Long before I started to make a career in real estate (more on that in a paragraph or two), I was a writer. My majored in English at UVA. I wrote copy for CNN news stories as my first professional job. I worked in advertising and marketing for most of the 1980s. I wrote a humor column for a decade called Life in the Slow Lane for The Greenville Journal. I was a writer, and proud of it.
What I wasn’t, was a person even remotely interested in real estate. That seemed like one of the worst professions on Earth. Boring. Tedious. All-consuming. The reason I came to this conclusion was because of my mother. She was a Realtor. At 15, my first real job beyond babysitting, was a summer gig at a tiny real estate company in my hometown of Winnetka, Illinois. It was not a match made in Heaven. I did little more than file papers, watch the slow ticks of the clock, and answer a phone that barely rang.
Then it got worse. My mother would ask, “Do you want to hear something really interesting?” Before I could reply “yes” or “no,” she would be telling some story about a house or buyer or a seller or something that made me lose all of sense of energy. I quickly created a fantastic stock answer, “No, mom, I hate interesting things.”
She told the stories anyway.
And then after moving to Greenville, South Carolina in 1989, and then having my fourth child in 1992, I decided to give real estate a chance. But not because of my mother or any desire to watch a clock tick slowly again. No, it was because after moving to Chicago, Charlotte, DC, and then Greenville, most of my experiences with real estate people often bordered on the edge of terrible. I knew I could do better.
Since 1993, I’ve personally negotiated more than 1,000 deals and advised on hundreds of others. My firm, Joan Herlong & Associates, is affiliated with the unrivaled, truly global brand Sotheby’s International Realty. Based on sales volume, I was the number one Realtor in the Greater Greenville Association of Realtors for the 2012-2021 decade. I listed the record setting sale for the Upstate that sold in summer 2022, for just under a total of $10 million. I speak homes fluently. I understand every aspect of this business, not just the benefits of a southern exposure or a gabled roof. I know a few things when it comes to real estate.
So back to that writing thing. I never wanted to be in real estate. But here I am. I never seriously thought about writing a book. Yet here I am.
This book is my effort to raise the bar. You have the right to expect more, but first you have to know what more to expect. Hopefully this book will inspire more dedicated, full-time real estate professionals, who will treat this high-stakes business with the seriousness that buyers and sellers deserve. Whether you’re a buyer, a seller, an agent, or an aspiring agent, you’ll find insights and strategies that will help you become better informed, to get the most out of your experience.
What can you expect from this book?
- Reasons why most real estate professionals fail and how to avoid those traps.
- The correct things that buyers and sellers need to know about the real estate process.
- How to manage the unexpected parts of the real estate world
- Tips to be a better business leader.
- Laugh. Expect to laugh.
Want to know more about working with Joan? Click here.