What is your role at Knock?
I’m a Licensed Local Expert. Technically the definition of that role is a full-time, salaried Knock agent. Personally, I feel we’re like the customer’s spiritual guide through the process of home buying and selling -- like a “shaman,” if you will. Sometimes you simply have to be the person who calms the customer down. This is a very stressful process for most people, but we’ve done this hundreds of times. I have customers who call me late at night or early in the morning, even just to ask questions they may know the answer to, but they want reassurance. And they are entitled to it -- this is likely the biggest transaction of their lives. So I see a big part of my role as being calm and pragmatic through the process so I can help them get to the closing table with confidence.
Why did you decide to join Knock?
I was one of Knock’s very first employees. I come from a corporate background, but real estate has always been my passion. I’ve had my license for 14 years and at one point I finally decided to jump into it full-time. Our Co-founder and CEO Sean reached out to me on LinkedIn to get coffee, and he explained what Knock was trying to do, how we would answer a lot of the unknowns the average consumer deals with and relieve them from the biggest stressors they face. He needed someone with a corporate background who could handle volume to help get things off the ground in Atlanta. For me, that was a dream situation. It was like a job tailored to my skills both in real estate and prior to that.
Knock was and is on the leading edge of real estate, and I believe this is what the mainstream future of our industry will look like. I would rather be on the leading edge now, then trying to catch up in 10 years.
What do you love most about working at Knock?
By far my favorite thing is working with a group of people who are dedicated to making the real estate industry better. Of course, the role of any business is to make money for its shareholders -- no matter what else is in their mission statement, that’s their bottom line. Knock is the first company I’ve worked for in any industry where the bottom line purpose, the reason it was founded, is making this process more accessible for people who wouldn’t be able to make it happen otherwise.
What do you find most challenging about working at Knock?
The biggest challenge I face is peoples’ romanticized view of what real estate is and what the agent role is. Blame it on TV I guess, whether it’s Phil Dunphy from Modern Family or pretty much any show on HGTV. There are so many moving pieces that the customer doesn’t even know about or that have changed since they last sold a house 5 or 10 years ago. People always want to know why something can’t be more simple. There’s a lot more involved than a yard sign, a contract and closing.
And that’s for your average real estate transaction. What we’re doing at Knock with our Home Trade-in is so much more complex. There are technically 3 transactions involved. I’ll be honest, when we first came up with the idea I was skeptical. But once we fleshed it out, it was like capturing lightning in a bottle. Now the biggest challenge is convincing people who were skeptics like myself, and then guiding them through the process.
Who was your most memorable customer?
By far I have to say it was a woman by the name of Ruth. When we inspected her house, we discovered she had 20 full-sized pet birds in basement -- large birds like cockatoos and parrots. At first I thought there was no way we could sell her home. But she was just such an awesome woman, and she explained how much these birds meant to her: During a house fire several years back, one of the birds actually found her unconscious and stayed by her side making noise until help came. So I took on the sale, and Ruth’s many constant questions, and were able to show the house without the birds in it. In the end, we sold the house in a weekend for way over asking price.
What’s your number one piece of advice for home buyers and sellers?
Become a student of the industry. Do your research and listen. It may have been 10 years since the last time you sold a home, and the industry changes all the time. Do whatever you can to familiarize yourself with the process and eliminate any misconceptions. This is a huge investment and where the majority of your wealth is tied up. Your agent is there to help you and to explain, but it doesn’t hurt to learn everything you can on your own, too.
What do you like to do in your personal time?
My undergraduate degree is actually in voice, so I’m a trained singer. I like to go to the karaoke bar, or sing at events like a recent scholarship banquet. I’ve gotten to sing in the Superbowl behind Natalie Cole and in a commercial behind Stevie Wonder.
I’m also pretty active personally and as a sports dad. I don’t love running, but I know it’s good for me, so I do 5Ks every few months. It helps me zone out and not think about anything else (like work). My son is also a runner, and my daughter plays competitive volleyball. Both my kids are athletic, and my wife and I are definitely sports parents. We try to go to every race and game and tournament. If my kids like it, I love it.
Interested in working with Eric or another Knock Licensed Local Expert to trade-in your house for your dream home? Submit your current home for a free market price estimate today!