Student Success Story: Meet James Arnos, Real Estate Agent

Industry Articles, Student Success Stories

At Hondros College, we take pride in educating some of the top performing real estate agents in Ohio. We enjoy the opportunity to stay connected with our students following completion of their real estate education. We sat down with Hondros alum, James Arnos who graduated in December 2014, to learn about his time at Hondros and how his career changed when he received his real estate license.

What is the reason you got into real estate?James Arnos Hondros Alumni and Real Estate Agent

I left my job in mortgage banking for over twenty years, decided at that point I didn’t want another desk job, being tied to a desk from 8 to 5, plus. This was an opportunity for me to reinvent myself, do something different that I’m passionate about. Being that I am familiar with the mortgage and title end of the industry, it was just a natural progression for me. I’m passionate about houses and finding houses for the right people, helping people sell. So, I just took the dive.

Out of all your options, what ultimately led you to choose Hondros?

I just knew Hondros was the place to go. If you want to get your real estate license, you take classes at Hondros. At the time when I got my license in 2014, there wasn’t the option of online classes, but I would prefer doing it in person, I’m very visual and I like to hear the stories from the instructors and get different points of view from other people in the class that are from different backgrounds.

What was your favorite education experience at Hondros?

Interacting with the other students. I thought it was interesting finding out why they were getting into real estate, what their backgrounds are. There were a lot of people from all different walks of life, all different ages – from just out of high school to 60s. I also liked the convenience of getting it done in three weeks, full-time. I liked the testing systems, too – we did a weekend run-through preparation experience, which was really good. The instructors were excellent at pointing out specific points for the exams, because there is a lot of material to cover.

What are you doing to market yourself and your business?

I’m always on Facebook, promoting. I have a daily marketing post – If I have a “coming soon” listing, a new listing or an open house, I post on my page and then on community pages, as well. I get a lot of feedback and questions. It’s a great way to promote yourself. It’s also helpful to connect with other real estate agents. It’s all about networking and forming relationships.

Do you plan on taking continuing education classes through Hondros?

I already am! It’s easier than me sitting in a class, because I can take classes on my own schedule. I’m doing my classes online and I’ve done both in classroom and online.

What’s your favorite thing about being a real estate agent?

I think what’s most rewarding is, at the end of the day, you’ve helped someone achieve a goal. First time home buyers, they are so excited and this is a whole new experience and when you make that dream happen, it’s very rewarding. You are helping them get to their next step.

During your first year, what was the biggest challenge you faced?

There are a lot of highs and lows the first year. When you go from a salary job, being paid every two weeks, to a commission check, it’s stressful. You must put money aside. But your first sale is the most exciting and when you get your first referral, that’s what gets you motivated!

Tell us about your first sale.

My first sale was to a friend of mine, she needed a house and we found a house in a couple weeks. It went very smoothly and she loves it and is still there.

Besides your first sale, has there been a moment that was extremely meaningful?

I think meeting the different people and finding out about their backgrounds and lives. People always have this perception that the people around them have their lives together and that they are on top of the world, but when you work with people who have been through situations where they are forced to sell their homes because of divorce or death, it’s a humbling experience, you realize that everyone goes through hard times their life.

Do you have any words of wisdom to pass on to someone just starting their career?

Don’t go into it thinking you are going to make tons of money right away. There are fees involved for membership and brokerage fees, so be prepared. You’re self-employed, you’re running a business – from tracking expenses to paying quarterly taxes, all of that is on you. If you are going to do real estate part-time, I would recommend joining a team or having another agent who you can partner with. Not everything will fit into a part-time schedule, you’ve got people who will want to see a house that was just listed and in this market, and if you wait till 5 or 6 p.m. in the day, that house may be gone.

Where do you attribute most of your success?

Working hard, and taking the opportunity to hit the ground running. I didn’t go into this thinking it’s going to be easy money, the referrals are just going to come and knock at my door. It’s a lot of hard work and it didn’t come the second I got my license. I try and always think of my next deal, so I don’t have the ups and downs that can come with the industry.

What’s your next step in your career?

Ultimately I want to keep climbing, increasing my visibility within the community. Who knows, maybe I’ll form a team and have people working with me!