August 21

Creig Northrop, President at Northrop Realty


Creig Northrop has been the #1 realtor in the US three times in his career. he has a personal passion for real estate – unlike any other. Just like Michael Jordan loves basketball, Bill Gates loves software, and Warren Buffett loves the stock market, Creig loves real estate. Every one of these successful people loves what they do and that is why they can create amazing results in their fields. Passion can give you the competitive edge because it gives you stamina. Passion is the fuel that keeps you going when your competition is ready to quit or gets complacent.

Creig began my team with a vision; to be the best in the industry - integrity and unquenchable drive are the stepping stones that have made The Creig Northrop Team of Long & Foster Real Estate one of the most productive and successful Teams in real estate history. The Team began with a special focus on Howard County – and has now expanded to nine additional Maryland counties including Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick, Harford, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Washington, D.C.

Podcast Highlights:

  • Build a strong foundation or you have nothing to stand on
  • Pick a big goal and go for it
  • Energy is contagious make sure yours is high
  • Reach one, teach one is one of our guiding philosophies (make sure you listen to this section on the podcast)

Contact Creig:

#RealEstate #Realtor #broker  #NoLimitsSelling #podcast #leadership

[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone. This is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the no limit selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster. Get ready for another episode.

Umar Hameed 0:36
Today I'm privileged to have Craig Northrup here. He has been the number one realtor in the country three times. Craig, welcome to the program.

Creig Northrup 0:42
Thank you. Pleasure.

Umar Hameed 0:44
So Craig, take us back to when you started in real estate. What craziness made you want to join real estate? And tell me what that was? Like before you figured out which way was up? Well, you know, it's interesting. So in college, I always had a passion for movies. So I'm not really how the tie was in college. I'm a big Turk fan, by the way. But I was in the University of Maryland, and I started your job doing a video store. So really good. I used to do that, too. Yeah, I got to be a manager rather quickly. Because I you know, it's about knowing people and called mirroring people or, or kind of be able to adapt to each personality. Yes. And as a manager, and as a growing of an entrepreneur, you got to get better at that. A lot of patience, but it's called adaptability. So adaptability was one of the things I was able to get early in life. And, and of course, then, of course, with the business background of being an employee, I said I wanted if you're going to do it anyway, why not be the best. So within six months, I became a manager of that video store. So you should also do what you're passionate about. I love movies. So it kind of worked for me. So that was what I was doing through college. So the reason I even bring that in, is ultimately ended up owning a video store. So we got that and I learned and my philosophy of video store resist, I had a I had a bell on the door. Yes. So every minute, I want that bell to ring. Yeah. So that that meant that I would had customers. And so I would create free coupons or whatever it took to get people to ring the bell ringing, right? And that's that philosophy, I've always rang true, you know, same in, you know, in branding, branding is the same way. It's the same Bell, it's just branding now. Right?

Umar Hameed 2:18
So let me punch you there take you back. So that kind of mindset of, you know, being of service connecting with people the work ethic, once you get that from,

Umar Hameed 2:29
you know, where do you get that from? I mean, some of it is by mentors, you know, I see some of my mentors do it. My mom was a very hard worker, I certainly she was one of them. My owner of the video store was a, he taught me a lot of the business rather quickly. So he was one of them. So really, the people around you gather information, especially, you know, people that you think you may want to strive to be like, and I think learn from them. So one of my best advice is when you're young, learn as much as possible, be that sponge, go after people that are doing it, the way you'd like to do it, and learn how they're doing it. And then therefore, try to incorporate what they're doing.

Umar Hameed 3:04
That's brilliant. So tell me, when you stepped into real estate, what was that like? And how long did it take for you to kind of figure out how to make the bell ring.

Umar Hameed 3:11
So that's a great point. So really, when we got this video, so armonia data $2 and 50 cent videos decided was there a membership back then we should charge

Umar Hameed 3:19
$100 to join.

Umar Hameed 3:20
That's funny, I always believed in free memberships, because I wanted more clients and my opportunity was getting them in the doors and then they would do other buy other things. So that was it. But with that the thoughts were I could sell $2 50 cent videos or $250,000 houses. So really, the decision was my mother was already doing the business. So I decided to Hey, I'll keep the business my as an entrepreneurial, but I'm going to go in and do real estate. So in real estate, I just helped my mother I learned I you know, it's knowledge is competence, competence, trust, trust, the sale, I knew, every house, every street of every location I was going to be my most mission was when I finally got them by recalls or whatever, I knew every street so I could guide that client wherever they needed to go. So really get that mastery put in a time to get the mastery, learn it first don't have to jump headfirst and just think you're you know, you know doing it, I think it's better to learn it really be comfortable, create confidence, and then you'll build trust in others. So I thought doing that with that that was sort of how I got into real estate with my mother being an assistant, then auto me decided to Hey, let's, let's take it to the next level, my wife and I decided to do it on our own. We opened the crate Northup team so nicely did that. And we decided to be a team because we saw team was going to be the future teams can do more and what years this is 2000 2000 apart not too long ago. No, it wasn't about 18 years ago. So and and you're good at math. Thank you. You have to be in real estate really quick. Right? So with that, so we decided that decision, we jump into the business. You know, we get our first you know, administration person we get our salesperson we kind of start building a team. And honestly it started with one and now it's 145. So

Umar Hameed 4:58
145 let me go back to the original To Yes, so what would the skill sets that your wife had? That you were missing? And vice versa? Was there that joining of skill sets?

Umar Hameed 5:08
Yes. And what? That's a great question. So my wife always brought the compassion, the, you know, the togetherness, the you know, the, you know, learning people and always treating everybody equally right. And that's worn out. Yes, it is. Because that's as important as the sales side, which I brought the IBM approach to real estate, where each person has a division of veil, we had a staging department, we had a client care department, we had a, you know, marketing department, we have an IT department and we had a sales department. So we made it a business. So I brought business background, my wife brought the compassion and the caring, and we both care, but ultimately, together, the caring culture

Umar Hameed 5:44
and I call it the culture did that define you differently than the other realtors in the market?

Umar Hameed 5:49
Well, it was everybody else was real estate was just about wait for the phone rang and answer it right? That was it. Now we created a business so that it was more of we can handle more clients more often, just like they're there, you're the only client. So the thought process is in order to grow, we had to create it so that that client never felt you were too busy for them.

Umar Hameed 6:08
Tell me about that kitchen table moment where you guys are thinking about, okay, this is what we want the customer experience to be like, and then having employees that you need to execute it, how do you translate what was in your heart into theirs?

Umar Hameed 6:23
Well, first of all, you got to believe it, you know, it's got to be you know, you got to be very authentic in anything that you do. And what I mean by that is, is, you know, you I love what I do, because I enjoy it, I have a passion for it's a lifestyle for me, and and my wife. And so with that, it you know, energy is contagious. And vision is is understood if it's in the right direction. So you lead by example. And he'd be and we became player coaches. So I sold real estate, but yet still lead. And so I could coach people throughout the way, right? And so when you can build up it's called reach one teach one, right? So every time we reached a monument, we brought more people and taught them how to get there. So each time we kept building this foundation that any good house has to have that foundation in order to to be successful and to hold its time. So was that your concept? Or did you borrow

Umar Hameed 7:13
from someone?

Umar Hameed 7:14
No, we didn't borrow is definitely our concept. knows no teams in really say buy, right, have bigger teams and real estate till we really came along.

Umar Hameed 7:22
Tell me about one of your charges, someone that you brought in you into the business that maybe didn't have such a smooth entry into the business. Okay, but you had to give them some guidance to kind of get that eureka moment, do you have one of those stories

Umar Hameed 7:37
where they kind of got in and

Umar Hameed 7:39
they weren't finding their way, and then you coach them through that. And it was like a life changing? I think

Umar Hameed 7:45
a lot of people get in with different expectations with sales, I want to make six figures or I want to, you know, or I want to sell it all today. And you know, and get instant return. That's not what sales is about. It's about you know, about showing the client care of for the future. So what you what we found is that some people were either real sales driven, yeah, same, and we have to back them off and show them the caregiving Yes, right. Or we have the caregiving that weren't sales given. Right. So we basically what we did, well, we created now was called Northrup University, which is north review that, that trains agents on, hey, if you're from the nursing or the teaching, which by the way, make great agents they care a lot, right. But we have to teach them a little more the sales side, right, but then you get the, I won't use that car salesman, but let's just say the insurance or whatever, and let's use them, they need a little bit more the care side. So what is amazing is we're able to establish which part of the piece of that person that needs to be kind of focused on and we're going to work with you on it, and we care enough to make you better because if you do better, the company ultimately does better. And then we all make as a group at that time as a team, we all got together, we trusted one another and everyone wanted for our for our team goals to achieve it. Now on the brokerage. Now we want them just to excel in their own ways. And we're just here to help.

Umar Hameed 9:08
Brilliant. As companies get started, they have a very clear vision of what they want to accomplish, and more importantly, a very powerful sense of who they are and what they stand for. But as business speeds up and is more moving parts. Sometimes people lose sight of that. How did you guys stay true to that? Original, this is who we are, this is what we stand for. We

Umar Hameed 9:28
always saw that we wanted to be the best. And what the best was, is a rating system of being number one in the nation. So we were number two for many, many years. So you know, I told you advice about learning from others. Yes. So we flew around the country when we were number two to see number one. We went out to California met Ruth Pugh. We went out to another California we went down to Miami to meet other other teams that had beaten us and to learn how and what we could do better. We incorporate that in our business and kept making changes. We are only As good as we were, you know, the next day, so may meeting, you know, your goal is your competition is yourself yet, right. And if you're better than you were yesterday, you're in the right direction. And that's really what we were trying to understand and learn. Now technology's changed. You know, we didn't have the internet, we didn't have social media and have a lot of that. So you have to incorporate that as you go and get people that know that if you don't know it. So that's one of the key. So let's backtrack

Umar Hameed 10:27
a little bit, because it sounds like the people that were in at the top of the profession. Sounds like they had a level of generosity to allow you to come in. So is there a group of people that are just very collaborative to make the whole industry better?

Creig Northrup 10:40
I would say reach out to them and let them you know, they most people at their levels, yeah, should be as we would be open to always

Umar Hameed 10:49
sounds like they were

Creig Northrup 10:50
they weren't totally, you know, question they were and and I thank them very much. And it was very rewarding for both of us, because I think we both gave each other something I learned from everybody that talks to me every day, like this interview, you know, you learn and think about, wow, how was it? When I first started, you know, right, sit down and do that, naturally, you're focused on everything else. So these are this kind of things that each time that we do go through these experiences, or somebody talks to me or

Umar Hameed 11:15
I go talk to them, I pay attention to what's going on that pick up something useful, listening, always listening.

Umar Hameed 11:21
How do you see the future for real estate? And how do you remain relevant in that future that's coming?

Umar Hameed 11:27
Well, you certainly again, you needed to brand yourself. And we did that for a long time. Okay. 5% of the market knows who we are. And that was a key. So first, it was about making a mark being memorable, right? You can be memorable or forgotten your choice, right? So the thought was to be memorable, now it's sadness right

Umar Hameed 11:43
there. So how did you become memorable? Like, what do

Umar Hameed 11:45
you do? So one of the memories is I do a lot of filler, a lot of community give back. Right? So I do a lot of traffic. Yeah, yes, right. I do a lot of that. And we and when I say there, it's the proverbial the Team USA team at that point. And also, we I tied ourselves to restyle ourselves to University of Maryland College Park. So we became a big advocate with them. So when people thought of the term, which is the term turtle, they thought of the Northrop team, and hence I have it right in my pocket every day. Brilliant. So that's brilliant. When people think of a larger institution, they always related to me, because they know that we are an I am a big fan of the University of Maryland, I was supporter and I went there. So it gave us a little bit more entity of a more plan, there. And of course, then I did TV, and they saw my face because I was on the signs. So it's kind of that recognizable, trusted brand

Umar Hameed 12:34
that started it. So number one was be memorable. And then what and then what and then,

Umar Hameed 12:39
so then be memorable, then, you know, again, from a leader standpoint, lead by example, okay, you're only as good as the people that are around you build the people through culture, with my wife, through styling, your training for you know, the combination was fantastic. And then once once you've got this great foundation, that's when you grow. See the problem is everybody tries to grow so fast. And what happens is you make mistakes, and that the foundation is not strong enough, you have nothing to stand on. So I think it's so important to build that with great people before you really think you're going to be able to build the buildings.

Umar Hameed 13:13
So you've got 18 years of experience of doing this.

Umar Hameed 13:16
Yes. Well, I actually have 30 total 18 of the team.

Umar Hameed 13:20
Yes, brilliant. So if you were mentoring a team, let's say somewhere in California and in this market, right, and you sat down with a new person coming in? Yes. What would be the three pieces of advice you'd give them to help them build that foundation?

Umar Hameed 13:34
Right, so they were just starting out? They didn't have any employees yet I tell him to get an administration person first, you know, kind of take care of the stuff that the team leader needs to free himself up to be able to work with the other staff people that are going to come on? Yes, right the salespeople, that's the first thing, right, is to kind of, you know, where's what's the first step? The second step is, then where do you grow? Do you grow into buyers agents? Do you grow into sellers agencies like that? Get the staff in? And then where's your marketing? Where's your where's the best places to kind of put yourself out there? How is branding work the problem with most agents or in in most businesses, we all try that one shot. And if that one shot marketing doesn't work off. And so that's the nine. That's the consistency of why people don't realize they ride a roller coaster see in our business, in our culture, we're trying to keep everybody consistent so that instead of doing five, one month, in one another month, we want five every month, right? You can produce that, that really kind of keeps that stability around and marketing does that as well. Marketing is the same way. You got to let the consumer know you're there always you can't give up and back up, back off the consumers. They will it's peace of mind first of mine, and you have to be best of mine.

Umar Hameed 14:43
Who are some of your agents that you can just see that this person is going to be a superstar and they reach a plateau where they limit themselves. What do you do when you come to a situation like that?

Umar Hameed 14:54
Well, it's funny one of the one goals is to get and use the onion to pull out the unused potential is one of the most valuable, saddest assets that human human people have humanistic value is, is because technology is real simple. They it does, it tells you something is done, right? We're, that's why real estate will always be a human part. Because, you know, we have so much potential and so much unused that we have. So do it every day. So how do you pull that out? motivation? You know, how do you how do you find somebody different than the other everyone has potential, everyone can do it, it's whether you want to do it, it's whether you have the desire to do it. And and, and it's how you look at doing it. So, you know, if you don't want to do something, or you want to resist it, you remember, it's changing your mindset. And yes, mindset is the most powerful thing it's it controls your whole body is how your mind is change your attitude change if you change your word be an asset

Umar Hameed 15:51
or liability. That's right.

Umar Hameed 15:53
And and so the passion and the power that your mind has, if you don't want to do it, it's not going to do it. You know, I heard that they, they say that in the operating rooms, if they think you have it, if you say you're going to die, they won't operate on you, because they believe the mind has so much power that it's going to do that. Absolutely. That's the same mindset. So if a if an agent has that much mindset that he can do it skill, the mindsets more powerful than the ability and we can teach ability.

Umar Hameed 16:21
What I found in my work very much is a beliefs of self fulfilling prophecies, right, that soon as he get that belief, and we're looking for data to validate it, right can get counter examples that might be very useful that we totally ignore, because it doesn't fulfill that belief. And if the belief is I can do anything, you do it. And if the belief is only people that are chosen or university education's and you're going to prove that right as well.

Umar Hameed 16:43
Yeah, they always say, you know, if you're gonna do it, you know, as you're right, if you don't know what you don't, you're right, as well. And my mother has always said, if you can conceive it, you can believe that you can achieve and I live with that. I mean, it's nice. It's one of them things that you have to believe first in yourself. And the most powerful thing in sales, is first to have confidence yourself more power is putting confidence in you and others. And what I mean by that is, if they're confident in you, that's the most powerful

Umar Hameed 17:11

Umar Hameed 17:13
If you're confident, you want to use me for weather services. That's that confidence. That's that sales. Yes. You know, it's not telling you what to do. It's showing you how to do it and getting you to

Umar Hameed 17:23
buy and come with a lever. That's right. Absolutely. Yes. This is a big responsibility. You've got 100 and some odd people relying on you. Yes, some point, I would suspect that you must have come to one of those forks in the road where you're like, Am I the right guy? So tell me about one of those learning experience where you had to actually coach yourself to be better?

Umar Hameed 17:43
Well, I think we always have to coach yourself to be better than yesterday, right. But more importantly, I think what I had to coach myself on was to keep myself in shape, and always in tune to what's next. And so I joke about this that I wanted to go back to be 30. Again, right? So you hit your 40s you go oh my god, I'm getting old here to 50 Oh my gosh, right. Like over the hill. So I went to a clothes designer, and I said, Give me a 30 year old suit. And I couldn't move my hands. Anywhere, I'm tired, right? But it you know, the thought process is is you have to learn, you never lose. You learn. And and you learn every day. So there's a lesson in blessing in everything we do. And so what I've learned is, as I've grown, is, if the weight gets too much, I step back, I master it, and I come up stronger. And I think that's in the way doesn't have to be that far off. So you know, I think all of us go, if I fail, I go all the way back and I reset. No, you just step back, you don't reset. Yes. And I think that's part of the problem. When you get into owning businesses and everything. You think you're a failure, because you have missed one opportunity. Well, there's a reason you miss that opportunity. Find out why understand why and make yourself better on the next one. And that's really one of the things that not only do I believe in, but I coach in, and I'm very passionate about that we take we should embrace failure, we should embrace the now love the know thank them, though, because the no means there's another opportunity waiting. And sometimes we don't understand that. And that's hard because in we are rejection driven in the sense that in sales, we think the client is going to say one thing, and they end up do sometimes because we've created it and so or we don't even make the call because we think that

Umar Hameed 19:29
they're gonna say no,

Umar Hameed 19:30
that's right. So we've got the word that's that mechanism that we try to get out of the the agents minds.

Umar Hameed 19:36
So one of the things that I'm picking up you have a belief that this is going to work out well. And that gives you the privilege to be that scientist and experiment and go but that level of certainty is what leads to your success.

Umar Hameed 19:51
Fear false evidence appearing real Yeah. So as leaders, you got a guy you just got to go you're gonna you know, decision period, a decision. is one of them things where when you make a decision, it's you it could be right or wrong, but you know what you made the decision and you move forward. And as leaders, you're you have to make decisions every day. And you have to take on a whole team in consideration of that. But when you make that decision, it is what it is right? You can't regret it, you can't change it, you can't blame, complain, things like that, you just got to go move forward. And people respect you for that. Because what they are looking for somebody to get around to, to kind of rally around to kind of get us to the next level, what's going to get you to the next level, who's going to bring you there who's going to help me there. And that's the most powerful thing that why leaders leaders are leaders because they do what they say they're gonna do, they show up, they never give up, and they have a purpose or a direction and and in, you want to be on that ship, you want to be on that direction, because it's the direction that feels good is right. And they're going the way you would benefit you and your life.

Umar Hameed 20:56
Brilliant. So Craig, just before we part company, a couple of quick questions. Number one, what's your biggest fear right now you've got a you're going in the right direction, you're successful, you got a track record? Are there any things that you are wary off,

Umar Hameed 21:08
weary of I mean, ultimately, whenever you grow, you're always weary, you know, the economy can always do some I change. And that's fine. In a recession, we actually were number one in the nation from through the recession. So our business standards went up, which is great, because we already hold from a

Umar Hameed 21:21
higher level is nice. But

Umar Hameed 21:23
just like anything else, you know, we don't control it, though the interest rates could go up, stock markets could change. These are things that don't control you but make you look responsible. Yeah. So that's hard. And I you know, that's so a fear factor is an outside source that I can't control could make what we do look like it's our responsibility.

Umar Hameed 21:43
Brilliant. And is there a particular book, you'd recommend that the listeners read? The book that

Umar Hameed 21:48
I would read, there's goals by Brian Tracy, who I think is dynamite. You know, goals without deadlines are no goals at all. Everyone should have a goal period. Yes, I think that's probably a very powerful one. The other one I'm very very much about is called Miracle Morning, I believe in that book a lot. And it's by how I'll rod and it's about getting up an extra hour early. I think the culture, the things everything starting earlier. And I think you can get a lot more done. They say prospect in the morning, and solve problems in the afternoon. And as a business person, I get more done in the morning than I'll ever get during the day. And then our two hours there, how you start your day, if you win the morning, you win the day. Take that half hour of just your time. Take your drilling, enjoy your time, and be ready for the day because that's your time to kind of prepare in your own space.

Umar Hameed 22:39
Craig, thanks so much for sitting down with me. I learned a lot and really enjoyed it.

Umar Hameed 22:42
Thank you is a true pleasure. Have a great day.

Umar Hameed 22:50
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at no limit selling.com I've got a free mind training course there that's going to teach you some insights from the world of neuro linguistic programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.


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