Today we’d like to introduce you to Dustin Peyser.
Dustin, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in New York, just outside of Albany where I went to school for both graphic design (Marketing) and human services (Social Worker). I was a decent student. But, neither of which held my attention long enough to make a career of either. It was during that time however that I made my first trip to California. It was Spring Break. And, it was very shortly after that visit when I decided to move to Carlsbad. But, my stay here at that time was short lived. Six months tops. I had no vehicle, two part-time jobs that just weren’t doing the trick and was homesick on top of that. So, I moved back to N.Y.
I was 21 and landed a job as a Clerk with The United States Postal Service just outside of Albany N.Y. For the next year-and-a-half or so I worked a variation of hours both days and nights. I sorted millions of letters and packages from one office to another and another. It was becoming time for a change. And then it dawned on me. What’s the best job to have with The United States Postal Service? Letter Carrier. Where is the best place to have that job? Southern California. More specifically, Carlsbad California. So, I decided to make USPS a career. Applied, got it and moved back.
I spent the next 10 years as a Letter Carrier and Station Supervisor for the Carlsbad and La Costa Post Offices. It was 10 years well spent until the first experience in real estate. I was livin’ la Vida Loca with my four roommates in Cardiff-by-the-Sea when I decided to buy my first house here in Vista. I had a great Agent, by the way, Grita D’Mallay. I invited them all to join and make the move with me. The rent would be much cheaper, but I didn’t expect any of them to pull the trigger. They all did.
Three of us and a Boyfriend/Girlfriend couple crammed into a small 4 bedroom house for the next 2-3 years. The mortgage was more than covered, my roommates saved a little cash and overall life was good for all of us. It was after all of that when ultimately selling the property for even more profit I thought “What an amazing industry and way for people to create and maintain wealth while building a financial foundation for their future.” That’s my beginning.
Has it been a smooth road?
The last few years of my time with The Postal Service were spend listening to audio-books, podcasts and lectures. Anything I could find related to real estate and investing. Almost eight hours a day for two years while delivering mail, listening and learning. There are some really great resources out there by the way. I felt I knew everything. I passed my exam on my first attempt April 2013. I was like a stem kettle, ready to take the leap. I continued to work for The Postal Service until October. I had officially taken the leap form perhaps the most secure job ever… to the least.
The First year was rough. Although I had used my license for the purchase of our next home in Temecula, I only took two listings in 2013. Two practically non-buildable pieces of land. One in Santa Ysabel. Epic views. But, ultimately expired. Wasn’t able to get the job done. The other in Escondido, just off Bear Valley Parkway. I got that one sold. In fact, I represented both sides of the transaction… Buyer & Seller. At $50,000, it was the lowest sales price for a property within my entire office that year. Quite possibly the entire County. That was my first year.
To make matters worse Agents tend to get a reputation for the properties in which they sell. This being land for me. Not what I had in mind for my new career in real estate. I spent a lot of time dabbling in a price point that ultimately wouldn’t get me by. I was working very hard to maintain the lot/land side while doing whatever I could to get myself into the residential side of things. This pushed me into making a strong mistake.
In the industry of real estate, there is a lot of candy out there. What I mean by that is Agent related services. One example is paying for Buyer and Seller leads. That is just one. Maybe the biggest one. I made the mistake of trying everything, and I mean everything. I spent so much money. I think a part of me thought I could buy the business. I was trying everything and focusing on nothing. All the while doing almost no business and running out of money. To make things even worse, it was about this time that I lost my Mother to COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. That was rock bottom.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
It took experiencing my darker days in this business for all my successes since those days. In fact, I have built my entire brand based on those darker days. A lot of great things were happening at that time although business was ultimately very slow. I was fortunate to be with a great company, Keller Williams. I’m not certain I could have started my career with a better company. Maybe with the exception of Coldwell Banker. The training and resources available to me at the time were unbeatable. I had a great Mentor, Barbara Blakeley. She helped me through those early days and inspired me to offer up the same support to new Agents here at Coldwell Banker.
Lot/Land transactions weren’t my first choice. But, I can likely tell you more about those types of properties than many Agents like me who are primarily residential Agents. Land transactions in the earlier days gave me some really great Investor and Developer contacts. All of which I am still in communication with and some of which have done transactions. Early incite to a side of the business others may not have experienced.
Through these experiences, I have learned real estate is not a buildings business. It is a relationships business and a team sport. One in which timing is of the essence and if you are not quick to respond to the needs of your Clients, there are plenty of other Agents that will be. Competition is fierce and there are some really great Agents out there. I have learned to always be prepared and always be up for the challenge. You need to be and I am.
Trying everything like buying leads, hiring call centers to screen prospective Buyers and Sellers, managing a Virtual Assistant to manage my database and maintain my social media among other things taught me to focus. Focus on the things I enjoy and more importantly the things that work. Consolidating my efforts to the services in which offer my current and prospective Clients the most value. And, most importantly doing it persistently.
Perhaps the greatest lesson learned is never forgetting the people and events that got me here. And more importantly, being thankful for those people and events. My Girlfriend for having carried the slack during the darker days. Brokers and Managers for their support and having believed in me. Clients for the opportunity to help. Friends and family for the motivation to carry on. I’m not certain I would have made it to this level without them. Thank you.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
San Diego County is perhaps the best place in this County to be a Real Estate Agent. But, it’s not for the faint of heart or somebody just looking for a job. It’s a competitive industry. Very competitive. And because of this, San Diego County may be the epicenter for changes within the industry. From various commission structures to a la carte services such as professional staging and photography to MLS input without representation.
There is nothing that is not available to Buyers and Sellers. We are in the Wild Wild West of real estate. But, a few things remain the same. Peoples desire to live in Southern California, The dream of home-ownership and that real estate is a relationships business. One in which Buyer and Sellers will always choose to work those who they know, like and trust. And, I have been fortunate to be that person for many.
- Address: 40 Main St E-100, Vista, CA 92083
- Website: http://www.buyorsellsandiegocountyhomes.com/
- Phone: (760) 978-0220
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Ourada of First Impression Business Images