YOUR PROPERTY, MANAGED®️: Episode 4 with Mike Harrison from Williams & Stuart Real Estate
Nexus Property Management® is excited to share its fourth episode of Your Property, MANAGED®️, a long-form video interview series with some of the biggest up-and-coming names in New England Real Estate. Hosted by Nexus General Manager and jack-of-all-trades, Greg Rice, this week’s discussion was a really entertaining one. Greg sat down with realtor Mike Harrison of Williams & Stuart, who was personally chosen at the conclusion of last week’s interview by Josh Chopy of Chopy Media. Mike’s background and journey has helped him become a guy you’d love to buy a house with, then keep in touch with for a burger, some beers, and a round of pool. In a world that is increasingly socially distant, Mike Harrison is a perfect reminder of the importance of personability and relatability when it comes to sales and connecting with people, regardless of what industry you’re in.
A RIDICULOUSLY RELATABLE REALTOR:
Just to be up front and direct: if I were buying a house, I’d call Mike Harrison. In this fifty-three minute interview he genuinely and repeatedly shows himself to be a down to earth guy who is consistently looking to learn, grow as a person and professional, and help people. When asked what his primary motivator was he spoke to this in the terms of “being better” and about training his brain to learn from all experiences. His goals don’t revolve around numbers and sales figures but instead around building genuine relationships. “I’m a people person. [In this job] I get to help people and get paid for it...I like what I do and I get to play real life monopoly”. Interestingly enough, he not once mentions metrics related to his successes in terms of how many sales he’s made recently...but with comments like, “I need to feel good about what I’m doing” and “it’s a good feeling when people put trust in you...and you get it done”, it’s obvious that he’s crushing sales because that outlook is tough to maintain without success.
Born and raised in Johnston, Rhode Island, Harrison now resides in Cranston with his wife of three years and is still close with many of his friends from childhood. His early work experiences revolved around the restaurant business and it’s likely there that he fine tuned his “front of the house” communication skills. That acumen would allow him to move up the ranks to general manager of an L.A. Fitness branch when they started to pop up throughout the state. With experience across the board in sales, management, marketing, conflict resolution, and even as an electrician, Mike comes to real estate with a varied toolbag. When asked about his working with his electrician father prior to getting into realty, Mike talks about how he looks at a house with a mechanic/analytic eye that other realtors likely don’t have. With that approach I actually “look for reasons not to buy the house...there’s something for everyone, just like there’s a house for everyone.”
EDUCATION THROUGH EXPERIENCE:
Mike came to real estate by trying his hand in several other arenas. Previously mentioned experience as an assistant manager and later a general manager at L.A. Fitness helped him get a taste of really good money but also taught him that money doesn’t make you happy. Excelling, but in a toxic environment with misaligned values, was instrumental in being able to learn to “value the right things”. And it’s that experience that carries over and helps explain why Mike talks about “enjoying what you do” about 15 times during the interview. Even when he found real estate, he began at Berkshire Hathaway but felt it wasn’t for him because the environment wasn’t as supportive of growth as he’d hoped. “I need to feel good about what I’m doing”.
After Mike sat down and sold himself to Williams & Stuart, he benefited from the tutelage of Paul Zarrella and Susan Rowles. He also credits colleague Jason Gelfuso with helping him develop professionally as the two of them often collaborate on projects. From them he learned the importance of transparency and to appreciate that “everything is a learning opportunity”. He’s since networked with people across the industry and has challenged himself to get out of his comfort zone, hence this interview, which was only his second time on camera. It wasn’t a smooth, well-paved road that got him to where he is as a successful realtor, but it was the bumps in the road that helped him realize his passion was “solving problems”. That drive, coupled with a “love [for] people”, helps explain why we at Nexus are betting on big things from Mike Harrison.
WHY MIKE IS VERY NEXUS:
At Nexus Property Management®, we are true believers in first principles and it’s our dedication to these core beliefs that allow us to scale so successfully. Our Pawtucket office expanded from 100 to 300 to 700 units seamlessly by being solution focused and keeping an eye on long-term results, to name a couple. As we prepare to open our fourth franchise office in Natick, Massachusetts, we continue to dedicate ourselves to the same ideals we believed in back in 2013. What made this interview especially enjoyable was Mike’s dedication to many of the principles that we hold in such high regard.
Across our maintenance, leasing, and management branches, all Nexus employees are solution focused. This allows us to stay positive and as Mike puts it in this interview, view “everything as a learning opportunity”. In the name of long-term tenancy, Nexus strives to be authentic and to strengthen relationships. Watch Mike handle a cold call from a lead live during this interview and you’ll see authenticity in action. Along those lines, he closes the discussion with Greg by talking about relatability: “I like to share the knowledge I have with people who could find value in it...I like to learn from people...I like to help people out”. Harrison is authentic and cares about his clients, not just his sales…”not treating people like a number”. He’s working for the long term, not for the short term gain.
When asked what he does in his free time, Mike replied... “work on getting more business”. The restaurant business; the fitness avenue; the marketing company; electrician apprenticing; none of them scratched this itch of finding greater meaning through work. They were experiences to grow from, which Mike excels at, on the path to a calling. As Mike put it best, Real estate is more than a career, “It’s a way of life”. It’s an opportunity to help and support people as they make one of the biggest decisions in their lives.
Mick Lefort is the Vice President of Operations for Nexus Property Management®. A National Property Management Franchise that manages all types of rental property from single family homes or condos to large apartment buildings and complexes.
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