In this installment of our Agent Spotlight series at Southwest Florida REGroup we’re interviewing David Ward, who specializes in SWFL Real Estate. Let’s learn more about his buying/selling expertise, as well as get to know him a bit better outside of the real estate world.
What do you love about real estate, why’d you get into real estate in the first place?
After a 14 year college coaching career, I moved into the HS ranks at a Naples HS. After going through a divorce and barely being able to make it financially, my mother became terminally ill. I quit my coaching/teaching job to spend her final month with her. Upon arriving back, I had to tell my landlord that I no longer had a job and couldn’t afford to pay rent. With him being a real estate agent, he suggested I get into real estate too and that was it! I signed up for RE classes the following week and the rest, as they say, is history.
I love many things about real estate. I love the relationships that are created, I love making a difference in people’s lives. I love the hunter gatherer mentality it often requires, it’s competition, and the rush it can give you. I love the heat of negotiation and feeling that I came out on top for my client. I love that one controls their own destiny financially and has the ability to make life changing money. I love knowing that my success or failure is in my hands and controlled only by my attitude, abilities and work ethic. I love the freedom it can allow yet, how overwhelming success can be. Ultimately, I love real estate because it puts me in charge of my own future.
Is there a particular area in Southwest Florida you concentrate on (or love to work in)?
Over the years I’ve felt very comfortable selling anywhere from Cape Coral to Marco Island. I honestly feel comfortable selling anywhere in the state of Florida as long as it’s worth the time and investment. However, the arena I enjoy the most is Gulf Access properties in Naples, Bonita and Marco. Something about seeing a boat and dolphins in the back yard just makes the job that much more enjoyable.
What do you do for fun?
I love to spend time with the people I love. I love to fish, watch and/or coach football, or just be on a boat. I think I missed my calling at being a Pirate.
Oh my so many to choose from. I guess it depends on what I want or am in the mood for. Truluck’s downtown is amazing. T-Michaels for amazing steaks and beautiful Bay views. USS Nemo for mouth watering Seabass. Passage to India is always amazing for a little more flair. There are just so many great places to eat in SWFL. I gained weight just thinking about them all.
What are your keys to success?
This industry is not so different from most others, you find the best and try to learn from them. When I started this I signed on with Remax. The first thing I wanted to know was, who was the best? Who was the most successful agent in Remax? That quest led me to Scott Riddle. I started just trying to hang around him. To listen to his conversations and steal as much knowledge as I could. That eventually led to him starting a team and then us meeting up with Alex. Then I stole as much as I could from him. Surround yourself with great people. The next thing is your ability to connect with your customer. To truly be successful, this is essential. Finally…work ethic and maintaining prospective over time. It’s easy to take it easy when you have lots of money in the bank but as quickly as that comes, it can go away even faster. Don’t rest on your laurels because this industry can change overnight.
How has our system worked for you?
Having seen this system being developed literally from the ground up, being here since the inception of this team, I’m amazed at the strides Scott and Alex have made in the advancement of our system. I couldn’t even imagine what it might be like for a new agent to walk in and literally have every tool that only the super successful, 10 year agents can afford. It puts any agent on a light speed path to being one of the tops in our industry. Our systems are truly game changers that I believe many entering the industry can easily take for granted. But I can promise you, having seen agents come and go and the success or lack they have while (and after) being on the team, it honestly speaks for itself.
Any tips for new agents?
Put the systems that have been given to you by the team to use. Following it religiously for the rest of your career. There is no reason that everyone on this team shouldn’t make a six-figure income by their second year. If you’re not, check your work ethic or become better at connecting with your customers, as these are the only things that limit your success in a system that gives you literally every other tool.