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Contractor to realtor: reapplying relevant skills

People say that knowledge is power. To me, knowledge is profitability.

What many people know about me is that I have been a home improvement television host for nearly ten years now. I have been truly blessed. What many people don’t know about me is that I have been in the home industry for almost two decades. I started building homes as a kid with my dad, which eventually grew into a business with him remodeling homes. In 2007 I began a career as a licensed California realtor and then, by an amazing stroke of luck, I fell into 450 episodes of television. I was able to transfer everything I had learned about building homes for the past ten years right into my home improvement television career. It was completely unexpected and I have loved every second of it.

Being able to create new and innovative elements in the home and inspire others to do the same is seriously a dream come true. Before the television career though, I spent years not only trying to build my skills but trying to build a business. I started out slow in contracting by only remodeling homes from referrals or family members. The first year was a little rough, but with every project that I finished another referral came.

By year two I started receiving phone calls almost daily. So many in fact I came to a crossroad. In my opinion the most important thing in business is customer service. I always strive to return calls immediately and answer client questions immediately. When I couldn’t reach that goal, I knew I had to do something about it.

You see, business is not always about trying to get new clients, you also have to exceed the expectations of the clients you already have. Referrals will be a huge part of your business as long as your customers are taken care of. I thought that hiring someone else would be costly and take away some of my profit, but I then I decided it would cost me even more in the long run if I wasn’t able to give quality service. That is when I decided to hire someone to run my office and take the phone calls when I was in the field. I needed to take the leap and expand my business before my business expanded past me.

People sometimes ask me “If you could do it all over again, what would you do different?” and I always say “nothing”. Everything that has happened in my life has got me exactly where I am today. All of the successes as well as all of the failures has made me an expert in my field and has giving me skills as a real estate agent that separates me from the rest.

After working as a contractor I felt inspired to sell homes, and I became a licensed realtor. Having the ability to walk through homes with my buyers and give them insight that other realtors don’t has made my business flourish. This is exactly what you should be doing with your business.

Find out what will set you apart from the rest, learn those skills to help you become a standout expert in your field and continue to nurture them.

Even though real estate is now my full-time job, I still keep up on all the latest building techniques and trends in design to stay ahead of the competition. In fact, I set out every day to learn something new. I live by the phrase “ancora imparo,” which in Italian means “I am still learning.” In fact, at the age of 87, Michelangelo wrote this inscription on a sketch. One of the greatest minds this world has ever known saw that there was still so much to be learned in the world. Continue to build your knowledge in your career and with that you will build your credibility.

I’ve had buyers specifically ask me to represent them now because not only can I see the potential in a home, but I can also give them a rough estimate of costs of a renovation. One of my greatest success stories in real estate came just a few months ago, when I was able to knock thirty thousand dollars off the price of a home that had four offers on it. The home from the outside looked to be in decent shape, but after inspecting the home and using my years of home-building knowledge, I began to see flaws that even a seasoned home inspector might miss. I built a case against the home and when I presented it to the seller’s agent, they had no choice but to accept the price decrease or disclose it to the next buyer. As you would probably guess, my clients were incredibly happy. In fact, they were so happy that I now have two more deals because of their referrals.

People say that knowledge is power. To me, knowledge is profitability.