And the first day I go to work, and I'm driving down 494 And I go, No, I don't want to do this anymore. That'll be the last day. And I still love it. I still love the people I work with just doing something like this is so cool. Yeah. Because you two are amazing. And I'm sitting here dialoguing with you. We're doing something that might have a positive impact on someone else. Ah, how does their life get better? Yes, absolutely. You are screwing me out to lunch, but

Unknown Speaker  34:20  
you just just send Brenda the bill. Well, I think that's actually how I got out of my first few careers is I would drive down the highway and think about all the other things I'd rather do. Or I'm doing this and it's it's not letting me be able to live the way I want to live my life A B and C. And I wear a watch every day. And I don't have to wear a watch every day because I may have my phone for my timekeeper. And I have will for my timekeeper. Absolutely, but I'm not looking at my watch and thinking it's only Wednesday. It's only Thursday. When's my weekend where to me it's more like I can't wait for the weekend. Because I get to see more people more client yeah That's That's our income producing time. And we absolutely love it when people say Do you love real estate? Absolutely, yes, yeah, it's finally the vehicle that I get to drive. And for my best life,

William Huffman  35:11  
when you have a client that you've been working with, and you walk in the front door, you know, instantly. Goodness gracious, this is the one. Yep. And then you're looking through the house and her eyes are lighting up. Yeah. How can you do something better for another person than help them find a home? Is there anything more important than our home to raise our family? And when you make that step to help, which I'll never get tired of that. I always loved it. I thought it was cool.

William Huffman  35:42  
And honestly, that's why we started this podcast is because so many people think that we're just going to talk about real estate. And it's not that at all. It's the lives that we've been able to impact, or the lives that we've been able to learn from impacted us. Yeah. And EJ both ways. Yeah, absolutely. Because when we went through our own personal recession, yes, my new tagline for it. We looked to other people to like, keep that motivation for us, Hey, we're not alone, like people have been through other shit or other stuff. And it's like, nope, keep going. And let's just share stories.

William Huffman  36:13  
I was working on book number two today. And we're talking about the chapter. And part of what we're talking about is that, how do you continue to stay on top of your game? How do continue to do the things that you need to do? First of all, to be happy? Because you've heard me say this a number of times number one, you take care of yourself. Number two, you take care of your spouse or significant other number three, you take care of your kids. Number four, you take care of your family. Number five, you take care of your soul. And number six, you go to work. That's my opinion. That's how I teach it. I think those are the priorities because you can't do those other things unless you're okay with who you are. And there could be nothing worse than being married and not being happy. That's your whole life and you're not happy. I couldn't do it. I had problems when I was married most of it. You know, most of my marital problems were based on I suffer from depression. And when I was diagnosed with it, I didn't do the right thing. I went, Okay, I can figure this out. I'm tough. I can fight through it. Yeah, that's white knuckle, my way through it. And I got into therapy. And one day I went to see Dr. Mark. And I said, you know, I think I'm depressed. And Dr. Marcos No shit.

William Huffman  37:49  
Thanks for coming to the party. Yeah,

William Huffman  37:51  
and I go, Yeah, I think I want to try that medication stuff. So yeah, really changed my

William Huffman  37:57  
life. That's amazing. Wow. I have I can I can ask you, but. So the current market, blah, blah, blah. I want to talk about currently what's going on with the market, the Fed and all that stuff. But I am curious on how did you what happened in you know, in 2008, you know, there was this horrible housing crash and stuff and, and REMAX results was around at that time, and and how did you guys as a leadership team, as an owner as an agent, how did you see that? And how did you What did you do to make it through it? Is there anything you learned from that?

William Huffman  38:34  
Well, if you're in the real estate business, there's going to be ups and downs. And so I had sold real estate when interest rates were 19%. That was the hardest thing I ever saw. And so during that period of time, things were a little shaky. It was based upon the huge amount of loan fraud that existed because so many of the mortgages that were being foreclosed were done, crookedly. And so, we had, you know, severe financial problems, but I adjusted my lifestyle, sold all the stuff, put the money in the company, and made it through. And it'll happen again. Our numbers this year, are way different than two years ago. And so we got to adjust. And it looks like next year won't be better than this year. Not scary bad. Not 2009. Bad, but not 2017. Good. Yeah, so that's just there's ups and downs. In 2008, there were so many brokers failing, we were able to acquire a number of brokers, and so we took the attitude. Let's buy Okay, and that's it. One of the ways the company grew significantly because people were going bankrupt. And if you offer somebody going bankrupt, something, they might be interested.

William Huffman  40:10  
It's $2.32 an hour more than nothing.

William Huffman  40:13  
Got to do it. So we grew a little bit and life was okay. Scary. But all the things we do are scary. There's a, you know, you go to a person's house, and you're competing with all these other people. There's anxiety. And as a sales executive, of all the things I did as a sales executive, walking out of a house with a listing was the most euphoric thing he did. Yeah, there was nothing that grooved me better than I got the listing. Listing. Yeah. And even back then, in varied markets that I was in, I was pretty confident my listings were going to sell. Because I knew how to follow up. I knew how to get price reductions. My my late business partner, bless, Bill, here's a good bill story for you. So if we had a property that we needed a price reduction on, he'd set the appointment for as late as he could. So we're going over to their house at eight o'clock. And Bill wouldn't leave till he got the price reduction. I know that sounds old school, it is old school. I love it. I know that sounds a little harsh. It wasn't leaving. He wasn't leaving. Yes, we need a price reduction. And he'd just sit there and wait him out. I wasn't that tough back then. But he was. So he was a real inspiration and a great leader for me.

Sarah Huffman  41:45  
So you just said you weren't that tough? When did you become tough? Ah,

William Huffman  41:50  
I think it's a learned behavior. And I think overcoming adversity makes you smarter. And so I don't think I'm tougher. I still think I have emotions that something can hurt me. And, you know, one of the guys that I've done stuff for for 20 years bails on me, it still gets me. It still makes me sad. I can't just go. I got 1300 More food, you know, it hurts. But I think it was just accumulation of knowledge, and being able to tell yourself, so the last person that left us that I want back, you know, I'll get him started recruiting them already, because that's what I do. That's it. I know where he went to work. And I know it sucks. And I know he's going to be shocked when all the things they told him are going to happen don't. And if he can admit it, then we'll get him back. And if he can't, he'll have more negative career.

William Huffman  42:55  
Awesome. So I want to talk about, you know, a few years ago, you started something called the results Foundation. And I think we were here for the inaugural year. That's it's five years old now. Could be I think so because the pamphlet I was reading over, you know, the because you guys obviously publish your expenses and incomes because it's a 5013 C and all that stuff. Why? Why the results foundation?

William Huffman  43:22  
That's a really good question. And there's an interesting answer to it. I observed a person who started a bank many, many, many, many decades ago. His name was Otto Bremmer. And he started Bremer bank. And they became pretty successful. And then he set up the Burma Foundation, where profits and ultimately assets are going to the foundation. And they put millions back into the community right now. We're up to hundreds of 1000s Right. But when John boys gone, the results foundation will own REMAX results, results title and results mortgage and all of our office buildings that we own. Now we own a small share of office buildings, but they're still of substance. So auto boomers model is the one I copied. And that's how we got there and my family all knows they're getting nothing. They're not getting any of the company stuff. You know, they gotta wait for Sookie to croak because she's got a little money from me. But when I croak they get nothing. And, you know, that's just how I set it up and I've never questioned it. I still feel that that's something that I can say. It's good booth, and I think for all of us to be part of results. You've been recruited by everybody in North America. And you choose to stay here. And there's different reasons to choose where you work. And I don't think the results Foundation's enough to topple anybody. But I think it's something to say, our company helps other people. And if you've ever bet met Blair, you know, we're really going in the right direction. Yes. And we got a lot of projects this summer we're working on, and we're funding them. And I love it. I just think it's a great thing. And this is a commercial now, when the book comes out next year, I will be doing way more speaking engagements to promote the foundation. Oh, very cool. And so as I continue to work, because I mentioned to you, I don't want to retire, I'm going to do a little more dog and pony stuff as a speaker, because I used to do that. And I'm just do a little bit more of it, primarily to a sell books. Because the money from every book goes to the foundation. And if I can drum up a speaking fee, it's going to the foundation. So we're going to promote the foundation just a little more next year and see how it goes.

William Huffman  46:13  
I love that. No, the inspiration, the model you kind of told me about. So why why are the kids getting nothing? Why do you feel it's important to

William Huffman  46:24  
they don't need anything, okay? They got jobs.

Unknown Speaker  46:29  
They're working? No,

William Huffman  46:30  
they don't. They don't need my stuff.

William Huffman  46:32  
So, so that says, you're just like, You know what, I'm gonna give it to the foundation and then they can bless other people with it.

William Huffman  46:37  
Absolutely awesome material. My kids are all smart. They're all good at what they do. They sell houses. They're closers. They know the business. And like I said, when their mom cooks still, I'll get some. But that's a waste away. My wife's Korean and they live a long time. She'll outlive me by about 15 years, statistically. I'm okay. Oh, yeah. The average woman in Korea lives to be 90.

William Huffman  47:05  
Okay. Yeah. Did not an average meskin They really care for their skin? No,

William Huffman  47:11  
she does. And so I'm, I hope I live longer. But you know, 75 for a white guy in America. So you'll be around a while I will see ya. I'm just saying but I still think she'll outdo me by a bit.

William Huffman  47:24  
So I have two questions. One, I want to know what the what what would a John copy does during the day. And two? Well, I want you to tell me about your fixation with cars, and you have a thing for a certain type of animal.

William Huffman  47:41  
Animal thing is I'm a cat lover. And I have the greatest cat in North America. I've had cats all my life. I'll give you one silly cat story. Perfect. In my cabinet. It's a laundry room at my house. There are currently three boxes of cremated cat ashes. And in my will, Lynn farm is in charge.

William Huffman  48:10  
Are you serious? Well, this is this is.

William Huffman  48:13  
And so if I all live this cat and there'll be four boxes if I don't, then I will be cremated. And Lynn has the authority to choose. If the ashes are going to Big Sur California or Maui, Hawaii, my two favorite places on earth. And so she decides where the ashes are all going and that's that so I'm gonna be gone. That's Lynn's job.

William Huffman  48:45  
I would ask her about that. Well, we've got another podcast. Yeah. So tell me about something. You're in somebody's movie here. And the car thing like you just you just recently bought a very unique car. I did. Yeah. What was that?

William Huffman  49:02  
63 Studebaker avanti.

William Huffman  49:05  
Yeah, I had to look it up is pretty sweet.

William Huffman  49:08  
In 1963 and 64. The fastest car in the world was a Studebaker avanti. It set the land speed record at Bonneville at 179 miles an hour not a fact but that's kind of my memory but it was the fastest car and that was theirs r one r two R three Avantis minds in our two supercharged for speed. Easy top end of 150 and wow pretty fast for 63

William Huffman  49:41  
That's pretty fast for anything. Well, it's a really slow drive right? Okay, this is not about me. But it's true. I have a slow driver. I get past like clients feel bad passing me. But I'm like you just got to know I drive really slow. I just like just pass me get there before me.

William Huffman  49:58  
I got a few cars I don't know that I'm at the maniac I used to be, but I like cool cars. That's my hobby.

William Huffman  50:05  
Very cool. And what is it when when you're in Minnesota because you split time? No, I really don't. Doesn't seem like yeah, I'm here.

William Huffman  50:13  
Close to 10 months out of the year. Okay. So I'll be in Arizona over the holidays and then in January, come back and then I'll go back and forth for some three or four day weekends while the wife and the cat are down there. But

William Huffman  50:31  
like the cat, yeah, the the greatest cat North. North America travels with Sookie. Yes. Okay. That was, uh, awesome. And then so like, so you said, you're not returning, like we always see around the offices and I enjoy your company. I think you're great. I know, you're great. I've listened to you talk to we have a lot of respect for you times, tons of respect. Because I because I see you working. Every time you're in you're calling people you're trying to you're moving things around. You're you're making deals, you're you don't just walk around. least from what I can tell, just to be like, Look at me, you're you're that's not your style. So what's what's a typical day look like for you these days?

William Huffman  51:11  
Well, it varies. So today, I had a pointment this morning. And that was with somebody I'd like to have work for us. And then I had a period of time where I did a phone conversation on the book. And then we have this delightful event. And then I have two more appointments today. One is a recruiting and one is just some stuff. And so if I can have an interview a day, I'm a rock star. There are financial meetings, there are planning meetings, Brenda calls the shots. But there are meetings that they bring me to where they tell me what they're thinking about. And Mary Grace is real significant in the process. And so Mary and Brenda are really the cornerstone of the business now recently at Kaiser has joined the team has Rockstar amazing and Mike Vanderheiden is the regional manager. So those are the people that run the company m v Ed and Brenda and Mary That's that's in like I said they do allow me to sit in and share my opinion if I have

William Huffman  52:44  
if you have one.

William Huffman  52:46  
I don't I don't know if Brenda's gone here. Yeah. I'm not saying you can't go there. Okay, I can't say that because I've put her in charge. She's a CEO, I can't be a backseat driver, then she's not the CEO than I am. So she's allowed to make acquisitions or change people's careers or she's in charge. And I like to know what's going on. And if I thought it was the most important thing in North America, I might say no, but I doubt it. She's the CEO. I'm not

William Huffman  53:21  
well, I mean, you you You've definitely built you and Brenda and Mary and like you guys have built the team leadership team there but your leadership team, all your executives, I don't know. All the badass is down in that office in Eden Prairie and Cindy badness we love her and Joe, like the one of the reasons we stayed on, is because of the people of color hands down.

William Huffman  53:45  
That's that's the purpose is there's the right people,

William Huffman  53:48  
there's not a bell loud enough, or a will or a bell shining up for a whistle loud enough. There's not a check big enough that people have tried to write that would take us away from this. Because legitimately if somebody offered me a million dollars to go to their brokerage, I could not even buy a fraction of the support and and people that we have here.

William Huffman  54:09  
Well, for million dollars, I'd go so I don't know. That number, but

Sarah Huffman  54:15  
can I ask one question before we start to wrap up? Yeah, absolutely. So you know, there's so many agents under five years, you know, and what, none of us well, I mean, I'm six years you're seven years, but we truly haven't lived through a turn of a market. If you had to gives anyone that tactical advice. What would what would it be?

William Huffman  54:32  
Well, it's very simple concentrate on your sphere group. That's the most important part of your business. And when the market slows, you'll have less inquiries on your listings, but there are still reasons why your database has to move, or wants to move. And if you have a great relationship with those people, and you're so good, they give you referrals. That's Just what maintains it, because there's ways right now in the market to buy leads and open houses are more successful, and there's just things that help in a busier market. But your sphere group will never let you down. Yep, absolutely.

William Huffman  55:16  
This is true. Awesome. Well, we wrap up every podcast with the same fight with the same thing. I want you to tell me your top five favorite restaurants, they can be anywhere in the world they can be for any reason. Matthew here actually said Olive Garden because he loved to go there with his mother, you know, and it wasn't because of the amazing fan base and endless soup and salad. Yeah.

William Huffman  55:37  
Well, I have to go with kings and Fridley. Yep. I'm not sure it's as good as when Sookie ran it, but I do like it. Yep. No other choice would be clubbed 58. burger joint

Unknown Speaker  55:54  
offset by Nikolas. Yeah.

William Huffman  55:57  
And there's a Chinese restaurant in Bloomington that I'm drawing a blank on on France Avenue. And we go there frequently. Because they have dimsum. In it is so fantastic. On Saturday and Sunday. There's a Vietnamese restaurant down on Nicollet called Fah. And that is one of our eight plus, plus plus places. And I probably would say the other place I go to a lot is one of the red stones. Just because they're so convenient to my offices, and there's one and so I can't wave a flag and go it's the greatest restaurant world. But I go there a lot. And I liked the way I'm treated and it's good. So those would be my rankings.

William Huffman  56:52  
Awesome. Excellent. Now I'm ready for dimsum Yeah, that sounds delicious. John, thank you so much. Thank you. It's been amazing. As always, we out deuces.

Accouncer  57:05  
tune in each week. For more in depth conversations about life behind the highlight reel. Follow us on your favorite podcast platform to make sure you never miss an episode. For today's show notes head over to lb