Cindy Edmunds with ARC Realty joins our “Wifi Studio” to give us the scoop on successful networking strategies. We discuss how her personal connections have taken her career to new heights & given added value to her clients.
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Read the Full Interview Below
Sarah: Good morning, everyone. It’s Friday! We love Fridays, we’ve got a great guest for you today. Welcome to Biz Talk.
Glyna: Good morning. How’s everybody this morning?
Sarah: We are good.
Kelsi: Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
Glyna: Yes. Well, it’s a beautiful day. Sunshine makes you just get jazzed up, then we hear that intro and we’re ready to roll. So welcome to Biz Talk! I am Glyna Humm, the President of Fusion One Marketing and we are here talking to small businesses every Tuesday and Friday to hear about how they make their businesses stand out and what tips they may have for all the rest of us along the way. So before I get started, I do want to remind you where you can catch all of our broadcasts. So we’ll go over that quickly if I can find it. There we go. Okay. We’re really excited about our new podcast, Marketing And A Mic. We’re on all the casts, I like to say. So all the places where you can find podcasts. We’re also live Tuesday and Friday mornings at 8:00 with Biz Talk on YouTube and Facebook. And then you can find the replay on all of the rest of our channels. Alrighty, today I have the pleasure of welcoming a woman who’s not only a wonderful person, but a great friend of mine, so I’m going to introduce her in just a moment after I let the other ladies introduce themselves.
Sarah: Good morning. I’m Sarah, the Director of Digital Marketing.
Kelsi: And I’m Kelsi, the Social Media Manager for Fusion One Marketing.
Glyna: All right, I remembered! I am welcoming this morning, she’s known as the networking guru and a realtor who is real. We want to welcome all of our friend, Cindy Edmunds. Welcome, Cindy.
Cindy Edmunds: Hello. Good morning!
Glyna: How are you?
Cindy Edmunds: I’m doing great! Thank you.
Glyna: Wonderful. We’re so excited to have you on this morning and we’re going to jump right into it. Tell us just a little bit about yourself and your background. The three of us know about your beautiful family, but why don’t you go ahead and brag about them too.
Cindy Edmunds: Okay, will do. That’s easy! I have been married to my college sweetheart for, oh, I think we are coming up on 33 years now. So, it will be 33 in June. I’m from Biloxi. He’s from Gulf Port. We met at Southern Miss, but both of our kids did go to Alabama so, it’s okay.
Glyna: Whoa! Roll Tide.
Cindy Edmunds: But no, so he had co-oped with Bellsouth at that time from Southern Miss, so the natural thing to do was take a full-time position with them. He did that in ’85. I followed in ’86. So we fell in love, we moved in ’87 and we’ve been here living in North Shelby County ever since. We have two grown children. So, our daughter Casey is our oldest and she lives here in Birmingham and she works in business operations for a large medical company. Then our son is just a few years younger and he lives out in Colorado. He’s a journalist and he is the Public Affairs Director for the Human Services Department for the county he lives in. So, proud of both of them. My husband is still doing computer work but he left Bellsouth in ’96 and he’s been an independent contractor since then, doing computer consulting for a lot of large companies around the country.
Glyna: Wonderful. Well, we are so happy to talk to you this morning. It’s just a pleasure because we’ve all know you for several years and we couldn’t wait until this morning came along.
Sarah: Yeah, you’re kind of one of our, all of our favorite people. We know that you’re a busy body. We all know that, but when you have spare time, what I’d like to know, what do you do? What does Cindy do when she is not busy everywhere?
Cindy Edmunds: Probably anybody who’s ever met me could tell you the very first love I have, and that’s live music. I love live music more than anything. So the three things I like to do the best I can’t do right now, and that’s- go to live music shows, sporting events, and travel. So here we are. I’ll be so glad when we get out of this.
Glyna: Well, we have been worried about you Cindy.
Cindy Edmunds: I know! Don’t think I’m not listening to concerts online right now!
Glyna: I was like, okay, Cindy is, the old FOMO is kicking in.
Cindy Edmunds: Yeah, really badly.
Kelsi: Tell us a little bit about your real estate career. How long have you been a realtor and what made you decide to become a realtor?
Cindy Edmunds: Okay. That’s a great question because I did a lot of other things first. My degree is in marketing, which is very helpful for real estate. That’s not where I started. I started in inside sales, outside sales, retail management. I’ve done a wide variety, but I took a couple of years off when the kids were little, and when I felt like it was time to go back to work when they were both in school, I wanted to do something that I loved, something meaningful. My husband even said, “Don’t just go get a job. Do something you’re passionate about,” And real estate, was it because I love houses. I love showing houses, looking at houses, but the biggest thing, I don’t know if you guys have ever done those spiritual gifts test at church, but every one I’ve ever done, the number one thing was hospitality. I love to take care of people, give them a place to live, feed them, take care of them. So for me, it was just kind of a perfect fit. So that’s why I headed in that direction and have never looked back.
Glyna: Awesome. Yes, you definitely have the gift of hospitality. You are a party queen. I mean that in a good way. I wish I had just a little bit of what Cindy has. You are always so energetic and positive and ready to go. I always wonder what’s in your coffee in the morning, but she won’t tell me her secret.
Cindy Edmunds: I don’t even take vitamins, so I don’t know where it comes from!
Glyna: I know. Well, it’s amazing. I admire that a lot. Wow. We’ve got some people popping in this morning, some early birds. Good morning, Melissa, Lavon, Roxie, Gayle, and Steve Johnson all joining us this morning. All right, let’s talk about ARC Realty because I know you love ARC Realty and you love to tell the story of ARC Realty. So what made you decide to partner with them?
Cindy Edmunds: Well, yeah, that’s an easy question too. So for those people who are out there that don’t know, ARC stands for A Relationship Company, that’s what the ARC stands for. It was a no- brainer for me. I had been with another company for a long time, but when I heard who was behind ARC Realty, who was forming it, Tommy Brigham and Michelle Wilder and Bo Beavis and Dale McIntyre, those four people have got more integrity than you could ever imagine. I knew it was going to be good. I knew I had to be a part of it, so I went. I’ve been there from the beginning, which was 2013. So we’ve only been around for seven years, but have tons and tons of experience throughout the company with a lot of the veteran agents that joined them shortly after and continue to join. In seven years, we’re at over 200 agents in Birmingham, about 130 in Montgomery. We have a presence in some of the lake communities and down at the beach on 30A. So we’ve got right now eight offices and still growing. I love it because a relationship company is very important to me and they look at the agents as their clients. The leadership of our company, the founders, and the staff, they consider the agents their clients. So they want to do whatever they can do to help us be successful, give us the tools we need, train us on all the tech stuff. It’s just amazing what they offer. That, in turn, helps us be more successful, help our clients better. So I love it.
Glyna: Your passion shows for sure.
Sarah: What a good philosophy to just put the people first. It really just seems like a perfect match. So along with the hospitality trait, which I would think if you have a hospitality trait, that means that you know how to work with people. You know how to be there for people and I love that your tagline is a realtor who is real. That’s kind of how you’re known, as a realtor who is real. So tell us about that. I think that’s so unique.
Cindy Edmunds: Well, thank you. I’ll tell you how that formed. I was trying to come up with a tagline, and this was actually before ARC Realty was even born. I was with my previous company, but I was trying to come up with something that indicated to people what I was about and why I would be a good person for them to choose to work with. I started thinking about the fact that I do like to build real relationships and I want to provide real service. I don’t want to just be the agent that puts the sign in the yard and then never talks to them. I want to produce real results. That’s my goal for the people that I work with. And it just, after looking at that, I said, “Well, a realtor who’s real, that kind of sums it up.” So that’s how that was formed. And I stick by that even today. That’s my philosophy.
Sarah: You’ve got a little number one fan here.
Cindy Edmunds: Hey Casey-Bug!
Kelsi: Well, I can attest to that. You are a realtor who’s real. Cindy helped me buy my first home and it was an experience that had so much value for me. I love my home. I don’t ever want to leave, but I am looking forward to working with you again. So, business doesn’t seem to have slowed down too much for you. Do you want to share some of the creative ways that you’ve helped your buyers and sellers during this pandemic?
Cindy Edmunds: Absolutely. Yeah, I’ll be working with some out of town clients today seeing, I think we’re going to see 10 or 12 houses today.
Cindy Edmunds: Yeah. So here’s the thing. With the craziness that’s going on, we were considered essential so we are still working, but we have to be very cautious and abide by all the guidelines that were put out. So obviously, masks and gloves when we’re going into homes. We really are pushing for the buyers to make sure they’re pre-qualified, which I would always like to do that anyway. But get pre-qualified with the lenders so we make sure we’re looking at the right home. Then I send them things over the computer. I want them to really pre-qualify the homes as well so that we’re not going out looking at, like today we could be going out looking at 20 homes because they don’t know all the areas. We’re looking at a lot of different areas but we’ve really narrowed it down to about 10. I know, that seems like a lot. The good thing about that, most of them are new construction so we don’t have to be quite as cautious when we go in. We still are going to have the sanitary wipes with us, Clark’s wipes, all that good stuff. We’re going to social distance when we go in because I’ll have the husband and wife and daughter and so we have to kind of stay apart a little bit. But they’ve really pre-qualified the homes and these are their favorites. So there is one that’s a resale, and with that, we have to be extra careful. And we also want to prepare the sellers. We ask the sellers to turn on all the lights in the house before the showing. We ask them to open all the interior doors, like closets. If there’s anything special they want the buyer to see, we ask them to go ahead and set that up ahead of time, whether it’s a cabinet or a closet that they think is really important. We want that door open. So we’re only literally touching the front and back door when we go in.
Kelsi: Perfect. Melissa has a question for you.
Glyna: Go ahead.
Kelsi: You can read it if you want.
Glyna: Okay. Yes. Melissa this morning says, “Cindy, do you ever attempt to persuade your clients not to purchase a particular home?”
Sarah: That’s a good question.
Cindy Edmunds: Okay. Well.
Sarah: She’s like, “How do I answer this?”
Cindy Edmunds: Well let me be correct about that. So okay, being a licensed agent in the State of Alabama, we are not allowed to persuade or steer clients toward a home or a neighborhood or steer them away from that for any reason. We give them the facts and let them decide. I will say though, I’m very honest with my clients and if I see an issue that we need to investigate further, like something that may need a repair or whatever, of course, I’m going to say that and point it out, but then we’re going to hire a professional inspector to come out and let them make that decision. So yeah, we have to be careful with that. But I am always looking out for my client’s best interest above just making the sale.
Glyna: I can attest to that for sure. And also, I know you wanted to talk a little bit about you’re helping people that are coming from out of town, but I know that ARC Realty also participates in the Leading Real Estate Companies Of The World. Tell us about that.
Cindy Edmunds: Yeah, Thanks Glyna, because I did forget to mention that and it’s very, very important. That’s one of the big things with ARC Realty too. So, Leading Real Estate Companies Of The World is an organization that independent realtors can belong to. They have to be invited. So the companies are vetted very heavily before they’re invited to be a part of that. But what that does is it connects us with other companies and agents all over the world. Not even just the US but all over the world.
Kelsi: That’s awesome.
Cindy Edmunds: Yeah. I’ve been able to put people together with agents in lots of other areas. So if well, let’s say you had a cousin who was wanting to move from Cincinnati to Boston, I could actually help put them with a really good qualified agent in both of those areas to sell the one house and to purchase the next one. So that’s something really, really important that ARC Realty is a part of.
Glyna: Yeah. We remembered. Okay, Sarah.
Sarah: This is not on paper, but I have to say one thing. I just had to. I was just thinking about this morning because I owe so much to you, Cindy. Lance and I love you and Kirk so much, but I owe so much to you for the fact that you single-handedly, because of your awesome hospitality skills, because of your awesome networking skills, just because of your kind heart introduced me to Glyna and Rob.
Cindy Edmunds: Oh yeah, that’s right.
Sarah: That just forever changed me and I’m so thankful for you, really and truly.
Cindy Edmunds: That is awesome.
Sarah: It was just so nice. She just thought of me and I’m so grateful for it, but kind of leads me to my next question here, which is that you truly have that gift of hospitality. We’ve touched on that a few times already, but you love people. You love to help anyone who needs it and how does that play into your real estate career?
Cindy Edmunds: Wow, okay. Yeah, I love it. The fact that I do a lot of networking and through my different groups that I network within, I have developed a huge group of people that I have literally in my phone that I can contact at a moment’s notice. So especially the people in the trades, like the plumbers, the HVAC people, the painters, the roofers, all of that, that is very much needed in a real estate transaction sometimes. I’ve got people that I can just call at a moment’s notice and usually get pretty quick results. I think that’s a real added value for my real estate clients. I’ve had clients say to me, “Gosh, how do you get things done so quickly? How do you get somebody out there so quickly?” Well, I have a really good arsenal I guess for lack of a better word, of people that I know and trust because I’ve gotten to know them and they’re very credible. I use it all the time in my real estate business.
Kelsi: Those relationships are really invaluable. I think that the clients that you have, have that trust with you because you build a relationship with them so they know that anybody you refer to them is going to be another trusted, good relationship. You’re never going to refer them to somebody you don’t know is going to do a good job.
Cindy Edmunds: True.
Kelsi: That’s fantastic. Well, nothing says real and hospitality as to how much you care about people in general. So can we talk about your Hurricane Katrina story a little bit for people that don’t know about that?
Cindy Edmunds: Yeah. That was quite the story. So being from Biloxi and Gulfport, my husband and I still have tons of friends down there and family. So after Katrina, we had quite a few friends and family members who had lots of damage, no power. We had a couple of really close friends that were without a house at all. It was a pile of rubble. So after Katrina we had 21 people stay with us for a month.
Sarah: Oh my gosh.
Cindy Edmunds: So it was interesting. It was really sad in a lot of ways watching the parents be on the phone with their mortgage companies, their insurance companies, all the different things. The kids though had a great place to stay and it kind of sheltered them a little bit from how serious the matters were. Our church helped out. We were able to take all these people over to our church, let them pick out clothes. People were coming by with meals practically every day. So I don’t know. It was amazing to watch it and then when it was time for everybody to go, the kids were disappointed because they’re like, “Oh, the slumber party’s over.” The parents were very grateful and very happy to get back to their homes and see what they could salvage.
Kelsi: I love that story. It shows the power of community and how far compassion can go.
Glyna: Absolutely. Well, we have the one and only Harry Slagle joining us this morning.
Kelsi: Hey Harry.
Glyna: Harry has a question for you. I think he wants to know, he’s always telling us that he’s going to retire into the mountains, so could you help him buy a house as a Blue Ridge Mountains if he wanted one?
Cindy Edmunds: I absolutely could. That’s part of that Leading Real Estate Companies Of The World that we belong to. So it’s very easy. I would just, Harry, I would put your information with our relocation department at ARC and then they would contact our contacts through the network up there in the Blue Ridge Mountains, find the perfect agent for you and we’d have you up there in no time.
Kelsi: Fantastic. Lavon, I hope that answers your question as well. She wanted to know if you could help find a home outside of Alabama. So the answer is yes, yes, yes.
Glyna: Basically, Cindy can help you with anything you need in real estate.
Sarah: The answer is yes.
Glyna: I have to say this. You better be serious about selling your home because I love telling this story. She sold our house before we even knew we wanted to sell it. She was like, “I have some buyers. I would love your house. Can I just show it?” I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” We hadn’t done anything and, “Just let me show it.” I was like, “I guess what could it hurt?” So she showed it and sold it before it was even listed. So be very careful. Be very serious if you want to sell your house with Cindy.
Cindy Edmunds: Technically it was listed but-
Glyna: I know. But, technically it was.
Cindy Edmunds: Yeah, we get in trouble if we try to show something before it’s listed.
Glyna: Exactly. Exactly. Well, we knew that you were our agent and you had already put it together, but I like to tell that story. It was one couple in and one couple out and it was all done. All right. Now, I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t just absolutely love you and you are considered the queen of networking and I know you help so many people. You mentioned a little bit about how networking has helped you, being a connector and all of that, but what do you think is done for your business being out everywhere?
Cindy Edmunds: Well, when I first started this business, I was basically networking through my kids’ parents and that sort of thing because they were all still in school. It was a little different. But when real estate was a little slow there for a few years we opened a cell phone repair store in the Galleria and that’s when I really started networking. I immediately said we need to get in the Hoover and the North Shelby Chamber. It was North Shelby at the time. Now it’s the Shelby County Chamber. But we did that and that’s really where I learned to network. That is kind of where I picked up those skills and have just dug in and ever since then, and I really do think it’s taken my business to the next level.
Glyna: Yeah, for sure.
Sarah: So along with that, with your networking, tell us about some associations that you belong to that kind of help fill up your calendar.
Cindy Edmunds: Okay. Yeah, there’s a lot so don’t be alarmed by that. Most of these … For my real estate clients out there or potential clients, do not be alarmed, I have plenty of time. So I am part of a BNI, which is Business Networking International. That’s been huge for my business. Yeah. Kelsi and Glyna are both part of that as well. And then also the Hoover and Shelby County Chambers as I mentioned. And within the Shelby Chamber, I’m also serving as an ambassador and on the Tourism Recreation Work Group and the Women’s Business Council. Then like Kelsi, I have a lot of clients in the Helena area. So I thought it was beneficial. And I lived there for 11 years before we moved over to the Oak Mountain Area. So, I belong to the Helena Business Association. Let’s see. Then, oh yeah. So also recently, just for about the past year, I serve on the advisory board for the Shelby County Big Brothers, Big Sisters Association. That’s just a passion. So most of these associations only meet once a month. So obviously, for example, I would be meeting with the Tourism Recreation Group this morning, but obviously my business comes first. So if I have to miss a meeting because I’m showing houses, that’s the number one priority.
Kelsi: Fantastic. You’re so plugged in. That’s why you know everybody!
Sarah: Yeah, you’re everywhere.
Cindy Edmunds: It is all about building those relationships and quite frankly, a lot of the same people that are in some of these organizations are in some of the others and that really does build on the relationships. It’s great to network and meet new people, but the people that I see in multiple situations, those relationships really build strongly. I think that’s real important for getting referrals.
Kelsi: Well, I have to say, knowing you, I am the business person that I am today because of you and because of Glyna. My start in BNI really, really catapulted my career. So what advice do you have for people out there that aren’t plugged in, that want to be plugged in? What advice do you have for them getting started?
Cindy Edmunds: That’s a great question and I kind of learned this over time. I would say find one thing first. I would say find one thing that you think will benefit your business. One organization or something that you could plug into that would benefit your business and not take too much time away from you. Because there’s a fine line there between spending too much time networking and not enough time actually doing your business. You got to do that. So pick one thing that you’re passionate about and see how that’s working for you, and then if you see that you can add something else that you think would be beneficial, then do that. All these things I belong to didn’t happen overnight, you know? It was a transition. They were added over time and only if I had time for it. You have to be careful. You have to say no sometimes.
Glyna: That’s the hardest, especially for you because you also have a servant’s heart and I know that you want to help every person that needs something. Cindy’s one of those kinds of people that can realize that you need something before you even need it. You have such a true heart for helping people. So yeah, everybody loves you and that’s a good thing. I can’t believe it, you guys, it’s already been almost a half hour that we’ve gone through everything. I know. It’s just been so much fun. Let’s get down to helping you out with your business a little bit more. What kind of referral partners can we introduce to you to help your business?
Cindy Edmunds: Well, obviously I hate to say anyone but, anyone who wants to buy or sell a home who needs help with that is very important. But I will kind of point out the kind of people I’m looking for. People with life changes going on. Those are the best referrals for me. So if somebody’s getting married or if they’re having a baby or if the parents have passed away and they have a house to sell, those are the people that are going to need to buy or sell a house. And sometimes both. If somebody is getting married they may need to sell two condos and purchase a house together. So it can lead to multiple transactions. So people with life changes going on are probably the best referrals for me.
Glyna: Okay, perfect.
Sarah: Well, we’re going to put your contact information up here. There you go. Thank you, Kelsi. So these are all the ways that you can be reached. Is there any other way that we haven’t listed that we’re not listing down here is the best way to reach you?
Cindy Edmunds: No. Those are the best ways. I answer phone calls, texts, and emails. I check all of them regularly, so if I miss you I will call you back.
Sarah: Perfect. Okay. Well, is there anything else that we didn’t share that you wanted to cover before we move on?
Cindy Edmunds: We’ve covered a lot, right?
Sarah: We have. We sure have.
Cindy Edmunds: Yeah, I would say to anybody who is looking for someone to work with that will have your absolute best interest at heart, that’s me. That’s one of the things I point out to people. I’m more interested in having satisfied clients for a lifetime that will come back to me or they’ll send their kids to me or sometimes send their parents to me. That is so much more important to me than just making the sale. I’ve actually walked away. You said would I ever persuade someone not to buy a house. Only if I didn’t feel it was right for that person and there was a good reason, you know? I’m not going to just try to make the sale. So I think that’s really important and that comes back to a realtor who’s real.
Sarah: Very much so.
Glyna: All right. Are you ready for the fun part?
Cindy Edmunds: I’m ready!
Sarah: Shake off the nerves. Okay, time for the hot seat. Here we go. Okay, Cindy, are you ready?
Cindy Edmunds: I’m ready.
Sarah: We’re going so we’re ready. Okay. Would you prefer to take selfies or group photos?
Cindy Edmunds: Group photos.
Sarah: Okay. Are you usually early, late, or on time?
Cindy Edmunds: I would say on time. My husband would say late.
Sarah: What is your favorite drink?
Cindy Edmunds: Ooh, I’m going to say wine.
Sarah: Okay. What’s your favorite day of the week?
Cindy Edmunds: Fridays.
Sarah: What’s your favorite type of music?
Cindy Edmunds: Oh my gosh. All of them.
Sarah: Good answer. Would you prefer the beach or the mountains?
Cindy Edmunds: Beach.
Sarah: Hamburgers or tacos?
Cindy Edmunds: Hamburgers.
Sarah: The Rock or Kevin Hart?
Cindy Edmunds: Oh, they’re tied. They’re tied.
Sarah: Do you consider yourself a good dancer?
Cindy Edmunds: No.
Sarah: Have you ever sent a text message to the wrong person?
Cindy Edmunds: Yes.
Glyna: Haven’t we all.
Sarah: Alabama, Auburn or don’t care?
Kelsi: Oh, that’s it. Sorry. I was muted, you couldn’t hear the timer.
Cindy Edmunds: Wow, that was quick.
Glyna: That was awesome. Well, Cindy, we really appreciate you coming on today. It’s been such a pleasure. My jaws hurt from smiling so much. You just are such a light, so we really appreciate you joining us on Biz Talk today. And we want to thank everybody else for joining us this morning as well. We will be back with Biz Talk again at 8:00 on Tuesday where we’ll have Lavon Chaney from the CIA. Then we also have our Live Marketing Mix on Thursday at noon. So I wanted to thank everybody one more time. And Sarah, take us out.
Sarah: All right, thanks for tuning in everyone. We’ll see you next time.