Chasing Financial Freedom

Ep 267: The Future of Real Estate Brokerage with Julia Hurley's Pioneering Vision

February 14, 2024 Ryan DeMent Episode 267
Chasing Financial Freedom
Ep 267: The Future of Real Estate Brokerage with Julia Hurley's Pioneering Vision
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

From the vibrant heart of Knoxville, we sit down with Julia Hurley, a real estate virtuoso who narrates her transformative journey from agent to empowered brokerage owner. With roots deeply entrenched in Tennessee soil, Julia unveils the nuances of taking command of her business destiny, emphasizing the strategic handling of legalities to safeguard her and her team's interests. Our dialogue with Julia is not just a story; it's an education in the strategic intricacies of real estate, the vital role of meticulous contracts, and the unwavering dedication required to offer clients unparalleled accountability.

Navigating the ever-shifting sands of the real estate industry can be as perilous as it is dynamic, a truth Julia knows all too well. We dissect the contentious rise of buyer's agency, the looming legal battles shadowing the National Association of Realtors, and the rigorous financial landscape agents must endure. Julia's insights cut through the noise, offering a seasoned perspective on crafting a resilient business strategy that can withstand the steep entry costs and ongoing expenses of a real estate career. This episode peels back the curtain on an industry at a crossroads, probing the value of realtor services and the potential emergence of new real estate associations.

As we round up our discussion, Julia's infectious enthusiasm for her achievements, including her 100th Google review and the honor of being named 2023 Woman of the Year, inspires us. Her venture into children's literature is a testament to her passion for real estate and commitment to elevating the industry. For those intrigued by the reality of operating a flourishing real estate brokerage or anyone seeking a burst of inspiration from someone who's truly making waves, Julia's story will not disappoint. Join us and absorb the wisdom of a woman who's not just selling homes but shaping the future of real estate.

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Speaker 1:

Hey guys, ryan Diment from Chasing Financial Freedom podcast. Hope you guys are having a great day. Today on the podcast we have Julia Hurley and she is in Knoxville, tennessee that's the best accent I can get, guys, but we're gonna talk real estate and what she's actually doing there, local, and I think this is gonna be an entertaining conversation because Julia has a great sense of humor. So, julia, welcome to the show.

Speaker 2:

Ah, I love that accent.

Speaker 1:

That's a cool accent. Whoops, sorry, we have a dog here, but we can tune him out. So I know it's been a while since we talked, but before we get into what you're doing there, tell the listeners a little bit about yourself. Yeah, I'm Julia Hurley.

Speaker 2:

Woo, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Speaker 2:

And we have so many things going on here in Knoxville. It's such an amazing opportunity to be part of. My family is first families in Tennessee founded the state and daughters in the American Revolution, so we've literally been here since the beginning. A lot of history there and a lot to offer. We know a lot of things about whatever area you wanna be in. I now currently own a real estate brokerage and that was a huge leap forward in, obviously, financial freedom, which is what everybody wants and building. That has been amazing. 43 years old, I have one daughter, two stepdaughters and a toy poodle, with a husband named Joe. That is a lot I know last time when we spoke the first time?

Speaker 1:

did you have your brokerage, or you were just in the stream of it?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I have been a real estate agent for a decade and could not decide if I wanted to open another person's branch like a mega agent office or something like Julia Hurley, with whatever company powered by or whatever it is. And the more research I did on that, the more I learned about it. It's not a true business, like a lot of people really wanna get that. They say they want financial freedom and then they'll put somebody else's name on their sign and if you own it, it's yours. You can sell it. It's a true business, it's a true establishment, it's a true corporation. And no offense to all of these massive conglomerates. They definitely got away to make other people's businesses thrive but can't sell it. It's still someone else's brokerage on your own.

Speaker 2:

I made the leap six months ago. How's it going? Pretty good. It took me quite a few extra hours on every single weekend for a few months to figure out the systems and the models and the processes and the places and the accounting and the doc loop and all of the documents and all the fun things that comes along with owning something, not to mention the fact of being legally responsible for other people's decisions all the time. Very fun.

Speaker 1:

Yes, you're on the hook for everybody now in your office. You got to be very careful of that, so let's dive right into it. And you brought up some things because since the last time we spoke, there's been some changes on our end from our real estate. But one of the things that we're trying to do is bring that customer experience all in-house, and so last year we became a licensed broker originator. So we're working on that. And then this year's goal is we're also going to get in the real estate space and we're going to start our own team, because no one does it better than us from a customer experience perspective, and I'm guessing that's probably one reason why you did it. But could we talk about just your mindset and what got you to that point of saying I want to be my own broker and be basically in control of your own destiny?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so the law. You know what? I'll tell you what the trigger was. It was the lawsuits the National Association of Realtors really dropped in the bowl, really dropped in the bowl, not protecting real estate agents. We are their bread and butter and they continue to just rail that bus right over our bodies as fast as they possibly can and allowing these lawsuits to continue to take place and really not stepping up and in to a situation where real estate agents are I'm not going to say under attack, but I'm going to say vulnerable, very vulnerable industry right now.

Speaker 2:

And I had come to the conclusion that I needed to make more legal documents for myself, if that makes any sense. So we're in Tennessee, obviously, we have the Tennessee Real Estate Commission. They have fantastic legal documents. They're pretty much cut and dry. There's always there's a cut and dry, but there's always an addition.

Speaker 2:

And I spoke with my broker at the time. I said, hey, I want to do, I want to get with an attorney and I want to make extra documents, like for me, I want extra here. And he was like we don't do that. I was like I get it. I totally understand that. Respect, he's a great broker, learned a lot from him Immediately. I was like I have got to open a place where I can protect myself and the people that are under me Now that he wouldn't protect us. Not saying that at all, I just mean I want it in writing.

Speaker 2:

Curly, drafting new contracts that are an addition to the Tennessee sales contracts that we have here. I'm giving people options and then holding them legally accountable to what they choose. Curly, as most real estate agents and brokers know, for you to be able to hold a buyer or seller's feet to the fire on a contract they've written, it takes an exuberant amount of effort, energy and time. Typically, the client that you represent just wants to move on and your broker usually suggests that you also just move on. I am not that broker.

Speaker 2:

It is one of those situations where we're currently drafting new documentation for choices. For example, if you're a seller and you want to pull the property off the market, we have three options for you. You can pay us by the hour If you have 15-minute increments build to you, just like an attorney, with a $2,500 in escrow draw down and we'll let you know when that account gets low and you'll re-up that account at $2,500 per and you'll pay us $1,50 an hour, just like an attorney, because that's where, here to protect you, it's our legality on the line. Here it's my license on the line. That's an option for you. You can buy us completely out of the contract for the full amount of commissions that you previously agreed to.

Speaker 2:

In Tennessee, sellers have an out. If they just decide that it's stop showing, then you must remove the property from the market, thus making your real estate agreement no-envoid, and any money that you had spent time, energy or effort is down the drain. It's really not in the real estate agent's interest. As a business owner of any kind. On the consumer side of that, if you're unhappy with your representation, there's always a way out. I totally get it. There are bad apples in every industry, not just real estate. We need to protect everybody here. We are business owners. We're not charities. We're not here to open your doors for free and get paid nothing. We just have different conversations.

Speaker 2:

On the buyer side, we currently have some options for you. You can do the same $150 an hour. We'll be happy to give you an hourly rate. If you just want somebody to open doors for you, we'll happen to get that $50 a door. You'll pay that upfront. We want to make sure that every single person is pre-qualified. If you're not pre-called, we're not working with you. You're going to sign off on that. Different options Just making sure that if at some point you decide that you're going to back out of a contract that you've agreed to and signed, that I'm not going to have to file a complaint with the Tennessee real estate commission and go to Nashville and wait three years or hold somebody's listing hostage. We're going to go to mediation. You're going to previously agree to it or we're going to court. We are businesses. If we treat ourselves as such, I think you're going to be surprised that people will also want to do business with people who are serious about doing business. We changed that mindset a little bit.

Speaker 1:

The whole reason behind this in drawing up these contracts is are you experiencing a lot of these issues where buyers and sellers are walking away?

Speaker 2:

No, we've had a couple over the last couple of years. For me, I just let it go. I've been in this business long enough and whatever. It's fine. However, with the reason we had an ad, you know how somebody can take out just like a Google ad or something, and scroll through. It pops up.

Speaker 2:

There was an ad that was like feel like you both are paying commissions in Knoxville, tennessee. Click here for an attorney to call you. I was like and we're not doing that. We're not doing that, I'm just anticipating what's coming to protect my agents and my brokerage. I think that's necessary. I think that if we don't get ahead of it as business owners, the NAR is definitely not going to provide that for us. They're the reason we're in this situation.

Speaker 1:

Where do you foresee all of this going down the future with all these major pending? One is adjudicated not adjudicated, that's the wrong word. One is actually gone to a finding, but it looks like there's going to be a ton of appeals, or at least they're going, they're saying they're going to appeal, but then I think there's two other class actions that are pending right now to go to trial, is that?

Speaker 2:

correct? Yes, as far as I know, those are only two more yes.

Speaker 1:

How do you think this all plays out?

Speaker 2:

Same way it always has. This is a historical conversation that we continue to have. That again. I think the NAR has done not a great job of informing real estate agents, brokerages or consumers which was their job is making sure that we understand that this is a historical turnover.

Speaker 2:

At one point in time we did not have buyers agents. At one point in time, sellers sold with the agent that listed the property, took that property. You put it in the sales book. You put a sign in your window people won't buy your brokerage. They picked a house. They saw that one in the window. Then agent got paid.

Speaker 2:

Both sides of the commission represented no one. Sellers said wait a minute, I want my own representation. I'm willing to take a hit on commissions and pay someone else to represent the other side because I want my agent for my best interest. That's the buyer's agency was created. Buyer's agents were created and now that we've gotten to a point during COVID and again, nar selling all of our information to Zillow without our permission, people think that we're irrelevant and the NAR has allowed for that to continue to happen.

Speaker 2:

So they are trying to revert back to what it was previously of the seller saying I only want to work with one person and I don't want to give any concessions to anybody else. I want to keep this for myself, and an agent can choose to get paid by their own client. I feel like we will revert to the same conversation in 15, 20 years, where sellers will realize that the exact same thing that continues to happen. When the economy is good, people get greedy. It's just part of what happens and that's on both sides of that coin. And when the economy goes bad, they need protection, they need representation and they want to pay for it. It's what it's going to be.

Speaker 1:

I'm surprised and maybe I'm speaking out of turn that there hasn't been class action with the realtors suing the NAR.

Speaker 2:

Interesting. I truly believe that at some point, the real estate agents are either going to choose a different profession, which there are several that maybe want to consider that you should probably consider that and then there's that one to two percent top producers, which are most of us, and we're out here working. We just want people to do the right thing. We want to continue to represent our clients. I don't personally have time to go file a class action lawsuit and be able to represent 100 clients a year to my best ability. It's not possible for me to do. I noticed that real estate agents have been together to start an A-R-E-A whatever that's going to be associated real estate agent designation that's supposed to compete with the N-A-R. However, when you look at the agents that are able to sit for these classes and sit for this amount of time and travel all over, and you look at their production numbers, it's no different than the same people running the N-A-R who don't produce real estate, who aren't in the trenches every day making decisions for real estate agents who are. So I don't see any capability there and the N-A-R just cannot seem to get it together. They don't want to come out and publicly admit they sold real estate agents out to Zillow. Now Zillow is taking over everything.

Speaker 2:

I can't fault Zillow for being a business. They're business. They did what a business would do, but the N-A-R literally and truly sold every single one of our businesses out from underneath us and our local MLSs. Let them do it. They let them do it. So real estate agents are now realizing when someone calls and says I found this on the internet, I don't need you as a real estate agent. That wouldn't be there without a real estate agent. And we are the ones educating consumers on that instead of the N-A-R, because they are supposed to be the consumer education facilitation except they're so busy sexually harassing their employees that they can't figure out how to do their job and representing the realtors that pay their bills.

Speaker 1:

I'm not laughing at that, it's just, it's horrible. It's just. There's just a lot of things going on. Realtors are needed in this process. Depending on what you're in, we can talk about investment side versus a consumer side. There's different nuances in that, but you do need somebody to represent your best interests. I agree. Now, as we discussed prior to recording, we're looking at becoming a brokerage and doing the real estate transactions and bringing that all in house.

Speaker 1:

I've looked at the fees here in Arizona. They're astronomical. I'm like, what do you do for those dollar amounts on them, not just monthly, quarterly, annually? I'm like I really want to say something bad, but I'm not. I just basically, what do you do?

Speaker 1:

Because from a lender perspective it's pretty straightforward. On a loan side, we have CEs, just like everybody else continuing education guys but we pay a state fee for our license. If you work for a broker, you're paying them a split or a fee on a monthly basis. Technology we work with Nexa. It's all web-based, so it's technology, very inexpensive, but a lot of support. But when you look at the real estate side, I've out here in Arizona I've got some connections to EXP and I've been talking to them and they make it very simple. They have a technology fee, they have a broker agent fee, I get all that. But then when they break down the fees from the local, the state and the federal, how do you expect a realtor to stay in the business if they've got to pretty much put out $2,000 to $3,000 a year just in fees to stay afloat?

Speaker 2:

So that's a good question and I would challenge you to say I don't think that's enough.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

So attorneys, dentists, doctors, people who are in a different profession pay way more than that, way more than that to hold their licenses right. If you're very good at your job, that $2,000 a year should not even be. That should be a write-off for you. If you've set your business up properly, that's not a problem at all. I'm not going to say that it's fair for a first year because, as you remember, I'm sure my first couple of years in real estate whew, those fees aren't a write-off. Those are a struggle, those are really and truly a struggle. But I would challenge to say that we made some issues out if we made our profession a harder profession to obtain a licensure for.

Speaker 1:

Oh no, I can agree on that. I was more looking for that first year, second year, when you have somebody coming in and that's a struggle. That's with any business. So could there be more upfront due diligence or some type of training, because today I've looked at the pre-licensing already it's 90 hours here in Arizona. It doesn't cover anything about NAR or any type of fees. All it wants you to be taught about is the state that you're in and some federal laws. Could we do better? Could there be more education and more? I don't want to call hand-holding, but it really is to open people's eyes about how much you're going to have to pay your first year and be prepared.

Speaker 2:

I think we have a 90 hour class year that's required as well to free licensure and it's most of that is the state of Tennessee law which you do need to know For appreciate that part of it. But there's a very large part in Tennessee that you must. In Tennessee you have to have a separate license to manage rental property. You have to have a real tours license, a broker was licensed and a separate property management. So there's about 80 questions on our entire exam about managing rental properties. That's nothing to do with a real estate agent. Take it out.

Speaker 2:

Stop questioning agents on things and teaching them things that don't apply to them being able to properly represent their Client in a free period and that 90 hours is nothing, that 90 hours truly teaches you to pass a test and Last time I checked, we're not in the 60s anymore, that's not behavioral patterns for success.

Speaker 2:

That should not continue to be the behavioral pattern for success. I know a lot of wonderful attorneys who had to take the bar exam time over time and some of the best attorneys I've ever seen on my life. And then some attorneys passing on the first try and Are absolutely out of business in five years or less or trying to run for a salary position as a judge because they can't make a business work. You really need to find a conversation for real tours that trains them on what they need to be trained on and continuing education. Let's just be honest.

Speaker 2:

It's a joke. You require 16 hours or something insanely low, and you have to take the ethics course, which hasn't changed since 1982, every two years. What am I sitting through? What is not? What am I learning? Absolutely nothing, absolutely nothing. So changing some of those continuing education Credits and making sure that these new agents are either part and with somebody that's a mentor at some point and requiring that, requiring a mentorship, or requiring an internship. A praisers have to do it for five years. Attorneys go through law school for three years. This, this is a three-week course that you can take and become a business owner and the NAR is happy to take your money.

Speaker 1:

Of course, they're happy to take the money because it's so, for I know we've got realtors and we've got other types of people that listen to the podcast or people thinking about becoming a realtor. What would be some golden, some nuggets that you could really share if someone's trying to break into the business. I honestly I want to hear these because I'm we're looking at it and I think this, with the turmoil and everything going on, is a great time to jump in, because things are gonna change, hopefully.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, things are changing and unfortunately, on the backs of these big brokerages. Let's think about the money that Gary Keller just shelled out.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's a lot of money.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, two things are gonna happen. These big brokerages are gonna go broke trying to protect their agents. That's possible. What happened? But it's the NAR who should be putting that bill.

Speaker 2:

Yeah this is the NAR, okay, so that's whatever. It's not even. That's not even you're there. The industry as a whole is absolutely gonna take a change and Now is a great time to get into the real estate market. But if you're serious about making it a business, make it the business.

Speaker 2:

I don't know anybody who's a part-time physician. I don't know anybody who's a part-time dentist. I don't know anybody who's a part-time attorney. You're either in or you're not in. This part-time has got to go. This should not have even been an option. It should never be an option. Weekend warriors do not exist for real estate agents. This is a seven-day a week job or career. This is a career and this is a choice, and either you want to run a business or you want to be an employee of one. But this one foot in, one foot out has got to go. It's not acceptable. It's not acceptable. So if you're looking to get into the real estate industry, get into it. Make it Everything that you want it to be, because it's no different than any other business. You're either gonna work it and work the plan until the plan works, or you're not gonna play in and it's gonna fail.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there's In Indiana where we do a lot of our development. They call them pop-ups. These are the part-timers that that come around. They call them pop-up agents and I see more and more of them as I interact with them and so forth. But one of the things that I wanted to bring up was I was talking to a gentleman which is a part-time agent, has a full-time job, and I'm just like why haven't you just made the leap and go? He goes, why would I do that when I've got the security of my full-time job? And I'm like then why do you want to be a realtor? Oh, I can close a deal here and there and take care of it. I'm like how are you paying the fees You've got to?

Speaker 2:

be my question. That is not even how are you paying the fees, it's how are you representing your clients to the best of your ability?

Speaker 2:

That too not writing your contract a week and negotiating a contract a week? What? Where is your wherewithal on the next conversation? How are you staying up to date on school district changes? How are you staying up to date on commercial bill at buildings and businesses coming in? Rooftops follow Retail, follows rooftops. So if you've got a whole bunch of new builds coming in, what commercial real estate is looking?

Speaker 2:

A Starbucks moving into your area increases your property value 7%, 7%. Are you paying attention to where the next Starbucks is gonna be so you can tell your clients about it? Or you work in your 9 to 5, monday through Friday, door opening? It's? Somebody googled you and you sold a house this week. You're not doing your clients the best ability of service. This is part of the reason we're in these lawsuits right now and the NAR does nothing about it, is doing nothing about it, and that real estate agent getting blame. Why are they getting blame? This is the industry they were allowed to be in. This is the industry that was created for them. There's got to be some responsibility here from everybody's perspective to move forward and make this a better industry for all agree 100%.

Speaker 1:

It's just when I hear these conversations it's like how can you do it part time? But then I also have to back up in my personal journey. I was running a business part time on the side while I was working a full-time job, but I was also working probably 75 to 90 hours a week, making sure that I maintained that business and I was maintaining my nine to five to say, which was never nine to five. I say this and I just got to say it is.

Speaker 1:

It just seems like it's okay to be that pop-up agent, because there's no, put it this way. He works for a major brokerage, one of the big ones that you're talking about, and I don't think they care as long as he's checking the box and he's doing what he's supposed to do paying his fees. But the other thing is, every so often he pops up and he closes the deal and I think they're okay with that and it's just. It seems I don't know if it's laziness or not they're not concerned. I don't know what it is and maybe that's something you can answer, because I don't understand that piece, because I'm still grinding away. I know I was grinding away when I had my business on the side, I didn't sleep very much.

Speaker 2:

No, there's no sleep. There's no sleep. The first two years I gained 40-something pounds. First, two years in, I was falling asleep at my kitchen table, not pulling my computer, juggling into the board key. If you want to make it work, you have to work to make it work. Now a lot of people will say Julia, don't you own several businesses? Yes, now that I've learned how to leverage my time and I learned what efficiency is and training is, and that doesn't take me four hours to write a contract because I don't understand what I'm reading, now that I've understood my job for 10 years, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

I own other businesses. It's called top management. You, too, can learn those things. However, if you are combining two industries together that have absolutely nothing to do with them, let's say you're, you put together widgets Monday through Friday, 40 hours a week, and then on the weekend you're out here negotiating legal contracts. Those two things don't connect.

Speaker 2:

There are very few agents and I have met a few. Let's be honest. I've met a few who will literally work 15, 16-hour days Saturday, sunday doing open houses, door knocking, doing scripting, making the calls, understanding the contracts. I can quiz them on a contract line. I know what they're talking about. Those are few and far between and very few. Those are the agents that you want to make sure that you mentor. I think there needs to be a program to bring them up. But again, as a brokerage owner, we have probably interviewed 30 people to want to be in the brokerage. I've not hired 30 people to be in the brokerage. I'm not here to make $400 a month off of you to make my pockets fat. I want you to succeed in this industry and have financial freedom and know that I gave you a part of that. It's just different for everybody. It really is.

Speaker 1:

Of the 30 people you've interviewed, just out of curiosity, how many have you hired?

Speaker 2:

Five.

Speaker 1:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

Five agents.

Speaker 1:

That's very telling. Wow, how Okay Of these five agents are they all rookies, have some type of experience? What's the background on these five?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, one's brand spanking me. He doesn't even have his license yet. He's a baby. He's a baby but he'll be located here from another state and he's hungry. He's got kids and this is his full-time gig. He is in it to win it and I know he will win it. I know, when I give him a lead and train him on how to close that lead, he'll close it. I know it. I can feel it. He's a winner. I was like we've got a guy who is serious about his business. He interviewed several other brokerages before hiring us. That's a two-way conversation.

Speaker 2:

Okay, a couple of agents who I recruited years ago when I was with Keller Williams. I brought them into Keller Williams, then I left Keller Williams and then now they're with me again. They close consistently two to four deals a month. It's very consistent. It is what it is. I don't really have to worry about them much other than answering broker questions, paperwork changes, the 2024 contracts just got updated, things like along that nature of hey, how do you want me to proceed with this? Or whatever. They really and truly take care of themselves. They are there basically to have a broker.

Speaker 2:

Then I've got one young lady who is very talented and is still getting her footing. She's got a really good network and we're teaching her how to organize her network. She's hungry and she doorknocks and she cold calls and she does the work. She's doing the work, making sure that everybody gets that conversation. Everybody in our brokerage does get leads to close. They do get follow-ups on their leads and they do get daily. Here's a new script. Try this. Make this many phone calls. Give me feedback on the script that I wrote for you. Basically a team, but in a brokerage I don't hold their feet to the fire. I'm not on the phone at 7.59 AM. Are you making your 8 AM dark? I'm making sure that they are trained so they can provide for their family's future, because that's the goal.

Speaker 1:

Wow, that is a big difference from what I see on a daily basis here, physically in Arizona, and then when I travel out to Indiana. You can see the differences in brokerages and it comes out on what you're doing. The other aspect you're very passionate about what you're doing, but can we go back a couple steps? I know we talked about some nuggets about what if you're trying to get in, but what about, let's say, that gentleman that is not even licensed yet? What does that path look like from your side? How can he set himself up for success?

Speaker 2:

That's a great question Start to finish. I do have a class on this, so I probably won't go all the way into it because, as a salesperson.

Speaker 2:

I have a class that you can pay for to get all the information, because it took me a decade to figure this out. That information is not free. I do teach a class called Race to 100, how to Sell 100 Homes as a Single Agent. The beginning of that class is how to set up your business. We're not going to even talk about sales or buyers or sellers or anything until you set up a business. The very first conversation is taxes. How do you set up a business? Why is it important? This is what we're going to do to set it up. This is how you need to structure this. This is the tax accountant that I would recommend. You're welcome to interview your own. This is how we do an actual business and we set this up from the ground up. When you're getting your license, you're not fully licensed. We're setting up that business platform. Here's your CRN system. Let's get you trained on that. Let's make sure you really and truly understand the basics of a business. When you are licensed, you can go be a realtor and build it.

Speaker 1:

Wow. There's just so many people that have hopped in the industry and out here in Arizona. When COVID hit, everything all of a sudden changed and just blew up and a bunch of people got into the industry. All you had to do was walk outside and you would sell a house. Now it's a 180-degree turn. You literally have to work and actually get it done. You've been it for 10 years now. What does that cycle look like for you from start to today?

Speaker 2:

Not so bad. I got lucky. I really truly got in at the right time. Now it talked to somebody that's been in it 20 years. Holy moly. Now that's some stories, right, they had to survive the O8 crash. Somebody survived the O8 crash and COVID that's a story. That's somebody that needs to write a book.

Speaker 2:

But I got in 2014 and in 2014, and now I don't know what everybody else's look like, but in the state of Tennessee we were clawing our way out of the O8 crash. Right, I was an elected official at the time. I saw the overturn at the state legislature level in 2010. I was said executive committee 2013. So we're like moving through the ranks of elected official status, seeing the impact the laws were making, and then experiencing the real estate side of it. So seeing people selling properties in 2014 who were still and I mean hanging on by a thread to what they lost in O8. So they either the bank took it from you and the bank was selling it, so 90% of our business short sale foreclosure 2014,. You had to really learn the law. You had to know the rules of the game to play it, or it was somebody who was struggling since O8 had taken all the bailout money they could from the government, still couldn't recover from jobs or health issues or whatever it was, and they were having to sell. Wasn't a want to?

Speaker 2:

In 2014, listings were abundant, had no problem putting signs in yards. It was convincing buyers to buy. You had to sell the home. You really had to sell it and you had to know how to negotiate repairs contracts. You needed to build relationships with contractors builders who were not here because of the O8 crash. You really had to find people to do business with. It was work and it was a relationship building.

Speaker 2:

And looking back on that now, my first year, I made $30,000 gross income before taxes and brokerage splits. So make $0, $0 2014. Okay, let's just be honest. We were negative dollars. We're maxing out credit cards. I gained weight left and right, not sleeping, and I had no idea what I was going to do, but I knew that I liked doing this and I knew that my clients trusted me and I knew I was good at. It is like we're going to keep doing this.

Speaker 2:

I got in at the right time, when there were almost no agents and 6,000 listings those 2,400 real estate agents at the time, 6,000 listings you actually had to sell real estate. So I learned how to sell real estate. Today's market, where we are 6,000 realtors or I would say real estate agents, not necessarily realtor I say 6,000 agents and like 1,900 houses for sale Totally opposite ball game here. So you can Google real estate agent Knoxville, 5,000 people's name will pop up. It's not hard to find a realtor, it's hard to find a house. So now we're learning how to negotiate selling. This is a different conversation and it's a different relationship. Error and who really matters? Knowing the right people matters. Knowing builders matters, because our MLS does not require new builders to put their new build properties in our MLS. So if you don't know the name of every builder and every subdivision, you're not selling a new build house. It's a lot of extra.

Speaker 1:

Wow, wow. As we get close here to wrap up, I do have one question as someone that is considering and you don't have to use me or whatever someone's considering this as a career, and I know you've told them jump in, do the work. But outside of doing the work, would you say, the best thing they can do is to learn how to what.

Speaker 2:

Build relationships Love it.

Speaker 2:

You got to build relationships. If you don't know how to maintain steady, consistent touch points, relationship points, you give more than you get a lot of the time. If you don't know how to do that in a way that makes people feel important and not transactional, this is not the business for you. It is not If I would say turn and burn. Obviously you're hungry. The first few years you're going to be out there just going to sell whatever. You're just trying to feed your family. People will feel your passion for it, though, and they'll still want to do business with you, but three years in, if you're still here, you need to go back and make those bridges. Those bridges will pay you your bills Bridges for bills, and I'm telling you the more those bridges you build, the easier your career becomes.

Speaker 2:

It really does.

Speaker 1:

That is great transactional man. No bueno, as I say, because there's a bunch of people I deal with that want to do transactions. They do, and I'm sorry, I'm looking for more than that. It's just yeah, I love that. So if someone wants to move to Knoxville and they want to reach out to you, how do they get ahold of you?

Speaker 2:

Oh my gosh, you can find me literally everywhere. Our brokerage name I kept it. It was also my team name and my group name and I just kept the name because we've had it for so long. I didn't want to change it and it's just home's group. And you can find it on Instagram, tiktok Go and see Facebook, facebook Messenger. You can find us on LinkedIn. You can find us on X. You can find us on threads. You can find us on Snapchat. We have a business Snapchat. We have a LinkedIn business. You name it, we have it, and we auto correct and conversate every single day with every single person. On our Google page, we got our 100th review, which cracks me up because we have 900 past clients. We have some work to do. We got our 105-star review, so now we hit the 100 level for Google searches. You can find me pretty much just by Googling my name, julia Hurley. Don't believe everything you read, and we are around for sure.

Speaker 1:

Awesome. I will put that in the show notes. I thank you very much. I love the conversation. I love your passion, but also how you're trying to change and improve the business, but also the overall big picture of what goes on in real estate. So I thank you for that.

Speaker 2:

It's our pleasure to do it. And just a really quick plug. I was 2023 woman of the year. Yeah. They are exciting and I wrote my first children's book, so please go get a copy of that.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for coming on and it's been great speaking to you.

Speaker 2:

It's been my pleasure Call if you need anything at all.

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