December Real Producers: Brad Noll
This content originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of Real Producers Fort Wayne
A Life-long Learner
The Journey of Prioritizing Values
A Biblical proverb says that iron sharpens iron (Prov. 27:17). The idea is that there is mutual benefit in rubbing two blades together for sharpened perfection, so one person can be used to make another sharper. In the case of Brad Noll, many have made him one of the sharpest tools in the shed. Having come from a basketball family, Noll is used to competition, teamwork, and winning. With sales last year at nearly $30 million, the Noll team is poised to continue the ladder of success.
Brad played basketball at IUPUI, where his father coached him. He learned much about the qualities of successful character from him. His grandfather, who worked some 55 years in the real estate industry, set the stage for Noll to find his niche as an agent. He studied Business Marketing in college and now uses what he learned to lead his team to impact real estate selling. Brad is a life-long learner who has always had someone coaching him, whether it was sports or whether it is business. He, in turn, always tries to coach others. “The best thing I can do is to keep learning, keep getting better, and to impact others,” notes Noll.
Noll has blended his knowledge and experience in real estate, sales, and investing to form a business philosophy that forges success. He has never made a practice of judging his work in terms of production. Instead, he follows and teaches his family five values that determine his standards: (1) Love God, (2) Family is first, (3) Work hard, (4) Always tell the truth, and (5) Serve others. “I have never led my work with the brand but with these checkpoints,” explains Brad. His family and his work team also “buy into” the philosophy and implement each step every day. Brad’s core values not only assist him in decision-making but form benchmarks that help him live out each day.
Referencing a saying by Michael Jordan, Noll quotes him by explaining that “the minute you get away from fundamentals—whether its proper technique, work ethic or mental preparation—the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing,” (MJ, Goodreads.com). Brad spends considerable effort in improving internal processes and systems so that they function without flaw or at least as close as possible.
Brad gives plenty of credit for his life and business to his wife, Lindsay. He calls her the team’s “room mom.” She stages events, but her real genius is in her development of the team brand as the primary creative director. Their mantra of impacting and improving the lives of others shines through in all they do. They have been the benefactors of much, and they live in determination to give back by serving others in the right way with the proper spirit. He notes that great things never happen in isolation.
The Noll Team works from a plethora of referrals. People appreciate the character of the staff and trust them for honesty but also for telling them what they need to know and not just what they want to hear. Brad explains that his grandfather built a great business and that he wants to honor his legacy by conducting his business the same way and by being 100% invested in the lives of his clients.
Brad and Lindsay met in sixth grade in Michigan, and the romance continues today. The couple has three children: Breana (11), Delaney (9), and Trey (6), and they enjoy time alone while golfing. They also love to spend time as a family playing games, watching movies and traveling to see family. With relatives in California and Colorado, the Noll family have plenty of great places to visit. They are very active in their church, both in the choir and in leadership.
Noll has some sage advice for newbies. He challenges them to find a team so that they may work together. It is a lead-generation business, and most good companies are built upon referrals. Agents must generate leads, list and show homes, and negotiate contracts. Keeping the proper focus is vital as well as the development of quality relationships.
For those who are more seasoned in the business, Brad encourages them to not gain their identity from their production. He hopes that they do not just wrap themselves up with trying to gain more and that they re-evaluate their goals often to make sure that they are motivated by the right things. He also hopes that they do not become “burnt out” and that they constantly consider their lifestyle goals first.
Going forward, Brad Noll knows that with his wife’s direction and a strong team, they will be able to accomplish much. Regarding legacy, he knows that he will discover the meaning of life by finding his gift, but he will accomplish his purpose in life by giving that gift away. He would not have it any other way!
— By Brian Ramsey
rising star: Andie shepherd
How many years have you been a realtor? Almost five years.
What is your career volume as a realtor? $14.5 million.
What was your total volume last year? $3.8 million.
What awards have you achieved as a realtor? Mike Thomas Rookie of the Year and Presidents Club.
What did you do before you became a realtor? I was a geriatric social worker specializing in evaluating senior living situations. Surprisingly, I found that more skills transferred over from one career to the other than you would think. Being accustomed to working with people in somewhat stressful situations and explaining complex concepts simply and quickly were valuable tools right off the bat.
What are you passionate about right now in your business? I am really passionate about client education. The largest purchase that many people will make is their home, so I work to prepare them even before we start looking at houses. Educating my clients allows them to make a good decision and have a transaction without surprises.
What has been the most rewarding part of your business? I have been really lucky to have great clients. I love to drive through neighborhoods and think about the houses that I have sold and the families that now live in them. It is always fun to keep in touch with clients and see how they are turning their houses into homes.
What was your biggest challenge as a realtor? As with many other people, I think it is scheduling. I try to always keep family as a priority, but being a single parent in this business can be challenging at times. In this market, you really need to be heads-up. Your schedule can totally change in 24 hours. If the perfect house for your client pops up on the market, you must be available to show it, and then be ready to write an offer at any time. This can be a bit daunting while also trying to keep a schedule for a kiddo. Luckily, I have a great support system in place.
How does real estate fit into your dreams and goals? I have always been very interested in building a business after watching my dad be an entrepreneur. I love houses, so real estate seems like the perfect fit for me to build a business and work with a medium that I enjoy. My goals are constantly fluid. I just recently hit my five-year goals and now am in the process of working on what I would like the next five years to look like.
What’s your favorite part of being a realtor? That sense of accomplishment when you help another family realize one of their goals by helping them purchase a home or making a move that will help them.
Define success. There is a phrase “Build a life that you do not have to take a vacation from.” That is how I think about my business. It is hard work, but I never expected anything else. While sometimes it is a struggle, I truly enjoy working with people and get a great sense of accomplishment seeing a deal go full circle. To me, being able to meet the needs of my family while doing work that I enjoy is basically how I think about success.
Tell us about your family. I am lucky enough to have the best daughter in the world. She has the kindest heart and is such a wonderful helper. I like to call her my little assistant, and she likes to help with real estate. She recently started kindergarten and can already prep a mailing like a pro. My house can get a little crazy sometimes with her, two senior dogs and her crazy puppy running around, but it is a beautiful mess. I am lucky to have my parents and siblings in town with a large extended family, and I have great support from them.
Favorite books? This is a hard question. I love to read and normally read five books a month. I like to read about business and history, and have been working through the top 200 classic books list. I am about 40% through the list. My all-time favorite is probably Pride and Prejudice, which I have loved since I was a young child.
Are there any charities or organizations you support? In the past, I have worked with the Alzheimer’s Association and Volunteer Lawyer program. I am currently a rookie Girl Scout leader. I am excited to teach my troop about entrepreneurship, nature, and STEM.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of the business? I spend a lot of time having adventures with my kiddo. We always have so much fun together. I (constantly?) find myself planning different experiences for us, whether it be a nature hike or a craft. I also enjoy working on my garden. I just moved, so I have a blank slate to work with right now, but have spent a lot of time planning and cutting in flower beds. I also like to build furniture and do DIY projects. My daughter and I also really enjoy Disney movies and like to make trips to the parks every year.
Given your status and expertise, what is some advice you would give the up and coming top producer? I would say that understanding (what?) is going to be tough at first. I would also tell them that their business will be constantly changing as they build it. The processes and procedures for five clients that you will start with will be different than what you will need for 10, 20, or 40 clients. Also, I really think brokerage is important. I am very grateful for all the value and training that Mike Thomas has given me throughout my career.
Photos by Tony Frantz