Rookie Spotlight: Wayne Furlong From Unemployed to Multi-million Dollar Producer
Three years ago the owner of the luxury yacht I was working on came in and fired the entire crew on the spot. He said the “season was finished,” and that was that. My wife, Adele, on the other hand, saw it as an opportunity and signed me up for the next available real estate course.
Through hard work, perseverance, finding the right niche and, admittedly, a little luck, I’ve done $60.6 million in sales and closed 1,155 sides in three years. Here’s how I literally went from rags to riches selling real estate: 1. Do What Others Won’t
Talking to industry veterans to find out what they dislike doing and then doing those exact tasks was my modus operandi: Holding open houses and selling vacant lots topped the list.
That’s exactly what I encourage the agents in our office to do. I got my first listing my first week in the business and did open houses every weekend until it sold. When other salespeople would put up two or three signs, I would double or triple the number of signs. The best thing about open houses is that some of the buyers who came had houses to sell. And they listed them with me (to buy a new one), so I got two new transactions.
When I spot a for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) sign, I jot down the address, then pull up the comps and search tax records for the owner’s name. Next, I drive back to the property, introduce myself and explain how I can help sell their house. All the groundwork I’ve done and the fact that I already know so much about the property usually blows the homeowner away. I’ll ask the owner if he or she would mind if I show the house to a buyer with whom I’m working. I find that if you bring two buyers to a FSBO house, the owner will feel comfortable listing with you. 2. Think Outside the Box
I met some investors and decided to go in with them on the purchase of vacant lots. We would find a lot for sale ($5,000 to $10,000 range) and then advertise for a buyer who wanted to build a house there. The lot-buyers then purchased preconstruction homes. One year later, if the buyers were ready, we would help them sell it for a profit. 3. Market Your Way
My first year, I spent close to $24,000 on advertising. That might sound costly, but if you sell one house, you can buy a one-page magazine ad for a whole year. I have also wrapped my Escalade with Exit signs. It’s my best advertisement, and it’s even improved my driving etiquette.
Don’t be afraid to get your name and face out there. If you’ve listed 202 lots in your area, you should have 202 For Sale signs posted with your name on them. Soon, people will think you’re everywhere. Another promotion that I started this year is an hour-long Saturday morning radio talk show called “Wayne’s World of Real Estate.” Listeners call in with questions. 4. Learn to Read People
Chrysler’s Lee Iacocca once said: “Talk to people in their own language.” Try to look for a commonality or shared interest with the people you meet. Ask them how long they’ve lived in the area and where they’re from.
If someone walks in with two kids, mention that there’s a school down the street. People yearn to talk with someone who can relate to them, so keep your ears and eyes open for clues that you have something in common. If you connect with people, they will be more open to doing business with you. 4. Choose Your Firm Wisely
Without the backing of a great company, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Before I joined Exit Realty, I interviewed with five other companies. My mind was made up after I asked the broker of another company what type of training he offered and he said: “We have the best video library around.” I personally do trainings on topics from objection handling to executing a contract to how to protect your buyer or seller. And I mentor newcomers to help them succeed in the business and become prosperous members of the community.
My success is proof that the American Dream is very much alive. If I can do it, so can you. Wayne Furlong is broker–owner of Exit Realty Foundations in North Port. A native of Canada, Furlong lived in the United Kingdom for many years before moving to the United States in the 1980s.