Entrepreneur of the Week: Bruce White Jr.
The first lesson about the US real estate market is…it doesn’t exist. That is the say the US real estate market is not one big market but a collection of dozens, if not hundreds, of individual real estate markets, all very different, all requiring a specialized knowledge. It can be a challenge for a non US buyer to gain information and understanding of potential investment property from a distance.
RE/MAX International oversees a network of more than 100,000 agents in more than 87 countries with more than 7,000 offices. The network is made up of more than 70 regions, varying in size from a metropolitan area to an entire country. Because of its size and variety, Remax like several other US “mega” real estate firms is able to provide seamless access to property markets all over the globe.
Bruce White, our Entrepreneur of the Week, owns two independent Remax offices. Because he is part of this huge network, he is able to serve his clients’ local needs as well as any international requirements they may have.
How did you decide you wanted to become a real estate broker?
In college I wanted to be quarterback or sports broadcaster. When those options didn’t prove to be viable I started working in my father’s real estate office after college. After five satisfying years of working in his office I realized that I enjoyed the work. I decided to purchase my own Remax franchise.
What was the hardest thing about starting as a real estate broker?
The toughest thing about this business is the strange hours we work. This is not a typical nine to five job; we are always on call. I end up working a lot of nights and weekends because that is when it easy for clients to meet us.
What is a typical day like for you at the office?
It is hard for me to say that there is a typical day because the demands of each day are different. However, there are some consistent parts of my workday; I always start the day with espresso. I get into the office by 9:00 am to look at the new property listings that came in overnight. Some days I spend time showing properties to clients. Other days I might be looking for new clients.
I am a “people person” so I like the fact that I get to spend time interacting with new people every day. I could never see myself at job sitting behind a desk all day. I like being out and about. I also enjoy the flexibility that comes with owning my business. For example, if I feel like playing a round of golf in the afternoon nobody is going to stop me.
How has your business changed with technology?
Nowadays people look for property on the internet. Before we had listing books; clients would come into our office to see what is available. Now I can send a client an online listing and they can look at fifty pictures of the property. It’s almost like they know the property before they ever visit it. It can really speed up the buying process. It makes our job easier because we do not have to show as many properties. Many clients will come in with listings that they pick out before meeting with us. Over 80 percent of clients look at listings online before contacting an agent.
How do you go about finding new clients?
Mostly through word-of-mouth. One of the benefits of owning a Remax office is trust. Clients come to us because they know we have experience and market knowledge . Remax is one of the biggest real estate companies in the world. We have offices in the US and internationally.