KJ VanDerwerken is a millennial entrepreneur who you should know! He is the owner of VanDerwerken Properties and a successful insurance agent at Movement Insurance. VanDerwerken is based in Charlotte, NC, where he is making a huge impact in the insurance and real estate industries. Read our interview to learn more about his journey to success.
1. Hi! Please tell us about yourself and your business.
I’m KJ VanDerwerken, the owner of VanDerwerken Properties, and an insurance agent at Movement Insurance. I’ve produced and am currently servicing a personal lines (insurance) book of business exceeding $2,600,000. It is made up of 3,100 clients. For real estate investing and my expertise in the insurance industry, I’ve won two 30 Under 30 Business Awards in 2018.
2. What inspired you to want to become a real estate investor and an account executive?
My father was in the insurance industry for a very long time. I wanted to learn from him and follow in his footsteps. This influenced me to study risk management and insurance at Charlotte University. In regards to being an investor, I’ve always had a passion for real estate, and from an investment standpoint, it always made sense to me. As soon as I had enough funds, I bought my first property.
3. You are managing a $2.6 million book of business for Movement Insurance (Congrats!). Who are your primary clients, and how did you grow your portfolio to be so big?
As an insurance agent, our first clients are our referral partners (loan officers, realtors, etc.). They are the ones feeding you. They are trusting you with their client, and to be an extension of the brand they’ve worked so hard to build. Our number one priority is to make sure we can fit in their process, and that they’re happy with the level of service we provide, responsiveness, professionalism, expertise, etc. Anything we can do to make their lives easier is a positive. The second client is the actual consumer of the insurance products we offer. The majority of our leads are people purchasing a new home or refinancing their current home. We need to recognize their needs, analyze the coverage options, find the most competitive policies and educate them on their choices. Doing the above two things effectively on a consistent basis, will allow you to grow your book of business and provide a great service to all parties.
4. What types of properties do you invest in?
I’m currently focused on single-family homes, anywhere from $100,000 to $150,000 in a certain area of Charlotte, NC. I’ve found a combination of positive cash flow from year one, and quality tenants gives me a great return on my investment. Eventually, I’d love to get into multi-family units once I can get enough assets together.
5. What is your favorite motivational book?
I find any autobiography of someone who’s achieved high levels of success in their lives to be extremely motivational. Sam Walton, Made in America, The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon or Titan about John Rockefeller are all great reads.
6. Any expert advice for people who are in the sales industry?
Work ethic is one variable we all can control. The majority of the time, you get what you put in to something. If you’re not getting the results you want, look at yourself first. You have to want it more than the next sales man or woman. If you can say you’re giving it your all, and still not getting the results you want, you can then analyze your processes and procedures. However, improving effort is a good place to start.
7. Any expert tips for investors?
Educate yourself and get around other successful investors. Shadow them. Ask them questions. Read books. Watch YouTube content. Eventually, you’ll find something that makes sense to you and your goals and you’ll have equipped yourself with the tools along the way. The next step is going for it.
8. Please share your future goals.
I have many goals. I want to continue to get closer to God. I’d love to continue to spend as much time as possible with family and friends. I hope to give back as much as possible.