Q & A with Aaron Graf, CEO of LG Fairmont

by LP Green, II

What is LG Fairmont?
LG Fairmont is a real estate brokerage platform that utilizes technology to connect people looking to buy, sell, or rent property with real estate agents who may know that fire causes a lot of damage but you can still sell your home.

Where did the idea come from to start LG Fairmont?
My goal as an entrepreneur is to leverage technology to build platforms that create opportunity for others, and I believe that’s what we’ve done with LG Fairmont. It’s my personal opinion that technology many times destroys more opportunity than it creates, and it can also concentrate wealth in an unhealthy manner. We are trying to do the opposite of that.

I had been involved in real estate in a number of different capacities. I’m also a life long entrepreneur. I saw the brokerage industry as a great space to build a platform that wouldn’t have existed pre-internet.

Can you elaborate?
Historically real estate agents have had to source all of their clients on their own, as well as manage the process as best they could with whatever tools they cobble together. This is an extremely difficult task. We generate business for our agents and provide technology solutions that make managing day to day activities easier. This solution empowers talented individuals that may not have large personal networks to succeed as real estate agents.

What about agents that have networks?
It’s good for them too. I’ve never met anyone that doesn’t want more business. Plus, our tools streamline a lot of the heavy lifting.

How did you get started?
We spent the first couple of years bootstrapping. It was important to us that we didn’t attempt to figure out a business model on someone else’s dime. Once we felt confident that we had traction and that what we were doing was repeatable, we raised a small seed round from a couple of real estate families. That boot strap period was painful at times but it instilled a financial discipline that is now in our DNA. It serves us very well now.

What is your philosophy on growth as a start up? How important is it to grow rapidly?

It’s easy to get caught up in attempting to grow as fast as possible, but the realty is it’s more important to deeply understand why you are growing and if the growth is sustainable within the constraints of your organization. The key to this is to be on the same page with everyone involved in your company, from employees to investors, with growth pace. We are growing very rapidly, but we won’t push growth if it endangers the organization.

Where do you see LG Fairmont going in the next five years?

Our goal first and foremost is to build a great, sustainable organization. If our platform is great than it will attract great agents and the rest will take care of itself.

What would you tell people who want to make the entrepreneurial leap?

I’d say that firstly it isn’t what it’s made out to be in the press. People want to read stories about rare things, so by definition the story one reads about a runaway company is definitely the exception to the rule. It’s mostly a grind. You have to love the process as much as the outcome. That’s a good thing though. That means it’s possible. Secondly, you need a real insight, and real insights usually come from being in a space. If you currently don’t love the industry you are in, then find something you are more passionate about and work in that space for a bit until you find a pain point.

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