Beyond the About Me: Will Hedrick
Updated: Apr 16
Hello all! My name is Will Hedrick. I am the Founder & CEO of Speek. To say that I am excited about the launch of my real estate brokerage is an understatement. Having the opportunity to develop a company looking at real estate in a completely different way has been life-changing. I hope that the life-changing can continue. That is what Speek is all about. Not only do we want to change the future of real estate and the brokers that work with us, but we want to change and impact the lives of those buying, selling, and investing in a whole new way. I cannot express enough thanks for the outpouring of support from you all. All of the likes, shares, comments, referrals, and reposts seem so small but, they mean the world to me. Thank you.
Only being 21 years old means that there is still plenty of my story to be written. However, even though I am young in comparison, there has been plenty of life lived over the years.
We are going to jump a few years ahead to skip the childhood section. I will sum it up quickly for you: I was born December 6th, 1999. I was born with a failing kidney. Successfully removed said failing kidney. I continued living life as an energetic child that liked ice cream (check out my Speek profile for evidence). Now onto High School.
In High School, I got my first job working as an assistant personal trainer at a gym in Cornelius, NC. I started work right before my 16th birthday. My mom had to drive me to my first day of work. While there, I primarily trained elite high school soccer players in strength and conditioning. The two and a half years there taught me many things. From how to interact with clients, proper listening skills, and how to motivate those to achieve their goals. In addition, it allowed me to see the work ethic of professional and D1 athletes in the making. Out of all the clients I had, many athletes on the teams I trained went D1. A handful have gone to play professionally. Working here was an opportunity that I would not replace. A high school student could not ask for a better job.
After my two and a half years were up, I was a senior in high school and wanted to take the next step in my work. While sitting at lunch one day, I talked to one of my teachers about a breakfast room table that she wanted. She had shown me the table she wanted to purchase. I instantly noticed one thing, the price. The table she was looking for was a very stereotypical farmhouse-style table. The table was built with materials you can find in any hardware store for about $50-60 dollars. However, the table was for sale for $595. The lightbulb started to light up.
We were one of those DIY families. Never, and I mean never did we hire someone to do anything. Now, while this rubbed off on me some, it stuck with my older brother. Drew is currently a custom home builder and general contractor in Charlotte (if you need any work done email him). I went home after talking to my teacher and showed Drew the picture of the table they wanted. After we both concluded that we could make this table from the tools we have accumulated over the years, one trip to Lowe’s, and a few coats of paint, we sat down and realized we might be onto something. Fast forward a few months later, Hedrick Custom Designs, LLP was born. Specializing in custom furniture, decor, and accents, we had our website, upwards of 30 handmade products, apparel, and even a few customers.
There were plenty of hurdles that we didn’t account for, but we had just started a business with very little overhead cost out of our parent's garage. After almost a year and a half, we had sold a healthy amount of products - looking back at the numbers more than I remember. However, as many things go, it was our time to outgrow our first venture and move onto bigger and better. Drew was about to graduate and start a full-time job. I was gaining interest in real estate. We closed Hedrick Custom Designs and continued forward on our missions.
October of 2019, I passed my North Carolina Real Estate exam. When I first started, I hung my license with a firm that prioritized training. I wanted to take the first few months to learn as much about real estate as possible. I was at the ripe age of 19, and my experience was fairly noticeable. I needed to know what I was doing. A little time passed, and it was now February 2020. I was ready to start practicing real estate. I hit the ground running and was able to get a few clients to work with that were first-time home buyers. It was going to be an excellent opportunity. Then March 2020 rolled around. The entire world imploded around us.
COVID-19 threw a massive wrench in everyone's plans. Like a 6 month, stay at home and do not work, kind of wrench. For a hungry, new agent, who wanted to get as much experience and as many transactions as possible his first year, this was the most painful experience I could have gone through. However, it was a blessing in disguise because I might have been a little too excited and could have taken some more time to hone myself before I was ready to go. I spent this time fine-tuning my business plan before practicing full time and getting ahead on all of the required education that I had to complete within the next few years.
Real Estate agents in NC were told different things from March until July about what they could and could not do. You could work if you met certain requirements, but not many of us practiced. Once July rolled around, I was finally back in the area and able to start practicing. My first transaction closed in August. I landed a few other clients throughout that time and a massive listing. All was well. Things were in order. This was when I started to look around and beyond the scopes of a typical real estate agency.
Typical brokerages have advertisement requirements that promote the brokerage, bring them more business, not their agents. Of course, there are some legal requirements, but this stuck with me. The whole real estate world is about the individual relationship between agent and client, not the brokerage. The real estate brokerage model is outdated and borderline useless. Once I noticed this, it ignited something inside of me. As soon as I could, I decided to do something about it.
As you have heard, Speek’s goal is to flip the standard real estate brokerage model on its head. Instead of focusing on brokerage growth and success, agent success comes first. This seemed like common knowledge to me, but after my first months in real estate, I realized how outdated the model is.
After spending months working on the development of Speek, the time finally came for us to launch.
There are so many different instances that have made positive and negative impacts on me over the years but, I would not replace a single thing. That is what life is. Life is a constant battle towards controlling what you can. I was lucky to notice that at a very early age. Your success comes down to putting your time and energy towards your goals that you want to achieve. Time and energy can help you achieve anything. I am a true believer in the fact that anything is possible. It just depends on how long it will take to achieve. A simple conversation at lunch with a teacher was the catalyst for my entrepreneurial future. Entrepreneurship, starting your venture, and going after your interests do not have to be as difficult as you think it needs to. Sometimes the best stories start in your parent's garage at 17, making coffee tables for family friends.
So, there is a little backstory on me. I hope that looking back in a few years, I will add a few more powerful paragraphs. Once again, words cannot describe the gratefulness I have for you for all of your support and reading this far. Let’s change the world together.