By Melissa Kandel
Each year, REALTOR® Magazine names 30 of America’s brightest and boldest real estate superstars to its latest class of 30 Under 30. This year, the publication selected Amanda Allen-Jorgensen of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties in Salt Lake City. In honor of this prestigious distinction, I asked Amanda 30 questions about real estate, career motivation and everything in between.
- How many years have you been practicing real estate? Unofficially, I always tease that I have been in real estate my whole life! My mother was a single mom practicing real estate as she raised me. If I wanted to see my mom it meant I’d have to be her co-captain in business, traveling with her to listing presentations and open houses. Officially, I’ve been licensed since 2008. *Editor’s Note: Amanda’s mom is Judy Allen of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Utah Properties’ Judy Allen Team, a top-producing team in the network.
- What made you want to start a career in real estate? In 2008 I graduated from the University of Utah and was all set to pursue a career in law. After working at a law firm as a paralegal, I quickly learned that law was not the career for me. The economy was in a weak spot at the time and companies weren’t hiring. I knew I wanted to be in sales and out with people. When I approached my mom and told her I was thinking of obtaining my real estate license she was in shock! All my life I’d told her real estate seemed like it involved too many hours.
- So, what happened next? I told my mom that my plan was to practice real estate for two years, achieve sales experience and move on to a job in sales at some company. Well, my plan didn’t work out because I stayed in real estate and never looked back!
- What was your initial reaction to being named a member of REALTOR® Magazine’s 2015 class of 30 Under 30? I started bawling! I’ve literally never been so grateful in my life; what an honor!
- What do you think separates you from other young real estate professionals in the business today? I believe it’s the fact that I was raised by a go-getter mother. She is not one to allow complaints; she is the results kind of lady! Also, my passion pushes me at the late, late hour to keep going.
- What’s your favorite aspect of the real estate business? The people I get to work with!
- Do you believe that homeownership is still the American Dream? I know personally, owning a home was the best decision I’ve ever made; it takes a leap of faith—trusting the real estate process along the way—but it is so worth it to be a homeowner in the end.
- Imagine you’re talking to agents who just received their real estate licenses. What’s one piece of advice you’d give? I tell this to the agents who reach out to me daily: Stick with it!
- What’s one misconception about real estate you had when you first started that you’d want to a new agent to understand? It’s not as easy as it looks.
- Let’s talk marketing. How do you differentiate yourself from the competition? To be honest, it just comes naturally. Care about your clients and you’ll never have to worry about having them.
- Time for some word association. I say “social media,” you say … Game changer!
- Do you use Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms to promote your listings? Yes, absolutely.
- Which platform do you primarily use? I mostly use Facebook.
- Name one app or gadget you can’t live without. My phone.
- Name one aspect of the business that will never be replaced by technology. My passion and drive for what I’m doing! My clients truly become my best friends. Each one of them has a special place in my heart filled with fun memories from our experience working together.
- Let’s say I just obtained my license, what’s the next step to launching my career? Find a mentor or hire a coach. You will need someone to oversee what you’re doing. Real estate requires a lot of knowledge and you are dealing with someone’s livelihood so you have to take your job seriously! I see too many agents who receive their license and start practicing real estate before they understand the process thoroughly. I wish the real estate exam was more interactive and helped agents really understand what the industry is like and what the job will require.
- Name one way you win a listing. Explain an organized and detailed approach to getting their home sold! When I first got into the industry, I was extremely intimidated by some of the clients and wondered if they thought I was too young or didn’t know what I was talking about. With more experience, I now have the ability to sit down with a million-dollar client and be able to present with confidence and ease. It just takes practice and a strong belief in your abilities.
- What’s the single-most difficult aspect of being a real estate agent? The hours! Why do you think my husband became a lender? So he could see his wife!
- How do you combat the long hours? Take my vitamins and eat healthy foods!
- What’s most rewarding about real estate? The people you meet and friends who come out of it!
- With long work hours, how do you create a healthy sense of work/life balance? I’m still working on that one. I’ll let you know when I figure it out …
- Identify one trend happening in your local market. Home prices are rising and appraisers are not waiting to get their appraisal in.
- How does this trend affect your business? I am focused heavily on sellers right now.
- How has the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brand helped your business? The cherry on top when you meet with new, potential clients is definitely walking in with a smile and a cabernet Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices folder and name badge! Seals the deal every time.
- Real estate is often called a “people” business. What associations or groups are you involved with in your community? I am actively involved in Christmas in July within the Salt Lake City Board of REALTORS®. I am also affiliated with a book club, hiking club and looking to start a bowling league this fall!
- Describe the funniest/strangest/most outrageous thing that has happened to you on the job. This past December, I listed a home in my community the day I returned from an anniversary trip with my husband to Costa Rica. That same day, my mother had scheduled a showing. I was exhausted but headed over to meet with the potential buyer. He was in the house more than 10 minutes and was making a verbal cash In my head I was thinking, ‘There’s no way this can be true!’ We wrapped up the showing and I figured I’d never hear from him again. Monday morning, I get a call from the title company letting me know the money has been wired and the buyer was ready to sign! This definitely doesn’t happen on a daily basis but I chalked it up to eating my Wheaties that morning.
- If you could help any celebrity client buy or sell a home, who would it be? Cameron Diaz. Everyone says I look like her so it would be fun to be her real estate agent/doppelganger.
- One benefit of being in real estate is that you can be your own boss and set your own hours. Can you think of another benefit that a regular 9-5 job doesn’t allow? There is so much flexibility in my career. Nothing beats a Monday morning doing online marketing while baking cookies, finishing laundry and talking to a client, all while wearing yoga pants.
- Where do you think the future of real estate is going? Online.
- Where do you think your future in real estate is going? Wherever I am needed to provide the best possible service to each and every one of my clients. And that’s a future I can guarantee will come true.
MELISSA KANDEL is the senior writer for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Find her on Twitter @misskandel or email her at email@example.com.
Respond to 30 Questions for REALTOR® Magazine’s Newest 30 Under 30