This week’s HW+ member spotlight features Brian Gubernick, chief real estate officer at Homeward. He has more than 15 years of industry experience, holding multiple positions in the industry including being an investor, team owner/leader, brokerage operating partner, coach and trainer and corporate executive.
Below, Gubernick answers questions about the housing industry:
HousingWire: What is your current favorite HW+ article and why?
Brian Gubernick: While I do not think I have a favorite article, I definitely have a favorite section right now…and that’s “Mortgage”! I’ve been in the residential real estate business for over 15 years, but most of my experience has been on the agent and brokerage side of things.
In order to be more effective in my role at Homeward, I’ve had to deepen my understanding of mortgage. This includes developing a stronger knowledge about mortgage products, origination, compliance and regulatory matters, how loan officers operate day to day and mortgage sales. HW+ has been a major resource in getting my knowledge base to where it needs to be!
HousingWire: What is the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
Brian Gubernick: When I was in my 20s I decided I wanted to be an entrepreneur. Prior to getting my real estate license and starting my sales team, I actually owned and operated a tanning salon! I randomly learned of a salon for sale and figured “that sounds interesting…I can build that business.”
And so, I bought the salon (on terms of course, because I certainly did not have the money to buy a business at that time), renamed it “Desert Bronze Tanning,” created a logo and slapped it on the door and went to work! It actually turned out to be a half-decent investment for me.
HousingWire: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Brian Gubernick: This is a difficult one as I’ve received a lot of great advice over the years from some very wise individuals. But the advice that I think about on a daily basis came from my friend and mentor, Gary (Keller) – “Align your actions around one true north vision for your life, spend your days living up to the reputation you want to be known for and surround yourself with people who want what you want.”
HousingWire: What has been your biggest learning opportunity?
Brian Gubernick: No question, the greatest learning opportunity I’ve experienced was the 2007-2008 housing market crash. As a novice real estate investor at the time, the market downturn completely wiped me out. As a result, I had to “relaunch” my business career. The failure and all that I learned from that experience shaped me to be the business person I am today.
HousingWire: What’s one thing that people aren’t paying attention to that you think they should be paying attention to?
Brian Gubernick: People are aware of this, but I believe it needs an even greater focus — how unaffordable it has become for the average family to purchase a home. NAR recently shared that there are nearly 30% more homes available for sale compared to earlier in the year but that buyers need to earn at least $125,000 to afford to buy most of these additional homes.
Given that the average family income is less than $70,000 this is nothing short of a crisis. We’ve all seen the stats — the average net worth of a homeowner is 40x greater than that of a renter. We need to get more well-deserving people into homeownership, and this is a major focus for our team at Homeward this year and beyond.
HousingWire: What keeps you up at night and why?
Brian Gubernick: Lots of things are keeping me up at this moment! But the issue that seems to take up space in my mind, and has for several years now, is the threat that I believe Realtors are under as it pertains to our role in the industry.
There are just so many companies that have the objective of displacing the Realtor altogether. “Disrupters” that believe that wedging their way between the Realtor and his or her database is what is best for buyers and sellers. I fundamentally disagree with this and think that a compassionate, well-educated, professional fiduciary (a Realtor) best serves the buyer/seller and the housing space, at large.
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