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Why Tom Truong Got Back Into Real Estate For eXp Realty

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by Kyle Handy       Updated May 21, 2020

Tom Truong is a fireball of energy. When he enters the room, the people in it are instantly happier! Tom's purpose in life and business is to help others. He comes from the most humble background and has accomplished tremendous feats in his career as a real estate agent and owner.

Tom Truong shares his story of how his family originally came to the United States and the struggles he has overcome to be where he is at today. Tom is the most generous person with his time and energy. I'm proud to know Tom and call him my friend.

Tom Truong's Personal Bio 

Tom has a passion for real estate and entrepreneurship but also understands the importance of giving back to his community. Leveraging his passions has helped him build successful real estate businesses. He continues to help clients achieve their real estate buying and selling goals. He thrives on mentoring, training and coaching real estate professionals realize their own successes.

Tom Truong Story Transcription

I'm just an ordinary guy here to help folks become extraordinary. That is why my mom left Vietnam in 1975. It wasn't the first book was the second boat, like Gene said. And this is the third try to get out of the country. Right?

We didn't come from riches.

And we were all fighting for position on the boats. So it was getting full on the boat. And my mom goes, I was seven years old. She goes, we're going to send you up first. If you can envision a boat with ropes and everyone's climbing up the boats and goes Tom, climb up that boat.

You get there, and you scream for your family. My younger brother then climbed up, and then my younger sister time up to eight kids, by the way, a single mom.

Okay, I got up there, and I screamed for my mom and my brothers and sisters, and we got on the boat we get out to come to a land of opportunity to come to America to be whatever you want to be. And there are no limits.

Nothing can hold us back. The only thing that's holding us back that my mom told me is me.
Right where she wanted to come here because she wanted to give us the best education. And like most Asian parents, she wanted me to be a doctor. I wasn't a doctor. She wanted to be an attorney. It wasn't attorneys; you want to be an engineer and, you know, all these things. My brothers, my sisters, my siblings became engineers, doctors So on and so forth. This kid went into real estate.

So I'm just ordinary like you. All right. But when I graduated from college, we all know the kids paid for their way to college, which there was no college fund. When I graduated from college, I went to work for an organization in the insurance business was a young kid. It took me nine years to get to a level where I was the area Chief Financial Officer for a publicly-traded company, one to five area CFOs. From the day that I started, we were the 13th largest brokerage firm in the United States. By the time I ended with my insurance business career, we were the third-largest in the world. That company is still there today. Arthur J. Gallagher. They gave me what I need to do. There's a reason I'm sharing with you the story is because my last name is strong as me. That company was in this great company; they gave me the path to freedom.

But I wasn't as connected as I needed to be, I got to the second corner office, never the first corner office. I was the CFO, not the CEO; there was that ceiling that it could never breakthrough. And one of my mentors is Tom; you're not going to be the top dog there. And I want to be the top dog I said; my mom wanted me to be successful.

So that's when I left that business. And cashed in all of my stocks left a lot of stock options on the table, but I wanted to chase the dream. Now the reason I left that company was that was the first reason, but the real reason was the last three years I did mergers and acquisitions. Okay, and my job as the CFO was to crunch the numbers.

And then, as soon as we roll these agencies in, my job was to downsize was right size was to lay off, folks, the charge was to get rid of 20% no matter what, because we don't need to CFOs we don't need to treasuries we don't need to the receptionist so on and so forth. And I remember sitting across from the desk with this gentleman, 56 years old, three kids in college. His wife never worked because he gave his entire life to building this insurance agency. But he had zero ownership.


And I slid across a severance plan that gave him two months, and his tears started wetting his shirt.


And then it started hitting the teak wood desk that he sat behind and says Tom, what am I going to do? This is my only career. I got three kids in college. You give me 60 days to find another job. That night I went home, and I said to my wife, honey, I am not working for the man ever again. I'm going out and working for myself when I found the XP Thank you, Scott Lewis. Thank you, Tracy Lewis, Rob, Jean Glenn Sanford, and all of these leaders here. When I found that it was the ownership piece that I loved, right, it was the ability to control my future. And to help all of those other real estate professionals out there, take back the future. Every day I sell houses, and we teach people to own real estate. Right? Then why do about 1.3 million realtors rent the real estate agency?

You guys own this thing. You know that life was not always as good as an immigrant kid. I got picked on when I was little. I remember being in sixth grade, is one of the shortest kids in the class. I do not understand English. You get picked on, and I learned if I good, but you know what my mom. My mom said, Tom, it doesn't matter whether you're four feet, one inch in your mind. You are seven-foot, tall everyday son. Right? You guys have been presented with this opportunity.

I can't believe it's only $149 to get started.

How ridiculous is that? $149!

You can open up this box. And inside this box or gifts, there are more leads you can handle if you put the time in to generate them through kvCORE. There are more training support systems, tools that you're going ever to go through. There's fantastic leaders, state brokers and marketing folks, trainers, and icons, more than we can ever be able to tap into their knowledge. To give you every single thing you need to chase your wildest dreams.

And then you've got that ownership thing, and then you've got this revenue share thing, man, I don't know how I get picked to come on here. Thank you, Brent. Thank you, James, for inviting me. I'm just a regular kid wanting to help people doing extraordinary things.

My mom on her deathbed said to me, Tom when you pass, can you promise me one thing?

Can you please go out and help 100 other people change their lives to become better, and if in on their deathbed they say, Tom, that guy helped me get better and help my family get better. That's my mission.

Right? I do, okay. But with this opportunity.

All of us can go out and change their lives. Do you agree?

At some point, it's not going to be about you when you guys figure that out. When you feel like you know what, I am going to help Susanna, and I'm going to help build, and I'm going to help Larry, and we're going to help Susie achieve their wildest dreams. I'm going to help them take those dreams that have been swept away under the rug.

I'm going to help them brush off the dust and then dream big, massive bodacious dreams.

And then we're going to get there, but it's not easy.

Is it easy to build this revenue share business? Yes or no?

No, Yes. No. Yes. That's up to you.

If it's not easy, you are right.

If it's easy, you are also right.

What do you want it to be?

There is a whole system that Jacob does so eloquently delivered. If you just follow that got that system guy, that's part of the box, this gift that you have in that you have is only going to open up and follow the system. For me, it's pretty simple. I don't know if you guys know I lead an organization called the Asian Real Estate Association of America. Okay. I had it's a nonprofit organization to promote sustainable homeownership in the AAPI community and to close that homeownership gap. Okay. I don't get paid a dime for it. Okay, not a dime. Okay. Every week, I invest about 30 hours a week without travel for this organization.

I was elected more than two years ago, and you work your way into the presidency. When I ran my wife, Marissa says, Tom, you want to do this. Are you sure we can? Are you sure you cannot sell houses? Are you sure we can do this as honey? I don't. We will figure it out. That was before Scott and Tracy reached out to me.

At first, I was not interested.

Right. I said no, I'm not interested. I've seen it all. I built a brokerage. I sold the brokerage. I went back to, you know, selling houses. I did. All right. As a sales guy and I had a good lifestyle. And Scott and Tracy said Tom before you say no, do you know what you're saying? No to say they knew I was a CFO I had to understand. So I watched that video. And then I stayed up for three days, two nights and three days he eXp insomnia. I grilled them on a Saturday morning. It was like 7 am 6 am in San Antonio, and I'm hitting this phone Column texted him. And Scott picks up the phone. Scott goes Tom, can I just get a cup of coffee first? And I'll answer all your questions.

Right? So when Tracy asked me another question.
Tracy goes, Tom, doing what you're doing now? It seems like you're doing very well just; she stopped me on LinkedIn and Facebook and stuff, right? It looks like you're doing well now. But what vehicle Do you have to help 100 other people become successful? So, ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you an ordinary guy, but we, with this program, can do extraordinary things and help people achieve their dreams wildly.

Thank you very much. I love you guys. You are my family here. You're my business partner. And let's take this organization from 20,000 to 200,000.

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