Gayle II: How I Got Here…
My first paying job was in the restaurant business. Working in the food service industry, I had my first experience with the importance of customer service. I had become a sales person and I learned that while you can’t always please everyone, a positive attitude and upbeat demeanor will go a long way. After a couple of years mastering this newfound skillset, I decided that since I love to snowboard, I would get a job selling snowboards at a local ski and snowboard shop. The experience expanded my customer service technique and also taught me that the more you know about what you’re selling, the better you sell. I learned anything and everything I could about snowboards. I worked hard and became one of the top salesmen for my store while still a student in high school.
After my first year in college, I spent the summer at home working for my parents’ real estate company. I did mostly administrative work, answered phones, made copies, distributed marketing materials; basically I was the man below the low man on the totem pole.
The summer after my second year in college, I was ready to get to work. After much convincing, I talked my parents into helping me buy a property with the intent to fix it up and sell it. I taught myself everything about the inner workings of a home. I worked harder and longer than any other job before. By the end of the summer we put the house up for sale and made my first profit. That experience made me appreciate the industry of Real Estate and solidified my decision to sell homes.
My last summer of college I was determined to get my real estate license so I could begin work immediately after graduating. I took classes, studied for and passed the Virginia State and National real estate exams and spent the rest of the summer shadowing my father. I wanted to learn everything I could to best position myself once I got out of college. I went on listing appointments, open houses, closings, networking events; I basically tagged along on any and everything possible. That summer was by far the most valuable in terms of setting me up for success in my real estate career. As a seasoned veteran with over 43 years of experience, my father is a wealth of knowledge. Through shadowing him and learning from his expertise, I was able to absorb valuable information. The most important lesson I took away from the experience was that the key to success in real estate is developing and maintaining relationships.