Member Spotlight: Mark Fuller



Mark Fuller of Keller Williams Realty shares his story in the latest Giveback Homes member spotlight. He discusses the evolution of his career in real estate, how he hopes to pay it forward by joining Giveback Homes and advice for first time homeowners.

What is the proudest moment in your career so far? The moment that stands out to me was when the largest local newspaper in town selected me as the "Sold on My Realtor" contest winner. The paper called on its readers who had a great experience with their realtor, and I was nominated by one of my clients. It was exciting when I was chosen as the winner.

What's the biggest challenge with owning your first home? I feel that keeping up with daily, weekly and monthly maintenance is a big challenge for first-time homeowners. While it does get cheaper and easier the longer you have owned your home, some homeowners who don't keep up with the maintenance realize that they have to sell. Then they will find that they have these big projects on their hands to prepare the home for the market with no time and little money to complete them.

How do you hope to impact communities by joining Giveback Homes? When I am working with a buyer or seller, it's definitely all about them. Throughout the process, clients are constantly thinking about their own needs. My hope and prayer is to communicate to clients that by working with us, they are playing a part in helping the less fortunate also get a home. This thinking will help to transition their thoughts away from themselves and more towards those with a greater need.

Where do you hope Giveback Homes expands to in the future? I have introduced the team to Jerry Kovaly, the Houston head of HFH, so I am hopeful Giveback Homes will be in Houston soon.

How has the real estate profession evolved in the last five years? Technology has definitely played a role in the evolution, and how we market a home has changed dramatically. If you want to be a top agent, you need to be marketing your listings on platforms that are relevant for buyers including: -Social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. -YouTube – Create a video channel and include a clip of your listings -Craigslist – Many potential home buyers use this resource. -Promote your listings on all of the big national sites like TruliaZillow and -Due to the high volume of cell phone Internet usage today, make sure that your website is compatible with smartphones. -Incorporate text messaging responses for listing inquiries. -Forget traditional paper marketing. Newspaper and magazine advertising is costly and ineffective.

How do you think owning a home will affect these families in the future? Hopefully, it will give them the incentive to improve their situation so that they are able to pay it forward and help someone in return one day.

If you could give one piece of advice to people looking for their first home, what would it be? Find a professional realtor that has the skill and knowledge to give you solid advice. Then, you should actually trust this realtor. Do what they say. If you find yourself not wanting to trust your realtor, then you should go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate why you chose this realtor in the first place. If your basis for choosing the realtor was because of a personal relationship or recommendation, you need to ask yourself if making the largest purchase or your life is more important than doing someone a favor. Do yourself a favor and seek out the most qualified agent available.

Tell us about a challenging situation you faced in real estate and how you handled it? I had a well-qualified buyer in the $800,000-$900,000 price range that was ready to buy. After a short time, we identified a very specific and preferred neighborhood. Over the course of approximately 60 days, we made offers on three different houses the same day that they became available on the market. Even though we offered more than the asking price, none of our contracts were accepted. The challenge in a multiple offer situation is bidding blindly. We don't know how much the others are offering. We don't know if we should bid $5k, $10K or $20K higher. After losing three deals in a row including one property that was highly desired, my client was getting frustrated. I felt like he started to doubt my abilities as an agent. I decided to be more proactive about this issue and took matters into my own hands. I went into the tax rolls and identified owners with homes that matched my clients' criteria. I wrote each of those people a letter with a handwritten note and enclosed my cell phone number. I asked them to please call me as soon as possible. The letter described who my clients were and how we could save them time and money and make the selling process more simplistic. I ended up getting nearly 15 responses, and we arranged for private showings of approximately six of these homes. We negotiated directly with the owner on their favorites, cutting out competing buyers and blind bids. The result was getting buyers a great house at a fair price in their desired neighborhood!

Do you have a specialty in real estate? My business primarily comes from referrals. I have been professionally coached to grow my practice this way. We also create a sense of community with my current and past clients by having quarterly events including networking events, happy hours, holiday pie giveaways and real estate investment seminars.

Tell us about any interesting hobbies you might have. I play golf and some acoustic guitar. I also exercise and am active in my church through small groups and volunteering.