Listen to the interview (approx. 1 hr, 9 min) or download it.
Left Berklee in 2007 (Patrick finished his one remaining class and officially graduated in 2012.) with a major in Music Business. Principal instrument: cello.
Position: Lead Buyers Agent at Keller Williams Realty, Boston Metro office. Patrick helps prospective buyers of residential real estate, both home-buyers and investors, find and negotiate purchases of property which meets their needs. He also helps train and support several less-experienced buyers agents on his team.
Overview: Patrick was in a band at Berklee. During his last semester (spring 07), several friends said they thought he’d be good at real estate, so he got his real estate license that summer. For the next 6 months he focused on his band and worked odd jobs while living at home, until his parents insisted he get a “real” job. He got a job as an agent at Nextgen Realty in Alston, renting out apartments. While it was a high-turnover job, Patrick did well, ultimately staying over 6 years, the last 2.5 of which he also managed the office. Meanwhile, as he started doing well with apartment rentals (earning around $45,000 that first year and getting his own apartment), music became less of a priority–he’d miss band practices when he has real estate showings. Ultimately, Patrick decided to stay in Boston when his band moved to L.A.
After 6 years at NextGen, Patrick wanted to take the next step of working with buyers. He spent a couple of years teaching himself everything he could, “I’d seek out blogs, webinars, etc. I’d get into work at 6 AM and would spend three hours just reading and learning. Then in the evening I’d look at the listings to see what sold for what and figure out the Boston market.” However, he lacked experience and expertise in that area. A friend convinced him to work at Keller Williams Realty, where starting in the summer of 2014 he received more training and, with the reputation and support of a large agency, successfully launched his career as a buyer’s agent.
You can see Patrick’s LinkedIn page here.
Choice Quotes: “There’s no ‘secret sauce’ I just care. I’m here to help someone and educate them to make the right decision for them. Often that decision isn’t to buy a house right away. It’s not about the money; it’s about helping people and adding value to their lives. If I do that, the money will come. I don’t want to fell bad about what I did for a client. Plus I want my former clients to be raging fans (of working with me). ”
“In the music world, and just about every industry, you have to be an entrepreneur and a marketer–arguably a marketer first. So accept that and take on that spirit–brush up on your business skills and how to approach people.”
“Since I started in this business I’ve been very heavy on social media, and everyone knows I’m a real estate agent. Just about all my business comes from people I know and referrals, though I also go to open houses and meet people.”
I love being my own boss, and having the freedom to work when I want. It’s gratifying to carve out a career where I feel like I’m making a difference in people’s lives. Buying a home is a huge deal and often very emotional, and helping folks through that process is really great.
Patrick as a Berklee student. He actually started off at Boston Conservatory. “The best thing to happen to me was that the head of cello busted me in front of the whole room for not practicing. I transferred to Berklee studied Music Businesses, figuring that I could always buff up my music ability but now I would learn good, transferable skills.”
Patrick with his team at Keller Williams Realty. He has advice for those starting a career in real estate: “Interview with lots of agencies. And remember, it’s not about commission splits. 95% of zero is zero. When starting out, you want training. You’re also training all the time–there’s no end to what you can learn. Keep growing. Also, follow the successful models of how agents are really successful–you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Finally if you ever feel like you’re not getting the right training, or doing somewhat-unethical behavior, leave and find someplace better.
Patrick still plays music in a couple of tribute-bands and a casual string quartet. Here, he’s playing his sax with a Huey Lewis tribute band The Power of Love. “Late in my Berklee days, gigging felt like work. Music is fun now.”