Rob Birkeland, ABR , GRI, wanted to get a quick leg up in real estate. So while he worked full-time as a loan officer, Birkeland got his real estate license and apprenticed with the area’s top producer. For four months, he spent time every weekend and two or three nights a week shadowing his mentor--attending client meetings, open houses, and appraisals--to learn the business.
“I figure I’ve shortened the learning curve by five years, maybe more,” he says. “I positioned myself to start at full stride.”
Today Birkeland is one-third of the sales team led by his mentor, Bruce Larson. Being part of a top-producing team gave him credibility from day one, he says. In 2000, his third year in real estate, his individual sales totaled $10.5 million. To set himself apart from other buyer’s reps, Birkeland developed a CD-ROM, which he sends to prospective buyers before he meets with them. The CD touts Birkeland and his team, technology tools such as Online Agent and REALTOR.COM, and the Lakes Area, primarily a second-home community.
“My goal,” he says, “is to have buyers already sold on me when they walk in the door.”