Grant Lopez prefers the traditional definition of face time. After all, he was raised in a family that gathered at the dinner table each night and regularly volunteered in the community.
Shy by nature, Lopez nonetheless has always connected with people. A genuine interest in others led him to pursue a career in real estate and helps account for his success today. From the outset, Lopez cultivated a wide sphere of influence, getting involved in city politics in his hometown of Converse, Texas, a suburb 25 minutes northeast of San Antonio.
At just 21, he was elected to the Converse City Council and served as mayor pro tem. It was in that role he learned the art of civil debate and how to navigate emotionally charged exchanges, both skills that have served him well in his real estate career.
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Lopez also joined the local real estate association, an alliance he recommends for any new real estate professional. The experience, he says, showed him the value of having a voice in the industry and how it works to protect agents, brokers and consumers.
“It legitimizes you as a professional when you can speak on other aspects of the industry with clients rather than just listings or the local market,” Lopez says. “Discussing what [our association] is working on at the state level shows you’re not only their real estate agent, but their advocate.”
It legitimizes you as a professional when you can speak on other aspects of the industry with clients rather than just listings or the local market” Grant Lopez
His work didn’t go unnoticed. Last year he was named one of the National Association of Realtors’ “30 Under 30” – 30 real estate professionals under the age of 30 recognized for their skill, success, creativity and leadership. Lopez credits mentors at RE/MAX Associates for encouraging civic and professional involvement.
“The support I have from my brokerage is never-ending when it comes to encouraging me to do more and supporting my leadership,” he says. “I don’t think I would be at the level I am at in the association if it wasn’t for the senior agents in my office who have taken me under their wing at the association and guided me.”
Moving to RE/MAX
After several years with a smaller company, Lopez, now 28, joined RE/MAX Associates in San Antonio five years ago. Within the brokerage, he is a member of The Schrader Group, San Antonio’s No. 1 team with 600 transaction sides closed in 2017.
Lopez was accustomed to a less-than-helpful and often impersonal environment at his old brokerage. RE/MAX was different. The Schrader Group, he says, is like family and supports one another. He recalls some of his team members offering to take on some of his work when he took time away from the office for his daughter’s birth.
“The team is filled with true professionals,” says Lopez, who closed 72 transaction sides in 2016. “I also like that consumers recognize RE/MAX as a standout brand, thanks to its reputation for selling more homes than anyone else. I find that initial trust is so important, and RE/MAX gives me that leg up from the get-go.”
A personal touch
Lopez considers himself old-school compared to other millennials. While he sees technology as integral to his success, especially for marketing listings, he still prefers face-to-face meetings to deliver contracts and checks. Also, he has a strict no-tech policy for first appointments to establish trust, opting instead for paper printouts.
In the age of online property search portals, Lopez acknowledges their importance in the home buying process. Still, he doesn’t rely on them completely because the information isn’t always accurate or updated as frequently as the MLS.
Search algorithms, Lopez points out, don’t take into account all of the factors a local real estate expert would know, such as a car dealership behind the house or a sloped backyard.
Sure, there’s a time and place for online tools, but Lopez says nothing can replace the value of education and the guidance agents offer their clients throughout the home buying or selling process.
Finding the sweet spot
Established by team leader Dayton Schrader, The Schrader Group of RE/MAX Associates is focused on helping clients who want to buy new construction but have to sell a home, too. Specializing in this niche gives the team access to exclusive referral agreements with multiple builders.
The team’s strong sales track record has impressed builders so much they’ve agreed to contingency clauses in new-home sales.
“Construction and closing dates are moving targets on simultaneous transactions,” Lopez says. “By setting expectations for the client on time lines up front, we remove the fear and complexity for them. We are pros at this, and it has become the bulk of our business.”
Although Lopez comes off as the quiet, reserved type, his focus on building lasting relationships and his drive to succeed speak volumes. And his results do his talking for him.