Real Estate Agent of the Month David Nelson

David Nelson

High Tech. High Energy. High Rewards.

 By Susan Cushing

Describing David Nelson of RE/MAX Advantage Plus as a “head man” is a double-entendre. With a master’s degree in occupational therapy, specializing in the study, research and treatment of brain injuries, and a one-time member of the prestigious Mayo Clinic’s “brain team,” Nelson quite literally is considered an expert of the cerebrum.

Today, “head man” better describes his success in real estate, and his role as founder and leader of the Imperial Home Team. Not to worry, his eight years of experience treating patients with strokes and traumatic brain injuries is not lost. Anyone involved in the business of real estate understands that knowing what’s inside a buyer’s or seller’s head can be invaluable.

Seriously, Nelson says many traits he developed as a therapist, such as patience, compassion, clear communication and the ability to stay positive, have all served him well as a REALTOR®. He also understands the importance of humor and having fun. A devout Star Wars fan, Nelson has managed to incorporate this theme into his everyday life, as well as his business.

“While it was certainly rewarding being able to help people, there were many aspects of my previous career that were straining,” says Nelson. “No one ever saw me because they were healthy, and it can be heartbreaking to see such suffering on a daily basis. Add to that the constraints the health care system imposed, we were limited as to how much help we could actually offer. Ultimately, it became a struggle both emotionally and physically for me, and I knew it was time for a change.”

From Cultivating Land to Cultivating Leads
In the relatively short time Nelson has been a REALTOR®, he’s availed himself of every tool, educational opportunity and prudent adviser to maximize his abilities serving his clients. His dedication, hard work and uncanny ability to connect with people has resulted in astounding growth, both of his business and reputation.

Hard work would seem to come naturally to Nelson. Being raised on a farm with 2,000 acres to tend taught Nelson many lessons, but his father’s business acumen was what really impressed the young man.

“My dad was a very good businessman,” says Nelson. “And I knew at a fairly young age that while I’m willing to work hard, I want to work smart. Moreover, I’ve always wanted to be my own boss, and not put a ceiling on my growth or earning potential.

“I saw real estate as an opportunity to expand my wings and develop creative marketing, which I love to do,” he continues. “And I thrive on growing my business. Forming a team has given me the opportunity to help other agents grow their business.”

While he acknowledges the expended time and energy he’s contributed to this success, Nelson is quick to share the credit with those who helped him along the way.

“I began my real estate career with another company, but was recruited by owner Eric Malmberg,” he says. “I’ve loved it ever since. He’s been a great mentor from the beginning. When I was thinking about forming my own team, Eric took the time to sit down with me several times, offering helpful suggestions and advice. Even though he’s a very busy guy, he adheres to his own philosophy of putting his clients and agents first.

“Many people look at the RE/MAX image as similar to other franchises, such as McDonald’s,” he adds, “but each one is unique. RE/MAX Advantage Plus is owned and operated by Eric Malmberg, and in addition to his beliefs about putting clients and agents first, Eric is a huge proponent of technology. I’m in complete agreement with him, hands down.”

King of Kindred
Nelson openly admits how difficult his choice was to leave a career for which he had studied hard, and which provided good money, benefits, and a regular paycheck. Ultimately, however, he recognized his happiness was more valuable.

“I knew I had to make this move to be physically and mentally happy and healthy,” he says. “I used to be like so many people, dreading Monday morning. Now, I can’t wait to jump out of bed and see what the day will bring.”

It wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision, and Nelson knew that launching his new career would take time and money. While he tried to plan for the financial challenges, he knew that having recently moved to the area would make his start doubly difficult.

“I’m not originally from this area, so my first year I didn’t have a sphere of influence from which to draw new business,” Nelson explains. “It was stressful, certainly difficult, but it paid off.”

One strategy that definitely paid off for Nelson was choosing to specialize his efforts on his own neighborhood. Residing in the city of Lakeville, a community he loves, it made sense.

“Going into the business, I did my research,” he says, “and determined that if was going to do well, I needed to be hyper-local. I started with my own neighborhood of 64 homes. I decided that if there was a for sale sign in my neighborhood, it should be mine, and if not, I needed to find out why.

“My sphere of influence was my neighbors, going door-to-door, introducing myself,” he continues. “Once I got a listing in my neighborhood, I would personally invite all the neighbors to the open house. Gradually, I began to extend my radius, perhaps by only an additional half-mile at a time. The most important thing, was to make sure I was providing exemplary service to those who had already entrusted the sale of their home to me. There is nothing more powerful than word of mouth.”

Now perceived as the expert REALTOR® for Lakeville, his neighbors have adopted a nickname for Nelson. Because his home address is on Kindred Court, he’s known as the King of Kindred, although obviously, his listings extend well beyond.

“Neighbors approach me now,” he says with a smile. “I’ll be outdoors and they’ll walk up and they’ll say, ‘I’ve heard about how you get quick sales and top dollar’ or, if they listed with someone else, they feel compelled to tell me why. Typically, it’s because a family member or long-time friend is a REALTOR®.”

High Tech – Low Stress
Nelson was very clear on a few points when he decided to form his own team. First, he wanted to share his vast knowledge of creative marketing and skillful implementation of technology. Next, his reasons for forming the team were clear – to offer support and advice to those building their business and take advantage of the collaboration of many people, each with their own ideas to share. Finally, he knew that he did not want his name to be that of the team.

“I’m a big Star Wars fan,” he confesses, “and Darth Vader’s troops were called the Imperial Forces, so I found a way to combine my love for Star Wars with my love for the business. I’ve even gone so far as to invest in a Hollywood caliber Darth Vader costume. Thanks to the costume and various social media posts I have acquired another nickname. A lot of my followers refer to me as ‘that Star Wars guy’.”

As far as technology, Nelson is quick to point out that while he’s not the type to jump on to every new thing that comes down the pike, he is an avid enthusiast of any technology that will augment his efforts to best serve his clients.

One team member, Ron Johnson, who previously worked for FOX Sports North and Big 10 Network, suggested podcasting. Nelson loved the idea, and after much planning and preparation, Imperial Home Team began broadcasting bi-weekly podcasts back in March. Guests of the program have included the mayor of Lakeville, a newly licensed agent, and a home staging professional.

“I want each agent to feel empowered, to be their own person,” says Nelson. “I didn’t say, ‘OK, you’re going to be a buyer’s agent and you are going to listing agent.’ I share whatever knowledge I have, but I can’t teach motivation or integrity. I tell my agents basically what I used to tell my patients, ‘I’ll work as hard as you do, but I’ll never work harder because that means I want it more than you!’”

Proud of what they’ve accomplished individually and as a team, Nelson wants to identify his Imperial Home Team members: Kimberly Androff , Tracey Baker, Brian Busse, Ron Johnson, Chris Mosier and Dawn Seepersaud.

Thanks to his philosophy of working smarter, not harder, Nelson says he enjoys movies, golf, sporting events, and spending time with family and friends.

“It’s been a crazy few years,” he says, “but I wouldn’t trade it for the world!”