Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What's My Motivation?

Throughout my whole life I have always been motivated to achieve certain goals and to complete certain tasks.  They seemed pretty simple at the time, but looking back they have all made an impact on who I am as a person today.  So here I am now....a husband, a father, a brother, a son, and a real estate agent.  All of these different aspects of like really encompass me as a person, so now the big question is..... "What motivates me to be a real estate agent?"

When I first got into this business I had NO clue what I was doing and was really just flying off the seat of my pants and winging it. I didn't want to tell my clients that I had just gotten out of real estate school and that I had ZERO experience in helping them with the single biggest investment of their lives.  When I look back on it, I had so much to learn, and I had my priorities in the wrong place.  In my mind I knew I wanted to help people through this process, but I knew that at the end of the day all I was thinking of was all the money I was going to make!

Fast forward to today and I now realize that I had it all backwards.  The single biggest thing that motivates me in being a real estate agent is knowing that I am making an impact on someone's life.  It truly is all about the clients, and the minute I figured that out everything just seemed to fall in place.  Every listing has a story.....every buyer has a story....and they each deserve to have their day in the sun.  Be it the first time home buyer who as that special emotional moment at closing and who tells you that they would not have made it here without you, or the families who are able to start a whole new life because of all the hard work that you put into selling their home while making it a personal experience....not just a business transaction.  These are the people that you will never forget, and this is what motivates me to be a better real estate agent every day.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Go90x Finish Line

When I decided to join Go Realty back in March I had heard about a program that all the agents were just finishing up with to help increase their business by making phone calls everyday, posting on social networks, and doing other tasks that were really outside the box for a real estate agent.  This program was called Go90x.  I had heard whispers that there was a different version of Go90x being developed for new agents to Go Realty that would really help jump-start their career.  I thought to myself....oh crap, I have to do this by myself!?  I knew that all the other agents with Go had all gone through this together, so I just couldn't imagine myself having to do this alone.  I sighed a huge sense of relief when I found out that Nicolle Mercer would be joining the Go Durham team and that we would be taking on the Go90x beast together.

Throughout this experience it has been difficult at times having to juggle the daily activities with my actual business, and making sure that I keep myself organized and focused on the task at hand.  I tend to try to take on many things at once, so this really forced me take a step back and look at what is important and to plan out my day accordingly.

I felt that I was already pretty social media savvy, but when it came to posting on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Yammer on a daily basis, I noticed it was a bit more difficult than I would have ever expected since I had only posted when I felt like it or when I thought of something cool to say.  This really forced me to be out there more, and I had a friend of mine that actually mentioned that she loved the marketing I was doing for my business and loved the Go concept.  This really made me feel like I was on the right path to accomplishing bigger goals.

So, what was my goal coming into this?  Well, that's an interesting question because I had a few goals coming into this whole thing.  My wife had always teased me by saying that she could see me as a real estate "mogul".  I'll take that, but more than that I wanted to be the source and voice of real estate to my circle of friends.  I wanted to be the all powerful!

I realize that as I come to the finish line of Go90x, I have realized that there is so much more that I can do to connect with people that I know and then I even don't know.  I could not have done this without all the help and support from everyone at Go and all my friends who saw my constant posting and commenting.  I do not see this as the end, but only the beginning of what I expect to be a tremendous relationship with Go Realty.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Real Estate Agent

I was speaking with a gentleman not too long ago and we got on the subject of we each do for a living.  When I told him that I was a Realtor, he looked at me and said,"Oh, I was thinking of getting my license and trying out real estate."  On the outside I smiled and told him that the market is doing very well and that it will only get better.....but on the inside I just laughed.

Do you know of anyone who ever said they wanted to try out being a doctor, a lawyer, or a professional athlete?  Of course not!  This certainly seems to be the only profession out there that people have the thought of just taking a course and.....Boom!...I'm gonna be rich selling real estate.  The first thing that entered my mind was something I remembered Joe Niego saying at a seminar last year.  "Nobody tries out real estate....real estate tries you out!"

I'm sure you all have that friend of yours that thinks that you just stick a sign in a yard with your face and phone number and then your day is done.  This is easy....why do I need a Realtor?  Very good question.....why do you need a Realtor?  Well, let me take you through a day in the life of a real estate agent and you will see exactly why you need a Realtor.

This past Saturday was National Open House Weekend, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to host an open house for one of the other agents in my office.  I knew that people would be out and about either looking for homes they might be interested in purchasing, or just to get good decorating ideas.  Either, once you have someone in the actual house, this is the perfect time to get to know them and find out some good information.

My day begins at 7:00am with a quick stop to the gym to get my blood flowing and pumped up for the day at hand.  I knew I had the open house, but I was also working with an out-of-state client who is interested in finding a basement home in the area.  As I pull into my office at 9:00am, I begin to do some preliminary searches, along with getting all my paperwork and goodies together for my open house.  My open house isn't until 1:00pm, but I want to get there early to get my "Open House" signs in place that are visible to traffic.  Plus, I figure it will be fairly busy because it is National Open House Weekend!

Success!!  As the open house winds down at 3:00pm, and after meeting some very nice folks during this time, I get a phone call from my out-of-state client who has widdled his decision to two specific lots in a new construction community.  Since he is not in the area, he can't actually view the lots, which is one of the most important aspects of building a new home.  How does the lot look?  Is it flat?  Does it have room for a backyard?  What is the view behind the lot?  I took this opportunity to try out a great real estate tool called Dropbox, where you can import any files you want and share them with anyone you want without having to take up a huge amount of space on an email.  I took numerous videos of the community and the lots and sent them right over to my client.  Again...success!!  This is exactly what he wanted to see!  Could he have found this out on his own?  Maybe....but it would have really been a touch task.

Finally, my day is coming to an end...or so I thought.  I got a call later on that night (now it's 7:00pm) to set up a showing appointment the next afternoon. it was time to do a bit of research on the property so I am fully prepared when I meet my buyers tomorrow.  Its not just pulling up the listing and seeing the list price, but it's finding out the comps of the neighborhood, how the neighborhood has been selling recently, and any activity previously on the property.

It is now 9:00pm on Saturday night and have finally closed my computer and poured myself a glass of wine.  Is work actually done?  Of course not.  It's always on my mind, and preparing for the next day and what surprises it may bring.

This is just a small sampling of a day as a real estate agent, but each day is never the same.  This is a business for those who know how to put in a hard days work, and to constantly be working in the best interest of your clients.  This business is certainly trying me out and loving it!!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Open Your Home!!

  April 20th-April 21st is the National Open House weekend where Realtors will be out and about to open up their clients homes to let all potential buyers and house hunters get a first hand view at what is available in their market.  An open house is a wonderful opportunity for both sellers and buyers to gain some valuable insight and information on both their home and any other home that is currently available.  Nicolle Mercer and I have put together this short video on what we think are most important reasons for an open house looking at both a buyers and sellers point of view.  Hope you enjoy!!


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Stay In School

  Do you remember your first day of school, and you had that incredible rush of adrenaline and excitement to see who your teachers are and who were in all your classes?  Or maybe it was the feeling of....okay, only 179 more days until summer break! Either way, it was always something new when you walked through those doors of your school and each class could be something totally different than what you expected.  Well, this is exactly what I experienced when I attended my first Continued Education class at the new Go School located in the Go Realty Cary office.

  When I first got into real estate I was told that it was required of all Realtors that each one of us had to attend one elective education course and then one mandatory update course each year to fulfill our active status.  The first course I took in my first year as a Realtor was pretty much what I expected....and not really in an exciting way.  I walked into a large "classroom" that was lined with tables filled with about 60 other Realtors who just wanted to get through the next 4 hours as quickly as possible.  We all sat there like zombies listening to the instructor talk about....well, I don't really remember what was said anymore.  I just remember that I got my certificate and was out the door, wincing at the sunlight, as I re-entered the daylight from CE jail.

  Let's fast forward to this past Monday when I decided to take my required CE elective for the year....but this time I would be taking it at the new Go School.  I had recently gotten back into general real estate after spending a year in the new construction business as an on-site sales agent.  Turns out that one of the course that was being offered was "Off The Rails", which focused primarily on the relationship between Realtors and on-site agents.  We would discuss how the deals between their clients can sometimes fall apart, and how we all can be better prepared going forward.

  I had heard extremely good things about the Go School, so I was very excited to see it for myself and to see what all the hub-bub was about.  I actually got an excited feeling in my stomach as I walked into the classroom, which was set up like a college classroom...stadium style!  The first words out of Jim Garman's mouth were, "If you have an iPhone, Macbook, or iPad...we strongly encourage you to USE THEM!".  How great is this!?  I immediately took my iPhone out, took a picture of Jim Garman, Zach Schabot, and Alaina Money, and posted it on Facebook and Twitter.  We were first asked what all we wanted to learn from this course.  What?  An instructor asking US what we wanted to get out of the course?  I've been so used to getting an outline syllabus and seeing what all is in store for me....and dreading everything that came after.  But this was totally different.  We were asked to be involved by sharing our own horror stories, construction delays, and how pour communication can ruin even the best of deals.

After some really good discussion we were asked to get up and take a walk over to Studio G where we got see how the design process really works for new construction.  As a Realtor, should you accompany your clients to the studio for their appointment?  That is completely up to you, but you should always know what the process is all about so that you can prep your clients so they know what to expect to see.  Of course, not all new construction companies are the same, but this aspect of the class is extremely helpful for anyone who doesn't know anything of how the design studio is supposed to work.

We got to see different examples of granite countertops and how they are selected and cut, along with examples and differences of hardwood flooring and exterior siding.  This was such a great experience as it was completely hands on and in only 15 minutes or so, I learned so much that I never knew while being an on-site sales agent.

Once the class was over, I couldn't believe how quickly the 4 hours went by.  Afterwards, the majority of the people hung around afterwards and chatted with each other.  There was no mad rush to exit the building like a fire had started.  Everyone actually enjoyed themselves and didn't want it to end just yet.  This school is completely different, exciting, and enjoyable.....exactly how real estate is supposed to be.

For more information about the Go School check it out at  Take a class and you will be blown away!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Happy Hour Time!

What is a Happy Hour?  By definition, a happy hour is a period of time, usually in late afternoon or early evening, during which a bar or lounge features drinks at reduced prices.  Well, as you all may know that in the great state of North Carolina, happy hours are not allowed in restaurants by this definition.  Kind of strange don't you think?

But, we have become very creative in making our own "Happy Hour" amongst a group of friends or co-workers who want to blow off a little bit of steam after a long day of work.    This is the perfect way to catch up on the daily gossip of the day, to vent after you get yelled at on the phone by an unhappy customer or client, or to just say......"I need a drink!!".

This past Friday afternoon I was apart of my very first Go Realty Happy Hour in the Go Durham office.  I must say, this was the first time that an office I worked at actually hosted a happy hour.  This is our time to say "Thank You" to our clients, vendors, and friends for being so supportive of our business.  It was also a really great time to see everyone in our office and just sit back and enjoy each others company.  Being in real estate is a very tough business and is very competitive overall, so being able to have a way to invite these people into my office and to enjoy some food and drinks is absolutely wonderful. I was very fortunate to have my brother, my wife, and some of my best friends to come and see the Go Durham office and meet the other folks in the office.  The feedback I got from them was tremendous!  "What a cool office!", "This is so Durham!", and "I would love to work in this place!", were just a few of the remarks that I heard.

This is one of many aspects of Go Realty that really sets us apart from any other real estate agency in the area.  We want our clients and our friends to be as comfortable as possible....and to talk about us after they leave.  It's all about leaving an impression and have them walk away thinking, "That place was really cool...I can't wait to come back!"

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Go Sweet Go.....

What do I want to do when I grow up?  It seems as though I have been asking myself that for a very long time.  Actually, a better question would be is....when will I feel like a grown up?  I doubt if I am the only one who asks themselves these very questions throughout any part of their life, but I do know that I have grown up so much in the past few years when my life completely changed in a new and amazing direction.

My career passion have always been to be around people and to help in way possible.  I remember my first job was at a Chesapeake Bagel Bakery in Winston-Salem, NC just down the street from my home and high school.  The General Manager was an old friend of my mom's and he agreed to hire me on as a very quiet and shy (me quiet!?) 16 year old sophomore in high school.  It was such a rush going in for my first day at work and actually having people turn to me for it for my favorite cream cheese selections, but still!  It was such a cool feeling knowing that I helped bring a smile to their faces.

As I continued on through high school, college, and then into the "Real World", I always knew I was destined to be in an environment where I would be helping people in my career.  I gravitated towards the hospitality industry where I spent 12 years working as a waiter, bartender, corporate trainer, manager, and special events director.  In all these different positions I met many new faces and began relationships that I have been very fortunate to continue to this day.  The most important quality I learned is that if you put the customer/client first you will be successful in life and business no matter what.

I had the tremendous fortune of meeting my wife while working at Cafe Parizade in Durham, NC as a bartender/manager.  We started off as just friends...then we became best friends...then we realized it was something more. During our relationship I decided that, after 12 years in the hospitality industry, it was time for even more change.  I wanted to tackle real estate and try to really make a difference in people's lives.....not just pour them a drink or plan an event.  But, I knew that I needed her support and her confidence in me to be able to do this.  I was no longer thinking of myself in my decisions anymore, as we recently got married last summer and are expecting a baby girl this July.  I now have a family to think of before myself....which is what it is all about.  And this is exactly why Go Realty was the perfect fit for me, and I was the perfect fit for Go Realty.  A match made in Realtor heaven!

The most amazing aspect of this company is that  everyone is on the same page, and everyone knows that it is not about us (the agent) at all.  This is all about you!  We are just along for the ride....but we want to make the ride as smooth as possible for you.  I can finally be myself and give all I can give to my clients.  I guess this is what it feels like to be a grown up........