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Meet Tom Clary and Ron Bruno of The Clarified Realty Podcast

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tom Clary and Ron Bruno.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Tom and Ron. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Tom: I was a Visual Effects producer for about 20 years. I was lucky enough to have worked on 3 movies that won the Academy Award for Visual Effects (Independence Day, Titanic, What Dreams May Come) and one project that won the Emmy (The Pacific). I had a well-established career, but I was always fascinated with real estate — even to the point of getting my broker’s license in 2008. About six years ago, the movie industry started getting obsessed with tax rebates in other states and other countries.

My wife is an attorney with a very successful practice here in Los Angeles, so moving to Louisiana or Vancouver just didn’t make any sense. That’s when I thought that my experience working as a freelancer, going from project-to-project, gave me a unique perspective on the issues gaffers, grips, and actors face when trying to buy homes. So, I went into real estate full time and started the podcast to get the word out there to educate our listeners (not just freelancers) that buying or selling a home doesn’t have to be a scary, impossible process.

Ron: I’m a Chicago native, lived in South Carolina and Georgia before arriving in Los Angeles. I grew up in the family business (my father was a fast food franchisee), where I learned two very important lessons, “Putting the Aces in their Places” and great customer service. I graduated from Emory University in Atlanta where I majored in Marketing and Management. For the first 10 years of my career, I worked in Advertising, Digital Marketing/Media, Special Events and Corporate Marketing before I did a 180 and entered the world of Personal Finance. After the company “consolidated” my Global Marketing Director position, I realized then that I needed to exit the corporate world and go out on my own. I researched various careers before landing a position as a Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch… in 2008… and received my license a month before Bank of America took them over.

I really enjoyed serving my clients and studying the markets, what I didn’t enjoy was the constant pressure and “hurdles” new advisors have to jump through to save their job. I left the business after 4 years before landing my true calling as a Residential Lender. I started out in business development for a top producing team before setting out with my own practice where I found some great mentors that helped me learn the lending process from A-Z. I continue to hone my skills, build my base of referral partners, serve clients nationwide and now as a co-host of The Clarified Realty Podcast, have a voice and platform to share my expertise. It amazes me sometimes to listen to our episodes and realize how much we actually know our stuff!

Has it been a smooth road?
Tom: The biggest struggle we usually have is explaining to people and potential guests we talk to what exactly a podcast is and how they can listen to it. It’s such a simple process and people are starting to accept it more and more — but at least two or three times a week I need to sit down and show someone step-by-step where to find us on their phone. And don’t even get me started on our daily flash briefing on Alexa! But I think that these things will eventually get worked out and be more widely accepted.

Ron: Podcasting actually had a big spike in the late 2000’s and then fell off only to resurface in popularity recently. I remember listening to podcasts from Barron’s, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and the Economist as a way to consume business news and take a break from listening to the radio when I was in the car. Now that technology has caught up – mobile, auto, etc., it seems podcasts are popping up everywhere and from everyone. It’s certainly cool to say I’m a co-host on a Real Estate podcast to other professionals and friends, but it’s a whole other challenge in having others find you.

Tom and I are constantly looking for ways to boost our downloads and expand our base of listeners. Podcasting is a long road and you have to enjoy the journey along the way or you’ll burn out or give up. I see it as a release, a way to communicate and cultivate a library of great hosts, resources and expertise. It’s only a matter of time and persistence until we receive our big break!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Tom: It’s very difficult for freelancers, show business professionals, and entrepreneurs to find home loans. They are often told they need to establish an “employment history” and they are turned down for loans quite regularly by larger institutions that are used to a “one size fits all” approach. So, I’ve created relationships with lenders, like Ron, who have found a way to circumvent this issue and get good folks into homes.

Ron: As the co-host, I’m also the booking agent for our guests. It was pretty easy initially to invite all of our go-to professional partners to join us as guests on the show. Where we really turned a corner, pretty recently I might add, was branching out to professionals we didn’t know directly. This has not only helped us expand our own networks but also greatly increased the knowledge base and rich tapestry of all of the key resources for buying a home, selling a home or owning a home. I already knew a good deal about real estate, finance, insurance, title and escrow, but now I know a heck of a lot more about termites, granite countertops, staging, moving/re-locating and many more great topics.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is a great city to start podcasting! You have content creators from all walks of life and since we are real estate focused, LA is large enough where we can pull in guest speakers from all aspects of the business.

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