Grosman’s Business Is ‘Like a Real Estate Agent for Cars’
Thursday, September 9, 2021
Jay Grosman knows a lot about cars. He also knows how to build relationships and has learned through experience how to run a business.
While many entrepreneurs fail, these skills have helped him turn his idea of creating a real estate agency for cars into a successful startup.
But before he was a successful business owner, Grosman was a student at St. Louis Community College.
“After high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do for a career, but I knew I needed to earn my degree,” he said.
Initially, he enrolled at an out-of-state university, but it wasn’t a good fit. The next year, he transferred to STLCC-Meramec.
“I recovered at Meramec,” he said. “The small class sizes and personalized attention were exactly what I needed to find my focus and get my college career on track.”
In 1994, he graduated from STLCC. Two years later, he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Maryville University.
With these degrees in-hand, Grosman went to work selling business phones. Soon after, he jumped into the auto industry and began selling cars.
From Burnout to Business Ownership
Grosman spent the next two decades selling cars at a number of different dealerships before deciding to make a change. Burnt out and eager to be his own boss, he began spending his free time creating his business plan.
In 2014, he left the dealer world to focus on his company full time. Today, he serves as the founder and chief executive officer of iAutoAgent.
“What makes us different is that we take the dealer out of the equation and do all of the work for you,” Grosman said. “Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a vehicle, we act as your agent, providing superior customer service that can’t be matched by dealers.”
The company has two different divisions.
The concierge program caters to sellers. With this program, iAutoAgent handles the entire sales process from marketing and showings to completing the money transaction, all at no cost to the seller.
The other division is the buyers’ agent program. This program helps buyers purchase vehicles from across the country without the hassle of visiting a dealership.
According to Grosman, iAutoAgent’s low overhead business model translates into savings for buyers because vehicles are sold for under market value.
“The car business is about connections,” he said. “To succeed, you have to be able to make connections with people, build trust and create relationships.”
These principles guide his work at iAutoAgent.
“The ‘i’ in our name represents integrity. This is a value I’ve always stood for,” he said. “It also represents me as the owner and my determination to make this business work.”
Like any startup, Grosman’s company has experienced some highs and lows.
“In the early days of iAutoAgent, things were really hard,” he said. “We weren’t making money. I was stressed to the gills and I wasn’t sure what to do.”
Staying the Course
Despite the challenges, Grosman persevered.
“I knew I had two options – stay or stay,” he said. “I wasn’t interested in going back to the dealer world, so I had to make this business work.”
To boost his morale, he began focusing on the company’s small wins, the little things that were going right and the positive reviews he was receiving from customers. To solve his business challenges, he turned to legal experts and business advisers to create solutions. In time, iAutoAgent began to generate a profit.
“If I didn’t create this business, nobody would have,” he said. “While it hasn’t been easy, we’re now in a massive growth phase. 2020 was our best year in the business and things are looking even better for 2021. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.”
When he’s not focused on running his business, Grosman serves as an adviser for the auto industry, often appearing in business articles and television segments. He’s auditioned for the television show “Shark Tank” twice. A resident of Wildwood, Mo., he also spends time mentoring budding entrepreneurs and is active in the local business community.
While his path to success hasn’t come easy, he has demonstrated that with the proper tools and supports, it can be achieved. For those who are interested in starting their own business, Grosman offered the following advice:
- Have a cushion. You need to have money saved up before you go out on your own.
- Test the waters. Make sure there is demand for the products or services you want to sell.
- Go in with an open mind. It’s important for you to realize that your plans may need to change in order to make your business work.
- Build your team. Check out Score to find a mentor who can help you with your business plan. And don’t be afraid to tap into the expertise of other professionals like a CPA or an attorney to assist you along the way.
For more insights, visit iAutoAgent to connect with Grosman and follow the company on social media.