Former NCAA Coach Ray Giacoletti Finds New Career in Real Estate

Real Estate Agent Magazine sat down with Ray Giacoletti to discuss his transition from NCAA basketball coach to real estate agent in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Giacoletti is in his first year as an agent at Corcoran Reverie, and is already applying the same work ethic to his new career. 

REAM: After years of coaching NCAA basketball, what intrigued you about becoming a real estate agent?

RG: My wife and I moved 10 times in 34 years because of my coaching career, so we had a lot of experience buying and selling houses. This sparked my curiosity and interest in real estate, but once we moved to our current residence in Santa Rosa Beach, that’s what really led me to want to pursue real estate. The market here in 30A is like no other. It’s all second and third homes at the beach, the community is very active and outdoors, and everyone seems to have a smile on their face. It’s like a hidden gem in the U.S. and it’s extremely fun and exciting to find a home for those looking to move to the sunshine state.

REAM: What has been the biggest challenge for you as you embarked on this new career?

RG: I worked in a completely different field for 34 years, so the biggest challenge has been learning the real estate business and finding my groove as an agent. My colleagues at Corcoran Reverie have been unbelievably helpful, investing time and resources into me during my transition to a luxury real estate agent. I am getting up to speed quicker than I had anticipated because of their help, so it’s off to a good start!

REAM: What are some of the practices/habits you developed as a coach that you think will translate into your real estate career?

RG: For coaching, you need to be a great leader, communicator, and you have to perform at your best for your team. These practices translate to real estate because it’s about relationships and building trust with the clients. I want to make sure my clients know I’m going to do the best I can to meet their needs and find what they’re looking for. Overall, I think there are many great lessons I learned during my coaching experience that translate directly to my real estate career.

REAM: Tell us about some of the mentors or men and women who have helped you launch this new career.

RG: Absolutely, I have a great team behind me, so even though I am brand new, there are veterans at Corcoran Reverie who help me learn every day and bring me up to speed. Libbi Cartwright specifically conducts a mentorship program for agents in their first year, so she and I meet at least twice a week to discuss a variation of topics to help integrate me into this new field.

Hilary and Jacob, the brokerage ownership at Corcoran Reverie, are forward-thinking people as far as investing in teaching and bringing new agents up to speed as quickly as possible with training opportunities. I am very fortunate to be under their umbrella and a part of this team!

REAM: What do you miss most about coaching? Are you still involved with the sport or the universities at all?

RG: I was involved in college basketball for 34 years, and a head coach four different times, I feel very lucky to have had the career I had, but it was time for me to retire. The industry has drastically changed in the last couple of years on what college athletics are all about, so I was ready to move on to something different. Real estate has given me a new challenge and helped expose me to a new world of possibilities, so it has been a fun and fresh new start.

REAM: Having coached at different universities, what drew you to move to Florida? What do you love most about the area?

RG: Coming from someone who moved 10 different times in 34 years, Florida is pretty special and unique. It’s such a different feel with amazing weather, beautiful beaches, and great people. My wife and I moved to Santa Rosa Beach about three years ago and we could not be happier with our decision. We have never lived in the South, so our first winter in Florida was amazing! You can see how the sunshine affects the community. Everyone has a smile on their face, and it just makes you feel good every day. The Northwest can have some brutal winters, so we welcomed this new Florida climate with open arms!

REAM: What’s something your colleagues would be surprised to learn about you?

RG: I think people see coaches and the gameday experience and think of coaching as being a lot of fun. Not to say that it isn’t, but I think my colleagues would be surprised to learn just how much hard work went into my coaching career. There was really no time off, you work 12-13 hour days in the off-season and it’s hard today to be successful in coaching at any level because of the new rules and recruiting, etc. Now that I’m onboarding, I think my colleagues can see my hard work and tenacity, but it all stems from coaching and I wouldn’t change that experience for the world.

REAM: Do you have a personal philosophy? How does that apply to your new career?

RG: I had to learn long ago that you should try to “make the best of each day, and not worry about anything else.” If you do that, I believe good things will happen down the road. It’s extremely hard to do that in any business, but I think it’s important to try to zero in on winning the day and let the good things follow. I feel like it helps people focus on things and feel a little less overwhelmed because the bigger picture will take care of itself.

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