Once a real estate transaction begins, there is an incredible amount of coordination with paperwork and deadlines. In this episode, meet a valuable member of the Heart and Sold team, Amy Goldberg with Seamless Contracts. Amy works her magic in the coordination of these details for Heart and Sold Austin. She tells us how she got started on the business in being the right hand of real estate agents and dishes out on the importance of specializing, of going small to going big. Sharing her secrets to success, Amy then talks about the people she turns to and the things and mindset that have helped her stay steady in growth and in the level of her service to others.
Heart and Sold Group is a social extension of the Heart and Sold Austin Real Estate business powered by Keller Williams, the Luxury Division.
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Giving Opportunities One Real Estate Transaction At A Time With Amy Goldberg Of Seamless Contracts
I have a very exciting opportunity to introduce to you someone who is not an official member of the Heart and Sold team per se. However, I see her business as an extension to my business because she has gained the respect and credibility in my mind and in my heart as being called as such. She has definitely earned that place in my mind, in my heart and in my business. Her name is Amy Goldberg. She is our contracts to close specialist. She owns Seamless Contracts. She is here locally in Austin, Texas. I’ll let her speak to this more. I know she serves other markets. Welcome to the show, Amy. Tell us at a high level about who you are, what you do and how you add value to the marketplace.
Thank you so much for having me. I’m Amy Goldberg. I’m the owner of Seamless Contracts here in Austin. Seamless Contracts is a project transaction management service for real estate agents. What that means is real estate agents hire us to provide a service for transaction management and their listing launch services. We do provide a few ala carte items for paperwork mainly, but we are the project and transaction management for real estate files.
We handle everything from contract to close. What that means is we’ll help checks get where they need to go, schedule inspections for the buyers. We are the right hand of the real estate agent. We are communicating with their clients alongside them to manage deadlines, communicate with the title company, the lenders, the other agent and the transaction as well. That’s primarily what we do. We do offer some of those ala carte items also that are for paperwork and facilitating miscellaneous items for the real estate agent.
What I want our audience to know is the reason why I work with Amy and have included her as an extension to my business is that she literally takes the transaction from contract to close to such a high level that I feel like she does it ten times better than I possibly could ever. I’m very attention to detail-oriented in regard to how I serve my clients. The fact that I know that when I turn on her, they’re going to be handled with kid gloves and taken care of better than what I can do. That says something.
We started in 2017. I was a part of an expansion team with Keller Williams and had healthcare experience previous to real estate, but I came on with zero experience. When we started expanding out of Texas, I lost my touch a little bit. I loved the Texas contract. I decided to take the skill that I had developed in that process and provide it to agents across Central Texas.A healthy mind and a healthy body allows you to do many more things than you thought were ever possible. Click To Tweet
Your background was in the healthcare industry. To sum this up for any consumer who’s out there, we’re maybe speaking agent speak and not speaking what consumer rhetoric English. What Amy did was she worked for a person who was an individual agent to begin with that grew out of business within Austin. Expansion team means that they were so successful they were able to offer their value proposition to other marketplaces. She was instrumental in helping that business grow from being an individual agent to being a team in a city to then expanding to other markets. Correct me if I’m wrong, Amy, but you did a lot of the back-office detail-oriented paperwork stuff on that team as well. That’s where you got a lot of your original experience.
I started on that team as a transaction coordinator and listing manager. As the team grew, I was promoted into the Director of Account Management. I oversaw five transaction coordinators as well as 4 or 5 virtual assistants in the Philippines. I oversaw while also fully producing as well. I would produce anywhere from 30 to 40 transactions per month. I ran the admin department as well.
One day you look up and you’re thinking to yourself, what makes you leave a well-oiled machine and move into the world of entrepreneurialism?
It was not something that developed for me overnight. It took several months for me to identify that I was not in the place that I knew I wanted to be long-term. Coming into the real estate industry in 2014 with zero experience, for those few years, I identified that I had gotten all of the experience that I could in terms of the process of transaction management and listing management. I had developed such a skill, but when we started expanding out of Texas, that’s when I felt I needed to get back to my roots. I liked what I was doing, but it was not my passion or where my heart was. I had to make an executive decision. It was not an overnight decision that I could take the things that I knew I liked.
I saw the vision of being able to create something of my own, which is something I never saw in the healthcare industry. Healthcare industry has got a ceiling on it. It is very corporate. There are not a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurialship. I knew I wasn’t in the right industry then but coming into real estate and being able to see that flexibility and vision for entrepreneurialship is when I realized that there was something that I could do. That was when it hit me and I said, “I love working transactions. I love the connection with people. My full background is customer service.” I knew that was something that I thrived in and the systems part of it was always something that I liked. I did decide that I was going to go out on my own and start something, which was not an easy decision. It wasn’t wake up one day and realize that I was in the wrong shoe. It did take some time for me to develop my decision for going in a different direction.
Let’s talk about that a little further, that sense of knowing that you’re not in the right place. We’ve got a lot of people reading. It may be somebody who is in a corporate environment and they’re punching the clock from 8:00 to 5:00. They’re doing a good job, but maybe feeling the satisfaction isn’t there. Maybe we’re talking to an entrepreneur who has a great financially successful business, yet they’re feeling some discomfort in a zone that’s trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Maybe we’re talking to somebody who is an agent per se, and they know that they have skills in one area. I myself can attest to this and there is something to be said for specializing. When you learn that you can go small to go big, that is the magic ticket. Let’s talk about that. What did that discomfort feel like? I’ve been in that space myself and it’s almost an illness. It’s like a disease. It’s creeping up on you.
When I mentioned that it wasn’t an overnight thing, I struggled with this for years. The moment that it hit me and I decided to make a change was becoming a mom. Before that, I felt like there was so much more that I could conquer because it was only me that I was worried about or that I was focused on. I was my why because I didn’t have any other why other than myself. It wasn’t until I became a young mom. Once I became a mom and I was commuting to an office every day is when I developed that I wasn’t in the right shoe. I was working countless hours for a salary paid position. It did not matter if I put in sixteen hours or I put in two hours, I was still making the same income.
My husband would tell me this all the time, “You’re made for something that what you put in you will get out.” He had told me that forever because it didn’t matter what I was doing. I was going to be doing it at 120% because that is Amy. I have been that way for years, even before becoming a mother. My kids are a big why of mine. I knew that I had to find something to what I put in, I was going to get out. Luckily for me coming into the industry of real estate, I was able to develop the skill of connecting. That was not something that I developed overnight. I went to classes. I went to teaching.
Luckily the mentor that I was working for at the company that I was at before I started Seamless, education of a healthy mindset and healthy body was something that was very important to him. That’s something that’s 110% taken with me. A healthy mind and a healthy body allow you to do many more things than you thought were ever possible. Waking up one day, those of you that are in a corporate position or maybe a salary paid position or maybe you own a corporate style company. There was a book that I read called Virtual Culture. That was something that allowed me to understand what the virtual world was like because it’s hard. I’m not face-to-face with my employees every day. That was something that was very hard for me because I am a very relational person.
To know if you’re doing it right or you’re not doing it right, I think a lot of people know that or where that comes into play to get someone else’s peace of mind to know that you’re okay and that you’re doing the right thing. That brought me a lot of comfort in terms of what I was doing. Was it the right thing? I didn’t have anybody to talk to and confirm that what I was doing was even going in the right direction. I truly did not know. What people would tell me over and over is that my work ethic is insane. No matter what you do, the effort you’re putting forth toward what you’re doing, there’s no way it wouldn’t pay off. That brought me a lot of comfort as well. Taking a leap to do something like I’ve done is a lot of patience, a healthy mind, a healthy body, educating and connecting. I feel like the more you connect, the more you figure out where you’re meant to be.
What I love about you is you do have a huge giving heart in your way of serving. Your work ethic is incredulous. Here’s what I know about you. It’s been a key to your success is that you know your boundaries and you stick to them. You have defined your service offering. It’s not that you’re not willing to contribute and go the extra mile should an agent have a need and they’re not at their desk and need you to help them because you absolutely do that here and there. As far as your service offerings are concerned, you have them well-defined and you have your parameters in place because you know that what you do when you do it at a high level adds the most value to your clients.No matter what you do, the effort you put toward what you're doing will pay off. Click To Tweet
A few years ago, I was listening to an entrepreneur video. To be completely honest with you, I cannot tell you even what her name was, but her message was very clear to me. She had a business for many years and here I was at year one. You get a little antsy when you start a business, not knowing how big is it going to get. Am I growing fast enough? Am I doing it the right way? Why did I have a lower month than I did the last month? Those types of fears that creep in on you as a business owner all the time.
I remember her message. She had been in business for many years and one thing that she took when you talk about pitfalls, successes and things that you would have done differently, one of the messages that she conveyed was that she had a list of services. She was a beauty supply company where she posted stuff online and sold it. One of the things that she learned was taking a product of 30 and condensing it to 2 or 3 products quadrupled her business almost instantaneously because she was bringing things in based on what other people were feeding her.
Rather than an outsider or maybe a direct consumer or whatever that might be, it was people feeding her things that she should be doing. Why was she doing this? Why didn’t she have that available? I get that as well in my business. Why don’t you have a marketing avenue? Why don’t you have actual full-on listing management where you support the property while it’s on the market? There are all kinds of things that I get. What I’ve learned and I’ve stuck to, it’s not an easy thing to decide on. I’m going to focus on the 2 or 3 things that I know I’m good at.
I know that I can promise agents when they do come on to work with Seamless Contracts is that they will get a high level of service because this is what we are professionals at. Sometimes when you take it to 5, 6, 7, 15, 20 things that you want to provide to customers, it’s great. At the end of the day, I know how to manage a property that’s on the market. If I wanted to figure out marketing, I could. It’s not my specialty, but I could 100% figure it out. Is that what’s going to allow me to scale this business?
That was a lot of thought. I do a lot of thoughts myself because there’s not a ton of support in the industry or the avenue that I am in particularly, which is the transaction management world. There’s not a lot of sharing or shadowing that goes on. There’s not a lot of people sharing your success and things like that. A lot of my thoughts have been internal and with my husband or even my teammates or my fellow agents as well. That’s bringing it back down to the foundation of what you’re good at and focusing on that. That’s what’s allowed me to take it off and more than double my business in one year.
Let’s talk about your team because you articulated this very well. You came in from a different industry, then you got your feet wet in real estate and spent some 2 to 4 years helping somebody else be successful. You found yourself a niche and a sweet spot, something you were great at and enjoyed. Next thing you know, you’re a lone ranger. I blink my eyes and you’ve got how many people on your team?
I do have nine other transaction coordinators. We have five virtual assistants and I’ve got one executive assistant. At the end of 2019, I hired an executive assistant to be more my right-hand man to keep everything straight. We’ve got sixteen people.
I’ve seen a lot of contract to close either individuals or pseudo organizations such as yourself come and go by the wayside. What I heard from those people because I’ve tried other services before I stumbled upon yours, I never left and have stayed loyal to you because you are my amazing Amy. I would see a lot of turnover with their staff. I would speak to the business owner. I would say the one thing that makes me more uncomfortable than anything in my business is change. When I work with a transaction coordinator who’s doing an awesome job for me and it takes a while to build that trust, I know that I can trust him. The next thing you know, you’re transitioning me to a different transaction coordinator. That was one of the conversations I had with you early on. It’s like, “I’m going to buy into your service. I’m going to support your business. How long are you going to stay loyal to me?”
The thing that I fear most is that transition and with that comes a lot of opportunities to drop balls and to possibly not service the client to the level of service that they’d become come accustomed to in my business. In only my short career here in real estate, which is about several years, I’ve clients that I’ve worked with 3, 4 or 5 times. There has to be real estate to be had within one individual and one relationship. When they come back, they want to know that the experience of working with Heart and Sold of Austin Group is going to be the same as it was years ago. How have you been able to do what you’ve done in your business aside from being consistent and knowing what your sweet spot is? Who do you turn to as a mentor? What do you attribute the fact that you’ve been able to stay steady in this growth and also in your level of service?
All of those are good questions and super important to my why and what my foundation is. It all starts with it’s much more to me than it is the transaction, the number. When you look at my numbers and people were like, “How did you do that? What are you doing? Are you human?” it goes back to it’s not about the numbers for me and it’s not even about the money or the dollar sign which had followed. It’s been an amazing opportunity for my family, which I longed for a long time. I worked hard to get to where I am. It all goes back to the reason why you’re even doing this. If this goes to my team when I bring someone on or when I look at the group of my girls and realize what I’ve created, it’s not about the numbers, it’s not about the money for me.
What it is about for me is the opportunity of creating an opportunity for other people. When I first started Seamless my goal was not to even have a team. When I first started in 2017, I needed a break. I had worked for countless hours. I had been burned by other people. I had worked whether in real estate or in healthcare since I was eighteen years old. I came in and I gave 150%. The result that I was getting from it was not in a million years measurable. When I decided to start my business, I realized that no one succeeds alone.The more you connect, the more you figure out where you're meant to be. Click To Tweet
When I first started, I said, “I want to close 30 deals a month.” That was my goal. To some of you, that might not even make sense, but it was the goal of mine to close 30 deals a month. I thought it would take me months to get there. What I realized is I got there a lot quicker than I thought I was going to. I thought, “I’ve met 30 and I needed to create a new goal.” What I realized was that I couldn’t do what I truly wanted to do. I started thinking about my why and why I was doing what I was doing, all the work I put in to get where I was. I realized that no one can succeed alone and I could not support all of these agents that were truly knocking at my door when I was at 30 a month.
I’ve got to make a decision. I’ve got to either ride this or cut it off and say that I’m going to support the agents that I have working with me personally. I realized I couldn’t support all of these agents that were needing the leverage. You can attest to that, Chadwin. These successful agents that are looking to build their businesses, they need transaction management help. It takes a village and if you don’t have the right people, you can have a TC and not be the right fit too. That can be another nightmare in itself. These agents needed leverage. I can feel it in the conversations that I was having, the panic that they were giving was that they truly needed help.
They were at a pivotal moment in their business where they needed this support and they were growing their team or completely new to the industry. At that point, I was like, “I got to grow a team.” I have previous years of management experience. I was able to use those skills of interviewing, coaching and mentoring that I had developed from my previous experience. That was something that I took with me as well, that supportive of coaching and mentoring. After I built my team, there was a lot that goes in between there. I could accomplish my passions, which are not just working hard. That’s a given. Anybody that knows me will tell you Amy is a workhorse. I’ve never been anything different. Before success and now, I’ve always been a workhorse.
One of the things that I was able to accomplish was giving back. That’s something that you and I have a lot in common. It’s giving back to our communities and giving back to the less fortunate. Things like that was always something that was super important to me, but I didn’t have the means to do that. That was hard for me, and then creating the opportunity and growth for others. Previously in my management experience, I was coaching and leading people, but it was not under my own terms. I was always coaching given the direction from the owner. To see my efforts, my passion and my ethic reflect to others and their opportunities is very fulfilling. It’s something that I waited a long time for. For me, it’s more about doing what you truly enjoy doing versus waiting for that number. How many am I going to do this month? How much am I going to make? I wasn’t chasing the number; I was chasing more so the passion.
The lesson in that for anyone, whether you are in real estate or in a new entrepreneurial role yourself and getting started, is the key to success is doing a good job. Wake up in the morning and be committed to exceeding somebody’s expectations, be that your first client or your 1,000th client and do it well. Another thing that I did for the first time in my entire entrepreneurial life is I sat down and I mapped out my calendar. I realized all the things that I was saying yes to and I wondered how I had been doing that because I was doing the activity of probably ten people. That exercise was so valuable because all of a sudden, I was like, “What of it do I need to hand off? What of it do I do exceptionally well?”
I realized that if I focused on the 2 or 3 things that I did exceptionally well, how empowering that was going to be to give that opportunity to somebody else who was better at it than I was and that person could take it to the next level also. There is some growth there in mindset and in heart set to be able to realize what you cannot do aside from you can do and finding the right individual to empower and give that opportunity to. All of a sudden, it’s not like you’re grabbing and hanging onto the controlism that we all have who are successful in any type of entrepreneurial role. It’s like you realize, “How can I serve everyone at this high level across this system of whatever it is the service that you’re delivering if you’re don’t have enough time to sleep or eat or go to the restroom?”
That’s something that I focused on too because I’m always in a hurry. I’m the control personality that you spoke of, which what makes us successful entrepreneurs. It’s having control of some kind. Perfection is something that I’m obsessed with, but what has taught me is the power of saying no. There was a Lady Gaga video. I don’t know if anyone has seen her documentary, but the power of saying no to things that you truly not only don’t want to do but are not going to benefit you. There is a power in that because for a long time, I did not know the difference. I would say I was a yes person. There’s a beauty of being a yes person and there’s a true beauty in being a no person.
It took me a long time and I still work on it. It’s truly standing up for yourself and saying no to the things that you know are not. Sometimes you have to trial and error. There are some things that I said yes to that I wish I wouldn’t have. It’s not that you won’t do that but knowing and practicing on lessons learned. One of the things I preach to my team all day, every day I have the quote by my computer and it’s, “I cannot fail. I can only grow and become better than I’ve ever been before.” Because in what we do at Seamless Contracts, there’s always that fear that you’re going to mess something up, you’re going to miss a deadline or that you’re going to communicate something when you shouldn’t have.
We always have that fear that we’re going to mess something up for our clients because that’s the last thing we ever want to do. We’re perfectionists, organized and relational. One of the things that we have is fear of failure. A lot of people have a fear of failure. That’s something that I watch on all of my lovely motivational speakers that I listen to on a daily basis is that you can’t fail. There is no such thing and you won’t know that you have failed until you try. That is something I have stuck with and taken to heart in the time that I’ve owned Seamless Contracts because now I have the beauty of doing it the way that I want to. That’s something I didn’t have for a long time.
I was always under someone else’s foot. Not that it’s a bad thing. I learned a lot of stuff under some amazing mentorships. They were not managers. They were not bosses. They were true leaders to me. I took so much from that. Now I have the beauty of doing it my own way. I truly know the beauty of you can’t fail. All you can do is the best that you can do. Waking up every day, have a good healthy routine, moving your body for 30 minutes. That’s something that I’ve stuck with as well and trying to figure out where is my sweet spot between work, family and my kids who are young still. That is something when you’re a new entrepreneur. You’re like, “My kids have so much. They’ve got football. One of them started kindergarten,” all these things.There is great power of saying no to things that you truly don't want to do and that are not going to benefit you. Click To Tweet
I learned what can take a back seat. Wake up with a fresh mind every day and identify where you’re going to put your efforts. They cannot go in every bucket. You have to decide because you’re the only person that can. What bucket are they going to go on that day and committing to it. Another thing is the commitment to what you’ve set out to do. That’s in business and friendships. Do what you set out to do and be consistent in it.
Help us understand a couple of things. It’s brilliant how you’ve been able to take a lone ranger intent and turned it into a business. If you have a resource in mind that helped you on scaling that business from the angle of growth and compensation plans, do you have a resource that you can quickly throw out there for anyone who’s in that place?
To be completely honest with you, I do not have a business coach. That’s something that has attracted people almost to me more in terms of being a leader and being an entrepreneur. I don’t have a person, a leader that is telling me what I should do in terms of growing my business. I did see a life coach at one point. That is something that I would recommend to people that do feel lost in what they do, rather it’s a mental thing or a business thing. See a life coach. A life coach changed my perspective on things. It was not something I had to do forever. It was a temporary thing and it completely changed my life. Have your eyes and ears open at all times.
Someone that I look up to and I wouldn’t say that she’s a business coach is Rachel Hollis. I know that a lot of people like her and she’s gotten big. I like her why and her background because it matches a lot toward mine. She doesn’t have a college degree. She started her multimillion-dollar marketing company off of a Google search. Focusing on what was missing, searching it and perfecting it, that is exactly what I had done in terms of growing my business. I did start as a lone ranger. I hired one person, then I hired two, then I hired three. What that was is I identified what I needed to get to the next step and I perfected it and then I grew. It’s taken a little bit of patience, a little bit of backtracking and then go up three stairs, then back two and then up four more. It’s patience and figuring out what’s missing and being consistent with it. It’s important to surround yourself with positive people that are in like-minded boats as you are.
I always tell people Jesus is the best coach. What I mean by that is whatever that is for you, prayer, meditation and listening to your inner voice in business. Listening, asking the questions and then sitting, listening and being quiet will do so much to uncover for you, even compensation plans. I had that epiphany. There was no coach anywhere who had offered me a compensation plan that I could offer to somebody else because they don’t know your numbers, your expenses, this and that. It wasn’t until I lay down in bed and said, “Lord, give me the compensation plan that’s going to help me to keep this talent and be able to pay for it and came up with it on my own.”
A piece of mind has been worth more to me than anything could ever provide me coach-wise. It was my peace of mind and coming to reality of what I wanted to do with my life and what I wanted to make of Seamless Contracts. It was all a decision that I had to make on my own, which I can’t say if it’s the easiest route or the hardest route. Probably it’s not the easiest route. I did not go to someone that has done the exact same thing as me and copied the whole process and the whole path. It has been some peace of mind and I liked that you added that too. If you can’t come to that realization yourself and identify what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, you’re going to have a hard time.As agents, we don't succeed and thrive unless we are closing contracts. Click To Tweet
How can we help you grow and what’s your vision for growth? You service Texas market, I know that for sure. Are you going to stay focused on Texas or are you going to expand nationwide or bigger than that maybe?
For the next few years or so, at least we will be in Texas only. When I started Seamless, I never had the intention of going out of Texas. The reason for that is the process that we do changes significantly when you exit Texas. I learned that from being on an expansion team. It wasn’t something that I read in a book. I was in the trenches trying to do these contracts out of Texas. When I started in 2017, I promise I would never be out of Texas. I truly do believe that I can hit all grounds in Texas and be completely fulfilled in my life. If I needed to start another business because I truly enjoy doing that and I love entrepreneurship, absolutely. In terms of transaction management and listing launch services, I see us conquering Texas. I truly do believe that in my heart. I’m going to go back to this interview a few years from now and maybe I will be out of Texas, but I want to focus on conquering Texas, doing what we’re good at and providing this service that agents have been searching for a long time.
I don’t want to end this without saying thank you. You have been a blessing to me, to my business. I love you to pieces and you make me look good. You make my clients love me and I appreciate you.
You had mentioned that when you share those kind words with me, number one, it means a lot. Two, it makes me realize that I am doing what I set out to do and what I’m meant to be doing. That is super defining for me and above everything that I’ve created and where we’re headed and what we’re doing. I talked to a lot of people and they’re like, “I didn’t even know that you had that many people.” I’m like, “Yes, and it’s me.” When I respond to people like, “It’s me,” and I’m doing what I love to do and I’m still a full producer. I’m still producing 30 to 40 contracts a month and managing my team.
It’s a beautiful thing that I have been able to do and it’s something that I waited for a long time. You had shared or asked me, what are the best ways that you can help me? We’ve been doing that, and I truly appreciate it, is sharing the best vendors in the community. I know that that’s something that you are good at and I love that about you. I can post something and you know the person that is great. We were chatting and laughing about it to who’s the best painter and who’s a good house cleaner and things that I can provide to my clients so that we ensure that everybody’s using the best in the communities.
We should all be doing that. Good people refer good people and that is what it’s about and why I do what I do. In terms of agents, we don’t succeed and thrive unless we are closing contracts. Sharing our name with fellow agents that you know or that you’re in conversation with that may be looking in dire need of the help that you needed back when we connected. Understanding what difference Seamless makes in an agent’s business is super important to me. I would appreciate any referrals and your support. It’s priceless and I appreciate it so much rooting for me. The fact that you’ve been rooting for me since day one is why I’m doing what I’m doing. It melts my heart to know that I have such high support for me and what I’m doing. Thank you so much.
You’re welcome. We love you so much and appreciate your time. Thank you for sharing it with us.
- Seamless Contracts
- Virtual Culture
- Heart and Sold of Austin Group
- Rachel Hollis
About Amy Goldberg
Amy Goldberg is the Owner and Lead Transaction Coordinator for Seamless Contracts. After leaving healthcare in 2014 for an opportunity to join a fast-growing real estate team with Keller Williams, she quickly became the Director of Account Management and was fortunate to learn real estate transactions at a very high level and high volume.
With over 11 years experience in customer service, she was able to turn her passion into her career by starting Seamless Contracts in 2017.