att Parker, a broker with Keller Williams Puget Sound in Seattle, Wash., didn’t exactly have a stellar start in real estate. “I was 24 years old and looked 18 years old. I wasn’t getting any phone calls. In fact, in the mornings I would do yardwork at author Ann Rule’s house, then change into a shirt and tie for real estate,” he says. Finding Success That all changed when the market collapsed. “When the market collapsed and we had the birth of electronic real estate sales, I looked at it as an opportunity,” says Parker, who over the following three or four years focused on helping people who were having a hard time selling in the Great Recession. “If you can become an expert at selling in that economy, you’ll never have to worry about a paycheck,” he says. How did he do it? By focusing on the little things. “Many sales associates don’t understand that the quality of the photos, the placement of the ads, things like getting the listing language correct, all make a huge difference in whether or not a property gets sold,” he says. Parker developed a marketing plan that was easy to explain to sellers, and his listings sold.
An adventure athlete, Parker climbed Mount Rainier (in photo) as well as trekked through Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.
“I stood out and was doing well when others were struggling.” Parker wasn’t always in real estate. He started in sales, selling group ticket packages and corporate sponsorships for the Class A Arizona Diamondbacks’ Major League Baseball franchise, the Lancaster JetHawks. “Then, I worked for the professional basketball Portland Trail Blazers in corporate sales. “I didn’t like the corporate structure. I had to record 100 calls a day, which a computer tracks.” He notes that if you didn’t meet your goals, it was crushing. “I knew I could sell. But before my self-confidence was completely destroyed, I decided to get into real estate.” Overcoming Adversity Obviously, it was a great move. However, Parker’s life has been filled with learning experiences. He was disappointed by his high school football career, only to find success in basketball. But his life was filled with anxiety caused by clinical obsessivecompulsive disorder (OCD). Through it all,