I can still see it…a cream-colored Cadillac with a mid-90’s, laptop-sized cell phone in the center console. I was sitting in the back seat observing a middle-aged woman with big hair and a pantsuit as she drove my parents around looking at houses. She seemed nice enough, but a little bit like the stereotypical used car salesman (no offense, car salesmen).
That’s the first thing I recall about real estate agents. While I’ve always been drawn to the housing market, remodeling my own houses, and trying to stay up to date on market trends, I never thought I “fit the mold” of what I envisioned as the stereotypical agent. I was, you know, too upfront with people — not salesman enough (although my friends have commented, I may have the hair for it). The honest truth is that a lot of folks have the same stereotype of real estate agents in their heads, whether they would verbalize it or not. Despite knowing at least a few that break the mold, many of us view agents as grinning sharks, waiting to take advantage of us in one of the most important decisions of our lives. However, after numerous moves in my adult life and encounters with a handful of truly outstanding agents, I would argue that it is through honesty and genuine care that an agent proves his worth. To that end, I’ve been asked a few times recently Why I got into Real Estate in the first place.
I’ve been in your shoes – Maggie and I have moved 7 times in 6 years of marriage, and my parents moved 21 times by the time we were in high school (sometimes in the same neighborhood). We know what it feels like to sit in a car after months of searching only to be outbid again. We’ve sat staring at the wall paralyzed with the innumerable decisions that go into a big move. We’ve seen the value in having a trusted friend come alongside and help us navigate the Real Estate Market. I value deep and honest relationships. I feel honored to help provide a steady, honest, and calm perspective in what can be a stressful and emotional situation. For those who’ve been the recipient of that type of care, it’s invaluable.
I honestly believe this is one of the most practical and impactful ways to serve someone – One of the biggest reasons I stayed away from the industry in the past is the feeling of the “bait and switch” or agenda-based relationships. That’s the hard thing about “commission sales” – there’s inherent value to making a sale. BUT, to flip the script, there’s inherent value in providing honest, true, and valuable service to friends and clients. Remember the story of the tortoise and the rabbit? The rabbit may make a splash, but burns out in the end… slow and steady wins the race. That’s how I think of it – the job is helping and serving people, day after day, and when that happens, there’s no agenda. Plus, I get to help people with something that will literally be a part of their everyday enjoyment and an integral part of creating memories. That’s pretty amazing!
I like the balance of IQ and EQ to find solutions – I’ve always kept up on real estate prices, remodeling, and real estate trends…the ebb and flow of home prices, etc. Knowing the numbers are essential, but if you can’t relate to people at the end of the day, it’s like a doctor who’s great at surgery but has the bedside manner of a rock…you’ll get through it, but you’ll feel a little beat up at the end of the day. I like to think I have the ability to step into chaotic situations, stabilize the field, and make everyone feel good about the next step in the process. I spent about 8 years working in a church, and one of the things you learn in that vocation is the skill of listening. To be empathetic, and when needed, offer guidance for what’s next.
I thought I could do it a little differently – For better or worse, I look at things a little differently. Being able to creatively problem solve and think of out-of-the-box ideas that are unique to each individual is something I get excited about. Sometimes people confuse the newest gadget with the best strategy…you have to do a virtual reality, gluten-free tour. This may work for some, but not for everyone. Serving with LEAGUE, we’re creatively using media to serve our clients, but the first priority is service, and media is only one tool.
How can we BEST meet the needs of our clients and our city by walking beside them? That is a question I am constantly asking. I look forward to serving Fort Worth – thank you for letting me!