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METRO ATLANTA EDITION > AUGUST 2007

John Cozart VISUALIZING THE FUTURE

Partners’ Profile DUCTZ Indoor Air Professionals and Healthy Investments: Working with Real Estate Investors


John Cozart c o v e r

Creativity has been a driving force in this award helping him visualize everything from a success enormous real estate transaction, and living the By Meredith Pruden

s t o r y John Clemmer Photography John loves spending time with his two sons, Nick (center) and Blake (right). “If there is anything I try to teach my sons,” says Cozart “it’s that in order to achieve come from sticking your toe in the water. You have to jump in the pool and get wet!” 12

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n Greek mythology, the Muses were the custodians of history, science and, most importantly, the creative arts. The daughters of Zeus, the sound of their voices could inspire men to greatness in song, poetry, history, science and art. John Cozart has been hearing the Muses’ song all of his life. An eternally imaginative spirit, Cozart’s passion has always been in the creative process. From designing and building his first home, to designing jewelry and running a successful jewelry store, John’s success has constantly been driven by the power of his imagination, the overwhelming urge to create harmony from chaos. So it’s not surprising that this top-selling RE/MAX Professional agent’s success would come from that ability to see the possibilities that existed in developing a tract of land. Cozart, who has been selling real estate for only three years, says he can’t remember the exact time when he knew real estate was the path he was destined to walk, but admits that he’s never been able to pass a magazine stand without scouring the real estate titles. Even so, John’s early career took him on a very different direction, as a rep for a national jewelry chain. “My first job was at a hamburger stand in a one-light town,” Cozart remembers. “All I ever did was dream of something bigger! I had an incredibly large imagination, but I didn’t know once I passed that red light in southern Alabama what else could be out there.”

I -winning agent’s life, ful jewelry store to an dream!

your dreams, you have to commit yourself to them. Success doesn’t

Amidst much traveling with the national jewelry chain and a stint as a jewelry designer in Chicago, Cozart finally settled in Atlanta as a young man still in his early 20s. After a short-lived grab at real estate – Cozart says he was still too young and Atlanta was too big a city to take it seriously at the time – he decided to open his own jewelry store, which was an immediate triumph selling nearly $1 million in its first year in business. With the booming growth of Citizens Diamonds, Cozart choose a 2.5-acre piece of land in Suwannee on which to build his first home, with the help of an architect and builder. Many onlookers and friends must have seen the purchase as foolhardy, as the back yard was largely marshland, but Cozart was not to be deterred and immediately saw the beauty where those around him saw only a worthless swamp. “There was a swamp, and it was a mess,” John laughs. “I hired an engineering company to come in, and we built a beautiful lake with a fountain in its place.” Building his own home may have been the definitive push Cozart needed to finally attain his real estate license, which he did over the course of nearly five months, taking classes at night while running what was, at the time, a chain of three jewelry stores and a repair center. Even against those odds, Cozart easily passed his exams on his first attempt. It may seem an odd leap from jewelry designer to real estate agent, but it is Cozart’s eternal vision and minimalist ideals that have both stood the test of time and allowed a seamless transition into the world of real estate. “I just visualize, develop, and create different types of things,” Cozart says. “I want to take whatever I visualize and see it come to fruition.” r.e. REAL ESTATE MAGAZINE > AUGUST 2007

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John Clemmer Photography Achieving such high rankings in both NAMAR and RE/MAX is quite unusual for someone in only their second year of real estate, but John is quick to share the credit. “I could never have achieved this level of success without the support of such a strong organization as we have here at RE/MAX Professionals,” says John, showing off his awards to (L to R): Managing Broker Marilyn Archer, and Owner/Brokers Garland Smith and David Nix.

Whether it’s a clean, modern design for a new custom jewelry piece, his first house on the questionable property or, currently, a commercial assemblage, Cozart takes the job at hand very seriously, but he does so with a good natured, if at times even self deprecating, wit. Perhaps it is Cozart’s good nature that has helped his achieve such resounding success in everything he does, but it also doesn’t hurt that the customer service skills

exactly what people want, but I am an expert in knowing how to listen! A lot of agents are too busy to listen, but the best sales people I know are the ones who listen to their customers. You can suggest things, but sometimes you have to just shut up and pay attention!” Cozart must be a master of listening indeed. Last year he ranked number six out of approximately 5100 RE/MAX agents in Georgia and number one in sales

“I just visualize, develop, and create different types of things. I want to take whatever I visualize and see it come to fruition.” required to be a truly successful agent were honed as far back as his burger-slinging days in his native Alabama. “Listening to what a customer wants and making it happen is the same thing in the burger joint, the jewelry store and in real estate,” Cozart explains. “I haven’t been doing real estate long enough to be an expert in knowing 14

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from the Northeast Atlanta Metro Association of Realtors (NAMAR). He did so largely by brokering an assemblage, which many other agents had previously attempted but had failed. “John put an assemblage together that a lot of people in the area had been trying to do for a number of ®


Keeping only a small number of ongoing projects at any given time allows Cozart to truly personalize the service he provides to his clients, without the aid of assistants. His goal, he explains, is to create win-win situations for everyone involved in the transaction. “As an agent, he’s incredibly intuitive of people,” says client Tony Green. “He understands what they’re looking for and can strategically lay out a plan probably the best I’ve ever seen. We acquired 23 parcels together for a big project, and he was instrumental in the process with a good handle on the sellers’ needs, as well as my own.” Fellow RE/MAX Professionals agent Gena Rudge agrees, “John is real. He’s a real, caring person who is really devoted to his work. He really tries to treat people the way he wants to be treated and looks out for the best interests of his clients, and he does so with a ton of integrity.” ever one to sit still, Cozart currently has several large N commercial negotiations in the works and still retains many management duties at Citizens Diamonds,

John Clemmer Photography

years, but he made it happen,” says Marilyn Archer, managing broker of RE/MAX Professionals Duluth office where Cozart is based. “It was an assemblage of residential homes on a heavily trafficked thoroughfare that obviously was not going to stay residential, but no one had been able to get those homeowners together. John was able to do something no one else had been able to do because he is an extremely hard worker with a lot of direction and energy.” Cozart is a man on a mission when putting together an assemblage and is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. If that means putting in a lot of legwork to make it happen, says Cozart, then so be it. “One of the things that helps me when I do assemblages is that I actually go door-to-door myself outside of the square,” Cozart explains “I want to make sure that I bring a developer in that’s going to appreciate what it has and that the individuals living in the surrounding neighborhood will appreciate the development as well. You don’t want to end up with just another strip center. Rather, you want to end up with something neighbors can walk to from their homes and have dinner or go to the dentist.”

With each project that Cozart works on, he insists on being “hands on,” including the design and building of his new jewelry store, scheduled to open September 1st in Suwanee. Here, John goes over the build-out plans with store manager Doug Raper.

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John Clemmer Photography Cozart stands by the sale sign on the commercial land parcel that he assembled off Pleasant Hill Road in Duluth. “The real challenge of putting this together was addressing the needs and concerns of 23 individual property owners who have been in there homes up to 35 years,” Cozart explains. “It’s a lot more than just dollars and cents, it’s about the trust they place in you to meet their needs!”

where he is about to open up a brand new retail location. However, he says he is looking forward to focusing more on mixed use and commercial development projects in the future and believes he will continue to expand his horizons. “I’m like a little sapling in this forest of trees,” Cozart says. “If you take a client or project no matter how small and you work it and keep building there is no telling how far you can go. The big companies started by little bricks, and I like to soak it all up.” Still, Cozart finds plenty of time to spend with his two teenage sons, Blake, 17, and Nick, 14, perhaps fishing, going out to eat, or working in the jewelry store where Nick even works part-time as a watch repairman. In Cozart’s downtime (a rare occasion), he continues to think of things to create. This innovative and resourceful agent will undoubtedly prove that his meteoric success in real estate was no accident. In the meantime, he is also planning on pursuing another dream of his – driving a convertible along the entirety 16

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of the United States coastline – a trip possibly inspired by Cozart’s very own Muse. Meredith Pruden is an Atlanta native who has worked in creative services for more than a decade. For the last five years, Meredith’s focus has been on her writing career, and she has worked for many of Atlanta’s most cutting-edge publications. She can be reached at meredith13@bellsouth.net.

(404) 543-5636 jcozart@bellsouth.net


Real Estate Magazine article on John Cozart