Experience Dictates Clientele
By Jeff Stewart, CCIM, SRES
A large part of my enjoyment of helping real estate clients is applying my many years of experience. After all, what good is a lifetime of experience if you chose to ignore it? With fifty years of work experience (how is that even possible??) I draw heavily on events in which I learned many things the hard way. Those painful lessons often help me guide clients in a direction that helps them avoid pitfalls that they do not even know exist.
I started working as a farmhand when I was twelve. Before I graduated from high school, I had moved furniture, worked in a boat shop, and had a janitorial and yard service. While in college, I was a water flood operator for Chevron,a boat builder, a roofer, a framing contractor, and a remodeler. After graduation from Texas Tech, I began my real estate career here in Austin as an agent, homebuilder, and general contractor.
The reason I say all that is because I am often asked why I handle such a wide variety of real estate transactions. Very few commercial agents (and virtually no CCIMs) practice any residential real estate . . . so why do I? The short answer is that I have the experience and expertise to do commercial, residential, and farm and ranch. All of it interests me and I have dealt in all three for many years for myself . . . why stop doing it for clients ?
Admittedly, it is very demanding to stay active in all three sectors. Not only do I have to read constantly to stay current, but because of dues and certain memberships I suspect I have the most expenses of anyone in our firm. Yes it is costly, but I find it much more interesting. I find that the rewards are very different. As a country boy, I am happiest when I am out in the wide open spaces and I love showing ranch property. At the same time, it was very rewarding to see two years of hard work come together when I completed the HelioVolt solar cell factory lease. Commercial is often much like a chess game and when a deal comes together it is very satisfying.
Yet, for all the satisfaction I get from doing commercial property or land, nothing beats helping young folks to find their dream home. Commercial real estate is about returns, bottom lines, and “hitting the number.” Residential real estate is about dreams, families, hopes, and emotion. I closed a home this week that is a great example. The young couple had tried for several houses, only to be beaten out in multiple offers. But as I often tell clients, some things are just meant to be. We finally found a charming home near Circle C. It has wonderful oak trees and a screened room on the back that you might discover in Southern Living Magazine. After a few minutes in the home, the young woman told her husband, “Honey, hold me down! I think I am about to float away!” Now that is the emotion that keeps me coming back for more. I can honestly say that I am certain I have never had any commercial clients warn me that they were “about to float to float away!” Do I have a great life or what?
Jeff Stewart, CCIM SRES
Broker Associate Stanberry Commercial, Realtors