My name is Andrey Sokurec and I am the co-founder and CEO of Homestead Road, an innovative home buying company in Minnesota. Since 2009, we’ve helped over 700 customers sell their home “as is,” without paying for repairs or real estate commissions. Homestead Road has more than 30 employees, earned $32 million in revenue last year, and earned a spot on Inc. 5000’s list of fastest-growing companies in 2018 and 2019.
I am also a real estate investor, mentor, and the founder of the Midwest Real Estate Investment Association.
Tell us about the early days of Homestead Road.
I knew from a young age that I wanted to own my own business and that the United States was the best country in the world for building a business.
After working construction when I first arrived in Minnesota from Belarus, I found a job as a loan officer for a bank in 2005. It was 100% commission-based, so if I didn’t sell, I didn’t get paid. I spent any extra time I had reading business books and attending seminars to learn about ways to build wealth. I knew real estate investing was a time-tested way of doing that. At that time, investors could buy property for zero down in America. I bought my very first rental property at the urging of my mentor who told me if I didn’t buy it, he would.
When the real estate market collapsed in 2008, I saw a great opportunity to begin buying more property. I had no money of my own to invest at that time and the loans that had been so freely available suddenly dried up. So, I wrote a business plan and began searching for investors to provide the capital. My plan was to buy a house with the investor’s money, then I would fix it up and manage it, and eventually, we’d sell it and split the profits. I went through hundreds of “no’s” to get to the occasional “yes,” and I began building from there.
My biggest advantage at that time was my previous experience as a door to door salesman selling pest control products in college back in Belarus. In those days, I literally knocked on thousands of doors and met people from every walk of life. That experience served as my most valuable business education because it taught me to never give up.
When I started Homestead Road with a business partner in 2009, we had to rely on hard money lenders to provide the capital to buy multiple houses at 48% interest. It was a huge risk, but there was no other choice than to go all in and do everything we could to make it work. Today, in 2019, money is much more freely available and Homestead Road has grown to be a $32 million company with more than 30 employees and has earned a spot on the Inc. 5000’s list of fastest-growing companies in 2018 and 2019.
I am extremely proud of the business that we’ve built and the reputation we have for being an ethical company. The key to Homestead Road’s success has been our dedication to having a great culture – it started with a vision, a strong set of core values, and hiring the right people. We are dedicated to doing the right thing and serving people well. I am a firm believer that if you don’t go the extra mile, you won’t be successful.