You might have seen the avatar version of Trevor Halpern’s face on SOLD signs around town. If you haven’t yet, you will soon! The real-life man behind the caricature is the proud owner of Halpern Residential at North&Co.
As the number one independent agent at North&Co., Trevor Halpern is one of the most successful realtors in the Phoenix metro, having sold over $100 million in real estate since 2011. While an average agent conducts two to three transactions per year, Halpern Residential approached 50 transactions in 2020 alone and is set to surpass that in 2021.
Born and raised in Phoenix, Trevor is genuinely invested in the community’s people and its prosperity. Ask him anything about the metro – he knows it. If our town was the subject of an episode of Jeopardy, Trevor would win hands down.
In this blog post, we get to know the man behind the brand and what makes him and the team at Halpern Residential a dynamic part of The Valley.
AS A PHOENIX NATIVE, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE VAST CHANGE IN REAL ESTATE OVER YOUR LIFETIME?
There are always various ebbs and flows in real estate, but one thing that’s always consistent is growth. I remember growing up here and I-17 and I-10 were the only two freeways in town to get to separate suburbs like Mesa, Peoria and Litchfield Park. Now, they’ve become part of one major city. Gilbert went from cattle farms and rural agriculture to destination restaurants with a cute downtown scene. In the Valley, you cross one street and you’re in another city. It’s pretty cool!
The rapid population growth we’ve experienced over the last 10 to 20 years drastically changed the dynamic of a relatively sleepy desert city in the Southwest into a sprawling metro area that’s now one of the biggest cities in the country.
IS THERE ONE MAJOR EVENT IN YOUR LIFE OR SEVERAL FACTORS THAT MADE YOU PURSUE REAL ESTATE?
I was on a completely different career path and I’m glad I listened to my gut. I graduated law school from Arizona State University in 2005 and accepted a job for a big firm doing complex product liability defense work. I knew my heart wasn’t in it before I started and couldn’t find the motivation to pull myself out of bed. My father is a lawyer and my sister graduated from law school before me, so naturally I thought I should follow suit, but I knew deep down practicing law wasn’t what I wanted to do. I graciously declined the position at the law firm that I was offered and headed out into the workforce.
I tried my hand at various different career paths and then decided it was time to start my own business. I went through a period of researching various career paths, creating models and business plans. It was exhausting. Then one day my dad, who’s my biggest supporter, met me for lunch and motivated me to consider real estate. He thought my legal knowledge would come in handy, combined with my natural curiosity, personality and business acumen. I’ll admit, I brushed it off at first, but then I realized I had to get out of my own way. I earned my license in 2011, worked my tail off and found that I loved it! It wasn’t easy and I didn’t land my first deal until six months in. After that, my career took off. As a result of my hard work and sticktoitiveness, my first year in, I received the Coldwell Banker Rookie of the Year award for the state of Arizona.
HOW DO YOU APPROACH REAL ESTATE CONSIDERING THE MARKET IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING?
The thing about being an agent is that you have to be ok with adapting to change on almost a daily basis. Every day, even multiple times a day, my team keeps a pulse on the market. We sit back, read the tea leaves and analyze what’s happening in real time to adjust as we go. For example, in our practice, we see broad macro trends that last anywhere from a quarter to 18 months, which typically sprout micro trends that can last a few weeks to a few months. We’re like key makers. If I have a file, a key and a locked door (market forces) in front of me – I’ll file it, try again and again until the door finally opens. Once that door opens, we try to hold it open and get as many clients through as possible. Once that particular door closes, we have to start over and file our key until we get the door to open again. Each door we open translates to key learnings, growth and success for us and our clients.
WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU THINK MAKE A GREAT AGENT?
Honestly, it’s about putting yourself second. Being a successful agent doesn’t always equate to how much you earn in commissions or the dollar volume you have sold – it’s about doing right by your clients. Whatever situation is in front of me, if I close my eyes and think, what is best for my client?, that always helps me stay on the right side of things.
Often, some people jump into real estate who focus solely on money instead of delivering value to the marketplace. Sometimes, when I’m talking to another agent, I can sense and feel what I call commission breath, where they need this deal badly and allow the commission to taint their objectiveness.
Make sure 10/10 times you put your client before you. When my team provides value to people and when we create real estate success for them, success is in turn created for us.
WHAT MAKES HALPERN RESIDENTIAL STAND OUT FROM ITS COMPETITORS?
From a technical standpoint, our team works exceptionally well together. We’re organized, strategized and process-oriented. We divide, conquer, and constantly retool the division of labor on our team, so we’re efficient and focused on our individual superpowers. All of our buyers and sellers go through thorough checklists, explanation videos, discussion points and many other resources. Our goal is to answer questions before they’re asked.
To be honest, I wouldn’t have realized this when I graduated from law school, but my law degree has helped me tremendously. Agents deal with broad and nuanced issues as well as contract language. Using the way of thinking I learned in law school, I can spot issues before others do and before they become actual problems. Knowing what’s in the contract is powerful for an agent and I know what steps I need to take to protect my clients and secure big wins for them.
One of my other superpowers is connecting with people and finding what truly drives them, which is why my team invests in community engagement. From fireside chats, informational videos and blog posts to other communication materials, we focus on issues that affect our community and we address their questions and concerns over things like how water shortages will affect homeowners and the effect new residents to our state will have on the real estate market. The time we invest in finding answers, resources and solutions to their problems positively impacts and empowers the community through sharing knowledge.
95% of our business comes through people we know, word of mouth and referrals from our friends and family. We don’t look at buyers or sellers as nameless, faceless numbers. They’re people we care a lot about and we’re invested in their financial success and wellbeing.
WHAT DO YOU SEE HAPPENING TO THE RE MARKET IN THE NEXT 3 YEARS, 10, 20 YEARS?
As long as I can see over the horizon, I can properly guide my clients. Either that horizon is crystal clear and we can see beyond 12 months, or it might be in some weird phase and I can look six months out. At least over the next year, barring any sort of major economic situation, we can expect to see continued appreciation similar to what we’re seeing now. We might not see 20-25% but around double-digit appreciation is not out of the question.
Housing in the Phoenix metro is under-supplied, but we’ll get out of that bottleneck in time. I think we’ll continue to see Phoenix grow in size and value. This is a great place to live. As long as Phoenix is less expensive than the other major metros in the country, people will continue to come and park money here in real estate. Over the next 10 to 20 years, as long as Phoenix and Arizona remain a friendly business environment, we’ll continue to see large booming economies. Apple, Motorola and other incoming major high-tech manufacturing opportunities are endless.
ARE THERE ANY QUOTES OR SAYINGS YOU KEEP CLOSE TO YOUR HEART THAT GET YOU THROUGH THE DAY YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
I have so many little sayings and quotes for every situation. I always try to put bright positive energy out there. This business can get you down. You can get a wonderful deal, fly high, succeed wildly, and the next second, the business can take the knees out from under you. As long as you’re positive and emit the right energy, the next good thing is right around the corner.
That’s how I’ve always led life and operated my business, just knowing that if I focus on helping people and make the right decisions, good things will come. Trevor’s passion and ingenuity are two of the many reasons he and his close-knit team stand apart from other realtors in the market. They don’t just work in real estate- they live and breathe it and work to empower their clients. If you’re interested in buying or selling a home, you’re in skilled hands with Halpern Residential. Call or text us and find out how we can help.