Editor’s note: The Monthly Member Profile is a feature that puts a spotlight on one of PAR’s 33,000 members. Do you have an interesting story to tell? We encourage you to submit your information online.
Realtor®: Tommy Songer
Company: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/GSA Realty, State College
Years in real estate: 10 years
Specialty: Commercial real estate
Local association: Centre County Association of Realtors®
How did you get started in real estate?
I got started in real estate about 10 years ago when my business partner came to me with an idea of starting a new company in the State College market. We had worked together on land development projects and in real estate, and he’s been in the business about 40 years. He came to me and had some ideas about how a new company could do a good business in State College and that’s how I got started.
What do you attribute your success to?
I would probably attribute my success to education. Education is important to me. It’s a very important value to my company and we try to instill that in all our agents. In this fast-moving world and the changing business that we see, not only technologically, but with the laws and the rules and things of that nature, and how you work with people, staying educated and staying on top of everything is very important to me.
What is your biggest challenge as a Realtor®?
I think the biggest challenge for Realtors® today is staying up to speed with all the technology that’s out there, all their clients and how they like to interact. That has changed a lot as everybody knows in the last five to 10 years. It’s about being educated, knowing how those systems work, keeping up with how people like to be communicated to and how they like to be part of the transaction.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to the start of your career?
It would probably be two things. One would be get some systems in place that you can follow day one and the other would be to get a mentor, somebody who has been in the business and has been very successful and can help you set up those goals and systems that will help you be more successful. There are a lot of moving parts, your clients are depending on you to act in a timely fashion and an accurate fashion and I found today that having checklists and systems in place really helps me to do the best job that I can.
Why do you love being a Realtor®?
I love being a Realtor® because, by education, I’m actually a civil engineer. There was a lot of sitting behind a desk in and designing things and I enjoyed that, but at the end of the day, I really enjoy the fact that every day is a little different. I do work in commercial real estate. I really like numbers and working through various scenarios for my clients’ investment purposes. They might have a growing business and trying to coordinate their space plans and other things. It just gives me a lot of the things that really make me happy in my day and drive me forward so.
What is your favorite work story?
One of my favorite work stories is just some of the phrases my partner brings to the table at meetings and places like that. He’s been in the business 40 years. One of those phrases is “It’s never a problem until it’s a problem,” and I say that to myself a lot when I’m in a transaction. It’s those little bites of wisdom that some of the older practicing agents have given me over the years that make my day fun.
What are you most proud of in your career?
What I’m most proud of in my career to date has probably been my work with affordable housing and working with our local government agencies where I live to try to promote housing and sustainable development and things of that nature. I’m a civil engineer, so I also take a lot of interest in seeing how communities develop, how they people interact within those communities and then trying to predict how those communities might age over time so. So that’s probably one of the best examples.
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
Do you know that guy on the Dos Equis beer commercial “Who is the most interesting man in the world?” I am his exact opposite (chuckling).
What is your favorite PAR memory?
My favorite PAR memory was with Leadership PAR and the public speaking class that you had held several years ago, because it was something that I wasn’t really comfortable with the time. I went in and honestly had a great day with a lot of the people there and it’s turned out to be a pretty good benefit to me.
What do you do when you’re not selling real estate?
I have two children and a lovely wife and they take up a lot of my time. I coach baseball for my son and I help my daughter with school work and all of the events that she’s involved with and as most people that have had kids know, it’s just a lot of time but it’s a great time at the same time.