Kevin Tally, a Dallas-based agent with more than a decade of North Texas real estate experience, recently joined Allie Beth Allman and Associates after spending the past three years at Rogers Healy and Associates.
Tally is one of the youngest “veterans” in the Dallas market. He earned his real estate license 10 years ago while still a high schooler in Fort Worth. Despite being accepted into both the University of Texas and TCU, he chose to forgo college and go to work in his hometown.
“I started thinking about it and said, ‘you know what? If I go to college, I’m going to get back into this field anyway because I really love real estate, construction, architecture and all of that,’” he said. “I took the summer off and then I started hustling.”
Tally set a modest goal of $50,000 a year for his first four years in the business. He figured that those earnings, coupled with the approximately $200,000 he would save in college expenses, would put him around $400,000 ahead of his former classmates when they finished school. And he would further down his preferred career path.
The key to getting his foot in the door was getting people to talk with him. Tally initially focused on expired and canceled listings, which accounted for nearly three quarters of his business mix.
“A lot of times I already knew they wanted to sell. I just had to convince them that I was going to work harder, do more, and do better than the last guy,” he said. “Sometimes I’d go knock on their door or drop off a bottle of wine with a note.”
He started gaining momentum despite still being too young to legally buy those bottles of wine. Tally increased his marketing, including digital billboards, shopping carts, mailers, and most importantly, digital platforms like Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow.
“I quickly realized that for every dollar I spent, I would make at least four dollars back,” he said.
Eventually he was averaging almost five deals per month, which meant he was working constantly. He loved his job, but also wanted to start a family while he was he was still young. His solution to the dilemma was turning his attention to the more lucrative luxury market four years ago.
“Don’t get me wrong — there’s big money to be made in Fort Worth, but not as much as in Dallas,” he said. “I just thought that if I’m going to try and get into the luxury market, there was more potential to succeed here.”
Tally now boasts around $30 million in listings, consisting of both high-end properties and a mix of more modest homes. He credits some of his success to growing up with a father who was in the construction business. Tally found the business fascinating, and learned as much about it as he could. When he shows a client a home, he is quick to review some of the behind the scene details they may not be familiar with.
“I don’t talk a lot about the cosmetics- if a person is walking in the door they can see that,” he said. “I’m there to give back-end information, give my opinion, and help them get a good price.”
As for being successful at a young age, Tally said that he is in the unique position of having more industry experience than some of his older colleagues while still being a digitally-savvy Millennial, with the technological skills that are becoming ever more important in real estate.
“I’m having the time of my life right now,” he said. “I’m very fortunate that my hustle has been received so well.”