Name: Brian Underkofler
Company Name: Bestreich Realty Group
What do you consider to be your greatest success in the past 12 months?
Without a doubt it’s been assimilating into the world class team at, BRG, and firmly recognizing that I chose the right industry for my career. At BRG, I’ve been able to work closely and learn from some of the brightest minds in the industry and help apply that insight in a way that drive values for our clients.
Who or what do you attribute to your success?
Besides my parents for their constant support, I would have to attribute any successes thus far to my teammates at BRG. The senior guys at our firm go above and beyond to make sure that new agents are engaged, educated and prepared to be as successful as possible. The firm’s open and collegial nature inspires a very supportive and collaborative culture that we think ultimately translates into better performance for clients.
What advice can you offer to someone who is just getting started in your industry?
Look to join a great team. Don’t settle. It’s important to surround yourself with good people who are willing to go the extra mile to help you succeed. Other than that, study your market. Know it inside and out–all the comps in your territory, where the trendy shops and vacant store fronts are, where the heavy foot traffic accumulates. Clients expect us to be the experts–don’t leave any stone unturned in your analysis–we owe them our best. Phone calls simply won’t cut it.
Who are some leaders that you admire and why? ?
Robert Olmstead for one. It’s always been amazing to me to think that in this incredibly bustling, congested, pulsating city, we’ve got this bucolic, tranquil oasis in Central Park right in the middle of it. The foresight and thoughtfulness that went into the planning and development of a project like that was quite gift to us New Yorkers. The other is Norma Merrick Sklarek. She was the first woman to become a licensed architect in the states of New York and California and the first black woman to be licensed as an architect in the U.S. One of the most prominent names in architecture for her amazing work over the last 60 years, it’s amazing to think how much Sklarek had to overcome in her career. She was a true trailblazer and leader.
If you have a mentor, who is it and how has this relationship influenced your professional growth?
At BRG, I’ve been very lucky to be surrounded by so many great people. I’m particularly thankful to have two mentors in my professional life in Steve Reynolds (managing partner) and Derek Bestreich (president). They have both gone out of their way to spend time with me, teaching me the industry, bringing me along to the meetings they think will help me grow, being there for me when I have questions, making sure I am always prepared. These guys inspire me to be the best I can be and I really appreciate that.
How have your life experiences impacted who you are professionally?
My parents instilled a very strong work ethic in me. Whether it was school, sports, work or other goals my mother never allowed us to cut corners. My father is also a hockey coach and he would always say, “If you don’t put the work in, you won’t get the win.” That philosophy was instilled in me as a nine-year-old squirt hockey player and remains today.
What was your favorite thing to do when you were a kid?
We were raised on sports. Hockey, football, lacrosse, baseball basketball, golf, if it had a puck or ball, you could count my brother Dan and I in. We also spent a lot of time as a family outdoors at the beach or up in the mountains. Those were some of my favorite times and I’m lucky to say, we are still doing that today. Be outside–always at the beach or on a bike as a kid never inside.