The Power of Digital Connection | Andrew Cady

Hear from Andrew Cady on how being consistent about digitally connecting people to your network will help increase your business.

In early 2015, Andrew found his passion in the mortgage business, quickly becoming one of the top single producers in the state. Andrew has now truly mastered his profession. Andrew adopted a mantra early in his career: “I aim to make the closing room more of a celebration than a sigh of relief.” Andrew has done just that, as evidenced by more than 350 five-star reviews.

Episode Transcribe

– I bumped into Andrew on social media as he was doing this game and I was like, there’s something about to happen here. Now, first of all he’s the Epic Mortgage Guy. Like all of a sudden were meeting like, okay, like, “who are you?” “The Epic Mortgage Guy”, I gotta get to know this, then I stated to watch content, watched what he was putting out. Then I was like, there’s something really cool here. And so without further ado, let’s bring on Epic Mortgage Guy, Andrew Cady, Friends and professionals, our next topic is the power of digital connections with this guy, Andrew Cady. Now, for those of you that don’t follow this guy, you’re missing out. When I first saw him online, I knew he was doing something special, something was happening because what he would post, when he would share his message, he would have a resounding audience, jumping in and collaborating with him, and it’s taken his business to new heights. So let’s bring him on and talk about what he’s doing and the power of digital connections. Entry music bro, entry music. I got walk-on music for you dude.- I don’t even know what to say right now man. How are you?- I have to use the restroom, but we’re gonna push through dude. It’s so good to see you man, look at the background and the Epic, dude you’re crushing it right now.- Hey, even have proper softbox lighting, you know, we got this stuff set up,- Dude, I’m jealous. So I wanna dive right in with you man, cause you’ve done something that I have never seen anybody do yet in the industry. And I was so impressed by it that I was like, man, I needed to bring you on to talk about the power digital connections. Because when I learned that you had spent two years of your business cultivating a digital connection ecosystem, universe, I was like, this is the power, you know? And so first Andrew real quick, share with everybody how your production’s going. Cause I know we’re all having good years. You’re having a really good year, like share with everybody with that. Let’s let everyone know who you are.- Yeah, So here today I’m about 25 days away from ellipsing last year’s volume. So last year I did 200 units. Somewhere in mid July, I’m going to close out my 200 unit for this year. And the crazy crazy thing is, 92, 93% of my business is purchase this year. So this isn’t a spike from refize, this is a lot of organic, a lot of referral based business, almost entirely driven through social media on my end.- Yeah. So that’s where all of a sudden I was like, holy crap, that’s a lot of production, but it’s all coming through your digital efforts.- Yeah. I’m not the guy that is, dialing real estate agents. “Hey, can I buy you coffee?” Yes, I did that five years ago when I got into the business, I bought a lot of coffee and a lot of lunches and ultimately a lot of beers. But, once the audience on social media began to kind of grow and turn into, really just a referral base, I have probably in the last 18 to 24 months, I haven’t taken anybody to lunch unless they’ve called me to ask me to go to lunch. Frankly, I just don’t have time for it, unless they’re asking me, I am desperately seeking ways to hire more people right now and not to seek more business right now, which is awesome.- So you say that and everyone out there is like, holy crap I want that. Like, how do I get that? How do I do that? And you had to earn this seat at the table. You had to put time and sweat and tears into it. And so for everybody that’s listening, like how many, in Facebook, like let’s just use that platform. How many connections do you have with real estate professionals on Facebook?- Yeah, so I’m capped out or close to being capped out on my friends list. I removed about 200 lender friends that have added me, so I can make room for more real estate agents. But there’s no exact math, but I figure somewhere between the number of 3,800 and 4,000 of my friends on Facebook are real estate agents, either specifically in my local markets or in Florida, Georgia, where I’m doing business.- So, for everyone else who just heard that, like I did the first time and I was like, this guy cracked the code. By the way, that takes effort, that takes tremendous amounts of effort.- It does.- And how did you get that? How did you create that? When did you start and how did you get that level of influence?- So where I began with this whole thing was, when I got into the mortgage business I got in, and I truly had like no mentor. A friend of mine brought me in the business who was an executive vice president of a mortgage company. And he basically put me in a branch, sat me in front of an encompass and was like, “Hey, go originate loans.” And so I found another friend of mine who was really good and we kind of collaborated. And so I had no connections. And so what I did is I spent about eight months pounding the pavement and went to 25 open houses every single weekend.- Yes- For about eight months.- I know what that feels like.- And just walk in, grab a business card, shake, hands, get out. And then I would add these real estate agents on Facebook. And what I found is, when I add that first realtor on Facebook, if I haven’t met them face to face, there’s a very low probability they’re going to add me back. But if I’ve met them at an open house, I could quickly in a matter of seven, eight months, a mass 500 realtors on Facebook pretty easily. And then when I would go to my suggested friends list, other real estate agents, now we have 75 mutual friends. So when I would click that ad, red button, boom, I get added back. Now when I go on there and it’s like, there’s a real estate agent. I have 1,300 mutual friends with them. Of course, they’re going to add me back. So it is a slow build, and it takes a lot of effort. But it’s also, managing the content you’re putting out and the quality of the content, but also, staying away from hot topic issues, keeping myself very politically agnostic, right down the middle of the road. There’s some things I just will not touch on my Facebook.- Well, and we can get into pitfalls and that’d be a fun conversation, but I want everyone to hear really hear this. Like what you did had incredible foresight because you built a digital community before it was cool. It takes time. And like you said, then it snowballs. Then you’ve got like 75 mutual friends and then you don’t have to meet them face-to-face. They’re going to accept it. And now all of a sudden you have this megaphone opportunity. And now when you put out a piece of content, put out a piece of video, put out anything at all, you have this audience that’s already there waiting for you.- Correct, yeah. I just posted about an hour ago on my Facebook, and right before we went live, I looked at it, I’m close to a hundred engagements in just under an hour. Just a screenshot of an email that I got, like the engagement level, it’s just always there, but it’s also making sure that we’re not posting a rant about a football game, because you’re going to kill your Facebook engagements when you start posting this. Every post I do has to be very thought out, the time of day I’m going to post it, the content I’m going to post. It has to be something that you’re not just arbitrarily doing, but rather planning to get done successfully.- I know everybody’s hearing this through your conversation and through your intent on this, but like, you radically transformed your career, like radical.- Yeah. What I’m looking at this year will be very likely somewhere in the neighborhood of a 75 to 90 million dollar a year, at 95% purchase. And that’s coming off of a 45 million dollar year, last year.- It’s so fun for me to watch because, there are so many different ways to the customer now, and this has been the theme throughout the collab today, is that there’s all these opportunities from people from podcasting to Instagram, to what you’ve done on Facebook connections to create this opportunity. So here’s a question for you right now live, great advice with a one-two punch of live networking and digital connecting. Man, if you’re in COVID land today, right? So you kind of have to put yourself there. It’s hard to meet that first connection. As a pro in this space, how do you tackle it today or how do you handle… You’re in a different space, but how do you handle it?- Yeah. So, it’s something that I’m not necessarily doing. So, I kind of can come off as hypocritical in saying this, but I’m also not doing it because I, number one just don’t have time. And number two, don’t know if I want that much more business right now. But if I was in that space where I’m like, boom, I need to grow today. And COVID’s keeping me inside. I would do a Tuesday 5:00 pm, bring your own beer happy hour on zoom. And I would do the same thing on Friday afternoon, and I would do it twice a week, and I would put it out there and I would get 10 to 12 to 15 real estate agents, twice a week into my zoom. I would keep it relative. Keep it funny. We talk about wines and beers and what everybody’s drinking and basically build a social connection over zoom. Cause that’s the best opportunity we have, short of face-to-face right now in my opinion.- Dude, unbelievably cool. So let’s do this. Let me ask this question, cause I know people are gonna relate to this. Everyone comes here, build your audience, and then they can be like, okay, I know what to do. I’ll go out and I’ll build my audience. But then once you have the audience like you do that doesn’t mean you instantly get success.- No.- No. So you have a very intentional content strategy. You’ve been kind of talking about it, stay away from these hot topics that will take you down the drain, but like share with everybody. Like what is your content strategy today?- So my content strategy is first and foremost, is to remain real and very true to myself. I do not want to be a talking head of mortgages. I don’t want to be the guy that only gets out there and talks about it. I’m a big believer that people in my market, want to see me as, an absolute kick ass mortgage professional, but also a kick ass husband, kick ass father. they wanna see pictures of my dog. They wanna see me at the beach on a Saturday with my kids. They want to see awesome mortgage content. And then they also want a lot of comedy, especially in the world we’re in right now. If we can do something to put a smile on someone’s face, whether it’s the post that I did a few minutes ago about a client who emailed me and saying, he’s putting his home shopping on hold, due to a collapsing housing market. People want something to laugh at right now. So if I can interject laughter, comedy into their life, while I’m also putting, mortgage related content in front of their face. It’s ultimately a method of top of mind awareness for me. So my ultimate strategy, I have professional videos that I’ve done that are on a cycle where they’re posted every day or every other day.- Yeah- I’m basically in between filling the gaps, with pictures of my kids, pictures of my dog, and then the occasional rant, once about every 45 to 60 days, upload a good rant. I’m a big believer that, negativity will turn people away in the long run. If all I do is get out there and I attack, eventually it’s going to turn people away.- Yeah- Because people are attracted to a better demeanor than always someone who’s attacking. However, when someone who is a positive person, a high energy person is always out there and then comes out with an angry rant. Where you dare say the word shit in it. Now you’ve got everyone’s attention. Now everybody’s like, “Oh my gosh, “this guy who’s normally calm, cool and collected “is off his chain I’m going to listen to his video.” So it’s a cycle of family thing, dog, business, rant, funny. And it’s just a cycle on social media.- What I want everyone to hear on that is that, it’s okay to be a human and show all aspects of your humanity. And Andrew, you do a great job of that. I’ve read some of your rants and then enjoy them. I think they’re fun because all of a sudden you’re like, finally someone’s saying it, like, no one else is saying it. And this guy is saying it, but it’s okay to be funny. And it’s okay to have humor. It’s okay to be real. I once read an article that, if you’re actually blessed to be funny, then you actually have an advantage because you change someone’s whole physiology, when you’re funny, like they laugh,- True- They get happier, they immediately like you more. And it’s okay to be human, and there’s a lot of people putting out content when they don’t show their humanity, they’re lying. There’s a lot of mortgage people that I even see and connect with on social media, that are disingenuous.- Yeah- And I’m not here to attack anyone personally, obviously, however, be who you are. If you’re not the funny guy, don’t be the funny guy. Because you’re going to connect with your base of whatever you are. And if you’re trying to be me, when you are not me, it’s going to miserably fail. The majority of people will see through it. And it’s not going to turn out how you want it. So just be real, be who you are, be unapologetically you. And you’re going to connect for every one person I turn off with my rant. I’m going to turn on two people that will follow exactly in line with me because they’re my people. So be who you are, don’t fake it. Everybody sees through that stuff.- So guys, what I love about Andrew is, not only his authenticity to be real, but it’s also his hard work and intentionality. Like you don’t get 4,000 realtors connected to you without hard work. You heard him, he was very quick in rambling off like, rant, dog, funny, professional, but you realize, Oh crap, like he’s running this. He’s so used to it. He has this such intense strategy around what he’s doing. That it becomes second nature to him where he just rips it off.- I mean, I’ve already got my posts in my head of what I’m posting tomorrow morning at 9:00 am. And I won’t post it at 8:00 am, I’m going to post it at 9:00 am. Specifically because the target audience I’m looking for, is gonna be at their computers, or at their desks, or at their phones, typically between 8:00 and 9:00 am. If I post that same post at 11:00 am or at 7:00 am, it’ll get half the engagement.- So you told me something that was new to me. How do you leverage Facebook messenger?- Yeah, so Facebook Messenger is a phenomenal tool. So let’s say Alec and I are connected on Facebook, and Alec occasionally sees my posts, but doesn’t necessarily see everything I do. If Alec is, say a real estate referral partner that I want to work with or potentially could work with, I could text Alec and say, “Hey, how’s everything going? happy Monday, “hopefully your day’s rocking and rolling.”- Yup.- That does nothing for my social media. But if I would send that same message, over Facebook messenger to Alec, the moment Alec responds to that message. Even with a thumbs up, it now changes Facebook’s strategy or it’s algorithm of the friendship that Alec and I have, and it brings it to a more personal level. And now Alec is guaranteed to see my next three Facebook posts, I post immediately in his Facebook wall. So rather than texting people, I’ve gotten to this habit of just shooting a message over Facebook messenger. “Hey, I got this contract in. “Hopefully everything’s going well, we’re on it. “We’ll take care of it.” That’s a text message, but all of us are on, so Facebook messenger, just as much as we’re on text message, in order to increase my engagement at the same time of communicating something, I would communicate anyways, why the hell wouldn’t I do that?- It’s incredible. I think it’s a missed opportunity.- It is. it’s a huge missed opportunity. And it’s something that, a lot of people just don’t simply grasp, or they feel, maybe like they’re getting too personal, but I don’t think there’s any more personal than, my phone dinging their phone. If I’m willing to text them, why the heck wouldn’t I Facebook message them?- So what other missed opportunities are there that you think people should come to?- Huge missed opportunity would be when real estate agents, invite you to like their business page. Love it, just my favorite moment. I used to go through and I would just like their business page cause I want them to get that little pop up that says, “Andrew Cady likes your business page.”- Absolutely.- And then what I decided I was going to do is I unliked all of them. And then I waited for people to start requesting me again, cause they will, cause they eventually just go invite their whole friends list.- Right.- And then what I do is, I send them a Facebook message on personal to personal, and I say, “Hey Alec, thanks for inviting me “to like your Facebook page. “I’d be super happy to do that for you. “Here’s the link to my Facebook page, “If you want to do the same, “I’d love to have an opportunity to do business together.” So now, number one, I’m acknowledging the request. I’m requesting that they like me, but then I’m also doing it over Facebook messenger, which is going to increase their engagement of the content they see at my posts.- God, it’s just like, I love the intentionality of that. I love the intentionality. Cause it takes time to write that message. You could’ve easily disliked their stuff and move on.- Yeah, that’s the easy route, but I’m not in this game for a hundred million. I’m not in this game for 200 million. I don’t know where my ending point is, but there’s no level of just like satisfaction for me. I’m in this game to play for the long haul and to push as hard as I can to make an empire I can leave my kids, to make an empire I can hire in and bring people in to create. I’d like to have a billion dollar mortgage team someday.- Dude. And you’re going to, I have no doubt dude, if you keep putting in the effort and the time, there’s no doubt you’ll get to where you want to go. So let’s do this. We got like 12 minutes. If someone was new to Facebook, and by the way, there’s a lot of them. I know that sounds weird that you’re like, they’ve never started a business page on Facebook. Maybe they’ve got a personal page. They got a few friends on there. And they came to for advice cause you inspired them now they’re like, holy shit, I’m missing the boat. How do you set’em up? what do you say to’em- Create a Facebook business page, primarily for just people being able to search you. Like if you Google search Andrew Cady, if you just search Andrew Cady, I dominate page one and page two, and number four or five somewhere in there is my Facebook business page with 57-five star reviews, they don’t do five star reviews anymore, but you want that ability for people to search you, create a business page. I rarely even post on my business page cause I don’t think business pages quite have the engagement they used to. I would say immediately go through, if you’re looking to grow social media, spend two to three to four to five days, depending on how long you’ve been on Facebook, go through your previous content and delete a lot of it. Delete a lot of your previous content. I don’t care if you’re democratic or Republican or how strong your views are on things. There are some topics that if you’re seeking to grow business through social media, yes, it’s a free country. Yes, you have every right to post whatever you want, but be forewarned that you’re going to lose 50% of your potential business, because of your Facebook post about a president. So guns, religion, abortion, drugs, politics have zero place on Facebook. If I post something and someone comments something political on my Facebook wall, I respond and say, please remove politics off my wall. I’m not doing it. Race, I’ll add race to it. We all have our opinions. We all have our views. But if you’re seeking to grow and engage with people on social media, you’re going to alienate 50 to sometimes greater than 50% of your audience, by having strong public views on these things. And if you don’t want to go that route, then don’t use social media as your platform to grow your business but I’m telling you you’re missing the boat on it. So go through and delete a lot of your stuff. Stay very, very positive. Stay motivating. Don’t always be in attack mode. Don’t always be in this mode of negative of always posting about your problems. People get very turned off by that. They want positivity and optimism. I sound like Gary V with that— Its good, bring the truth.- And yes the occasional rant, but I would say clean out your Facebook, and start by adding every single real estate agent that you’ve ever met in your life. And then spend 15 minutes a day, scrolling Facebook, through the suggested friends, and add 20 new real agent friends every single day, and do it for two years. And that’s going to take something that 99% of loan officers don’t have called consistency. And if you’re willing to be consistent with anything, that should be what it is. It’s not easy to carve out 20 minutes in my day, but I did this morning. I’ll tell you I have 78 loans in my pipeline right now, 52 purchases closing next month that I bet 37 closing this month. I don’t have time to breathe, but I spent 20 minutes this morning and I added 15 people in Facebook. Because the moment I stopped growing is the moment I start dying.- I love when people just blow up people’s excuses and it’s been a whole like day of it for me. Cause I know, everyone’s excuse, I don’t have the time. And then Andrew was like, I have a million loans in my pipeline and they’re like, I don’t have the time.- But I’m sick of excuses too. we all can make excuses. Every one of us can. For me, I’m not willing to entertain anything that is even close to mediocracy in my life. If it’s not furthering my business or furthering my family, that comes secondary to everything else, everything else is secondary to furthering my family or furthering my business. That’s it? Those are my two priorities. Those are my two focuses. So I’ll be more than willing to take a day off the water, off the boat and work if my family’s out of town I’ll just work. I would rather work than go have a little fun by myself. But if my kids are home, I want to spend time there. It’s all about priorities. But, God, if there’s one word that this industry is missing is consistency.- No doubt, dude.- Loan officers, habitually chase the next shiny object, the next app that’s going to make their life easy. The next software that’s going to change this. And they’re just missing out on getting out and doing old school grind, hard work and have fun.- That’s what I really wanted to highlight on this conversation Andrew because, carving time to make human connection digitally, is hard and takes time.- It does.- And it takes consistency and it takes hard work. And so all of a sudden you realize what the power is, if you can get behind it, you start to create like you have, the kingdom and of opportunity that yields all this opportunity now, and you’re not out there, You’re in control of your own destiny.- Absolutely, yes. And it gets to the point where, I have to hire again now, I either have to hire, or I just simply can’t take on more business and that’s the best problem to have, I would rather be stressed, 10 times over with having too much business than not having enough business. And I’ve been there, where my phone didn’t ring for two weeks. I’ve been there with that level of stress of not knowing what the next paycheck’s going to look like. And I’ll take the stress of having too much business all day long over the stress of not having enough business. And for that, I’ve learned one word and that’s consistency. And that is to consistently post on Facebook to religiously add people on Facebook, to consistently stay away from problems topics on Facebook. I’m just not interested in controversy. I’m interested in portraying myself, who I am, a good father, a good husband and a kick ass mortgage banker.- So in our last five minutes, did you ever have any fear of video?- I did, Oh my God. You go back and look at my first few videos, they were miserable. Oh my gosh. If I can give any advice on it, the best win I’ve ever done for fixing my fear of video was live video. When you screw up, you’ve screwed up you just keep going.- You just power through it.- Whereas when I would record a video, I’d screw up 45 times.- Yeah.- I’d screw up over and over again. And I’d retake it, and I’d spent four hours. Whereas if I just go live, you eventually just learn, you mess up, you move on. Yeah, live video, kind of started for me back in 2017 when I went viral with one of the hurricanes. And then from there, it just kept going. During March, when we had the complete market meltdown, I was out of town, bad time to take a family vacation. But I started doing a live video every single day on Facebook. And these videos are getting five, six, 7,000 views on Facebook, like 50, 60 shares by real estate agents of these videos, just talking about why interest rates are rising, what’s going on in our markets. People are seeking an expert and if you can truly… In the last couple minutes here I’d touch on that.- Please.- Don’t have ass this industry.- Oh yeah.- This is an industry where you’re seeking to make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Why would you not absolutely become the best at what you do? Go out and read the guidelines, spend your time actually perfecting your craft. Buy in the MBS highway, learn with the markets, learn your candlestick patterns. Be able to intelligently tell people why mortgage backed securities are going up or down. When a client calls me and he’s like, “hey, I saw the interest rates have come down” and I can explain to him, no what you’re seeing is news that was two weeks ago. And if you actually look at the MBS highway charts that I can send you, it’s changed. It takes the wind out of people’s sails. I lose maybe one deal a month to rate. How is that? I don’t have the sharpest rates in the tool shed. There’s always some call center jockey, that’s going to have sharper rates out there. How am I doing it? I’m doing it by being an expert in it. And when you’re perceived as the expert, and the only way you’re really going to be perceived as if you school yourself to become the expert. That’s when you’re really gonna start to get the eyes on you. It’s not just posting funny videos, but it’s also educating people, and putting real relevant information in their hands. Especially like we were seeing in March when the market’s going sideways, people are looking for relevant, true information content that they can rely on. And if that’s you, you’ve got an audience,- Dude, I’m so impressed. I cannot wait to like re-release this or people watching the future or get it transcribed because you’ve dropped like bomb after bomb on this thing. I mean, literally in 28 minutes, if people would just copy what you just told them to do, they can have the career of their life.- Agreed.- Yeah. I mean, I’ll probably close 350 units this year.- I mean, is it worth it?- And that’s not to say that braggadociously, it’s just, I actually sit in the wilderness and wonderment of how the hell this is all happening. And it keeps happening. Like my phone just rings and I’m not prospecting. I’m not doing lunches. I’m not doing lunch and learns. I’m not doing CE classes. I’m just sitting at my desk all day, answering the phone when it rings.- This is what I want everybody to hear, because not only did Andrew do all the hard work, which is crucial, you can’t skip your way. No one goes viral off one video, you have to earn your audience, earn your place or your seat at the table. But this is what it looks like when you had influence. And Andrew has influence. He’s worked hard for it. By the way, heard him talk about how intentionally is and making sure he doesn’t alienate people, because his job is to help people get home loans. So he wants to do that for everybody? Why would you alienate people that you want to help and serve? If you were a contractor, would you drive around with a Confederate flag in the back of your truck showing up to people’s houses, offering your services?- Bad message.- No. It would just be the dumbest thing on earth. So why would you do it on social media? It just blows my mind what I see people post on Facebook. It’s like, congratulations, you just turned off half your audience,- Dude, they don’t get it.- Alright, so everybody on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, all of Andrew’s handles have been posted. Please go hang out and follow this guy, see what he’s doing, I say this a million times, but if you wanna get better, go follow what Epic people are doing. If you get me on Facebook follow, don’t always add me as a friend if you’re in the mortgage business cause I’m almost capped out of friends and I’m trying to leave room for my realtors. So follow me on Facebook, don’t add friends, cause I’m trying to keep room open.- Andrew you’re the man, dude. Thank you for hanging out with us today. I cannot wait to re-share this, tons of amazing content, dude, you’re the man.- All right, take care buddy.- See you buddy. Man, dive into the water team. Like how much more proof do you need? Dive into the water. I don’t care where, but go all in, and have some fun with your career, with yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously. At the end of all that stuff is unbelievable opportunity if you’re willing to play in the space. I hope I brought you value today. Please go find these wonderful human beings online, connect with them, follow ’em. See what they’re doing. Man I appreciate you all. Have a wonderful day and a wonderful week. I’ll see you on the internet.