How did you learn the business? I had a great group of agents around me in New Orleans at Prudential Gardner in the Uptown/Carrolton area. They stressed the importance of knowing the craft from every angle. I was taught to always do things by the book, legally and in writing. If you don’t know something, ask your broker and/or an attorney. I was encouraged to complete the fast-track training, and also participate in other trainings that forced us to get so many leads a week, cold call, knock on doors and farm geographic locations. From Margie Berry to Linda Babineaux, I was in a boot camp. They really wanted us to succeed. For them I am eternally grateful. I can remember the first contract I wrote: I sat the clients down in the conference room and ran in and out to answer questions about the contract that I didn’t know the answers to. Ms. Babineaux was in her office at the time, so I ran in and got the answer, then calmly strolled back into the conference room as if nothing was going on. I got through that deal, and in fact closed it several weeks later.
Who inspires you? My wife, kids and Barack Obama. Waking up every day to a 10-year marriage is the inspiration of a lifetime for a 38-year-old male. The replication of one’s self through two beautiful children that are excellent in school, obedient and show you unconditional love, is enough to make you want to conquer the world. As for President Obama, how could I not be inspired by his triumphant history-making victory? Not to mention, I had lunch at his home in 2006 when he was a senator, and realized how down to earth and cool he really is.
What is your favorite free-time activity? I volunteer four days a week as the Ancona School boys basketball coach. I coach the 5th – 6th and 7th -8th grade teams. We’ve played around 30 games this season, and in two tournaments. I love working with the boys because it gives me the opportunity to give back to not only the community, but also to the Ancona School, which gave so much to my family after the Katrina disaster. Both teaching the game of basketball to kids that don’t have a clue how to play the game and pushing those that are competitive and want to win is unbelievably rewarding and fulfilling.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I have met a great group of developers, builders and investors that meet once a month at a cigar bar in the South Loop, Kaw Kaw’s, to discuss the industry. They have been an awesome source of new business and support.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? Aside from managing my two-flat in New Orleans from Chicago for the last three and one-half years, I have a beautiful home in Oakwood Shores, I’ve bounced back from nothing after Katrina to having a phenomenal life, I’ve maintained my independence as a Realtor and I am able to provide food for my family. It would have been easy to give up after Katrina and live off of the system. We accepted the support we received, but were able to get up, dust ourselves off and build a great life here in Chicago.
What kind of car do you drive? 1996 Cadillac Deville
BlackBerry, Palm or paper? BlackBerry Curve – Love it!
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Put on your seat belt and enjoy the ride!