“Confessions of CEOs” is a series on how business owners are changing the service landscape. Today, we’re chatting with Peter Kim, CEO of Odigo Realty, a residential and commercial realty vendor about his vision for a better world.
So, Why Odigo?
We have two main goals. The first, to be the most trusted realty vendor team in the NW. The second, to be radically generous. By radical, we mean giving above and beyond what most would consider as acceptably benevolent. We derive the most joy and energy from serving others, but most importantly, those who are marginalized and those who serve our community with the same open heart. For example, we reimbursed our client, a retired pastor, his closing fees in full simply because he had spent a lifetime sacrificing on behalf of his congregation. While we were, of course, elated that he became a happy client, we felt privileged to reward a great member of our community. To us, that’s priceless.
How did you break into real estate?
For me, real estate was a bittersweet accident career-wise. I was in college and only one quarter away from graduating. I got a call from the Hawaii State Police Department informing me that my brother died while swimming. Torn by this, I stopped going to school and took over my brother’s short sale realty company; that’s where I started learning about the real estate arena from his business partners. From there, I joined one of the biggest vendor teams in the Northwest. During my transition, I was terrified. I had so little money; I could barely put gas in my car. I couldn’t get any new customers for the life of me. My fantastic mentor Anton helped me to focus my energies on developing my clientele base and securing homes under contract. Eventually, I began running our Kirkland branch with his help. I then decided to start my own real estate company. I closed over $10 million in volume in my first year. In 2017, our team closed a total of $55 million, which is in the top 1% nationally.
Today, we’re still helping realty customers with the same due diligence and passion. We’ve helped one particular client buy a multifamily property in Marysville that was a slam dunk cashflow-wise. He now wants us to help him buy as many as he can get his hands on as he knows this will be his most stable income in retirement.
Any juicy secrets to share about real estate?
You can invest even with little capital and average credit. We can show you how.
What’s your philosophy?
Become the trendsetter. Don’t keep wishing the world was a certain way. Instead, be the one who sparks the change you want. If you want people to be more kind, be kind to others. If you don’t like the epidemic of loneliness in America, then reach out to people and be a good friend to them. We believe change starts with you.
Tell us about how you give back and why that’s so important?
I‘ve been helping the homeless for about a decade now and even started a non-profit called Baby Steps Ministry in 2012. It’s an organization that builds friendships and trust with homeless people. We empower them to take the small steps on their own that will restore their confidence and rebuild their lives. Was it tough? Absolutely! I’ve given to the point where I brought a homeless friend to a McDonald’s and had to pick and choose from the dollar menu because I ran out of money. Friends and family have commended me for what I do, yet what people don’t realize is the amount of vitality and delight it gives me to serve others. I’ve always been a 10/10 on the happiness scale for a long time now. I’m a 100% believer that although it may seem entirely antithetical for “getting ahead” in this world, I believe radical generosity will come back 100-fold in your life, business, relationships, and most importantly, your being. To me, success is about loving the people around us.
What words of wisdom can you share?
The day you think you’ve become wise, you’re a fool. Wisdom is endless; pride comes before the fall. Stay humble and hungry for knowledge.
Who inspires you?
Francis Chan, a pastor in California and a best-selling author. He lives a lifestyle of unparalleled generosity despite having a tumultuous childhood. He’s given away over $2M of his income to organizations that rescue sex slaves in foreign countries. He has seven kids and lived in a mobile home until deciding recently to become a full-time missionary.
What’s it like being a visible minority in business?
Asian males aren’t portrayed as driven and self-sufficient in the media but rather as timid and weak. I remember one of my associates, who was an experienced agent in real estate at the time, was demeaning me at the office and trivializing my work as a realty vendor. Although I can’t prove that it was because of my Asian background, I felt it was a significant factor in it. His tune changed for the better once he saw my performance, which was only on the up and up. Despite having low self-confidence initially, I had to appear even-keeled and confident to survive. As time went on, I realized exuding high confidence can overcome many barriers.
When all is said and done, what do you hope for Odigo to achieve?
We want everyone to have a shot at true financial freedom. Long-term residual income is 100% possible through realty investing.
Odigo is a preferred residential and commercial realty vendor on Beaze Beta.