We recently sat down with one of Bean Group’s top performing agents, Roger Howe, and asked him some questions about his experience working in the real estate business.
How long have you been in the real estate industry?:
8 years, since 2011. Seems longer!
What did you do before becoming an agent?:
I was in the power equipment industry working sales at the distribution, manufacturing, and retail levels. When I eventually moved on from the sector I had sold my own retail sales and service business in Manchester.
Why did you choose a career in real estate?:
After having run several businesses with multiple employees for many years, I came to the realization that I had to work for just myself. I felt my experience in retail business start-ups gave me a commercial sales presence, and real estate was the best choice for my skills. I started in I/C but quickly transitioned into all areas of real estate.
What is your favorite thing about the industry?:
That every day there could be something new to tackle and learn from. I love the fact that I can be working with a single-family home listing in Bedford and turn around and be writing a lease for a condo in Merrimack. I learn something new every transaction whether it goes smoothly or hits bumps in the road while it’s getting to the finish line.
What attracted you to Bean Group?:
Independence, Bean Group brand awareness, and the prospect of building that in the new Bedford office.
What areas do you service, and how do you know the region?:
I have had listings and buyer clients from as far away as Winchester, NH, the Seacoast, and Pittsburg, NH. Although I have lived in Bedford for 23 years, I built my first home in Barrington, and have lived in North Hampton, Stratham, Dover, and Newmarket in the last 35 years. I will go anywhere for a sale, but I service mostly Rockingham and Hillsborough Counties.
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?:
Personally: raising five unbelievable children that make me proud every single day. Professionally: being named the 7th highest dollar volume salesman in the country for a major power equipment manufacturer. In real estate: my highest sales volume ever which I achieved in 2018.
Outside of work, what are your hobbies and/or what do you do for fun?:
Lacrosse. I’m a lacrosse junkie. I’ve played since I was 13, played all through high school and college, and still play club lacrosse. I coached for 19 years and just took a break in 2017. All three of my sons play, one is a coach at Keene State College and another is on the club team at UNH. I’m always looking for the next game to attend!
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve seen during your career in real estate?:
This past summer I was in a complicated transaction where I represented a seller, a buyer, and a seller all in the same transaction(s). Those three sides were also controlled by three other transactions (I know, it’s very confusing, I’d need a flow chart to make it clear!). In the end, six transactions had to close in the same day in three different states for the transactions to close. A tough one to coordinate – but a good commission day!
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in the business?:
Finding the time to continually renew and refresh the best ways to grow my own brand while at the same time cultivate new leads and business.
What’s the latest strategy that you’ve added to your business?:
I’ve done away with the third-party platforms to develop and rely on for lead generation. I have fully embraced social media and e-marketing as my main strategy to promote and grow my business. It seems to be working. Nearly 75% of my business last year was referrals from prior clients and my sphere of influence and friends.
How many hours a day do you work?:
I am in the Bedford office every weekday morning at 7:30 am. Hours vary each day but I am always working and will usually respond to an email or text at any hour of the night or day. And of course, weekends are for more showings and open houses!
What’s a challenge that you’ve faced in real estate that you didn’t expect?:
More of a disappointment than a challenge. I am astounded by the number of agents in our business that are unprofessional, unorganized, and appear as if real estate is a part-time job at Target. I suppose the challenging part of that is giving my clients the best possible service and effort I can while upholding the other side of the transaction when that agent lacks the same dedication.
Looking back, is there anything you could have done differently to attain success in real estate sooner?:
No. I don’t think anyone comes into real estate having all the answers to success, no matter how successful they were in a prior career. The business is much different now than it was when I got into it in 2011. I have learned to change my model and outlook as the business has changed. That, I hope, will continue to bring me more success in the future.