Years in Tampa Bay
Realtor or real estate agent (the accent seems to stop people not understanding me when I say ‘realtor’!)
What do you do?
I’m a full-time realtor; the strap line is ‘Enabling the people of St Petersburg achieve their real estate dreams.’
I sell properties ranging from cheap vacant lots of land, up to the high-end downtown condo market. St. Petersburg has a huge range of properties but I don’t like to miss opportunities, hence working with people from all different walks of life.
Why do you do it?
The longer I’ve been in the business, the more enjoyment I get from being part of significant decisions in people’s lives. For most, a property is their biggest asset they own. It’s a big deal to guide people correctly, and while I enjoy it, I don’t take it lightly.
I also really enjoy the first-time buyer/millennial market; it’s my generation so I can relate easily. It is also great to break the stigma of millennials being lazy and sponging off of others. It takes a lot to buy a house so helping people through the process is great. Beyond it taking a lot of work to start with, I’m a firm believer in real estate being a huge pillar in people growing their wealth. The sooner people start, the better!
What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)
I moved to America to be with my wife from England. Having previously worked in sales, it sounded like a good fit. I’m a people person at heart and always had an eye for architecture. Every agent is an independent contractor though, so it was pretty daunting starting in an industry with no experience and it being a 100 percent commission role.
I was lucky enough to find a mentor whom I learnt so much from when I started. At the beginning the drive was out of pure necessity; at this point the necessity hasn’t totally gone away, but the enjoyment factor is a bigger drive.
What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?
There is a significant amount of hurdles in buying and selling properties. I think most people assume the realtor is there to open up the door and write/negotiate the contract. However, the true value of a realtor comes into play when they have the ability to anticipate the next two, three or four hurdles on the horizon and plan/advise accordingly.
What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?
Time management. Being a realtor is one big juggling act. We have systems in place to minimize this as much as possible, but when dealing with multiple clients who are all looking at you for input and advice it becomes very easy to spread yourself too thin, which actually stops you from achieving anything properly.
What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?
Get a mentor. For me it was 100 percent invaluable. You may not even agree with them on everything and choose to do things a little differently, but having an experienced sounding board whom you can trust and respect is a wonderful thing.