What does Monster Energy, mortgages, and working your tail off have in common? We sat down with Andrew Pais of Southeast Mortgage to find out how he is marketing his mortgage company using non-traditional methods.
Southeast Mortgage FB: https://www.facebook.com/SoutheastMortgage/
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/apais7071
Tony: Welcome into the leadership legacy podcast. I’m sitting in the brand new still being worked on office of Andrew Pais of South East Mortgage. Andrew thanks so much for taking the time. Thanks for having me. This is going to be awesome. Get Holt Ingall’s on the camera of HI Productions as well as always with Andrew.
Tony: So Andrew just very quickly before we get into all the YouTube stuff and the mortgage industry. Tell me a little bit about your story. Where did you grow up?
Andrew: Absolutely. Yeah well grew up in Ohio then after high school my father got transferred to Atlanta. So it went down to Hotlanta when I was about 19 18 years old and started my real estate career they’re doing real estate. My family always had a lake house so obviously we had to sell our property. Moving from north to south. And we found Lake Martin so easy breezy. Went from Atlanta started doing real estate there then I went and did real estate at the lake or I thought I want to do real estate at the lake but I ended up playing a lot more than I did.
Andrew: Yeah I went back to school wanted to be an accountant. Met a mortgage person and I right in, fell into the mortgage business right from there and then 10 years strong. I bought the company a couple of years ago and was very blessed recently to be merged with SouthEast mortgage.
Tony: When you’re when you’re running a company and when you’re in business for yourself you’ve got to have people kind of supporting. What do you look for in a in an employee in the mortgage industry to help you out?
Andrew: A good question, It’s not so much specifically I can train almost anyone to be a mortgage originator or mortgage professional. But I look forward to is family and loyalty and trust. I’ve gone through trials and tribulations over that over you know your lives. You know we all do. But the loyalty and the trust and the support of those people behind me is number one. If I can’t trust you or you can’t trust me I don’t need you. So you don’t necessarily have to have a Ph.D. in accounting or finance to be a mortgage professional. You have to have know the basic knowledge and people skills and be able to talk and be able to get out there and be aggressive. But number one is family everyone that works for men is a part of my family.
Tony: My next question deals with the internal drive that you have to get up every morning to pound the streets and try to sell and you know try to help people you know buy homes. What what drives you to do that?
Andrew: The drive I have is first and foremost my family. I have two young children. And you know you have to be a good father you have to you know be a support system so I get up every day wanting to make sure that they have the best of the best or be able to offer them really a good life.
Andrew: I’ve always wanted to be successful. I’ve always had that I’ve always kind of had people question me or hold me back or question me. So my drive is to prove them wrong. I’m always about I can do it and I hope that you tell me I can’t do it because I’m going to even drive harder. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and I’ve always wanted more and more and more.
Andrew: It has been at times, taking time away from other things that I should have probably spent more time on. But as any entrepreneur you’re going to have you’re going have to give up something to gain something. Yeah. So my drive is my family, God, and 100 percent, truthfully… money and ability to be able to provide for my family.
Tony: You talked about that support system. You know it’s as an entrepreneur…people who are entrepreneurs you just go to a day job eight to five. I’m sure they respect their families and they you know they they see the support that their families have to give them too. But I think when you’re an entrepreneur and you’re you know you’re grinding your day doesn’t start at 8 and it doesn’t end at 5. It’s pretty much all day long. You have to have that strong support system to be able to on a whim go off to wherever you did go to get the job done. And for an entrepreneurial family it’s really really important to have that support structure.
Tony: And yeah you’re right. I mean being able to provide for your family and and being driven by not necessarily the love of money, but the ability to pull those financial resources in to make your kids happy and to provide for them what they need and sometimes what they want for your family is I think everybody should have that kind of drive. To be able to get back to the community.
Andrew: Very much so. Yeah and that’s a very big part of the mortgage business the love that you have that I have of watching someone buy their first home for the very first time. And the ability to do that and be able to provide and help them achieve that goal. That in itself is amazing. It’s it’s a wonderful feeling and yes it’s an entrepreneurial spirit. Your day does not start eight to five. You don’t punch a clock. You don’t work for somebody else. It’s very high stress where when in a position that I put myself into a lot of people pull at you in many different ways. So you need to be able to manage as best as you can your time. And yes you’re absolutely right at times you get a phone call at 7 o’clock at night 8:00 o’clock at night Saturdays even you know before church after church. You know it’s a 24 hour a day seven days a week job. But with time and effort come the benefits and the rewards. Yeah and it just depends what degree do you want of your reward. Exactly. And also affords the ability to not have to work and be able to take a vacation with your family. Yes because you work for yourself.
Tony: At some point it also gives you the ability to say like in the service industry, sometimes it gives you the ability to say no. I can’t help you. I would imagine in the mortgage industry you still have the ability to kind of look and see well this is where this person’s coming from. You know maybe what we have is it’s something that we can’t necessarily offer them at this point in their lives but they may be able to go over here and get something as a stepping stone and maybe come back to you later.
Andrew: They do offer the ability of being in the mortgage business, it does offer the ability to guide people through their lives. At times you have to say no, at least at that point right now to get into a home. But you can guide them on some find some basic financial abilities to say hey step one is this, step two is this, then on step three then you can come see me and then we can get you into that brand new house. Yeah and that’s that’s very rewarding as well to kind of changing someone’s life. Yeah. And or just guiding them. And they trust you with most likely the largest purchase of their lives.
Tony: What principles have helped you personally and in business?
Andrew: The principles that I’ve always stated right as we talked about with family, trust, honesty, and loyalty. I’ve only been with one mortgage company. I’ve not jumped around from bank to bank to bank. So I’m very loyal, very driven and just true to yourself. Sometimes you’ve got to say OK I’ve I’ve won I’ve lost I have I can do it this way I can do it that way and working for yourself you can take multiple different paths of how to achieve that goal. And I’ve always stayed tried and true to make sure that it’s honest. And this is why you can lay your head at night and not have to question did you do the right thing yet. So that’s pretty much if you keep it simple stupid you know. Just be honest and sometimes you’re wrong. Bite the bullet and just keep on pushing.
Tony: As you said sometimes you win sometimes and sometimes you lose. That word lose sometimes gets tied up in the word failure. And I don’t like the word failure. Some see the word failure and think of it as a bad thing and some people see it as maybe a stepping stone. What does failure mean to you and do you embrace that the deeper meaning behind that failure?
Andrew: Failure is in my opinion again as we talked about, sometimes you win sometimes, you lose. Losing or failing in my opinion gives me the ability to kind of step back for a second or two and say OK what happened? How did that happen? And to learn from it.
Andrew: And then when most likely you are presented with that situation again or a similar situation you know what not to do. It’s kind of like growing up as a child you know you don’t stick your finger in a light socket or you’ll do it once. But you don’t do it and you won’t do it again. So yeah making a mistake, failing at something shows you, it makes you humble. So in my opinion is it teaches me ok I’m not going to do that again and or I’m going to do that act again, but I’ll be able to accomplish the actual goal and not fail. Yeah. So it’s it’s a learning ability is how I perceive it. Growth. You know as we all get older hopefully we get smarter.
Tony: In dealinh with those customers that we kinda of talked about where you may have to you know guide them into a process where you’re not you know they’re not going to be comfortable signing that you know signing their life away to a mortgage right now. Those aspects of service you know are tough I would imagine and the mortgage world. What are some of the skills that you’ve learned over time that kind of help you deal with that whether it could be somebody that’s really really happy or it could be somebody that is really pissed that you don’t let them borrow you know $500,000.
Andrew: Everybody handles things differently. But the most important thing is the first and foremost is they need to trust you because again most likely this is the largest purchase that they’ll ever do in their lives. So once you kind of have that connection and trust you as their mortgage professional or just you know helping them guide them getting into a home. They need to know that you’re telling them the truth. And even if that’s not what they want to hear you know that you know again this goes back to some of the principles of being honest being truthful straight to the point you know that you can lay your head at night whether or not they like you’re not you’re doing the right thing for them. Yeah. And they can move on and maybe get different advice. I’ve made that mistake before where you know I didn’t see that angle or I didn’t see that that way that they could see it and sometimes they go on and then they fail then they go wow maybe I should have listen just like myself and I think anyone included, sometimes you need to listen versus talk.
Tony: I think that’s a huge skill that a lot of people forget and sometimes people aren’t doing it maliciously they just want to get there they just want to get their word in. A lot of people I mean myself included. You want to listen. You want to go ahead and get that next thought out instead of stopping and being patient and just listening because there could be something else coming that’s that’s a nugget of wisdom that could just change your life if you just listened more.
Tony: Before we get into YouTube and the other things that you’re doing in your professional life. What’s been the hardest thing for you in starting the business ten years ago continuing to drive and to grind and to make this your own.
Andrew: Haters. People come and the people inherently don’t like to see other people succeed. Either it’s jealousy, either it’s just hatefulness, or whatever the case may be why it why people do what they do. I don’t know.
Andrew: However, that has been to stay true to what you’re trying to do and what your passion is and not diverting that’s the hardest thing to do. It’s to continue to know that you’re doing the right thing and you could be doing the wrong thing. We’ve talked about winning and losing is I’ve gone down certain ways in oops no need to divert and go to a different way. So it’s just constant progression. And the people around you have to believe in you and have to have to support you. Because at the end of the day, as an entrepreneur, much like yourself, you know you have to answer to yourself. There’s not a boss at the end the road saying X,Y, and Z. You know there’s no review process at the end of the year. You have to do your own review process and decompress. Did I do the right thing? What worked and what didn’t.
Andrew: So it’s a constant battle from other competitors which is a positive competition is a good thing. And then there’s the challenges of people just wanting to try to just not necessarily compete but to go after ya. Whether it’s you know mortgage-to-mortgage or just you know mindgames or whatever the case may be or sometimes you have a bad apple in the bunch and you have to let them go.
Tony: Yeah actually. I think as an entrepreneur you have to really surround yourself with people that think the same way that you do. They had the same values as you do because there are people on the exterior that don’t see that 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. They may see you as an overnight success, where you’ve been grinding for the last 20 years every day. They see that success, you know can start popping up you know whether it’s a YouTube video or with big clients or are big mortgages that you’re signing.
Tony: And people want to see that as oh they just got lucky and that jealousy comes into to where you know why, why can’t I be that lucky?
Andrew: Well they don’t see me at the office at 4:00 am sending out e-mails.
Tony: I mean there is something to be said about hard work and even harder work and a lot of people don’t have that work ethic and expect. Especially in this in this day, a lot of people expect to just be able to start and and be successful. Some people are, and those well that stuff that just start out and become successful or incredibly good at what they do.
Tony: The other people, they have had to work and earn it. And I think a lot of people don’t think they have to do that.
Andrew: No the trials and tribulations that I’ve been through in the last 10 years, there’s not many people that would have stuck it out. I mean I’ve been told to leave, or to quit. And I just wouldn’t do it. And here we are now, you know brand new location building out my very first brand new from scratch office. I’m so blessed to have the people around me because they did it. They’ve had a lot of influence on it. It’s not Andrew. There’s no way… I couldn’t do it without them. They’re my family by far.
Tony: Yeah you have to have good people working for you. There’s no there’s no way I could be able to take time away from the business and do podcasts or other things to enhance the business or just the value that we that we bring to our customers without a strong team behind me. It’s really important.
Tony: Well let’s talk about how you met Holt and how you got into the video marketing not on the mortgage industry. How in the world do you market mortgages?
Andrew: Well that’s a very good point. That’s a good question. I really, well let’s revert back to your first question. I saw an ad and or a comment on Facebook about Holt Ingalls, HI Productions, wanting to know hey if you need a video to reach out to him. So literally two minutes from there I texted him said hey I’m interested in making some videos I don’t have a clue what I’m doing but come on with it. Two minutes later he calls me. Thirty minutes later he’s at my office and we’re talking about how to do videos.
Andrew: So that was about four five months ago I believe and we started off doing some food reviews in Auburn. I enjoy going out for suppers and eating good food. So we just spun it one day and we started out with I believe was Cookout and next thing you know 5000 views later and nine restaurants later we’ve been catered from here to you know Opelika to Lake Martin and you know we’ve had top executive chefs David Bancroft at Acre cater to us and it’s been a fun road and kind of diverted a little bit with not Andrew is the mortgage, well Andrew and Holt just being out in public having that experience showing the public what’s that all about. And they have enjoyed that.
Andrew: Holts done a perfect job of really who is Andrew Pais. So everybody knows. Oh yeah I’ve seen you on YouTube and I’ve seen your food reviews but I know that you do mortgages. I sell money.
Andrew: So it’s really been more of a not necessarily promoting mortgages but everyone knows what I do. So it’s really just face recognition. Andrew Pais, is the mortgage guy, Southeast Mortgage, you know being a public figure almost.
Tony: It’s all about the connection is that it’s the personal connection.
Andrew: I don’t think Holt can walk into Publix and not have somebody ask him aren’t you Holt Ingalls?I
Tony: mean it’s amazing the exposure that you can get. I mean if you think 5000 views, ok 5000 views maybe some people are watching it a couple times because it’s a really cool video, but 5000 people in a city the size of over 5000 views. It’s almost 10 percent.
Andrew: Think about it 10 percent of the entire populace of Auburn is watching your video. Yeah that’s strong is the long tail that video too.
Andrew: It’s not just when you put it out as people hear about it or hear about you they’re going to go back and look at those other videos.
Andrew: We did a video, when I was very blessed to be able to be part of southeast mortgage we did a video going to Atlanta and that’s reached 4500 views already. So you know we’ve been from Atlanta you know south and or west of us and all the way to Alabama and Auburn. They know what we do. He’s been pretty impressive and or made an impression of southeast mortgages audio video crew.
: Promoting the word this is very challenging.
: So again going back to promoting yourself and making it a fun video that’s really going to make a lot of impact and statistically if you want to play with some numbers if you think about how many people watch television, versus how many people watch YouTube, to have four or five thousand people watching a video on a television commercial you you’d spend ridiculous amounts of money and it would be a month long. So YouTube and Facebook have been a huge platform. Social media is number one. I don’t do any advertising except social media.
Tony: The cost of acquisition social media is so stupid cheap.
Andrew: Oh it’s minute compared, you could spend five thousand dollars on TV commercials and you’ll only have that commercial run 5000 times.
Tony: And most people are DVR’ing it and fast forward through commercials. But when you’re hitting people on social media they’re expecting that, and they want to see that you know that’s what that’s for. And the ability to target those people you can’t target, I mean you can kind of target a little bit. Television commercials, maybe like geographic area. Yeah. But I mean the ability to target who you want to target, specific cities, specific income levels, age, gender, education levels.
Andrew: It’s insane how you can geo-target everything. It’s been a lot of fun at least.
Tony: What’s been the hardest thing in creating that content?
Andrew: I’ve always had a passion. Being an Italian Catholic kid is I always enjoy food and my family. You know my family has always been around food. So that was an easy transition for me to be able to talk about that. Coming up with the ideas….we were just sitting around one day shooting the stuff I said hey let’s grab lunch. Cookout was there. And it just clicked so. And after that we just stuck to that and then we started doing some other you know Auburn versus Opelika videos and kind of get an idea of what the two cities are different and what the positives and negatives of either one of them are. But the hardest part of it is content. You know you can come up with a great idea hey let’s go to Acre. But you don’t know what you’re going to order you don’t know who you’re going to get this you don’t know this is going to happen or this is going to happen or you always have the threat of what are you doing with a camera in a restaurant or in a fine establishment. Luckily, we’ve been very blessed. Auburn and Opelika has never thrown us out.
Tony: Yeah we have great community, Auburn and Opelika. They’re both small towns, they’re growing like crazy because of the university and because of all the industry coming in. But it’s still a small town every kind of everybody kind of feels like they’re part of a family. And we are. We’re all family. And I love that that aspect of this area and just the support that everybody gives you.
: Hey come into CoffeeCar with your video camera you know come into Acre…
Andrew: Amsterdam, Hamiltons….you know even downtown historic Opelika, a gentleman who was walking his dog came up and wanted to see what we were up to just talking, supportive. It’s a community based support system and that’s what makes myself and then John productions successful.
Tony: So what’s your advice to someone wanting to get into the mortgage industry. Any any good resources that you want to share or any advice you want to give people that are just gettin out of college or you know decided that they want to change careers?
Andrew: Yeah. Come see me first. In all seriousness find a mentor someone that’s patient and someone that’s willing to take the time to train you. And just be quiet. You know try not. I know. You know getting into the business world you’re just gungho wide open. You want to make a difference in the world. Best thing to do is and it’s very challenging and I’ve struggled with this my whole life but I always want to do it do it do it. Go go go go go go go. But recently just trying to slow down and listen and learn and you’ll get farther than trying just to push a square peg through a round hole. So find a good mentor. A friend of mine in the mortgage business hired a coach for a whole year and he’s 25/26 years old. He’s a very successful businessman and I’m impressed that he took the time and he took the advice and you know he hired a coach for 12 months of how to be a better salesperson. And I think he’s very successful, I’m proud of him. Just take your time. Shut up and listen.
Tony: Well I’ve got one last question that I ask you everybody that I know you at the end of your life as you’re thinking about your family your friends the community here are as you as you pass into the next life what do you want them to remember you by? What do you want your legacy to be?
Andrew: To be a good father, first and foremost. Hard worker, good businessman, honest businessman, a man that was that is supportive of people and always kind of willing to help but you know lend a helping hand. I guess you’d say. Just all around good person and a good father. That’s a deep question.
Andrew: I mean you could keep going on and on and on. Truthfully as long as I know that people know that he was a good man he’s a good father he took care of his family worked hard and he wasn’t a lying, cheating, and stealing type of person I would be very pleased with that
Tony: Thank you so much for your time. Thank you. I know y’all are crazy busy. This housing market is blowing up like nobody’s business in Auburn.
Andrew: Lee County is on fire.
Tony: And so I appreciate you taking some time out this morning to talk with us.
Andrew: I appreciate you.