Tom Grisak, Realtor
Broker Associate, President
The Grisak Group
The Harsh Realities of Residential Real Estate
If you're a new real estate agent or thinking about becoming one, you should know about 90% of new agents are out of the business within two years of getting their license. Those aren’t my statistics, they’re from the National Association of Realtors. They don't tell you things like this when you're taking classes for your real estate license, but this is a tough, tough business and only about 1 out of 10 can make a career of it.
Why I Created This Site
First and foremost, I'm not trying to sell you anything. Real estate has been very good to me, I'm close to retirement, and I consider now is the time to "pay it forward". I never had a bit of help when I started out so if I can help an agent or two on their own real estate journey, I'm happy. I have hundreds of stories and valuable learning experiences so this blog is in its infancy. If you would like to be updated with new post, please register and you'll receive the new articles.
I've been a licensed agent in Texas for almost 40 years now. My first 14 years were spent in commercial real estate where I had some large building sales but my biggest check was $234,000 for a long term lease with Hitachi Semiconductors. Oddly enough, although I did well, I never actually enjoyed living in the commercial world of concrete, glass and steel along with fighting traffic every day. My wife knew I wasn't happy and with her blessing I locked the door to my executive suite and walked away from my commercial business cold turkey.
Although I never doubted my decision to leave commercial I had no earthly idea what I was going to do. My wife and I had just bought a home in a very small town called Lucas, Texas on the outskirts of Dallas. I had also convinced her to leave a great paying job with excellent benefits to become a stay at home with our child. All of a sudden we were both unemployed.
My Quick Story
I had saved enough money to take a year off and decide what I wanted to do in the way of a new career. I finally came to the brilliant conclusion since I knew commercial so well, I should be able to sell homes too. No-one told me there is almost zero carryover between between commercial and residential real estate. I have a blog post dedicated to that.
If I'd known back then what I know now, I would have started off my residential career with a well established residential brokerage and learned the ropes, but I was too stubborn and hard headed for that. Instead I started working as a lone wolf agent out of our home with the broker's license I'd kept from my commercial days.
I knew nothing about residential when I started in 1998. I didn't know how to find the MLS or contracts, how to market, how to network, absolutely nothing. Even worse, I didn't know a single residential agent I could ask questions of. Working out of our home I was completely on my own.
That's all normally a recipe for disaster, but I had one thing going for me, a family to support and that's the greatest motivator of all. With hard work, thinking out of the box, trying to do things better, and dogged persistence, I beat the odds and was able to break through.
My Track Record
I've been the #1 agent within my sub-area of specialty within our MLS for the past 22 consecutive years and usually two to three times higher in closed volume than the second place agent. I usually close between $40 million and $60 million within this sub-area depending on market conditions.
There are around 13,000 agents within our board of Realtors in Collin County. At the time of this writing in 2022, I'm #3 in closed volume. My personal GCI, or gross commission, is well into the 7 figures.
I’m also the team leader and immensely proud of The Grisak Group, a team of 8 excellent luxury Realtors located in Allen, Texas which is just north of Dallas. We'll close on about $123 million in 2022 and have been the #1 group within our Keller Williams Allen Texas office for the past 10 consecutive years. Last year our office was #1 in Collin County with over $1 billion in sales.