Alumni Success Series: Meet James Wise, Broker/Owner

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At Hondros College, we are proud to connect with our alumni who are actively working in their new profession after receiving their education. We sat down with James Wise, real estate agent/broker/owner and Hondros College alumnus of 2013 and 2015, to see how life has been after entering the real estate industry.

As a licensed broker for less than a year, James has an ambitious goal to build the best brokerage in Northeast Ohio. He is laser focused on making his company a success, and attributes his career accomplishments to the education he received at Hondros College. As a 28 year old broker/owner, -how has James achieved his goals? Let’s find out.

 

Tell me a little bit about your background; how did you get into real estate?

“I got my real estate license in 2013 but when I got it, I really didn’t want to do much with real estate other than my own stuff. My current business partner has been a contractor for 15-20 years so back then the plan was to get more into the investment property business. My role was to become a real estate agent so he can save money and I can get more commission. I got my license and became an agent for a large brokerage and my partner and I continued to build up a pretty good property portfolio. Our ultimate goal was to find other investors to invest with us in these properties, but we found out that no one wanted to loan us money at all; instead, they wanted us to get into these properties and manage them. After that, our business really started taking off and now my business partner and I own our own brokerage.”

 

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

“I graduated from Parma High in 2006 and at the age of 18, do you really know what you want to do? I was working at a gas station, and my boss who was running the store was making good money, so I thought, why not do that? I ended up getting a business degree from Tri-C Community College in Human Resource Management and during that time I also ran a Radio Shack. I’ve always had a knack for sales and after only seven months there they gave me my own store to manage. I left Radio Shack to pursue a sales position for an invisible fence company, and ultimately got my real estate license while still selling and installing invisible fences.

But here’s a cool story- my number one sales agent last year was my former boss at the invisible fence company. He left that business to sell used cars and I kept trying to talk him into getting his real estate license. One day I got a pretty nice size commission check so I took a picture of it and sent it to him. That day he quit his job and 24 hours later he was signed up for classes. He became my number one agent last year and sold 53 houses in nine months.”

 

Tell us about your experience at Hondros College:

“It was such a great experience, and honestly one of the top reasons I went there was because it was down the street. I attended Hondros College at your Independence location and the quality education I received was nothing but the best. I got both my real estate sales agent and broker education at Hondros, and I send all of my agents there. But I think it’s really cool how you have your campus staff reach out to brokerages and companies to see how they want to become involved after leaving Hondros. I would have never thought to participate in Career Nights and all the other things Hondros offers. I definitely want to be involved in any way that I can. It’s great!”

 

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

“My life is nonstop and it’s amazing. I’m 28 years old and a broker/owner of the largest real estate brokerage on the West side of Cleveland; I would say that’s a pretty great accomplishment. We have 20-25 agents in our office and we are making pretty good headway for only been open a year.

I think my brokerage is growing so fast because I’m not the kind of guy that wants 99% of the grape; I want 10% of the watermelon. I want to put money in my agent’s pockets. I don’t run a brokerage that makes my agents wait months at a time before they get their first listing. Since we do property management and rentals, the biggest thing that helps my brand new agents is that on day one we give them 25 rental listings. My agents actually get to work actively from the first day they are there! They are engaged and in the office and shows that they are in the business.”