Owning a home is one of the most significant landmarks in a person's life. It's a milestone and a symbol that you have made it in life. To finally be able to put down roots, and have a space that you can truly call your own is everyones dream. But, it is also one of the toughest decisions to make. There are so many things to consider, and the process it will take to get there can be daunting. That's why; having the right realtor to guide you through your real estate journey plays a pivotal role in ensuring a smooth and meaningful home buying experience.
Now, have you ever wondered what a real estate agents day to day life looks like? What's their story? Since you are to entrust them with one of the biggest decisions you will ever make in your life don’t you agree that it’s only appropriate that we take a glimpse at their world?
Well, let’s take a look at a day in a realtor’s life through #1 Team Leader and owner of RE/MAX Advanced Realty, Dennis Nottingham Jr. and glean some insight into how the Indy Home Pros Team managed to be the number 1 RE/MAX Team in Indiana for six straight years.
How did you first get involved with the Real Estate Industry?
While working as a police officer around the year 2000 I had met a gentleman who "bought, rehabbed, and sold/rented" properties. He explained what he did and it was intriguing to me. I had always been interested in real estate. So while working one day, myself and a good friend who was on the department with me came up with a plan to start buying and selling houses. During that conversation we decided that one of us should go to Real Estate School to get a license so that we could find these houses we were going to buy. While attending the classes I learned about the earning potential of becoming a Real Estate agent, so I decided I would still work as a police officer, and sell real estate part time. I did that for a short time and the real estate business just kept growing and ultimately I had to quit my "full time job" as a police officer.
What was your first impression of the Industry?
I was very intimidated. I felt that I didn't belong. I was young, a 24 year old in a business where people wore suits and dressed nice. I was raised "blue collar" so the adjustment for me was difficult but I was able to adapt and overcome.
What's your first memory of the home buying / selling process?
I remember not knowing what in the world I was doing! It honestly took 5 - 10 deals before I even understood what I was doing. Real Estate is a tough business - sink or swim. I remember having my managing broker drive all across town to help me write my first offer.
What has surprised you most about working as a real estate broker?
People - People are so different, so many different types of personalities. You have to become a chameleon of sorts.
What do you find most challenging about being a real estate broker?
People, period. – Oh and keeping up with the industry trends. There are so many vendors and new technologies. You have to stay ahead of the competition. Many agents/brokers get caught up in the next new technology in our industry. This industry is still built on relationships; technology has only enabled us to become more efficient but turned us impatient.
What's the best/worst thing to happen since you started working in the real estate industry?
I think the best thing is that Real Estate has allotted me the flexibility to be there for all my kids’ games and functions. I get to work my schedule, my schedule doesn't work me.
What do you wish other people knew about being a real estate broker?
It's difficult to get started. Most agents fail. Most people think this job is just to sell properties and make a ton of money. This is not true. It took a whole heck of a lot of 18 hour days in the beginning. You have to build and maintain long term relationships to have a long lasting career in real estate.
What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about working in the real estate industry?
My strongest belief is, and I tell each agent that I hire, “you gotta get up every day and put your pants on and go to work" and what I mean is you have to treat Real Estate like a normal job. If you were working at an office you would work 40 hours a week, so with this job you gotta put in the same amount of time each week and more. Time needs to be productive, and not "wasted busy work".
What's your personal philosophy on how the home buying experience should be? How about selling?
Buyers should be excited, happy, and nervous. They should feel like all of their questions are being answered and should feel comfortable with the whole process.
Selling - Sellers should feel that their homes are being marketed at their fullest potential and in the best possible ways. Nothing frustrates me more than a seller’s home being marketed with cell phone photos. Consumers shop visually, so when you put a seller’s home on the market you should have good professional photos!
Tell us about someone who has influenced your decision to work in the real estate industry.
I won't mention this gentleman's last name but his name was "Nick", Nick is the one I met while working on the police department who told me about real estate. That was a brief conversation that day, but that is what put the wheels in motion. After getting my license Nick allowed me to help him locate and purchase multiple investment properties. He knew I was a brand new agent but he worked with me and gave me that opportunity. If he wouldn't have given me that opportunity, I don't know that I would still be in this business.
What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?
I am very introverted. I have had to teach myself to interact with people.
The Indy Home Pros Team has been the number one RE/MAX Team in Indiana for 6 straight years. What do you think are the factors that contributed to that success?
Being consistent. You don't have to be great at everything, you just have to do good consistently, everyone has a job to do and if everyone does their job then success comes natural.
What would you tell someone who is thinking of becoming a realtor?
Research it. There are a lot of people who will tell you that you will make tons of money in this business. It's not easy to be successful. You have to be very self-driven to succeed.
How do you envision the RE/MAX Advanced Realty- Indiana office in the next 5 years?
As one of the most respected and well rounded offices in Central Indiana.
What's it like to be the team leader of the number 1 selling team in Indiana?
I don't really think of it like that. I enjoy bringing an agent in the office and watching them grow their business and succeed.
If you weren't working as a real estate broker, what would you be doing instead or what would your life be like?
I would probably still be a police officer; I enjoyed that part of my life. I think back and I enjoyed the days of not having to take phone calls late at night and dealing with last minute issues.
As a seasoned broker, what sort of Real Estate trends do you see in Central Indiana?
Market is still strong. I weathered the storm in 2008 when foreclosures were the only houses selling. I expect the market to continue being strong. Consumer confidence is high right now.
How would your team members describe you?
Open book. I don't tend to sugar coat things and I think they appreciate that. I expect everyone to do what they are here to do. If you aren't performing then you have to look at yourself in the mirror and question yourself on why you aren't succeeding.
What do you do when you aren't running your business?
I enjoy time with my 2 girls. I am also a big baseball fan, so I enjoy watching baseball and helping coach my girls in softball.
Life in the real estate industry isn’t a walk in the park. It’s not merely getting a realtor’s license and then representing buyers and sellers. In fact, it’s just like any career. To be successful, it requires passion, hard work, team effort, constant learning, consistency and commitment to always doing your best. But the greatest lesson we can take from Dennis is that the right agent for you, the kind of realtor you should work with, is someone who is fuelled with passion for what they do. One that is willing to walk the extra mile to be the best in order to deliver the best for you.
Work with those who know, and learn more about Dennis Nottingham Jr. and his company, RE/MAX Advanced Realty with its 55 full time agents, visit www.IndyHomePros.com