Nearly 13 years ago, Bill Petrey moved to Dallas with his wife to hunt for investment properties.
After earning his real estate license, Petrey’s experiences as a Realtor in the Dallas market inspired him to create his own real estate consulting company, Agent Harvest — a performance-based real estate agent rating service that matches clients with top-ranking real estate agents — based right in the heart of Dallas.
Just for kicks, Petrey also developed the Really Rotten Realty blog, which is a whistle-blowing website of sorts that brings awareness to real-life agents across the country engaging in not-so-ethical practices, such as Million Dollar Listing New York’s Luis Ortiz using Photoshop to glam up his virtual listings.
Learn more about Bill Petrey and what ignited his passion for helping home buyers and sellers with his exclusive Candy’s Dirt Q&A:
CandysDirt.com: Where are you from?
Bill Petrey: Born on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay, raised in Jonesboro, Arkansas, went to college in Memphis, Tennessee and stayed there until I met my wife. We moved to Dallas in 2001.
CD: How did you get into real estate?
Petrey: My family always had rental properties so I grew up around real estate. When I moved to Dallas, while looking for investment properties, I decided to become a licensed real estate agent to get access to MLS. The longer I worked in the real estate industry, the more I liked it and wanted to make it more of a career than a passive investment.
CD: You specialize in lead-generation and marketing. Tell us: What are some unique challenges that realtors face in this market?
Petrey: Realtors face several challenges; the biggest is proving their worth to the client. Realtors give away most of their value for free and only at the end do we charge for our services. Clients don’t value the free stuff we do, and can’t understand why we charge so much for the rest. It’s an obstacle that we need to overcome in order to prove our value to the client.
Another challenge is separating us from the Realtor masses. It’s hard to show why you’re better than the next agent, when most of the accreditations and titles an agent can earn to show why you’re better don’t even require an agent to sell a single property. The industry needs merit-based designations to give the public an easy way to distinguish agents that sell from agents that can’t sell.
CD: Where is home for you in Dallas?
Petrey: North Dallas. It’s a great area near everything. All major highways are easily accessible from North Dallas.
CD: And you drive a … let me guess, Mercedes Benz?
Petrey: When it comes to driving clients and hauling real estate signs, nothing beats my Range Rover. When showing a lot with a lake view, I love plowing through the brush right up to the lake. And when showing farm and ranch properties, nothing’s more home on the range than a Range Rover.
CD: What’s your favorite ‘hood in Dallas and why?
Petrey: Bishop Arts and McKinney Avenue – lots of fun things to do and those areas are growing.
CD: What was your best/highest sale?
Petrey: My best sale is any sale that results in a referral, repeat business, or helping a client with an impossible situation that is stressing them out.
CD: Likewise, what was your most challenging or memorable transaction?
Petrey: Helping an out-of-town investor client avoid a foreclosure and helping them narrowly avoid a financial disaster.
CD: How quickly have you ever turned a house?
Petrey: I’ve had two houses sell in one day. The St. Joseph statue worked overtime on those transactions.
CD: How much did you sell last year?
Petrey: Since I work with referrals I don’t know if this number will be applicable, but I distributed leads last year that resulted in over $11.3M.
CD: What words of wisdom do you often share with clients?
Petrey: Never buy more than you can afford, and when showing a home, every detail, no matter how small, contributes to its appeal and price.
CD: If you ever change careers for an encore you’ll…
Petrey: Work in the IT industry.
CD: Do you have a second home? If so, where?
Petrey: No, there’s no place like my first home. However, my wife often works the topic of “lake house” into various conversations, so a second home may be forthcoming.