September 11

Robert Commodari Founder of The Commodari Group


The owner and founder of The Commodari Group Rob has been in business for 15 plus years. Over that time frame, Rob and his team have helped approximately 1300 families fulfill their dream of either buying or selling a home. He specializes in building relationships that last beyond the sale or purchase of your home. Rob takes a personal approach to conduct business as he applies a passionate and sincere interest in helping his clients achieve their goals.

Podcast Highlights:

  • If it's worth doing, don't hold back give it your all
  • Tenacity is an essential element of success
  • Be willing to fail its the only way to grow

Contact Rob:

[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 0:32
Today I have the privilege of having Rob Commodari from the Commodari Group joining me today. And Rob is one of the leaders in real estate in our backyard. Rob, welcome to the program.

Rob Commodari 0:42
Thank you, Umar. Good morning to you.

Umar Hameed 0:43
So Rob, what made you get into real estate?

Rob Commodari 0:48
I'll take you back to 1990, 199-1999 timeframe, I had leftover price and I got a newspaper route and Federal Hill, Locus Point Area.

Umar Hameed 0:59
So why don't you do something that you got a tough flight job and you went to delivering newspapers?

Rob Commodari 1:04
Well, I had a white collar job at T. Rowe Price, which is a great company and still is a great company. But at a college. My salary back in 1991, when I took the job at CBRE price was $17,000 a year so I needed other income. So I started helping a buddy of mine deliver newspapers. So we had they had these big agencies back then to 3000 customers. So one became available in the federal Hill area in 1994. My friend introduced me to it. I looked at the numbers, it just made sense to do. So I started that. And the money was great. And I was like, you know, I'm going to be a professional paperboy and not wear shirt and tie.

Umar Hameed 1:40
Brilliant. And as an added benefit, you got to know that neighborhood intimately, right?

Rob Commodari 1:45
Well, correct. Yeah. So I as I'll tell you, it was November of 1994. I pulled up my brand new Ford F 150 pickup truck. And I was at the corner of light Street and heat Street. And I asked myself the question as I got on my truck, what the heck am I doing here? This is not a good looking neighborhood. And as I looked down each Street, all I saw were boarded up windows and doorframes. And that was like more houses boarded up then were lived and not Yeah, right. And so I but I continued to deliver papers made the commitment and it was time to you know, keep rolling.

Umar Hameed 2:17
And so what made you decide to step into real estate.

Rob Commodari 2:20
So as the days and weeks and months went by, I started to see the revitalization of federal Hill nice. I started to see the woodcut, the boarded up, Windows come out and new windows go in new doors go into forms don't come down, pointed brick go up. And I used to see these renovations going on. And on and on. I got excited about it. And I was like I got to get into this. And I would see the same names going on the houses that were selling, the houses are being renovated, I'd see the names of the construction companies doing renovations, and it perked my interest. So unfortunately, you know, I didn't have the confidence then to dive into full scale, but I dipped my toes into a little bit doing some flips or renovations and resales. And then finally my wife got pregnant with our second child. And which child is this? Amanda? Amanda? Yeah, so so we had a child, Robbie in 1999. And then Amanda in 2001 2002. She went on to date. Anyway. So she got pregnant with her second child, as I you know, as you can tell, I've been doing it for seven, eight years at a time. And she wanted to go back to work. And I said, I don't want you to work I will make I will take something else on to supplement the income. So I decided to get my real estate license because the enthusiasm and excitement I had been a neighborhood getting up every morning.

Umar Hameed 3:33
Nice. So which company did you join?

Rob Commodari 3:34
I started at Long and Foster.

Umar Hameed 3:36
So tell me about your first deal with Long and Foster.

Rob Commodari 3:38
So my first deal happened to be my newspaper manager. Yeah, he gave me a shot, we all need a shot. No matter what we start, no matter what we do, we need a shot, we need somebody to have a little faith and confidence, confidence in us to give us a break. So it's my newspaper manager who gave me opportunity to help him buy a house and sell his house.

Umar Hameed 3:54
Brilliant. And so you know, when you go into real estate, the first thing they say is, you know, who are the people, you know, and because you're gonna get deals there and you proved it.

Rob Commodari 4:01
Correct. So and in fact, the third first three to five deals were people I was associated with in a newspaper business.

Umar Hameed 4:08
So how long did you stay with Long and Foster?

Rob Commodari 4:10
About a year and three months? A year and a half something to that effect? So lots of learning at that point. Yeah, it was great. It was a huge learning curve. I picked it up quick. You know, first calendar year in a business I sold 19 homes back then which was pretty good is huge. Yeah, it wasn't it wasn't great, but it was good. It's pretty good. And then you went to which company RE/MAX, RE/MAX your 10 and a half years.

Umar Hameed 4:29
And what make you flip to RE/MAX?

Rob Commodari 4:31
Well, the people saw RE/MAX as the company that you know the the consummate professional was a part of.

Umar Hameed 4:40

Rob Commodari 4:40
You were your own boss, you were 100% commission that you had to pay other fees, but it was people just saw it more as the entrepreneur not an employee of a company.

Umar Hameed 4:51
That's brilliant.

Rob Commodari 4:51
That's what I would say.

Umar Hameed 4:52
And so from RE/MAX you went to?

Rob Commodari 4:55
Keller Williams, about four and a half years ago.

Umar Hameed 4:58
And so Keller Williams is really known for education, so is education, really important to you?

Rob Commodari 5:03
Education is paramount. It's just, that's the one main reason I made the switch was the opportunity here, Keller Williams, and the education and the education has been foreign on above better than any of the three companies have been a part of.

Umar Hameed 5:17
So in real estate, there's, you know, you need to know how to do real estate, the mechanics of it correct. You need to have the strategy of it correct, then the enemy really is mindset. You're saying the other part is, you know, that mental space, right? So, ever since I've known you, you've always been quoting books, reading books, how many books have you read about self development?

Rob Commodari 5:40
About 800

Umar Hameed 5:42

Rob Commodari 5:41
Over the last 28 years, I would tell you, yeah, by July of 1990, I picked up my first book, The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino.

Umar Hameed 5:49
One of the hallmarks of self-development.

Rob Commodari 5:52
That is correct. And I have a there may be a period of time, over 20 years where I needed to take a break. But right now I read every day, every single day, anywhere, it could be 15 to 20 pages, it could be 30, or 40 pages.

Umar Hameed 6:04
I was listening to this interview, might have been on NPR, and it was a woman that had written a book about the self help books. And so the interviewer asked her, you know, so what's the oldest self help book that you've come across? Because, well, I found some scrolls that were written by a pharaoh in Egypt, for his son, so he could take over. So it was like, how to be a pharaoh. She said, Yes, it was how to be a pharaoh kind of thing. So. So give me like, three pieces of advice you've picked up in those self help books, because a lot of times, you know, things get repeated, or things that really jump out, what are the three most valuable lessons you've learned, that have helped your career?

Rob Commodari 6:45
Wow, that's it. Persist until you succeed? I would tell you that nasty tenacity, you have to persist until you succeed, and you got to have that determination. You know, the idea of being disciplined, you know, discipline is key to any success in any business.

Umar Hameed 7:03
And what's really interesting is discipline has a lot of negative connotations. But if you take a look at any overnight success, they've had discipline for like, 10 years, right? So it wasn't overnight, it was a combination of time. And on the outside, it looked like it was like, "Hey, you got lucky but," yeah.

Rob Commodari 7:21
So if you', if you remain disciplined to anything you do, you're not going to see the success today, tomorrow, maybe the next month or two. But in time, you build up that pressure, like like a dam, and it's gonna break. And when it breaks, it breaks big.

Umar Hameed 7:35
So what would be the third thing?

Rob Commodari 7:37
So I said, persistent to succeed discipline? And be? Really, I think this is huge. have an open mind and open heart. Yeah, that's what comes to me right now. Because when you read this stuff, you know, everybody's different. Everybody receives things or hears things or reads things differently. So it's a matter of interpretation. But when you have an open mind and open heart, I think it allows your like your awareness radar, to be open to receive anything, because I think one of my favorite words is awareness. Yes, if you can become aware of your surroundings, your environment, your state, your mental state, who knows what you can do, it's just unlimited.

Umar Hameed 8:12
And I think one of the things that really comes out is you know, what you happen to be focused on, you find correct in spades. And if you've got that open heart, open mind, then you're open to whatever the other person brings. When you have your mind made up. You're going to find that and miss all the other important stuff. So that openness is huge. Correct? I agree with you. So after reading all these books, you got the crazy notion that I should write one, two, what's that experience been like?

Rob Commodari 8:40
Well, actually, the crazy notion was about 15 years and reading books, and I just I didn't have the self confidence, you might read for 15 years, it's still not having the self confidence to write a book. I'm like, I question myself, who am I to think that I could write a book. But I remember reading that Og Mandino book, and I'm like, this is what I want to do. This is what I have a passion to do is help and inspire people to fulfill and reach their own potential because I want to reach mine. And I always say to people, what I meant when I'm in at my funeral, when I died, I'm laying in my coffin, whoever gives my eulogy, when if they're up there, and they say Rob had all the potential in the world. I'm going to jump out of my cascade and go up there and, and strangle. I want to go I want to go with no gas left in the tank.

Umar Hameed 9:23

Rob Commodari 9:23
So, so writing the book has been it's been difficult because I didn't have the confidence. I started I stopped, I started, I stopped. So back in January 2017. I finally made a commitment to get up every morning at 4am and just write for 45 minutes to an hour, 45 minutes 10 billion everyday for Monday through Monday, Monday through Friday, and a June 23 of 2017. I wrote my last sentence. And here we are today, August 28. And it's not published yet. So from last year to now there's a lot of humbling experiences Yeah, of the editing of the feedback. And hey, You know, it's, I was never self proclaimed writer, but I just want to put my thoughts in my heart on paper. So now it's about molding and shaping it into where it needs to be.

Umar Hameed 10:09
Not many people know this, but the way they found Osama bin Laden is one of the get mode people happen to mention, he wanted to write a book. So that allowed him He's like, okay, I give up. I'll tell you where he is. Because cuz I've written a few books. And it is my very first attempt at writing a book. And I'm a pretty self confident person. An editor took me out for a coffee, and got the first page of my book, and color coded it for me, Umar Did you notice, all the yellow things should be in this area, and some of them are down here. And it was such a devastating experience that I did not write for another six months.

Rob Commodari 10:45
It's humbling. It's very humbling.

Umar Hameed 10:48
So Rob, the first year, how many houses did you sell? 19? And how did that progress? Like what was before you started building a team? What height did you hit?

Rob Commodari 10:57
Well, 42.

Umar Hameed 10:59

Rob Commodari 11:00
19,000, my first year, then I jumped at the 42. And then, in the interim, I'm still had to newspaper out for another

Umar Hameed 11:06

Rob Commodari 11:06
two after that, during that, and I needed help, you know, they say the best time to hire somebody is when you don't need them. When you do need them. They're there. So then I just jumped into my database, because I want to do business by referral. I jumped in my database, and I asked my database if they knew anybody was looking, looking for work. And sure enough, a friend of mine from my childhood years said his wife was looking to work. And she'd been in real estate business before so hired her on and thank god, she's still with me today.

Umar Hameed 11:33
Brilliant. As you started growing your organization, you have to bring in other agents. Mm hmm. Tell me what changed for you, when you went from solo practitioner with maybe an admin to actually having other agents that you need to lead? What was that experience like? And what did you learn in that experience?

Rob Commodari 11:49
Well, it's good and bad. You know, the idea is to leverage your time leverage, you leverage your time. So the successes have been learning, learning along the way, and learning how to be a leader along the way, which is, I don't think there's a never ending curve of growth to write leadership. But the hard, the hard thing you have to learn or the discipline we have to take into account is is taking the time to hire so like they say, slow to hire quick to fire.

Umar Hameed 12:15

Rob Commodari 12:16
And early on, I wasn't as quick to let go. And I still struggle with it at times. But it's it's setting the expectation up front, setting the standard, setting the boundaries up front, for people to know what you expect of them. So that's that's been, it's been a challenge and an opportunity in the same breath.

Umar Hameed 12:35
So you made some mistakes?

Rob Commodari 12:37

Rob Commodari 12:38
And I still make them.

Umar Hameed 12:39
Part of, part of life.

Rob Commodari 12:40

Umar Hameed 12:41
For somebody new coming into real estate, let's say they've reached the $5 million mark $10 million mark, and they're like, okay, I want to like start building a team, what would be the three pieces of advice that you wish you had when you first started, that would help them navigate this world of transition from solo practitioner to now you're a leader,

Rob Commodari 13:01
I think the first thing that comes to mind is have a model and a system to use to guide you through the hiring and interviewing process. And I will tell you, candidly, Keller Williams has that model nice. And they there's a program, it's called career visioning. There's a program that walks you through the process of how to interview, hire and ask the right questions to bring somebody on. Then, in that process, there's also the questioning to determine what type of behavior attributes that person has. So in asking questions, right, so it's the model number one to asking the right questions, learning with the right question...

Umar Hameed 13:41
And then being present to pay attention to what they're saying to really get a gauge of who they are.

Rob Commodari 13:45
Exactly. Because you're listening for the cue words and their responses. Are they do they have victim language? Or is their level of arrogance not confidence, you know, do they think is their entitlement there? You know, things like that you have to listen for because if I'm talking to somebody who feels entitled, in an interview, I'm done. You know, if I'm talking to somebody who's got victim language and interview, I'm not moving forward with that person. So I'm looking for those things in the conversation nice. you'd asked for three says to the it's be willing to fail. Be willing to be willing to stumble and fail along the way and know that you're going to make mistakes and when you do just correct them. Of course, correct.

Umar Hameed 14:27
Brilliant. So what's the next milestone for you?

Rob Commodari 14:31
Instead, some degree to step away from the motto that away but out of the everyday production of the business.

Umar Hameed 14:39

Rob Commodari 14:40
To put a team together where I'm leading the team, and I'm helping I'm building a a legacy of a team. They carry on when I leave, when I leave when I want to retire at some point, but I'm not gonna have retire it's more about the business can't be wrapped around Rob Commodari, Rob Commodari gets sick, if Rob Commodari get hurt, if Rob Commodari is disabled,

Umar Hameed 15:01
It stops.

Rob Commodari 15:02
It stops right now. So I want to be able to let it run itself a well oiled machine without me here.

Umar Hameed 15:07
During this journey you've come up face to face with your own fears, anxieties, hang ups. So tell me about one of those things you came up with that confronted you have how Rob needs to be better, whatever that is, and how did you overcome it? Like, what was that issue? And how did you overcome it?

Rob Commodari 15:24
The one thing that comes to mind frequently is I want to be a better leader, right? I want to be a better leader. And if I want to be a better leader, I need to learn how to lead but I got to be willing to step out there and be uncomfortable. You know, we dig into leadership books, dig into leadership systems and models, and share them with people. And sometimes it goes over well, and sometimes it doesn't. That's, that's the thing that comes to mind when us.

Umar Hameed 15:48
So tell me about one of the times where you were looking at implementing a new leadership strategy or tactic, and it didn't work out, well. How did you go back and kind of assess and then re-attack?

Rob Commodari 16:01
The I mean, I guess what I what I look at is I come to it, that we have meetings, we have weekly meetings that come to the table, and I'll bring an idea and I kind of look for body language,

Umar Hameed 16:11

Rob Commodari 16:11
Look, or listen for the responses. And it's twofold. One, you know, am I getting the right energy that I want? And two, I delivering the right energy? Because if I'm not bringing it I How can I expect it? So that that's important to me? So I guess, you know, a specific example I'm struggling with right now.

Umar Hameed 16:31
Okay. The reason I like this conversation is what I'm hearing from you is you've got a set of expectations for the people that you hire. And in our conversations, you're demonstrating I'm doing the same thing. I'm always learning, I'm always testing, I'm always improving, confronted by my failures, but I don't take it as a failure. I take it as I got an opportunity to learn some more come back at it. So you're modeling what you want them to do?

Rob Commodari 16:55
Well, yes. So and the best example I can give you is when I go on a listing appointment, and I don't get the listing.

Umar Hameed 17:02

Rob Commodari 17:03
I call the customer up or the potential customer. And I asked a question, what could I have done better to earn your trust, earn your business? When you ask that question, you open yourself up to humility,

Umar Hameed 17:13

Rob Commodari 17:14
But it's an opportunity to learn and grow. So every failure, every challenge is an opportunity. And I look at it that way. They call it the silver lining. There's something to learn from everything you do, whether it's a failure or success there, what can we learn from this today?

Umar Hameed 17:28
So Rob, what's your biggest fear as you lead this team? What's the thing if you're hoping doesn't happen or could happen?

Rob Commodari 17:35
That I want people to buy into the systems and the models and my philosophies. And in doing so this would be a successful team. So don't get me wrong, I'm not leaving anytime soon, right? But I want to leverage myself and my time to build the team bigger, stronger, and power, more powerful.

Umar Hameed 17:53
Brilliant. And I think that's one of the things as leaders, whether you're a leader or just a person in a team, whatever that fear is, we need to get through it and to get through it, you need to identify it. Rob, thanks for being on the program and opening up your soul to let us help other people get better, stronger, faster.

Rob Commodari 18:10
Thank you so much for having me, Umar. Appreciate it.

Umar Hameed 18:17
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 nolimitsselling.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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