The ANTI-REALTOR’s Strategies for Success


Jay O’Brien, also known as the @AntiRealtor, is the broker owner of Remax Prestige in Orange County, California, and a member of Giveback Homes. Known for his outstanding personal touch as a top agent in the area, Jay is also recognized as one of the top 30 REALTORS under 30 years old in the U.S. and Canada. Jay purchased his first home in 2010, an experience that inspired him to get in the game, and do things differently, hence the branding of ANTI-REALTOR. Read how he’s shaking things up with a fresh perspective on top-notch service and a heavy emphasis on giving back.




How is your approach to selling real estate different?

During my first year in the business, I realized everyone who had hired me claimed their experience was amazing and that I was “the best.” I started to read things like, “Jay always showed up on time, picked up his phone when we called, was available to answer questions, and communicated every step of the transaction through and through.” This was eye-opening to me and caused me to really be honest with myself. How does showing up on time and communicating with someone warrant “being the best”? You would never check into a Marriott or Double Tree and rave about your experience or give a 5-star review because you received a room key when you checked in, had food delivered when you ordered it, or had your room cleaned.

I also remember reading a statistic that stated upwards of 90% of sellers would hire the agent who represented them in purchasing their home if only they could remember their name. This is when I became aware of how much white space is really in the real estate industry. If 90% of people would hire me again if they could only remember my name, and if someone thinks by being available and communicating what is happening in a transaction demonstrates a stellar work ethic, we need to reevaluate what an incredible consumer experience really should be.

In 2014, I began implementing concierge practices into every part of the transaction, so I could REALLY deliver and feel good about these 5-star reviews being well-deserved.

Now when a client purchases or sells a home through me, it looks like this:

  • Bottle of wine or gift basket is delivered to client’s current residence with handwritten note at contingency removal – this is to congratulate client that the hard part is over and they can now relax

  • Forwarding of address is handled by us

  • Transfer of utilities is handled by us

  • Electronic file with all documents signed during transaction are sent via Dropbox

  • Handyman shows up on moving day as a surprise to client and is available for 2 hours to help with just about anything

  • Gardener arrives at home a few days after move-in date and mows/hedges lawn

  • One week after closing, mobile car wash goes out to client(s) home/office and details car after going through the move (gratuity included)

  • Four weeks after closing, 5-Star restaurant calls client to congratulate them and says I will be sending the clients to dinner on a night of their choice and transportation is provided (this information is communicated back to my assistant and Uber is scheduled to/from establishment)


The real secret to my approach? Honestly give a sh*t about the person who is trusting you and put your own interests last on the list. Focus on adding value versus getting something personally.


Why is it important to you to give back?

Giving back is the only true measure of success. It’s critical for a number of different reasons. It’s 

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important to perpetually “pay it forward” not only because it’s a selfless gift-giving action, but also because the recipients learn from the generosity and it encourages them to do the same, perhaps on a different scale, for someone else. If we can keep this cycle going, the world will constantly improve. 

Every December, I post a note on Facebook asking if someone is having a personal financial struggle or knows someone who is and is unable to purchase Christmas gifts for their kids/loved ones that year. For the last few years, I have received personal messages explaining the situation. I ask for the Christmas list of the kids, buy the gifts on Amazon, have them gift-wrapped, and sent to the house marked “From: Santa Claus” – to this day, anyone who has ever received these gifts has absolutely no idea where they came from.

I also like to stay involved with:

  • The Charity Foundation at the Pacific West Association of REALTORS – we run events that raise money to help veterans get into homes, issuing roughly 25 grants a year.

  • Reading To Kids – an organization that gets together the second Saturday of every month to read to kids in inner city schools.
  • Costa Mesa Soup Kitchen - Our office volunteers once a month for four hours.

  • CHOC Miracle Office + CHOC Walk - donates a portion of every single paycheck to the cause all year.

  • Toys for Tots Donations.

  • CHILDHelp – an organization that supports kids who have fallen out of the foster care system and receive minimal government funding.

To learn more about Jay O’Brien, follow him on Facebook and Instagram or call (714) 323-8542.

To join the Giveback Homes movement go to To donate and help build a home for a family in need, please click here. 100% of your contribution will go directly towards building homes #forsocialgood