From Box Truck to Book Deal: Rob Esposito’s Journey Building Relocators | Restaurants & Franchises Series

How can an entrepreneur transform a single box truck into a multi-state moving empire and land a major book deal?

In this episode, Rob Esposito, CEO of Relocators, shares his inspiring journey from starting with a $4,000 box truck to building a successful moving and storage company with six locations across New York and Florida. Rob discusses how he expanded his services beyond traditional moving to include estate sales, online auctions, and restoration pack-outs, creating a one-stop solution for clients undergoing major life transitions.

Rob emphasizes the importance of adapting to industry changes and leveraging technology to streamline operations. He shares insights on implementing innovative solutions, such as setting up an on-site fuel station to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Rob also discusses the value of building a strong company culture and maintaining a customer-centric approach to business.

As the author of the upcoming book “Nobody Move Until You’ve Read This,” Rob aims to create the ultimate moving guide for both consumers and industry professionals. He shares his experiences overcoming adversity, including moments of doubt and frustration that nearly led him to quit the business.

Rob sees his company as more than just a moving service – it’s an opportunity to support people during significant life transitions. Through his entrepreneurial efforts, he has created a company that not only provides essential services but also empowers employees and positively impacts clients’ lives during challenging times.

Mentors and resources that inspired Rob:

  • The owners of Vincent’s (the restaurant where Rob worked) – provided early business advice and mentorship
  • “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho – offered valuable life lessons and perspective on pursuing one’s goals
  • Audiobooks and networking events – provided ongoing education and inspiration

Tune in for valuable insights on building a successful moving and storage business, overcoming entrepreneurial challenges, and creating a company that positively changes people’s lives during major transitions.




Welcome to another edition of inspired stories where leaders share their experiences so we can learn from their successes, how they’ve overcome adversity, and explore current challenges they’re facing.

Anthony Codispoti (11:12.135)
Welcome to another edition of the Inspired Stories podcast, where leaders share their experiences so we can learn from their successes and be inspired by how they’ve overcome adversity. My name is Anthony Codaspote, and today’s guest is Rob Esposito, CEO of Relocators, a company that can help you with a wide variety of moving and storage needs, such as local and long distance moving, home cleanouts, junk removal.

professional estate sales, online auctions, secure storage, and restoration packouts. Rob was originally inspired by his mother’s estate sale business to start his own business that has since expanded into six locations in New York and Florida with a much wider offering of services. Relocator’s expertise is the preparation and execution plan before moving to ensure your process is stress -free come moving day. And he recently got a book deal that we’ll hear more about.

Before we get into all that good stuff, today’s episode is brought to you by my company, Adback Benefits Agency, where we offer very specific and unique employee benefits that are both great for your team and fiscally optimized for your bottom line. One recent client was able to add over $900 per employee per year in extra cash flow by implementing one of our proprietary programs. Results vary for each company and some organizations may not be eligible.

To find out if your company qualifies, contact us today at addbackbenefitsagency .com. Now back to our guest today, the CEO of Relocators, Rob, I appreciate you making the time to share your story today.

Robert Esposito (12:50.657)
I appreciate you having me. It’s a pleasure.

Anthony Codispoti (12:52.423)
So Rob, give us the origin story. How did this go from being inspired by your mother’s estate sale business to you wanting to start your own?

Robert Esposito (13:04.129)
So, and thanks again, it’s a pleasure to be here. As a kid, I wanted to be a business owner, but I didn’t really understand what facet, I would say. I just more in control and successful, like I always had that vision. Initially, I thought, you know, I would just kind of go through the motions of college, nobody I really grew up with went to college, and then try to save up and.

start a route, you know, like save up $100 ,000 and own like a boars head route or something and like a boars head route or or a potato chip route. And what happened was my mother had started this estate sale company where my Nana had

Anthony Codispoti (13:34.758)
What kind of a route?

Robert Esposito (13:46.529)
got in cancer in the early 2000s and she had to move her to Long Island and she was like what we call now the caretaker of the family and over a few weekends she like had unloaded 10 dumpsters from her Queen’s house.

And she just thought like there must be a better way. She had put an ad in the paper, hold stuff out, brings the money in, let us show you where to begin. And with that, she was like on the precipice of this new like generational transition where like the older generation of depression that were held onto everything and a newer generation didn’t want anything. And from there, she became one of the first estate sale companies on Long Island.

And when I was going through like this stage, I was just a waiter, bartender going to college. I would like clean out the houses after the sales and I would do the clean outs on the side and the assisted living directors, when the people were alive, were mutual clients of my mother’s. They would like kind of twist my arm into doing like the small delivery for the people. And.

From there I just realized like everybody’s going through this huge, you know, life transition and it’s so fragmented. So I purchased a box truck for like $4 ,000 and that’s how I started.

Anthony Codispoti (15:01.447)
So you purchased a box truck for $4 ,000 because you were getting sort of these little onesy -twosy kind of jobs, people coming to you. And then at what point did you think, I’m really onto something here. Like this could be my business, this could be my career. This is something I could really grow.

Robert Esposito (15:19.361)
I think right away I had the thought, like, this is a fragmented industry.

And I was such like a human condition person, like always like analyzing the human condition. And I saw like the stress people were going through. And then you’re combining it with like multiple huge life stressors, death in a move, the force in a move, things like that. So I saw that and I said to myself, like, this can really be something if I can figure it out. And that’s pretty much what happened. So I saw it right away, but I would say I spent the next like four or five years like in the trenches, self -employed, like barely self -employed.

efficient you know what I mean.

Anthony Codispoti (15:58.502)
At what point did it finally start to turn a corner for you?

Robert Esposito (16:03.137)
I would say around 2012 and 2013, I got super into networking and audio books and I started to like, like click in my head like, okay, if I’m, I’m, I’m so penny smart and dollar stupid, like I’m saving $150 on labor, but I’m missing an estimate that could have make thousands like, and I started to like do that math in my head. That’s.

Anthony Codispoti (16:29.445)
So up until that point, you were doing most of the work yourself.

Robert Esposito (16:34.305)
Absolutely. All over the work myself.

Anthony Codispoti (16:35.557)
all of the work. So you were a one man show up to that point. And at some point you got some inspiration listening to audio books, maybe networking with some other successful entrepreneurs, and kind of opened your eyes to, there’s a different way to think about this.

Robert Esposito (16:49.825)
Yes, it would just be me and helpers. And I thought like the world stopped if I wasn’t there looking, you know what I mean? And I learned to like, you know, pay people more, hire an extra person. And in the beginning, it was real rudimentary, like set up the job, go do three estimates and as close by as possible. That’s how I would schedule myself, go back, make sure it was good and, you know, progress from there.

Anthony Codispoti (17:16.964)
And how were you lining up these estimates? What did business development look like for you in those early days?

Robert Esposito (17:24.513)
Well, the whole way I started the company was the offshoot of every one of my mother’s clients needed my services. So it was just catching that, you know, and being there to support them. And it wasn’t just that they needed the services. It was a lifesaver for them because like they would have to fly in and then hire a mover, then hire a junk removal company. Then how are they going to ship it out of state? I can arrange all that for them. They’re children that had left and moved far away. So.

Being there was a lot of the work and then little local papers like Penny Saver and stuff like that.

Anthony Codispoti (17:59.972)
So a lot of your initial work was coming directly from your mother’s business. And then you sort of built out from there by taking out ads in the local papers.

Robert Esposito (18:10.945)
And I think when you’re when you’re small like that like I would take work that necessarily didn’t make money But again the client you know what I mean like maybe we move a couch in a house for $100 and we probably broke even or didn’t make money But like then I’d have a client you know what I mean?

Anthony Codispoti (18:25.861)
And so that would be somebody maybe you put into your email list or your mailing list and you keep in touch with them so that when the time came for them to need a bigger service, you’re top of mind.

Robert Esposito (18:36.137)
Exactly we would do like send out cards like the digital cards that actually the Printable cards go to the house, but you do it online So we would like wish everybody a happy holidays every year, you know what I mean? Like keep those keep the clients like thinking of us

Anthony Codispoti (18:53.572)
And talk to me about sort of the progression now, right? Like there was a point maybe four or five years after you started where you’re like, man, I’m the bottleneck here. I need to think bigger. I need to hire some people. I need to think about some growth. At some point, I’m gonna guess you found yourself in a position where you had to once again think completely differently about the business because,

Small businesses go through multiple stages of growth typically, right? There’s one where you’re the solo, you’re the guy, you’re the one who knows and does everything. Now you start to hire a couple of people, but they all report to you, right? And then at some point, you’ve got to put like another layer in there to where maybe not everybody’s reporting to you, but like a handful of managers report to you. Does this describe your sort of progression?

Robert Esposito (19:51.937)
Like you read my mouth. Are you kidding me? Yeah. I mean, I couldn’t, you said it perfect. The only thing I would even add to that is that like, I don’t think it’s ever going to stop happening. Like, you know what I mean? Like I keep getting these phases where like, all right, for two years life is unbelievable and it’s running smooth and I’m here and it’s rocking and it’s operating. And you know, the problems you could just like, almost like you’re like in a matrix and that just like flying off you. But then.

It’s like two years of hell and you’re like back to the bottom and you’re like, I can’t figure this out. Like the last three, four years, it’s been like exactly what you just said. non -operational staff and like, it took me years of clearing people out all different ways. Okay. I hired the wrong people. I hired people. I know I did this. They’re not being accountable. Why I’m not the Google of relocators, like, you know, like trying to figure out, and then you get competent people and you’re like, wow.

Well, this department’s running perfect now. Why? Because they’re great. So that person has to go, you know? And like, I’m finally like, I feel like I just got through a tunnel in the last like year of that phase of it. So yes, every level I’ve hit that.

Anthony Codispoti (21:04.58)
Talk to me more about what that last year was like, the transitions that you had to make, maybe some difficult decisions along the way.

Robert Esposito (21:12.865)
Absolutely. I had friends that were people I had met throughout the years that were like managers, but they were accountable to nothing. And then finally, like, you know, it’s almost like a relationship where like you’re in love and you’re in a bubble, but then something happens, a straw breaks the camel’s back and that burst the bubble. And then you’re like, all right, we’re never going to speak again. Like one person I remember.

He was accountable to nothing, but we had trust. And then he like, totally deceived a small amount of check where I would have paid, I would have paid 10 ,000 if I had known it was a mistake. Not that I even could, but it was like right in the middle of COVID and he made it like he was doing us a favor by stockpiling stuff. And really he measured wrong. And that little lie like burst the bubble and like, you know, let him go. And there’s been a few people like that. My…

One of the guys that’s been with me since day one, he’s like a brother to me now. He’s not adapting to the growth, but he’s still around, but he has value. He’s one of the only ones. I mean, there’s no way to say anything about him except that he is relocated. So it’s like when, you know, when he’s here and he’s working great and sometimes we tell him to leave and then he comes back. But the last of that old guard of people that we got rid of, he had been tipped off that the guy was stealing. We had went through phases of…

having fuel cards and then having the guys gas up at the gas stations and that cost a lot of money and labor then the fuel cards didn’t work because they had fees on it even though they said it was the same price so we had sold our own gas station and we’ve solved all those issues but then he gets tipped off and I don’t believe him because we’re checking the cameras for months come to find out he’s like no bro I know trust me he stayed here till three in the morning he cut cameras in the AC unit on the roof

And in one week we got him filling up his friend’s diesel truck like three times.

Anthony Codispoti (23:15.748)
Wow. And this is somebody who you’d known for a long time, had been with you for years.

Robert Esposito (23:21.633)
It was an old guard, but he was working five years and he was in like the top operations position. Yes. And he was the one and yeah, he was the one he was backing the trucks up. So the cameras were blocked. So we had to and that’s what I’m saying. Like the the guy that the Spanish guy that I was on a truck with 12 years ago that isn’t adapting, but he’s so valuable. He was right away. He knew like, hey, some low end laborer saw him filling up and tipped him off, you know, like and that’s where like there’s value in.

people that are loyal, but others you gotta like weed through.

Anthony Codispoti (23:55.652)
Have you found it challenging, difficult to remove some of these people who are underperformers as you’re going through these different growth curves?

Robert Esposito (24:06.817)
I did. I would love to say I’m over that. You know, I’ve gotten so much better at it. And the people that are here now, the bar is so high and they operate so well that like, I don’t even think it’s on me. Like it usually now it’s starting to come to me as the problem. You know what I mean? And the solution, not just like, what do we do about this? You know what I mean? Like, so I think I’m above it. And those one or two people that have been here 12, 13 years that are relocators.

that may be underperformed, they manage them well and they give them the more important tasks that they need to do. So I would love to say I’m above it, but it’s always a difficult thing, especially when emotion.

Anthony Codispoti (24:46.82)
It’s one of the hardest conversations I think somebody can have. It’s right up there with breaking up with somebody. In some cases, it’s worse because you’ve just taken away their livelihood. For people who’ve never had to have that conversation with an employee, it’s a tough one.

Robert Esposito (24:56.705)
Exactly. Absolutely.

Robert Esposito (25:03.009)
It’s brutal, especially when you like someone and you like to say, you know, I love you. I wish you the best, but not, you know, like, like the train. It’s a relationship. It’s exactly what you just said.

Anthony Codispoti (25:12.673)
Yeah, and so we’ve kind of hit upon a really important point here, you know, especially with the labor shortage that we’re all dealing with. It’s so hard to not only find, but keep good people. And you’ve gone through sort of multiple cycles of this. I’m curious, Rob, what you’re doing, what you’ve tried and found that works to find good people. And then once you’ve got them to hold on to them to retain.

Robert Esposito (25:40.097)
I’m a big networker and Ivan Meisner has a line, culture eats strategy for breakfast. You know, and like it is the most accurate, like everything about our culture, like logos on the rug, pool table in the center. Like we try to make it a fun place and a serious place. When I was going through it for all those years, it’s those Spanish foremen that have been here 10 years, like.

All I wanted was to like talk to them every day. Like, I just want to manage my form and everybody get out of here. You know what I mean? Like, cause, cause I know that and it’s easy. And even before that, it was like, you come in the office and I would, I want to grow. I want to come in the office. I’d be like, no, you don’t. And then they see when they do like, all right, I want to go back on the truck. I’m like, yo, I felt that way for 10 years. Like, I just want to go do a job right now. It’s so much simpler than this.

But the people that are here know that we’re trying to help people. And they have this almost like this tribe mentality where they get offended if somebody comes in and isn’t recycling a box that really wasn’t used or throwing away a half roll of tape. They have that inner feeling.

Anthony Codispoti (27:02.368)
So tell me more about that culture. I mean, you describe, you’re trying to make it some combination of serious and fun. You want like a tribe, you want people who are working together. For somebody who’s coming into the work environment, like what are you looking for in an employee? What’s the qualities that you want to make sure you have?

Robert Esposito (27:23.041)
First of all, I’ve hired one or two people in 17 years in the moving industry. And I’ve made it a point now to never do that. I’d rather train you. And as far as like on a non -operational side, the head salesperson right now, my only background, you know, work -wise is working at Bits of Clambor, which is one of the most famous restaurants in New York. And the owners are…

grassroots themselves and they were my mentors. One of them is my partner now and that hospitality mentality. So like the person I hired as a sales manager, he was a manager at three restaurants in my networking group. And I’m like, what are you doing? You keep bouncing around, come work for me. And I would only hire host…

Anthony Codispoti (28:13.12)
So hospitality first, you’re very customer service oriented. You would actually prefer that they not have experience in the moving industry because maybe they come with a lot of bad traits, a lot of bad habits that you have to untrain.

Robert Esposito (28:26.401)
Yes, yes

Anthony Codispoti (28:30.4)
So let’s talk a little bit more about the business operations and paint a picture for me what makes Relocators different than the competition out there.

Robert Esposito (28:42.689)
One where one stop shop so like we try to see the whole transition through Whether it be like if we come to your house and you don’t have enough for an estate sale We can still offer you a clean out. We could still give you advice We try to give people a path out of their through their transition. I actually developed them The it’s called the reload roadmap and basically it’s like we can number like what services you you could possibly need and what order they go and

we try to be like super solution oriented that way. Cause for years people would fly in, I would explain stuff to them and there. I have this saying that when a parent dies, no matter what, if there’s one person in the family or 10 siblings, three personalities show up. the caretaker, the executor and the apathetic one or one that doesn’t give a shit. and that shows up. So now you’ll meet with the executor or you’ll meet with the caretaker and right away they’re like,

All right, can you just email me the process so I can explain it to my siblings? Like, you know, and that’s a, that’s a big talk. Like, you know, you’re liquidating mom’s childhood home when mom just passed away. So like we try to make it as simple as possible on that aspect. other than that, like technology, like we’re super, I’ve spent so many years and wasted so much money getting better systems and better systems.

adapting systems and I don’t feel there’s any system that’s good enough. They’re either great in operations and terrible in sales or they’re you know sales heavy and lead capture heavy and terrible in operations so I actually have these kids who I guess I’ll say this I am like forcing to drop out of college because they are so smart and it’s my mother’s accountant’s sons.

They’ve taken this, like Smart Moving, and they’ve auto emailed, which Smart Moving does, reports out, change them in some kind of software at three in the morning every day, and then show me KPIs in a rotating 30 second fashion all day on my TV. And it’s all automated. And I’m like, what are you guys doing going to school? Like, we just spent six months on this and they figured something out that I’ve been thinking about for 10 years that no one can figure out, you know?

Anthony Codispoti (31:09.824)
What’s that data that they’re putting up on the dashboard for you and how is it helping you?

Robert Esposito (31:15.265)
how many so like So for instance when I say like no systems the best smart moving is by far the best I’ve found and I’ve searched a lot and spent a lot of money Training and learning ones and then throwing them away without ever implementing them but for instance a Salesman and just to give you microcosm of it can be doing a follow -up and maybe has eight follow -ups today and he’s on four estimates now he calls the follow -up on a road or in from his car on Bluetooth and

then he comes in the office and he’s got a million things to do. How is it possible that that follow -up can stay in the ether? Like how is it possible that he can then sign in to his account and go write up an estimate and there’s not something going, what are you doing? You didn’t make another follow -up and this job did not get booked. You know what I mean? Like, and that’s what I don’t understand. Like things like that, like how they could be caught in the ether. So now I’ll see like 10 estimates today, five open.

12 upcoming estimates, like we broke it all out into where it’s all sitting. And then social media stats, how things are being lost. And part of what they do automatically is they remove all the bullshit, like the duplicate estimate or have to rewrite a different way. Cause that’s not, that’s just going to skew our number, you know, like none of the data we look at from the systems is accurate at all. And it was so frustrating.

Anthony Codispoti (32:41.28)
Interesting. Are there other examples of technology that you’ve put in place to help with your growth?

Robert Esposito (32:48.609)
Yeah, so the first thing they did, and this is before I tried to get them to quit college, is they took all the recurring storage in all my buildings, automatically emailed from Smart Moving, which Smart Moving has a nice section of the recurring storage, and in every building, it uploads, I can show you, into an actual map of the building. So like the operations matter.

Anthony Codispoti (33:16.384)
You can see a physical layout of it, like a visual. Yeah.

Robert Esposito (33:19.073)
Yeah. And I’ll show you and the money like this building is trending 2000 down because three piles came out this week this month. This one’s trending up. All right. So the operation manager knows to put it there. He knows that it’s real fragile stuff and it’s got to go in a corner and he can see that the corners open in this building. Like it’s just I mean what they’ve been able to do with automatically with like such little is mind blowing.

Anthony Codispoti (33:44.896)
And are you able to take that data then and really help your team make daily decisions that’s affecting growth?

Robert Esposito (33:53.153)
I mean, the operations manager does not send something to storage daily all day without looking at the maps and pointing out what pile to go to. As opposed to a foreman going to whichever building he’s closest to, putting it in a pile and then telling us the next day and we hope he’s accurate where his lot number is, you know what I mean?

Anthony Codispoti (34:14.72)
So now you can use this data to help you make the best decision before you move the items. Yeah. That’s…

Robert Esposito (34:19.361)
Exactly, exactly. And Matterports, we’re heavy in like, like 3D imaging or virtual tours or, you know, like we can do a lot of estimates virtually. We actually just booked Dee Snider’s move from LA to North Carolina. You know, he’s an 80s rock star. He sings like, we’re not going to take it. And he just sent us videos and we were able to like put them into a virtual tour and do the estimate right there, right then and there. Like.

from here, you know, without ever knowing.

Anthony Codispoti (34:49.6)
So you guys do work even outside of, I know you’ve got physical locations in New York and Florida, but you just mentioned two locations that are well outside of that, North Carolina and LA.

Robert Esposito (35:00.513)
Yeah, that’s we’ll go to California. We try to stay east of the Mississippi and one one location has to be the Florida or New York. This was a personal referral and we’ll do things for personal.

Anthony Codispoti (35:13.728)
Or for former rock stars. Former, current rock stars, he’s still a rock star. Yeah, yeah, no, that was my slip up. So let’s talk more about the geographies that you typically cover there. You’d like to stay with one of the destinations or one of the starting points being in either New York or Florida, is that generally how you operate?

Robert Esposito (35:15.753)
Yeah, yeah, who’s still, yeah, he’s a car rocker. I shouldn’t have said four. Yeah. Yeah.

Robert Esposito (35:35.425)
Yes, on the locals. Yeah. If we’re like, if we’re, cause we send trucks to Florida every week, sometimes two a week, sometimes one every two weeks. And so if you have a job like Jersey or Virginia to Georgia, that’s in the path. So we would just grab it. But yeah, for the most part, it’s on a local level. One location’s got to be in Florida or New York.

Anthony Codispoti (35:56.955)
Rob, what are some of the most common mistakes that you see people make when they’re packing, moving, storing their stuff?

Robert Esposito (36:06.241)
Number one is, number one by far is they think that 50 % of the stuff is 50 % of the cost. Meaning my husband could take the garage, my husband could take the patio stuff, my husband could take the boxes in his trailer in his pickup truck. And then the price doesn’t change. Why? Because seven guys could take 100 or 300 boxes out of your house in like one hour. You know what I mean? Whereas,

Those seven guys are gonna take many hours to take apart your TVs, take apart your furniture, wrap your fragile stuff. You know what I mean? So that’s a huge one. The best thing you could do is disassemble stuff or take the fragile stuff yourself in your car, like the little intricate stuff or take the TV, go off. Second would be…

You have to be there like moving is not a thing where you can just rely on the person running the job it’s not like building you putting your roof up or building your deck like The best thing you can do is prep and we try to offer like color coding says stickers where like you stick or everything one color and then in the new house each room corresponds to a color so they know where to go but you still got to tell them how to put your furniture and you’re gonna pay a lot more money if you want to move your couch

It’s hourly. So, so not being there or being busy or leaving your husband there and then coming home and changing it all costs you a lot more money. You know what I mean?

Anthony Codispoti (37:41.338)
Now, tell me how COVID affected you guys.

Robert Esposito (37:47.361)
Kobe was like a tsunami. It was I used to say like no matter they came a point where I said no matter what I will never I Will never like be hungry like my cell phone will always make a few hundred a day or a thousand a day and I could you know, I remember years ago thinking that like crossing that threshold where like I couldn’t have fear anymore, you know, like fear of like not

That rang true in COVID because me and that employee I mentioned, Julio and like four or five other like long -term employees come in every day. Every day there was like a thousand dollar job that booked that day from like a realtor that needed something or somebody that needed something in an emergency. So for those first three months, as scary as it was, my theory was ringing true. And then it just came back like a tsunami and it came back like a tsunami.

one or two years after we started out of state movement, which then that became the biggest service we were doing. And online auctions, which I had opened up to retire my mother. And now no one wanted to stay, they wanted online auction. So we just had two new things that we had just started in the one to three years before COVID, absolutely carrying us, which was so lucky, so such a blessing.

Anthony Codispoti (39:13.529)
Rob, are you able to get the mic a little bit closer to you?

Robert Esposito (39:16.609)
Sure, absolutely.

Anthony Codispoti (39:18.425)
I’m curious, you know, obviously as business leaders, we’re always keeping our eye on the bottom line, right? And there’s two ways to make that move. We can, you know, add more in sales. We can find creative ways to reduce costs. I’m curious to hear from you, maybe some interesting or creative things that you’ve tried both ends of that spectrum, boosting sales and lowering expenses.

Robert Esposito (39:42.145)
Sure. In the vein of what I was just saying about like those two services and Hurricane Sandy was like the COVID. There was a major hurricane that hit the East Coast in 2012. Moving went away, but cleanouts got crazy and we were doing moving cleanouts at the time. Now, 12 years later, 13 years later, out of all the services we offer, like 70 % of our revenue comes from

insurance carriers, like insurance carriers and restoration companies. So I spent all those years building a camp because of Hurricane Sandy, because we had like moved back 150 houses that were getting lifted on the coast. And from there, I learned about restoration and we became like everybody’s pack out company when they had fire or water damage. So we’ve gone more B to B and built sales that way. In the… Go ahead.

Anthony Codispoti (40:40.089)
Yeah, so the restoration business, this is somebody has a fire, somebody has a flood, they need to move all their stuff out of the house so the restoration companies, the insurance companies can come in and get it cleaned up. So you guys move the stuff out, you store it, and then when the work is done, you bring it back and put it back in place.

Robert Esposito (40:57.377)
And contrary to what I just said about like be home and don’t leave your husband home. The the restoration jobs they’re actually like you could be in Hong Kong. There are clients in Hong Kong like you were literally virtual touring your house going taking pictures of every cabinet and taking it out everything salvageable and then bringing it back and putting it exactly where it was. So you don’t even have to be there. It’s a totally different way of doing it.

Anthony Codispoti (41:25.081)
And you were able to build this side of your business because you saw through Hurricane Sandy, this is a whole nother sort of niche that I wasn’t really tuned into before. Let me start making relationships with the insurance companies, with the restoration companies. So we’re getting those jobs directly from them.

Robert Esposito (41:43.457)
Yeah, and stay in my lane and never like everyone started starting restoration companies people would get into it with dry cleaning and then all of a sudden they don’t a restoration company like we always just like where everybody’s pack out company, you know what I mean? And it’s really benefited us. It’s how we got into Florida too during Hurricane Ian and

The restoration has been a big thing on the other vein, like I told you, with the fuel, like saving money that way. I’m seeing now like we’re super, super aggressive with social media and we do it a lot of different facets and we have kids making videos. We have an employee who is like an elderly Spanish guy who does like moving fails and he’s absolutely hysterical. And we just like hired like a sidekick to him.

The reason is I 100 % believe, and I said this a year or two ago before, now everybody’s starting to believe it, the moms groups are going to control the world. Google can’t touch the moms group, and companies will live and die by them on a local level. And we just try to stay extremely relevant on social media.

Anthony Codispoti (42:52.152)
And so how do you connect with the moms?

Robert Esposito (42:55.521)
Networking, having a lot of people in the areas, making sure you like we’ve never had a bad review. Relocators, like we always make sure we are accountable to, I mean it’s moving issues happen, but we’re always accountable to the work we do and make sure that like the client leads satisfied, you know, you can’t make them all happy, but we try to. A lot of people will refer on them, so we’re always checking them and.

We try to make like fun videos and stuff, not that we advertise in them, but you know, we build our accounts. If we go to speak at a real estate office or at like some kind of convention, wherever the list is, we try to befriend like we’ll give it to a kid to just get all the Facebook friends, get all the Instagram friends that he can get on the list. So it’s so that one meeting, that one networking event on Tuesday night in January last forever with social media. You know what I mean?

is now you’re showing them and you say, and then now you’ve developed a relationship that’s not even a relationship in the real world from that real world relationship.

Anthony Codispoti (44:00.599)
So you’ve mentioned fuel a couple of times. I’d like to hear a little bit more of the details of that. You guys did some fuel cards before. What were the troubles that you had with that and why was it better switching to setting a station up at your location there?

Robert Esposito (44:15.585)
First the fuel cards, we couldn’t control what the fuel was going. So like we would have like Saturday afternoon fill ups in salesman’s cars. Like, you know, there’s no rhyme or reason for that. And then we would have the guys go to the gas stations. So you have like 40, 40 men and 34 of them are not driving and they’re getting paid.

to sit at a gas station for 30 minutes, you know, while we fill up. And like, that’s an extreme waste. Then we brought in like the trucks that come and fill up your truck at night. But as much as the gallons matched, you would see all these like fees and these random like, you know, fees for show up fee or this fee and for the gallons weren’t matching. So finally we had hired a full -time mechanic in the back. We put up like a…

shipping container tank and I mean it’s got heat in it and he does all our light maintenance. He’s here every day at three in the morning. We put a diesel station in and the truck comes like every two weeks, the diesel tank and he fills up at three in the morning. So when he, when the guys come, they’re ready to go.

Anthony Codispoti (45:31.99)
So this guy’s filling up all the trucks at three in the morning. You’re not having guys sitting idle at a gas station. There’s much better oversight in terms of where that fuel is going, right? Because you’ve got one guy who’s putting it in the trucks. He’s the only one that’s got access to that diesel pump. Do you, off the top of your head, I’m curious, do you have any idea what kind of savings did you guys experience making this transition?

Robert Esposito (45:48.625)

Robert Esposito (45:58.945)
No, but I can tell you having him here as a mechanic.

tens of thousands of dollars a month without a doubt.

Anthony Codispoti (46:07.477)
because previously you had to take the trucks to a third party to get them serviced.

Robert Esposito (46:11.649)
Yeah, every single little thing is a thousand dollars. You know what I mean? And there’s like 18 vehicles. So the mechanic bills were astronomical. And he can’t do everything, but he does enough. Like he does all the, 80 % of it he does, you know, and it’s great. And when something breaks down, we don’t send a tow truck, we send him. And seven out of 10 times.

he gets it started.

Anthony Codispoti (46:42.741)
So I want to talk about some fun, exciting news that’s just recently come to you. There’s a book deal in place. Tell me about that. How’d this come about?

Robert Esposito (46:50.945)

It honestly is really falling into place.

extremely blessed and I don’t believe in luck, but I feel very lucky about it. You know, I always say luck’s like point preparation meets point of opportunity. That critical moment, but I had done like a speak event, which is like a Ted talk. It’s the guys that leave that that used to do Ted talk. They have like a platform, a competing platform now and they’re really growing. They’re awesome guys. I did it like a year and a half ago. From that.

this chance conversation with my partner. He was like, why are you doing all this? You know, like you’re doing a lot of this. I thought that was phenomenal last night. I was like, you know, I don’t know. It’s one of those things where like you’ll find out in the future, like, but it feels right. And then from there he asked, do you want to be an author? And I was like, no, I never thought of that ever. I’m like, as a kid, actually, I used to like write screenplays and I was in acting like 16, 17 books.

I mean, you’re talking like 25 years ago. I have not thought about that. From there, because of that convo, a couple of months later, I was leaving a meeting with my publicist and I was like, hey, you got a ghost writer. So I started working with this woman and she had said, you know, you’re out of your mind. Nobody’s going to publish an author for multiple books. A first time author. You can’t make money selling books. She was right about both. I was out of my mind and nobody’s going to make money selling books. And,

Robert Esposito (48:28.193)
I was like, yeah, but listen, this is my plan. I’m going to self publish a book, pay for it myself, buy it off myself, give it to my estimators to give out for a competitive edge. And in two or three years when the book has sales because I’m the one buying it, we’ll take that. We’ll put it with like my Newsday publishing, Long Island Business News, anything we have that’s published about Relo.

And we’ll solicit an agent to try to get a book deal. But that was the plan. And we had that plan and we were working that. And like four weeks ago, I randomly go out to lunch with a guy who runs another networking group who we met at trainings 10 years ago. And this guy, his name is Ron Santino. He’s one of the greatest guys. Always like mutual respect, mutual love for each other. He,

He’s got a ton of Hollywood connections and we just always missed each other. Missed each other. And finally we made it happen. We go out to lunch and break ketchup, two, three hour lunch. And the next day I get a call, hey, I took the liberty to explain your concept to a publisher I know and they’re going crazy. They want to talk to you. And then like three weeks of meetings and it just went off the handle. And literally that was 10 ,000 workbook.

In the last four weeks, I’m working with a ghostwriter in Britain and we have it up to like 64 ,000 words right now. It’s incredible. And we have celebrities attached to it and stuff. It’s, it’s big.

Anthony Codispoti (50:00.373)
And so what’s the…

What’s the concept of the book? What’s the title or the working title? What can you tell us about it?

Robert Esposito (50:09.825)
The title is the one thing I’m going to really force to keep. I’m going to really push. It’s nobody move until you’ve read this. Like, you know, like freeze, nobody move like the police. And basically it’s like the moving Bible. And the whole concept behind the book deal is that she wants to like, take this, make it to 200, 250 page book. It’s got like hysterical memes. Like my social media kid is making memes like two or three a day. Like every idea we have, I’m just texting voice notes.

Yo, do this, yo, do this, you know? And like, like the caretaker executive thing is like a three headed monster, you know, standing over a casket. Like they’re just so, like a storage unit is in a sarcophagus. Like, like storage units are the new Egyptian tombs. You know what I mean? Like that’s where you just keep all your stuff forever after you pass away. Your kids don’t want it. So we have like all these memes have you and basically we’re creating, she’s creating this to be the Bible, the publisher with the plan to take each section and,

Elderly Move section will be its own book. The horror stories, I believe, will be a feature film one day. They are incredible. And literally, we sat down to write them, and like old employees, new employees, we’re like sitting down talking about them, and we’re like, all right, we’re gonna have to make some shit up. Within two minutes, we all had to, nope, we’re not gonna make anything up. Like everything, the real life, nothing beats it. Like the story just writes themselves, you know?

Anthony Codispoti (51:32.021)
You should have a reality TV show that follows you around to some of these sites. It sounds like you’ve got some good stories that come out of these experiences.

Robert Esposito (51:39.073)
my god, yeah, it’s hysterical.

Anthony Codispoti (51:41.365)
And so what’s the plan with the book now? Is the plan to actually sell the book to the general public or is it still kind of the former plan, which is I’m gonna print a bunch of these, buy them myself and hand them out to sort of create like a competitive edge.

Robert Esposito (51:54.753)
No, absolutely. The first plan is done. Like that book was frozen like three or four weeks ago. It’s now like six times the size. And I mean, the ghost writers literally working. I’m voicemailing her stuff from 7 a till midnight every day, every day, seven days a week. Like she’s working around the clock. The idea is that.

The goal is that nobody will be in real estate surrounded in this industry without a white label first page giving this book out for free once they get a client. No realtor, no real estate lawyer, no mortgage broker, title companies, inspection people. We plan to make this a B2B where you can’t be in the industry without giving this out or else you’re out. It’s too valuable.

Because all these people are giving away non -functional gifts for hundreds of dollars. And now you have something that’s super functional, super helpful, and fun, and will allow you to personalize a page in it. You know what I mean? And buy 100 copy subscriptions. And then you’ll be able to give them out as gifts to your clients and make new ones.

Anthony Codispoti (53:10.578)
that’s fun. How does the page get personalized?

Robert Esposito (53:15.105)
However you are, you’d write your paragraphs in your company and it would go in like an insert in Patreon. Like Patreon would be like a plastic insert. That’s not all ironed out yet, but that’s the plan.

Anthony Codispoti (53:23.986)
Is there a timeline for this book? It sounds like everything is coming together very recently and very quickly. Maybe it’s too early to tell when this might actually go to print.

Robert Esposito (53:34.465)
Yeah, I believe it’ll go in editing next week, but this literally all happened since May. I think our lunch was like May 10th, you know, like it’s all happening.

Anthony Codispoti (53:42.61)
And here we are recording this on June 13th, 2024. So it’s four weeks old. Yeah. Okay. Shifting gears. Let’s see, what’s something Rob, you wish you could teach a younger version of yourself?

Robert Esposito (53:45.441)

Yeah, super.

Anthony Codispoti (54:00.85)
Something that’s great, just sort of understood common knowledge for you now, but man, 15, 20 years ago, if you had known this, the path would have been easier.

Robert Esposito (54:10.473)
A buddy of mine from networking, Murray, said something to me yesterday. And it’s funny you asked that because that just popped right in my head. He said his wife had read the first book and he was like telling me how impressed she was. And we were talking about it and I was like, thank you. He’s like, you know, the thing is with you for 12 years, I’ve watched you and the difference between you and everybody else is you wonder, you don’t worry. And all I could think about.

I’m not kidding me, but like I’m thinking about it from 10 years ago. I’m thinking about it from 15 years ago. Like worrying about everything, like being scared to come to work my day, you know? Like, he’s right now, I don’t worry. Like there’s like anything that happens, like I don’t feel like, I don’t feel that insecurity anymore where I used to feel that insecurity, you know? And I think you need to know in the beginning when you start, like just keep going, like.

I tell this story all the time about throwing the cinder block through a windshield and saying I’m done. And that really happened. And it dawned on me talking to other people in other businesses, like, you know, the whatever, what’s that word? Like the cinder block, you know, like the quote unquote cinder block, like, like they didn’t do it, but they’ve had that experience. You know what I mean? I forget the words. I’m missing it right now. But,

Anthony Codispoti (55:36.114)
What’s the, before you make the point, what’s the cinder block story that may help us connect to the bigger point here?

Robert Esposito (55:42.881)
So basically I had like two workers and I would like put gas in diesel trucks and ruin a day and I couldn’t afford the money and I couldn’t afford the repair costs and I just like showed up to lose thousands of dollars and now I gotta rent the truck and do it tomorrow and one day like I got so frustrated I threw a cinder block through the windshield and I was like I’m done I can’t do this anymore and then that night I was thinking to myself like last year I used to have to put gas in my truck three times a day because I couldn’t afford to fill up my tank.

You know, like I get paid on a job and they go put more gifts. Like now I’m doing better. And like, I kind of carried that as an omen. No, no, no. That’s the thing. When I tell it now, proverbial, the proverbial like everyone has that proverbial. Proverbial. cinder block and like, I really had that tender block story, but everybody has it. And you just get so frustrated and like, no, you just, it’s not that important.

Anthony Codispoti (56:30.002)
proverbial. Yep, we gotcha.

Robert Esposito (56:42.145)
If keep stopping is that important? Quitting is that important? You know, like that’s not you can keep going, you know, like whatever you’re dealing with now, this too shall pay.

Anthony Codispoti (56:52.242)
You felt like you had reached a breaking point, right? You were so frustrated, losing the money, having these trucks ruined by having the wrong fuel in there. You just snapped. You threw the proverbial and the literal cinder block through the windshield. And it sounds like that sort of snapped you out of it, at least later that day, where you’re like, hang on a second. Yeah, that was frustrating. But look how far I’ve come. I don’t have to fill up my gas tank three times a day now, right?

Robert Esposito (56:55.457)

Robert Esposito (57:05.473)

Anthony Codispoti (57:21.586)
Like I’ve made a lot of progress and if I keep going, I’ve got momentum, I’m gonna keep making more progress. This is gonna start to click even more.

Robert Esposito (57:30.785)
Yeah, so basically don’t give up. And that’s what I’m saying there. Don’t let the little things force you to give up.

Anthony Codispoti (57:36.434)
Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. If you’re doing the right things, success is gonna find its way to you.

Robert Esposito (57:42.561)
And it’s like the first conversation we had, it always seems to be like, you get in these areas where yes, it’s terrible. Yes, it’s a prison. But like, if you can think about it, like you’re just in the darkest portion of the tunnel, you know, like one of my mentors with all of his events, he said, it’s like a staircase and you can only see the next step.

and it’s all black so you don’t know where you’re going but you know every time you take a step you’re going up. Like you just got to get to the next step and then the one after that will light up a little bit.

Anthony Codispoti (58:14.642)
I love this and I think this is really important for people listening to hear, right? Because they’re going to check out your business, they’re going to see your press, you got this book deal, it’s like, Rob’s got it made. Like, this is a guy that’s just, he’s confident, he knows what he’s doing, he was born this way. You know, what they don’t see, what they don’t know, what they don’t understand is behind the scenes, you know, there was a lot of struggle, there was a lot of strife there. There were moments where I don’t know if this is going to work, maybe I should just throw in the towel. And so I think, I think,

you know, if you’ve got even more words sort of of inspiration to share like that about some of the tough times that you’ve been through and just put one foot in front of the other to make it through that dark tunnel, I think this is really helpful for people to hear.

Robert Esposito (58:58.145)
Absolutely. Yeah, and it was a lifetime of tough times like that.

like just driving looking at people like my god like i have the worst you know leaving brooklyn in a box truck and not making money all day but working all day like if you know anything about like brooklyn is the hardest place to drive out of like four hours of traffic and like i remember days where like we would lose money or we would underestimate the job and we’d be driving home like we just did all that for nothing.

so frustrating or other times where like a limo driver in our parking lot where we parked at a storage facility backed into the truck and the truck was idling and the two Spanish guys that were in the truck who I was really close to were not liable but this driver called his boss and his boss wanted to put in a claim now we know it wasn’t our fault but getting a movers license was

extremely hard and took me years and there’s like one company or two that insures movers people with movers licenses and we had just gotten out like a month before and we were operating before that was like a delivery company and cleanouts and we worked for like three years to get that license and I Couldn’t take the claim. So I was telling them pay him the thousand dollars Just let him go fix it and they’re like we’re fused and I’m like, no, we have to protect the company right now We have to protect the company

So it’s like decisions like that, you know, where you’re like, my God, like, like you’re not just doing, you’re not just making a financial loss. Like you’re almost like, feel it. Like you feel like, wow, I’m getting, I’m the schmuck here. You know, like I’m the one I got to fight. I got to eat this and I am totally in the right, but the higher purpose is no, I have to protect the company.

Anthony Codispoti (01:00:54.322)
Well, and that’s why you’re in the leadership position, right? Because you can see the chessboard better than the guys that you had driving the trucks. They’re like, hey, we’re not wrong. We’re not going to pay him money. You’re like, I get it. We’re not in the wrong here. But there’s a bigger picture at play. We’ve got to look at the chessboard and see what the big vision is for the company. So hard to get that license. We can’t risk losing it.

Anthony Codispoti (01:01:16.594)
Rob, what’s a fun fact that most people wouldn’t know about you?

Robert Esposito (01:01:22.081)
Robert Esposito (01:01:25.889)
Fun fact that nobody, most people wouldn’t know. I love beach volleyball and I love concerts and comedy shows and I love talking to people.

Anthony Codispoti (01:01:36.978)
You love playing beach volleyball or watching it or both?

Robert Esposito (01:01:41.985)
I mean, sure, watching it’s pretty good too, but playing it, yeah.

Anthony Codispoti (01:01:44.978)
I love to play. Yeah. And what’s your favorite kind of music?

Robert Esposito (01:01:49.793)
Lately it’s been country. I mean, I love all I’m huge into hip hop, huge into like soft rock, Elton John, Billy Joel. Lately, country numbers is what I play all day. I love country. So. Absolutely.

Anthony Codispoti (01:02:02.258)
That’s a wide range of interests there. Rob, are there any specific mentors or books that have been particularly helpful to you in shaping you or your professional career?

Robert Esposito (01:02:14.785)
Absolutely Mentors on a personal level the owners of Vincent’s, you know, they helped me they would sit with me as a waiter when I bought a box truck like after the shift and just like give me advice if I asked them and I appreciated that so much

Audiobooks wise number one alchemist without a doubt not a business book, but you need it first before you if you’re gonna like You know start a company yourself like you need

Anthony Codispoti (01:02:46.898)
What’s the summary of that book? How’s it helped you?

Robert Esposito (01:02:51.105)
Like the universe is just malleable. Like it’s just, it moves. It’s like, you know, water, it just, it’ll go away if you put your mind to it, you know, and there’s so many different like quotes in that book that you can point out like,

Everybody has such a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but never any clue about their own. Like when you’re going through it, like I say this in the Cinderbork story, every big mistake is like a viral invitation to alert the naysayers and advice givers. Like all of a sudden, like you call people now 20 years later and they can’t believe what you’re telling them, but they 100 % believe what you’re telling them is going to happen.

Whereas in the past, they’re telling you how wrong you are, how you have no idea what you’re talking about, how you’re out of your mind. But then you like prove yourself time and time again. And then they’re like, are you kidding me? No. Well, you know what I mean? Like it’s a different type of not believing. They believe it. They just are in disbelief of it. So like that would go to that quote and like just all about like your personal legend, like how you can see like.

what you want out of life and you’re not too old. You’re not too young. You can do what you want to do when you want to do it. This is kind of like the world itself is, I mean, I know there’s things that happen in life that destroy people, but you could kind of think about things a different way in most circumstances.

Anthony Codispoti (01:04:24.914)
Rob, I have just one more question for you, but before I ask it, I want to do two things. First of all, if you’re listening today and you like today’s content, please hit the subscribe, like, or share button on your favorite podcast app. The second thing I want to do is tell people what’s the best way to get in touch with you.

Robert Esposito (01:04:41.637)
Our phone number is 516 -595 -7420 to our corporate office. On Instagram we’re at usrelocators .com and our website is usrelocators .com.

Anthony Codispoti (01:04:55.698)
Rob, last question for you. I’m curious, how do you see the industry that you’re involved in evolving in the next five years? What are some of the big changes that are coming?

Robert Esposito (01:05:06.529)
I think, I mean, I think there’ll always be a need for it as long as, you know, we don’t invent like, like teleporting, you know what I mean? I don’t see how there could not be a need for it. I’m very curious to see like what we’re doing with all this stuff. Like you just keep, you know, like my kids like daddy, I want this and they press a button. Okay. When’s it coming?

Like they think it’s coming to the door and they’re right. You know what I mean? Like they’ll be there in an hour, which is crazy. So it’s like, we’re just going to keep accumulating. Like it’s got to go more minimalistic. as an industry, I think kind of like what I’m doing, like putting a lot of services together. because I don’t think the old tool, like just moving company or just self storage or just clean out company.

I don’t think it’ll have teeth going forward. I think it’s got to be a multi -level approach to the industry. So it’s got to be more like transitioning out of the home.

Anthony Codispoti (01:06:12.908)
I want to be the first one to thank you for sharing your time and your story with us today. I really appreciate it.

Robert Esposito (01:06:16.929)
Anthony, it was a pleasure. Thank you for being here. Thank you for everything.

Anthony Codispoti (01:06:22.22)
Folks, that’s a wrap on another episode of the Inspired Stories podcast. Thanks for learning with us today.