Real Estate Agent Magazine interviewed Drew Coleman, the founder of Opt Real Estate. A top real estate agent in Oregon, Drew shares invaluable insights gained through years of navigating the ever-evolving real estate landscape.
REAM: Can you tell us about your journey in residential real estate and how you got started in the industry?
DC: I began my journey in residential real estate straight out of college. I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of homes as a fundamental piece of people’s lives and the potential of real estate as an investment vehicle. I got my start by joining a local brokerage and soaking up as much knowledge as I could… becoming a lifelong learner. I took a leap of faith, and 20+ years later, I’m proud of the path I’ve chosen.
REAM: What motivated you to continue growing your real estate team, even during challenging times like the 2008 crash and the COVID era?
DC: My motivation to continue growing for our clients, agents, and staff, even during challenging times, stems from my unwavering belief in the power of real estate as a positive force for individuals, families, and communities. Both the 2008 crash and the COVID era tested our resilience, but in those challenging times, we focused on delivering value and building long-lasting relationships with our clients. Real estate is more than just transactions, it’s about helping people navigate important moments in their lives.
REAM: As the highest producing broker at The Hasson Company in 2020, what strategies or approaches do you attribute to your success in achieving high sales volume?
DC: I credit our team’s success, firstly, to our team, and secondly, to a combination of client-centric service, an innovative and tech-savvy approach to marketing, and our deep knowledge of the local market. The Hasson Company was an amazing organization and we’ve tried to build on that success at our new company, Opt. At the core, our aim was always to understand clients’ needs deeply and provide solutions that best fit their unique situations.
REAM: As someone who has lived in different places, including Vienna as a child, what makes Portland stand out as the perfect backdrop for your personal and professional life?
DC: Having lived in different places, including Vienna, Austria as a child, Portland stands out due to its unique blend of urban life and natural beauty. I love its quirky, vibrant arts scene, the sense of community, and unparalleled access to nature. The city’s character and energy create a perfect backdrop for my personal and professional life.
REAM: What are some of the challenges you faced during your career and how did you overcome them?
DC: The challenges in my career have varied from market downturns to the changes brought about by technology. However, I’ve always embraced these challenges as opportunities to learn, grow, and find new avenues for business growth. I believe in continuous learning, staying flexible, and adapting to new circumstances as they arise.
REAM: What are some of the most rewarding aspects of being a real estate agent, and what keeps you motivated and engaged in your work?
DC: One of the most rewarding aspects of being a real estate professional is being a part of the milestone moments in clients’ lives. From helping a first-time homebuyer find their dream home, to guiding a seller through a complex transaction, these moments are deeply satisfying. What keeps me motivated is the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.
REAM: Can you discuss any specific memorable transactions or experiences that have shaped your approach to real estate?
DC: Each transaction has its unique challenges and rewards, shaping my approach to real estate. A particularly memorable one was helping a family sell their home that had been in their family for over 100 years. It was an emotional process, but we managed to find a buyer who appreciated the home’s history, which meant a lot to the sellers.
REAM: How do you maintain an exhaustive work ethic while balancing your personal life and family responsibilities?
DC: Balancing an exhaustive work ethic with personal life and family responsibilities is an ongoing process. I don’t know that I’ve mastered this, but I’ve improved. I ensure that despite my demanding work schedule, I spend quality time with my wife and our three energetic children.
REAM: How are you involved in the local community?
DC: I’m heavily involved in the local community by working with nonprofits that support foster care and homelessness. We leverage the unique media abilities of our company to tell their stories in compelling ways.
REAM: What is something your colleagues would be surprised to learn about you?
DC: A fun fact that colleagues may not know about me is that I love logic puzzles. Figuring out complex answers dovetails nicely with real estate!
REAM: Anything else to add?
DC: I would like to say that success in real estate doesn’t come overnight. The reason that there is an 87% agent dropout rate is twofold, firstly, people don’t truly grasp the time commitment and effort required, and secondly, they don’t realize how long it takes to achieve success. It’s a result of years of hard work, continuous learning, and most importantly, a passion for serving people. As we move forward, our team at Opt is committed to maintaining our client-centric approach, using innovative strategies, and giving back to our community. Here’s to creating many more successful real estate stories together!