REAL PEOPLE: George Johnson (Austin,TX)
Your name: George Johnson, All City Real Estate
Real Estate Market: Austin, Tx.
What do you love most about being an agent? I love the excitement I see on the faces of my clients when I can help them realize their dream of home ownership. Whether it be the first time or the 5th time, it’s always just as exciting for them and me too. I truly enjoy being able to be a resource for my clients, family, and friends. It’s not just about buying/selling real estate for me, it’s about relationships and I don’t know of anything else that I’d rather do.
Any specific challenges and opportunities of your local market? The Austin market which includes numerous surrounding cities is very active and has been so for the past few years. It is a solid seller’s market and this makes for great challenges for buyers entering the market. Our median sales price are just over $288,000 and for the first time home buyer, this can be a huge challenge. Most first time buyers are looking for a home under $200,000 and in our market, these homes do not last for more than a few minutes and most often have multiple offers which drive the price upwards quickly. It can be a challenge keeping these buyers from getting frustrated and simply walking away in favor of a future market. However, these same challenges can be turned into opportunities for them as well. It’s all about offer strategy. I advise my buyers to focus on key points within their offer to set it apart from others. It’s not always about the price, but rather terms as well.
Have you used commission advances from eCommission in the past? Yes! I have worked with eCommission for about 10 of my 16 year career. Our market experienced a tremendous slow down about 7 years ago and it was very difficult to get homes sold. There was a lot of uncertainty in our industry during this time and closings were challenging. While I was fortunate to at least have them on the books, sometimes I would need access to my commission well before the close date. I found eCommission to be an excellent means to achieve some consistency in my monthly income flow.
Any advice you can share with new agents? I would definitely say find your area of expertise and work consistently in that area. It’s very hard, if not impossible, to be everything to everyone. I’m not saying only do listings or only work with buyers, but I do feel you need to focus on your strengths first. I find it best when you narrow your focus to achieve new business to a maximum of three or four pillars. Maybe this is holding open houses, or door knocking, or cold calling. The truth is, there are infinite ways to meet potential clients, and they all work. You just have to choose what fits your personality and STICK to it.
Is there business book you would recommend other agents read? I think The One Thing by Gary Keller is an excellent book and a necessity for anyone trying to gain or re-gain focus in life or business. It’s a simple concept, but very profound. It’s a very easy read as well.
Do you have a motto for life? Always put others needs above your own.
What is your favorite activity in your free time? I love playing my guitars and exercise. I do both on a daily basis. The exercise keeps me in good shape so that I can do my very best for my clients and the music is a release and helps to clear my mind and re-gain focus.