Hunter Carter is the owner and founder of Carter TX Realty, based in San Antonio, TX. Though he currently employs 35 real estate agents this is not your average real estate agency. Besides the usual buying and selling of houses, Hunter’s company also develops analytic software for use by other agencies and manages investment portfolios for certain clients.
Starting a Company
After graduating from the University of the Incarnate Word with a degree in finance, Hunter started working for IBM in software distribution. This is where he gained his interest in software development and distribution. Upon leaving IBM he went to work for a startup where he served as both CFO and CIO. There he ran IT infrastructure among other things.
In 2013 he left that company to found Carter TX Realty. He wanted to choose a path that included the skills he had developed, and after seeing changing rules in the housing market he sensed an opportunity for himself there. That first year, working by himself Hunter sold 1.7 million dollars worth of property. Now four years later his company employs 35 real estate agents and has annual sales of over 30 million dollars.
Running a Company
Though he started out by selling houses himself, these days Hunter doesn’t work on individual sales. Mostly he manages now, though in his own words he wears a lot of hats at the firm. He still works on acquisitions and on joint venture agreements, though his real passion now is software development. Hunter realized early on that his company could gain an edge over the competition if he could do a better job of analyzing the data surrounding the housing market. His company now uses its own proprietary software that has allowed them to expand outside of the traditional realm of buying and selling homes, into portfolio and wealth management for various clients.
Communication at a Company
Hunter’s job requires that he communicate in a variety of different ways, both with clients, employees and the general public. This requires the composition of everything from text messages to legal contracts. But communication isn’t a one-way street. In fact, Hunter says that in a typical day he does far more reading than writing. And while he says you can be successful in his field without being a great writer, he cautions that a baseline degree of competency is required. Particularly for his agents, it is necessary that they be able to convey a general sense of ease with the written word.
Within the company, Hunter says that they most frequently communicate via text message; though they also communicate through email. His employees also make use of social media to market themselves and the company, and while he is not personally a fan of social media he advises, “Don’t say anything you wouldn’t want in the newspaper and have your family see it.”
When communicating with his own employees Hunter says that their emails are typically informal, lacking names and salutations. On the other hand, communication with clients is more structured and formal. “You use hello, thank you, sign your name.”
Joining the Company
For those interested in joining Hunter’s team, or just looking to enter the real estate industry Hunter offers this advice. “The biggest problem new agents have is that they aren’t all in. You have to be all in.” For instance, it took Hunter over six months to start making good money while working full time as a new agent. He says that many people try to start out doing real estate part time and that these people struggle and become frustrated. Surprisingly the area where new agents tend to be weakest is actually in sales. To them he advises, “You’re not selling. You’re consulting through a transaction. You want to make them feel good. You have to believe in yourself.”
Jack Wasson, Guest Blogger