Every week we’ll share a story with you from someone who’s found their freedom with United Country. From buyers to sellers, from brokers to managers – everyone in the United Country family has a story. Today’s post comes from Joe Udoni, a United Country franchise owner in Waupaca, Wis.
After working in the real estate industry for three years with a well-established independent office, I enjoyed the business but felt limited with the marketing my company provided. I decided the time had come to investigate my options. As I looked at the various franchise options, I came across United Country and was intrigued by its story. My small town in central Wisconsin offers the quintessential rural lifestyle with year-round recreation, lakes, rivers, farms, etc. In other words, I live in a perfect United Country market.
I called the company’s home office to learn more about their program and after more research and discussion, I met with a United Country regional vice president. At the same time I was looking into real estate franchise options, my brother-in-law, Scott Salan (right side of the photo), was looking into starting a real estate career. After hearing about United Country, he decided to join me in this new venture.
The potential to introduce the United brand into our market was very appealing, and we felt good about the comprehensive, focused marketing tools this franchise would bring to our start-up. After meeting with several United Country staff and fellow affiliates during a conference in Chicago, we made the move and came on board in January 2005. We bought a building in town and began renovations, hired our office manager, and booked our tickets to Kansas City for training. Once in Kansas City, we quickly realized what a great decision we’d made after meeting fellow new affiliates and our new family at the home office. We came home from that week fully trained and dangerous, but also motivated and proud that we had joined a winning team that made us feel so welcome and fully supported.
This feeling that we were not alone on our new journey was instrumental to helping us get out of the shoot quickly and, most importantly, with great confidence. These are important elements that we didn’t factor into our business plan but realize now were critical to our success. There might have only been three of us in the office when we opened our doors, but we carried ourselves like a group of 50 and felt from day one that we had more to offer our clients and our community because of who we aligned ourselves with.
Our goal was to raise the bar and offer the market a better solution to their real estate needs, and together with United Country, we did. We have enjoyed our afflation with United Country over the past five years and the positive changes that have developed along the way. We have steadily improved our office and grown our team to 12 now, and we’re excited by the opportunities ahead of us. We’ve achieved our independence by establishing a business that we are proud of and enjoy working at every day – even during the challenges of the past couple of years.
To grow during these challenging times took more than hard work and luck; it also took the support of United Country to make sure we had a better story to tell the market and the confidence that they were supporting our efforts as well. We always felt like we could get through the hard times because we were all in it together . . . as a family.
If you’ve found your freedom with United Country, please send us your story to be featured in a future blog post!