Real Estate Agent Magazine Phoenix sat down with EJ Tallman of Revelation Real Estate to discuss her career and her aspirations in the latest installation of the “Agent Spotlight.”
REAM: Who is EJ?
Tallman: I was born in Seoul, Korea, and moved to Phoenix with my parents and two siblings in 1974 when I was only 7 years old. All we had was $350 and each other. We didn’t even speak English! Both of my parents worked multiple jobs to provide for us. Their sacrifice has shaped so much of who I am and how I approach work. It is here in Arizona, that I met and married my loving husband, Mark, and we raised our three children.
REAM: What first drew you to the real estate industry?
Tallman: I was drawn to real estate because of the flexibility and the independence. When I first got my license in 2002, I had three young children. Being involved in their lives was a priority for me. Little did I know that real estate would offer me so much more than a flexible schedule! My favorite part of real estate is the relational aspect – I have truly made lifelong friendships with my clients. It is so rewarding to be able to work with families to find the perfect home because the love of my family is what led me to this career!
REAM: Did you have a career in another industry before embarking in real estate?
Tallman: I worked in sales at Carnation Dairies/Nestle Corporation for about two years. After my kids were born, I transitioned to a stay at-home-mom for about 10 years. While my kids were little, I was heavily involved in volunteering and also worked part-time as a teacher’s assistant for about five years and as a sales associate at St. John Home Furnishings in Scottsdale.
REAM: Who are your real estate mentors?
Tallman: I know that having a great support system in this industry is a must. Great broker/owners, Chuck and Angela Fazio, over at Revelation Real Estate and the amazing staff make such a difference and I could not be more appreciative of them. The positive atmosphere and the endless training provided to all the new and seasoned agents are invaluable assets. I always try to surround myself with positive individuals and those that bring out the best in all of us. I believe that living everyday with passion and purpose and try to surround myself with people who bring out the best version of me!
REAM: Tell us about your first sale?
Tallman: I had received a referral from another agent in my office that was a sign call. The sweet couple didn’t speak English, so their daughter translated for them. We were looking in the central Phoenix area and there weren’t many homes for sale in the neighborhood they wanted. We were driving around the neighborhood and I saw a “For Sale by Owner” sign around the corner. The property was vacant, and I called the number on the sign. The owner showed up and we negotiated the offer price and terms right then and there and we had an executed contract the following day. I contacted the FSBO seller to provide him with an update. He asked me how long I’ve been doing real estate. I told him I was in business for about three months. He thanked me for bringing him the buyer and then asked if I could list and sell four of his other rental properties in Phoenix. I said, ABSOLUTELY! We’re still in contact all these years later.
REAM: What do you enjoy most about your day-to-day job?
Tallman: I really enjoy helping my clients find their dream home and negotiating for my clients. I believe that my uncompromising dedication to my clients’ best interest leads to lasting relationships. Truly, the best part about this business is turning clients into lifelong friends.
REAM: Are there any upcoming changes you’re excited to announce?
Tallman: I will be marketing with one of my colleagues, who also happens to be a dear friend, in order to provide a completely comprehensive buying/selling service experience. From representing sellers and landlords to providing staging services, we will be covering the complete spectrum of services as residential agents.
REAM: What career goals do you have for the next five years? The next 10?
Tallman: My husband, Mark, is going to join my team after his retirement from the police force and I could not be more excited to grow together as a husband/wife real estate team! My husband jokes that he will be my personal chauffer. At some point, I would also like to hire a personal assistant. I’ve experienced an amazing amount of growth in the past few years and would like to have someone to help me with the day-to-day organizing and help me navigate the increasingly technological market.
REAM: What is one of the challenges you face in the industry? How do you overcome it?
Tallman: My biggest challenges are the new technologies and the endless social media outlets for agents. I’m not a techie person so I had to hire a marketing person to help me streamline my social media presence. I realized that my past and current clients want to work with me not because I have all the state of the art technology or an online presence, but just want me as their agent that they can trust with the most important purchase, which is their home.
REAM: What one trait most differentiates between a successful agent and an almost successful agent?
Tallman: Each agent operates differently and approaches business in a different way. There are differences in knowledge, attitude, experience, communication, negotiating style and ultimately, results. I spend time with clients up front to clearly understand their objectives and needs to ensure that I am providing them with the optimal buying or selling experience. When they are an informed buyer or seller, then they’ll make the best decisions for the most important purchase or sale in their life. That’s why my goal is to keep my clients informed on trends in the market place, utilizing the latest tools and statistics available in the Phoenix real estate market.
REAM: What are some of your hobbies outside of the office?
Tallman: I love to spend quality time with my husband, family and friends. Now that we are empty-nesters, my husband and I are looking forward to our many future travels together to where our adult children are located. I enjoy working out, going on mini vacations, enjoy reading motivational and spiritual books, walking/hiking, and playing with our two energetic (or should I say crazy) golden-doodles, Scout and Newton. My other passion is babies. I’m currently looking into becoming a “Baby Holder” at a nearby hospital.
REAM: How are you involved in the local community?
Tallman: I was very involved volunteering at our children’s parochial school and also at their high schools. The past few years, I have been helping my elderly parents with their medical/health needs. I would like to get more involved in our church at St. Mary Magdalene. My Catholic faith is very important to me and provides me with an immense clarity and also discovering my true purpose and self-potential.