Agent

Glenn Tomlinson: ‘Learn the business the right way from the beginning’

Chicago real estate agent with more than 35 years of experience shares thoughts on working with family and more

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Glenn Tomlinson is an agent for Dream Town Realty and specializes in residential sales, rentals, property management, relocation buyers, vacation homes, land acquisition, income properties and 1031 Exchanges.

What was your first sale and what about it made you confident that real estate was for you?

To be very honest with you, I cannot remember my first sale. I started as a part-time agent in 1980 with Century 21 Hallmark in my hometown of Lyons, Illinois. I was working full-time, going to night school (studying engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology), and we were expecting our third child.

When did you get into the business and why?

DreamTown Realty

DreamTown Realty

The main reason I first got my license was to learn how to sell our small two-bedroom home on Fisherman’s Terrace in Lyons as we were growing out of it. I listed it (pre-license) with an agent who ended up being a local competitor. He sold it before I could complete my course work and take the state test.

I started as a part-time agent and farmed my home town and neighborhood. In one month, I had four closings and was making more money at real estate than I was at my full-time, 9-5 job. It was a no-brainer to go full-time, and I never looked back.

What makes you successful? Three things.

Experience, empathy and knowledge

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What drives you on a daily basis?

I’ve been through numerous recessions during my 36 years in the real estate business, and I’ve had to re-invent myself at least three different times. Two of my three sons have broker’s licenses, and I am driven to turn over a sustainable business and teach them to do the things every day to grow the business so they don’t have to work as long as I do.

It’s too late for me. I’ll never stop working… I love the real estate business!

Do you use a coach? Who and why? If not, why?

I never have. I’ve always wanted to but never had the discipline to actually pull the trigger and do it. At various times during my career, I’ve followed the gurus such as Tom Hopkins, Tom and Mike Ferry, Tony Robbins and, most recently, Brian Buffini.

I’ve learned a lot from them, but honestly, I’ve never been focused enough to follow any one path. I know I would have been more financially successful if I had consistently used a coach.

Do you work in a team, why?

I am now — finally — building a team with my two sons…I was always too much of a control freak.

Do you buy leads from the portals, which ones and why?

No, I’ve always been able to get leads through farming, referrals, sphere of influence and from the great companies that I work for.

What technology is most important to your success?

A smartphone and DocuSign

What is the first thing you do in the morning to help you be successful?

Well, before I go to bed each night, I make a written list of the main things I need to do the next day. When I first get up, I check my email while drinking my first cup of coffee and see how my new emails have changed the day’s plans.

Then, I stretch or do some type of physical exercise (either in the living room or at the gym), then I begin the day.

How many hours do you work each week and what do you do on your downtime?

I probably average between 60 to 70 hours a week. Very rarely is there a full day off. My downtime is spent playing in an over-60 baseball league, watching sports (White Sox, Black Hawks and Bears, in that order) and spending time with my granddaughter, Ella Faith Tomlinson.

If there is any time left over, I love working around the house, doing gardening and yardwork.

What is some advice you would give new agents?

It’s a great business where the ceiling is very high and the cost of entry is very low. It’s an advantage most industries and professions cannot offer.

Work hard, never give up and learn the business the right way from the beginning (get a coach if you are so inclined) and invest in real estate along the way…HAVE FUN!

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