What was your first job in the realty industry?
I started with the same broker that I am with today. My first office was in the Lincoln Square area. Ah yes, I remember it well. It was 2004 and it was a very good year.
Who inspires you?
The list is very extensive and to narrow it down to just one may start another Advil moment. The one and all has to be my clients. What they go through to purchase a new home and still be able to smile at the end of the day, well that just gets me inspired to do it again.
What is your favorite free-time activity?
If I understand the question, that is the time I have set aside not to do real estate activities. At my age, any time not requiring Advil must be one of my favorite activities. Just the usual baseball, football, fishing, gardening, gourmet cooking, traveling, movies and comedy â€” all done with a remote control.
How did you learn the business?
I have moved several times in my early career so the processes of relocation, selling and buying were not new to me. The rules and regulations were an immediate educational requirement as well as the IT side of the business. Thanks to insomnia, there is always time to keep up and learn more.
What was your most difficult sale, and how did you succeed?
Of course it was the deal that was going to close in just three weeks making my buyers very happy when they finished the “updating.” Now, when a listing says “estate sale” that does not mean it is not a “short sale.” The sellers knew very little about the property or any liens, so the attorneys and I had started our daily lotto to see how many roadblocks we can clear up. In the end, though 30 days late, everyone lived happily ever after.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Waiting. I am never late and I hate to wait. Time is of the essence in this business, and in today’s market, time is difficult to manage successfully. I schedule for success. The difficult aspect is having other schedules clash with my planning. I wonder what it was like before the Bluetooth was used to explain a late arrival.
What was your worst job, and what did you learn from it?
That would be the one that paid 25 cents an hour and I had to listen to my father tell me over and over not to spill anything. One of my fatherâ€™s companies was a pharmaceutical brand that was bottled, labeled, boxed and shipped by child labor. Now I know why my parents had seven sons. I learned then that cash is king!
Where do you go to network and meet new clients?
I am known as Real Estate John because most bartenders do not remember my last name without one of my magnetic sports calendars in front of them. Almost everybody will talk to you if they know you are in real estate. The odds are that all of them will now or in the future be involved in a transaction that I can offer my participation and expertise. The bigger the funnel, the more there is to flow through it.
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Two daughters and a son are worth a brag or three. I did sell the secure voice/data system that was used in the White House, but I also sold a pretty white house in the South Shore community. I woke up this morning and beat my previous consecutive record, and I have enough success to be writing this article. My greatest is my next accomplishment.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read?
I have read an average of 50 books a year for the last 20 years, so I guess I have to go by author rather than title. I enjoy a real good Dean Koontz thriller or a National Lampoon movie. Most recently, the Sci-Fi Channel gets kudos.
What is your favorite restaurant?
Now you got to the tough one. Svensk, Italiano, Espana, Caribe, and then there is Chubby Wieners to fill all the gaps required by those major food groups.
BlackBerry, Palm or paper? Cell phone, voicemail, laptop, printer
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Get a mentor and be financially stable.