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Jay Portlance finds his niche as a new real estate agent

Jay Portlance finds his niche as a new real estate agent

Jay Portlance real estate Washington DC Century21 Redwood Relola

How referrals and Relola help him build his business.

Jay Portlance did what brand new real estate agents are supposed to do: he sat open houses. And it was there he met his first buyer’s client.


“It was right after I got my license,” Jay said. He had no idea what he was doing, and totally admitted it. “I didn’t know what to expect.”


But he and his buyer hit it off. Then a couple referrals netted him two more clients. And it’s been going like that ever since. It’s been just over a year now, and Jay is making great progress in his home market of Washington, DC.


“It was a string of fluke luck,” Jay laughed. Lucky the first time, maybe. But Jay was very particular about the open houses he sat. He cherry-picked the price points and the likely buyers those properties would attract. With that kind of mindful attention, Jay has since built himself a niche with a certain buyer and price point.


Besides, you make your own luck in the real estate industry. And no buyer would have referred Jay without having been extremely happy with the buying experience.


Part of Jay’s service is his attention to detail. It’s something he knew he had, but didn’t realize was all that visible until another client pointed it out.


One day, Jay and his client walked into a listing and she started laughing. “‘You walk around here like you’re going to buy it and I’m your agent,’” she told him.


Local expertise is what matters to buyers and sellers alike. And as a DC native, Jay has that in spades. But it took getting out of DC altogether to help him see it clearly.


“I spent six years in Austin, Texas. So when I came back to DC, a good friend of mine invited me to join him in real estate. Nothing else was stopping me.” So Jay joined his friend and Century21 Redwood Realty.


Even though he relied on word of mouth marketing, Jay was also interested in the digital tools that his brokerage offered. And he noticed his Century21 agent page had a little icon on it for Relola.


“I saw the logo and worked backward to see what it was. As soon as I realized how it worked, I was in.”


Relola helps agents like Jay showcase their local expertise. All the listings he previews and the open houses he sits become valuable content, as he shares his thoughts and impressions of them using Relola.


Those posts then automatically show up on his Facebook page, as well as on the Century21 Redwood Realty site. Along with the Insights of his fellow agents, the brokerage gets a constant feed of fresh, local content that buyers and sellers love.


Jay makes sure to provide constructive and detailed comments on all the listings he sees -- even those he doesn’t personally care for.


“There’s a buyer for every listing,” he said. “And I learned the hard way not to let my own opinion get in the way of that buyer.” In what Jay called a true bonehead move by a newbie, he’d expressed his dislike about a property to a buyer he was with. That buyer subsequently bought the house with another agent.


“Everyone has a different thing that will be their tipping point,” he noted. “It’s important to have established the priorities of the buyer -- being fluent in what the buyer is looking for. If I’m not showing houses that match their needs and wants, I’m wasting everyone’s time -- and they’ll lose faith in me.”


So when Jay creates his Insights on the Relola app, going through the quick questions such as what he liked, what he’d change and his take on the neighborhood, he makes sure to account for all tastes. And he likes how easy Relola makes it.


“Relola is the quickest, easiest way for me to express my opinion on a property,” said Jay. And that lets Jay focus on the business he’s meant to do: serve his real estate clients.