Tip: Give money-saving advice to potential customers. They’ll remember your help.
Peter Chiarkas uses the element of surprise to impress his clients.
The young Chiarkas wows them in listing presentations with advice on how to save thousands on the purchase and sale of investment property. His confidence comes from growing up in a real estate family that gave him early exposure to structuring complicated transactions, including tax-deferred 1031 exchanges. “I love meeting with investors who have no idea I can help them on an exchange,” says Chiarkas, a salesperson at Kissinger, Bigatel, & Bower in State College, Pa.
Having a finance degree from Penn State, with a concentration in real estate, helps. But the four-year veteran practitioner also relies on the strengths of youth: enthusiasm and energy. “If I’m on a listing presentation, I’ll bring the whole tax assessment book and show the sellers their name, who their neighbors are, and how I’ll work the area with mass mailings and follow-up calls,” he says.
Last year he closed 42 transaction sides for almost $5.5 million in sales—twice as much as the year before. “Every client brings a potential for future business,” he says, “so you have to treat each one with care.”