Andrew Draayer is a real estate investor that comes from a big family. He is the ninth of ten children. After a brief tenure at Arizona State University, Andrew discovered that his talents lie elsewhere and decided to venture into the sales market. He was a door-to-door salesman for 9 years before having children of his own and realizing that he required a more stable income to provide for his new family. As luck would have it, that coincided with Andrew meeting his future business partner. Together, the two founded Andrew the Homebuyer, a real estate investment company based largely on legwork, hustle, people skills, and a business plan that appeals to homeowners who want to sell their homes straight up for cash, person-to-person, the old fashioned way.
At one point a top sales rep and a regional manager for Dish Network, Andrew Draayer’s salesman bona fides are unquestionable. Since starting his company, he has bought more than 800 properties in the Phoenix, Arizona-area since 2015. Andrew Draayer has lived in Arizona for more than 20 years.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
It came from me starting out as a door-to-door salesman and knowing there was a market for people that wanted to sell their house the old-fashioned way. Actually, when my business partner and I came up with the idea, there were a bunch of other people who had the same notion, but we set ourselves apart. That’s where Andrew the Homebuyer came into play.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
If my 6 year old son wakes up first, he’ll come and get me and say “Daddy, can we watch some cartoons and can you make me some breakfast?” Then I’ll take my kids to school at about 7:40 am, and head into my office for about 8:10, 8:15 am. At that point we’re inbounding leads and receiving phone calls, doing follow-ups, and checking on all of our escrows. Then I will personally sit in on or take the lead on every appointment we have lined up for that day because I feel my experience in door-to-door sales and meeting so many different people really helps in getting the feel for clients.
How do you bring ideas to life?
For me, it’s by action. Once I think of something, I don’t sit around and wait. A lot of people have good ideas, but if you wait too long, someone else might beat you to the punch, and then your good idea becomes someone else’s good idea.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The trend that excites me the most is me buying more and more houses every month. At this point, a lot more people have seen my face and know my brand now, so I’m getting more recognition as one of the leading cash buyers of houses in the state of Arizona.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I really believe it’s just me understanding and acknowledging that if there’s somebody smarter in the room, then I should listen to them, look to them for advice, and delegate to them appropriately. I know where my own expertise lies and that’s why I have a good business partner, but being able to pass the ball to somebody who’ll give me good advice—and then actually taking that advice—really matters with regards to my productivity.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Get into real estate faster. I was a really good door-to-door salesman. If I had just put that same effort into doing what I’m doing now, I think life could have started a lot faster for me.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I think the best way to be likeable is to be honest and to treat people the way you would treat your own mother. So, if I’m meeting with a couple who are thinking of selling their home to me, I remind myself that this is a mom and a dad and I’ll treat them the way I would treat my own parents. I won’t try to take advantage of them, or bend the truth, or get upset with them, or anything like that. It’s all about civility and respect.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Constant follow-up and staying out in front of things. Due to the fact that I deal in real estate transactions, I have to keep both eyes on the ball at all times. There are always other companies, individuals, and players out there looking to buy up houses. If I put myself in front of a lead the most—make sure myself and my business are at the forefront of their mind—when the time comes for them to sell, they’re at least going to give me a chance and consider my offer.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I’m a big believer in not needing to make a long dime as opposed to a quick nickel. I’ll look at houses where I don’t need to make a lot of money on each transaction, so long as I make a lot of transactions and they’re very easy. It amounts to the same thing in the end. So, I don’t need to hit a home run on every deal. A bunch of singles are okay because I’ll still get some runs on the board.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Being that I was in door-to-door sales for a long time, I had reps that weren’t able to keep up. They weren’t able to close sales with people. I had a hard time understanding that because it came so easy to me. How I overcame that problem was by listening to my manager at the time. He told me it would be a good idea if I had these underperforming reps follow me around and shadow me for a few days so they could pick up all the little nuances that I use to make sales. That ended up working really well.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
These days, because people like to have things done for them and delivered to them, I thought a good new business to start would be an Uber or Lyft service for laundry. So, a driver would pull up to a house, pick up the laundry, wash it, dry it, fold it, and then bring it back to the customer. I think that could be a booming new customer service industry.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
It was my daughter’s birthday recently. I paid a little more than I should have to buy dinner. But it was my daughter’s third birthday, so I felt like it would make the party that much better. I think everybody appreciated a little bit of good food.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
There’s a call service called kall8 where you can buy phone numbers. If you have different marketing avenues, you can assign each one a different phone number. So, if you’re sending fliers, if you’re sending mailers, if it’s a cold call operation, if it’s a commercial—whatever it is, it makes it very easy to track where leads are coming from. It records all the phone calls. It will populate a caller ID. It’s really beneficial if you’re getting a lot of leads and inbound calls. It helps with organization.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I’m a big believer in a book called The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. It contains a lot of insights about the law of attraction. I read this book right when I started door-to-door sales. I was 19 years old. I jumped on a Greyhound bus for a few days and I read that whole book. It really helped me to channel the things I really care about, the things that I wanted to happen in my life. It taught me a lot of positive affirmations and stuff like that. I learned to tell myself every day that I’m great and that people want to associate with me. It really helped me get a foothold on what was essentially a commission-only job.
What is your favorite quote?
“Do or do not do; there is no try.” — Yoda
• Display initiative. No one else is going to do things for you.
• However you can, find the wherewithal to accomplish your goals.
• It’s important to reflect on your actions.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.