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Find out how Florida real estate agent Jonathan Spears surpassed $ 1 billion in career sales before the age of 30.

New to the industry? Start with everything you need to know about the first decisions that will shape your career, including choosing a brokerage, learning your market, building an online presence, budgeting, getting leads, marketing lists and more. If you’re a team leader or broker owner, New Agent Month is packed with resources to help your new hires navigate.

In this weekly column, realtors from across the country share stories from the lessons they learned during their time in the industry.

As founder of the Spears group of Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty, Jonathan Spears is dedicated to creating exemplary results for luxury clients in his Emerald Coast market.

It was through overcoming objections early in his career – as a teenage real estate agent – that he learned the importance of letting your performance overcome any potential setbacks. Find out how he gained the confidence and market expertise that allowed him to thrive.

(Note: This interview has been edited for style).

How long have you been in the business?

I started studying for the Florida Real Estate Sales Associate exam in January 2010 (my 18th birthday) and got my license in February of that year. I started working as an assistant in June 2010, right after the BP oil disaster, which put an immediate obstacle to our Northwest Florida real estate market at the time.

The problem solving required during the formative years of my career has been an incredible foundation on which I have built my business today.

Whether it’s real estate foreclosures, short sales and HUD homes, or betting in the upper echelon of luxury real estate, I’ve been fortunate enough to experience a wide range of market cycles over the course of over the past 11 years.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Being a thought leader in the industry as well as pioneering marketing strategies in the luxury real estate industry.

We will also continue to grow our luxury real estate sales team, Spears Group, which was recently awarded # 1 on the the Wall Street newspaper – Real trends “The Thousand” for average real estate teams in Florida.

What’s the big lesson you learned in real estate and how did you learn it?

I have learned that confidence and knowledge of the market are essential in guiding buyers and sellers through a successful transaction. Personally, I started in this business at the age of 18, and my age became a constant objection as I strove to work in luxury real estate.

I was able to turn this objection into a huge advantage, as I realized that my work ethic, tech savvy, etc., gave me a competitive advantage over my market peers over the age of 50. I focused on my delivery being rooted in a deep understanding of the market and my tactful approach to negotiations which solidified my ability to lead in a transaction.

For example, I had a prominent C-level executive from a Fortune 500 company who was looking for what appeared to be a unicorn in our market. This client used to lead billions of dollars in sales in his respective industry and relied on my expertise to lead them to the right property for their family here in Northwest Florida.

Trusting that I was in the best position to secure their dream property (and ultimately the family investment) was a big boost in my efforts to win their business. I ended up finding an off-market property for these people by going door-to-door (prospecting for a specific purpose for a seller) and taking them through a very difficult negotiation.

They have since purchased several properties from me and allowed my team to represent them in buying and selling in several out-of-state markets. I have learned that the customer experience is the most important aspect of a transaction, after the successful completion of a transaction on their behalf.

What advice would you give to new agents?

Focus on excellence in your business. Most of the new agents I meet fall in love with the “lifestyle” of a luxury real estate agent, but don’t understand the time investment required to develop the skills.

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Christy Murdock is a real estate agent, freelance writer, coach and consultant and owner of Real estate writing. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow the real estate editorial staff on Twitter, Instagram and Youtube.