Rick Gooding, Broker in Charge, Northstar Real Estate Gives Perspective to the Real Estate Industry and his local Real Estate firm Northstar Real Estate!
Written by: Michelle Toll
With 20 years of experience under his belt, in 2019, Rick Gooding, Managing Broker/Broker in charge of Northstar Real Estate, proudly opened Northstar Real Estate brokerage in Belmont, NC, with his friend, Dan Peck. In the first six months of Northstar Real Estate being open, the brokerage sold over $30 million and 90 units.
Rick obtained his real estate license because he had been making real estate investments, and he wanted to be more knowledgable in regards to real estate. After a short time, Rick found he was enjoying the business and decided to leave his old career and go full time in real estate. He met Dan in 2010 when he helped Dan purchase a house in Monroe. Subsequently, together they worked on 15-20 investment and flip properties. In early 2018, they opened RE/MAX Northstar in Advance, NC, and in 2019, an opportunity to move the office to Belmont, NC, came up, and they decided to leave RE/MAX and become an independent office focusing on luxury properties.
Rick’s current passion and focus for Northstar Real Estate is to maintain the culture they have worked so hard to create—a culture of hard work, fun and that attracts high producing brokers. To date, there are 11 agents, which they hope to grow to 20-25 by the end of 2020. Keeping it small is important for their boutique agency, because they want to be able to stay true to their ‘family’ atmosphere. Rick never wants the agency to become so large that people don’t know each other.
For Rick, one of the most rewarding parts of Northstar Real Estate is the team they are building. Coming from the previous company with four agents, they have kept their focus on who they bring on to their team. Right now, they are all able to call each other ‘friends” and they want to keep it that way. The lack of drama helps the team to keep its focus on furthering their positions as strong producers.
The biggest challenge Rick and Dan have had to overcome is getting the office up and running. Rick calls the shell of the jewelry store they first moved into ‘The Cave’— it was just four walls and a bathroom. Now, they have a great space with four private offices, a large conference room, and a lot of open workspaces. The process of working with contractors and permits to move into their upgraded space lasted for about four months. Rick, Dan, and the team moved into their new office in March of 2019 during the construction process when there were no offices, heat, or air conditioning. “We sat at folding tables and chairs during this transition,” recalls Rick. “But, despite the conditions, everyone worked just as hard as they do now that everything is complete.” Their grand opening was finally in June 2019.
Rick and Dan could not have done any of this if it weren’t for the four talented agents that came over with Rick from their previous company – Brett Carraway (The Carraway Team), Erika Mendoza (The Mendoza Group), Ali Fournier, and Amanda Garverick. He was their broker-in-charge/manager, and these four agents were instrumental in getting the company up and running. “Starting the company with five high producing agents also helped a lot,” Rick jokingly says.
With deep roots in our community, Northstar Realty has founded the Northstar Heroes Program. This program gives discounts to all first responders (emergency, fire, police), military personnel, nurses, and teachers. “We are proud to have the opportunity to give back to these heroes for all they do for the community and the country,” Rick tells us.
When asked his definition of success, it all came down to contentment for Rick. “When you are content in your professional, financial, and personal lives, you are a success,” he explains. “Going home satisfied each day is success. Keeping your buyers and sellers happy is success. Continuing to keep your agents trained, successful and happy is success.”
Rick has advice for both brokerages as well as for individual agents. For brokerages, his advice is simple, “Know what culture you want to provide for your agents and be selective in who you hire. Don’t hire simply for the numbers or the money.” In regards to agents, Rick explains, “Make a point to continue learning because things are always changing in the real estate industry. Learn the trade and the business rather than flying by the seat of your pants. Consider getting a designation that appeals to your business focus.” He goes on to say, “Treat your clients the way you’d like to be treated, and treat the ‘other side’ of the transaction the same way. We all have the same goal in the transaction, and keeping everyone happy and civil will make it much easier. Don’t forget that this can be the biggest transaction people make in their lives!” Finally, he recommends volunteering and getting involved in the industry, as there are many opportunities to get involved to work at improving the real estate industry. Given his 20 years in the industry, this is all sound advice!
As a man, Rick wants to be remembered as someone who stood up for his convictions and beliefs, as well as a great father. As a real estate broker, someone who took an active role in all aspects of the business – not just selling homes and growing agents, but also in the industry, both locally and nationally. “That I wasn’t just after the ‘next deal’,” he says.
Northstar Realty plans on opening several more offices in the future. Keeping in line with the Belmont office, they plan to keep all offices a small number of high producing agents to maintain the ‘family-style’ office culture.