Husband-and-husband powerhouse David Gunderman and Andrew Raskopf, of The Gunderman Group in Oakland, California, are thrilled to join Keller Williams. The pair and their 18-person team have made the move to the KW Oakland market center from Sotheby’s, where they are excited to further their trajectory in a culture that places tremendous value on agents and team development.
The Gunderman Group – producing $188 million in 2019 – is the most successful real estate team in the Alameda/Berkeley/Oakland/Piedmont market. They are consistently ranked in The Wall Street Journal among the top 1,000 Realtors in the country and in 2018 were #92.
The Gundermans’ real estate story starts in the year 2000 when the dot-com magazine that David was working for went belly-up, as so many first-generation internet businesses did in those days. The couple and their two children were making a move from San Francisco to the East Bay and worked with a Realtor to purchase their first home who, “had a lovely impact on our real estate experience and changed the trajectory of our lives when he invited me to join him in business,” reflects David, who, at first, reluctantly embraced the role as a default position.
“I wrongly subscribed to the notion that real estate agents were like used-car salesmen; I thought it would be a stopgap. Instead, I stumbled into an incredible profession that synthesizes so many things I’m passionate about – advocacy, strategy, design, negotiation, marketing, contracts, risk management.” David fell headlong into real estate and the business took off. A couple years later, when David’s star kept rising, Andrew left his position in special education administration to join him and officially form The Gunderman Group. Together, they’ve dominated their market ever since.
Andrew explains, “The first year we were together, we took the #1 spot in our marketplace and never looked back. Every year we’ve been in business we’ve increased our sales by about 20%, and always in unexpected ways.”
Leaning into Creativity
David shares one of the secrets of their success. “Andrew and I have highly artistic and creative backgrounds.” Indeed, their creative résumés are extensive. Andrew has experience as a VP of marketing, restaurateur, beekeeper, dancer in the American Ballet Theatre, Studio 54 bartender, and an EMT. David was a content manager for the Industry Standard, an event director and producer, lecturer at San Francisco State University, co-founder of the Adirondack Theatre Festival, and a lead actor in Broadway shows and dozens of regional theater productions.
“I cannot tell you the depth of the transferrable skills we’ve learned through the arts; for instance, differentiation and how to stand out in a crowd. We lean heavily into our creativity, our individual strengths, and teach our team techniques to do the same. Overall, we never see what we do as transacting, but rather connecting with, advocating for, and creatively serving people. In the end, the client feels well-served and our approach brings passion and meaning to our careers. Everybody wins.”
With a strong network, they confess that they’ve been fortunate to grow without a lot of marketing effort. “What we’ve found in the last few years is we hunger for a company that understands teams and systems,” says David. “A brokerage model that can help us harness the power of our database and past relationships to positively impact and develop our team further. When it comes to supporting team leaders who are building and nurturing their agents, Keller Williams has impressed us with their models, training, education, and their innovative attention to future technologies,” he says.
Andrew offers, “For us, at this stage in our careers, it’s about legacy and bringing together a group of people who share our ethics and ideals and empowering them to be the best they can be. As the industry is being disrupted, we know that positioning our team with Keller Williams is a sure bet. Our values area aligned. We have faith in KW’s legacy of inspiring, developing, caring for, and protecting agents. There’s no place we’d rather be.”