Alumni Success Series: Meet Jeff Dulmage, Real Estate Broker

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At Hondros College, we are passionate about our alumni and the hard work and success they’ve put into their new careers. We sat down with Jeff Dulmage, real estate agent/broker and Hondros College alumnus of 2013 and 2015, to see how life has been after entering the real estate industry

Only having been a licensed agent for a little over two years, Jeff is taking the northwestern Ohio real estate market by storm, and doesn’t plan on slowing down. Between being a husband, father of three, and heavily involved member of his church, Jeff Dulmage has successfully executed over 275 transactions in two years. How does he do it? Let’s find out.

 

Tell me a little bit about your background; what made you get into real estate?

“My dad was a real estate investor, so I always saw getting into real estate in some form or fashion as part of my plan. When I was in junior high and high school I helped him fix up his rentals, and that’s how I pretty much got started. I myself have been a real estate investor for over 13 years. But I really got started when I started buying up investment properties from the former broker at the company I work for now. She was my agent, I was buying properties through her, and she was teaching me the business. When she was ready to sell the company she approached me about buying it and here I am!”

 

What did your life look like before you made your career change?

“I went to school in Tennessee and graduated with a B.A. in Business Administration with a Marketing emphasis. I did a couple of sales jobs here and there for a few years, and then I landed a job here locally in sales for an oil company. I was there for 20 years, while simultaneously investing in real estate properties, and I thought I was going to be there forever. I was making really good money, and kind of had it really easy. I was an account man so I would manage the clients and make sure they had everything and were being taken care of. But then the company started to change, and they started hiring more sales people and had to split up my sales territories. My territories were now an hour and a half away. So after all the changes happened, I just didn’t see myself there long term anymore.”

 

Tell us about your experience taking classes at Hondros College.

“I absolutely loved it. I ended up taking the three month class route at two different campus locations. And I kind of did it backwards, taking the last section first and so on. But because I was an investor and had done 45 closings on properties I had purchased before taking the classes, I felt I had some advantage over the other students. My all-time favorite teacher Craig Gatzulis. What I loved about him was he would use examples on everything he was trying to teach, I mean real life examples. And that’s how I learn the best. He would differentiate what I needed to know for the test and what I would need to know when I was an agent. But the best thing is that he is currently a practicing agent. None of this is theory or ‘what happened back in the day’ type stuff to him. He is current and relevant. I just thought the world of him.

Everybody that comes to me and says they want to be an agent, I tell them to go to Hondros. They can go to Rhodes College here locally but its months of classes. You can get your education in three weeks at Hondros. So to me it’s, ‘take forever or get it done’. Taking forever never made sense to me. That’s why five out of six of my agents went to Hondros.”

 

What made you decide to pursue your broker’s license?

“When I bought the company from my former real estate agent, the plan from day one was to become the broker within a couple of years. While I had to be a licensed agent for two years, because I had done so many transactions early on and gained so much experience in such a short time frame, it made it easy to make the jump from agent to broker. It’s also made me be a good leader for my agents.”

 

Tell us how your life has changed since becoming an agent/broker.

“I couldn’t ask for a better career. I sell in eight different counties, and this area hasn’t seen a seller’s market like this in about 15-20 years. I do mostly residential real estate, but some commercial. Long term I would like to do more commercial. In 2014 I was an OAR President’s Sales Club, ‘Pinnacle of Performance’ award winner for $7.5 million or 100 transactions, OAR’s ‘Top Five’ Award Winner for 134 transactions, and OAR’s President’s Sales Club ‘Award of Distinction’ Award Winner. This year I received the 2.5 million dollar transaction award. My first year I focused on my sales, but after I became a broker, my second year wasn’t so much about selling as it was about teaching my agents how to be good REALTORS®.

The teachers at Hondros say over and over again that they are teaching us how to pass the exam, and the broker is going to help you learn how to sell real estate, and that’s my goal. We have a small office, only six agents, and there’s a great advantage to that: brokers can actually teach the agents one-on-one. In a bigger office of 60-70 agents, you may spend years trying to get a lead. I am constantly handing out leads and opportunities for my agents to list properties and work with sellers. I teach them that we should be weighing in and providing advice for our clients, provide them with instruction, and actually walk them through the process, even the difficult aspects of it. That’s what these people need an agent for. Those other agents I call “order takers” do whatever their buyer or seller says. They don’t actually do anything to earn their commission. I teach my agents that we are there to work for and educate our clients. We are the professionals and will do whatever it takes to make sure a deal closes.”