Executive Agent of the Month
Written by Haley Freeman - Ian Wiant Photographer
he ability to give good advice requires perspective, knowledge and experience. These are qualities that Andy Galfi, award-winning agent at First Team, has in abundance. His decade as a Realtor® and prior experience in related fields qualify Andy to provide superior guidance to clients, giving them an undisputed edge when buying or selling a home in Orange County and consistently exceeding their expectations.
standards gives him great perspective on the home market, whether he is assisting domestic or foreign buyers. “I don’t take things for granted here,” he says. “If you’ve traveled a lot you can really compare. What we have here is not the same as other countries. The market and pricing are different in other parts of the world. In many parts of Hungary, people still build their own houses rather than buy one.”
Perspective Andy was born in Budapest, Hungary and moved to the U.S. with his parents when he was two years old. He grew up in Mission Viejo, and then spent a year in Hungary after he turned 18, immersing himself in his native culture and getting to know his extended family. He has traveled extensively throughout his life, visiting Australia and countries in Europe and Latin America.
Knowledge Andy began his career in the industry first as a general contractor and then as a home inspector. He eventually met a team of top-producing Realtors® at First Team, and they urged him to get his license and join them in the business. He accepted their invitation, learning the fundamentals of real estate sales from some of the best in the business. Once Andy felt confident in his own knowledge, he stepped out to practice as a solo agent at First Team and eventually obtained his broker’s license.
Andy’s familiarity with other cultures and their living
“This is my tenth year with the company. We do a lot of marketing, which is one of the best perks for agents and clients. Our signs are pretty much everywhere. But the strength of any brand boils down to the individual agents and how they do business.” When Andy started his career with First Team, he was fortunate to work with a strong manager and mentor, Mark Kojac. “He is well-known in the industry and a very intelligent individual who is always one step ahead. He trained me how to do real estate from A to Z: how to get started, how to run a business and how to help clients achieve their goals. Many agents don’t get a good foundation and are never able to
build a successful business. I coached with Mark for many years, and he became a strong factor for my success.” Andy has used that good foundation to begin strategically building a team of his own. This synergistic group of professionals now includes a personal assistant, a dedicated purchase associate and a new client coordinator, all of whom are united in delivering Andy’s exceptional model of customer service. Andy also mentors new agents, helping them to develop their businesses on solid foundations. “It’s nice when someone else looks up to you and comes to you for help. It’s a good reminder for me to go back to the basics.”
Going Beyond What is Expected Experience The professional experience Andy developed prior to becoming a Realtor® continues to benefit his clients. “I think I have a little better understanding of homes in general because of those past skills. When I do a walk through or am viewing a home with a client, I can comment on what I see and tell them the different things that should be repaired or replaced. I can even give a dollar value to the things they may want to do, or tell them if something is such a big negative they may not want to buy the house at all.” Just as Andy was building his momentum as a new Realtor®, the recession hit. He immediately adapted and learned the complexities of short sales, a change many agents avoided. As a result, other agents relied upon him to negotiate their short sales, as well. This expertise is a great advantage to his clients today, as he is a powerful advocate at the negotiating table. As a seasoned agent, Andy stakes his reputation on service, professionalism and communication. He is continu-
ally adding to his knowledge of local markets, so that he is prepared to guide his clients with accuracy and objectivity. “Lack of communication is one of the number one complaints people have about their Realtors®. I make it a point to communicate with my clients a minimum of once a week. I always try to stay one step ahead and keep them informed so there are no surprises.” Andy’s skill has won him many awards, but the true measure of his talents is the praise he receives from the people whose lives he has changed for the better. One client sought Andy’s advice on how to sell their home quickly. The result? “Following through on his suggestions, our home ended up selling in nine days. This was a critical move in that we ended up making an offer on our new home prior to placing our current house on the market. Andy represented us on both the sale and purchasing side of our old and new homes. Timelines came together perfectly, and we were able to sell our house and make the transition into our new home without a single hiccup. Amazing to say the least. Very impressed with Andy’s knowledge and professionalism.”
In another instance, Andy stepped in for a client in a challenging situation: “Andy was a trooper. He went above and beyond to make a very difficult sell finally happen after taking over the listing from a different Realtor® who had no offers during the first 4-6 months it was listed. I still am in awe that he not only sold our place, but after a few months of very low-ball offers coming in, got an offer approximately $40k higher than our previous highest offer. I highly recommend Andy to sell any home and would use him again in a heartbeat.” According to Andy, success in real estate comes from implementing a systematic and consistent approach. “For anyone who is winning Real Estate Hall of Fame awards, consistency is the key with whatever system they have in place. No one who shoots from the hip is able to do business at that level.”
his own personality,” Andy shares. “He loves to get out and go, whether we’re camping, boating or taking the motorhome. He’s always up for whatever we’re doing.” Andy is also an aviator who acquired his pilot’s license in 2013. He enjoys the thrill of flying to nearby destinations like the Central Coast, the Colorado River and Catalina Island, or simply flying to small, local airports to have lunch. Andy is a true professional, who goes beyond what is expected to ensure that his clients always receive awardwinning service. There is no substitute for his distinctive combination of perspective, knowledge and experience. “Real estate is a unique commodity,” Andy says. “Each house and each family is unique. Building relationships and guiding people through this life-changing experience is what makes being a Realtor® so rewarding.”
Andy is devoted to his real estate clients, but strives for balance to spend time with his wife of 5 years, Kelli, and their 2-year-old son, Landon. “He’s a cool little kid with ExecutiveAgent Magazine
First Team Real Estate 108 Pacifica #300 Irvine, CA 92618 Tel: 949-395-5548 AndyGalfi@firstteam.com www.AndyGalfi.firstteam.com CalBRE # 01483931