April Real Producers: Justin Heflin
This content originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of Real Producers Fort Wayne
Let’s chat! An interview with Justin Heflin of the Heflin Group
After meeting Justin Heflin for the first time, we discovered many similarities, including that we both were Redskins at heart. We both grew up in Goshen and graduated from Goshen High School, and somehow our paths eventually led to the real estate community in Fort Wayne. In the short time that I had been in Fort Wayne, I had heard Justin’s name mentioned numerous times as someone who is a mover and shaker in the industry. I was told that Justin is a high-quality individual who knows how to sell real estate and, more importantly, is someone who is respected by his peers. So, I had to find out for myself what makes this guy tick, and how he had built such a successful business. Here’s what I found out …
Q: TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS.
A: I started practicing in 2007 right before the recession. I am 98% referral-based. I do not pay Zillow or other sites for leads. In 2017, I personally closed $12.1 million, and my team closed $20 million. The next year, I closed $11 million, and my team closed $17 million. I am very involved in new construction and often design homes for my clients. I recently designed a “barn home” that I am ridiculously proud of, which was built by Carriage Place Homes.
My team includes Justin Heflin, Team Leader; Steve Broyles, Associate Broker; and Francesca Zuber, Associate Broker and administration.
Q: WHAT COMMUNITY WORK HAVE YOU DONE?
A: I sponsor Leo Schools Music Programs every year under the direction of Rowdy Halter. I also sponsor Junior Achievement regularly through fundraising. This year the team will be putting on a car show in June to support J.A.
Q: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL LIFE?
A: I love classic cars and newer muscle cars. A 1996 mustang coupe and a 1980 Corvette are two of my favorites. I collect maps and try to find vintage maps of the areas that I travel. I am also a bourbon drinker and collector. I currently have 42 different bourbons and whiskeys in my collection, many of them open, of course.
Kent is my partner going on 14 years. He is a dentist that specializes in treating children, typically underprivileged families. We moved to Fort Wayne in 2006 when he graduated from dental school. He encouraged me to get my license after we moved, thinking that it would be a good fit for me, considering my personality and my love for architecture.
Q: WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT SELLING REAL ESTATE?
A: Honestly, I do not really see myself as a salesperson. Selling something is just the result of relationships and being a trusted adviser to someone. The best part is making connections with people and their family. Each transaction has a different emotion involved, from helping an 85-year-old grandmother purchase her very first home, to helping a veteran find a good place to come home to after serving our country. Every person’s needs are so unique. I am just grateful to be the one helping these families with their goals.
Q: WHAT THREE WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF AND WHY?
A: Sympathetic; just like many others, I have been through a lot of hardships and a lot of happiness. I always imagine myself in another’s situation when something is shared with me.
Motivated; I am absolutely motivated for the selfish reward of bacon cheeseburgers and of being able to travel whenever I want. I am also motivated to keep the people around me happy and healthy, which usually involves traveling and bacon cheeseburgers.
Adaptable; when meeting new people, I strive to connect with them in just a matter of minutes, to sense their personality type, and then to create a demeanor that they are comfortable with.
Q: IF YOU COULD DO ANYTHING ELSE AND KNEW THAT YOU WOULD SUCCEED, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
A: I didn’t even know if I would be successful in real estate when I first started! I think if you are respectful, knowledgeable, and honest, you will be successful in anything you pursue.
Q: WOULD YOU REDO ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE?
A: Maybe my current master bedroom. Seriously though, no. In real estate, I tell my buyers that if they can achieve finding a property that has three out of four things that they are looking for, they are ahead of the game. Same thing with your life. There are three things you want to look at: 1) Where you live, 2) Your career, 3) Your significant other. If you are happy with two out of those three things, you are doing way better than most people. At this moment, I am happy with all three of those things, so I wouldn’t change anything and jeopardize where I’m at today.
Q: WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR LEGACY TO BE SOMEDAY?
A: I have never really been focused on a legacy. I am more focused on the present. Am I doing what is right? Am I supporting the people that need my support? Legacies fade, but being available to people when they need you and while you are here to help is what really matters.
Rising Star: Patty Seutter
How many years have you been a realtor?
What is your career volume as a realtor?
What was your total volume last year?
What awards have you achieved as a Realtor?
I was honored and surprised to earn the Rising Star Award for Remax Results in 2018! I’m also apart of the 100% Club within the company.
When did you start your career in real estate?
I obtained my license in September 2017 and finished training in November 2017. Started selling the end of November 2017.
What did you do before you became a realtor?
I worked in the medical and accounting for many years. I played many roles in each so many of my skills transferred over. I am very much a people person.
What are you passionate about right now in your business?
I love to help people. From contacting a loan officer, choosing an inspector or insurance agent. I am also passionate about client education. You need to keep them informed of every process along the way. You want to keep them in the loop of everything.
What has been the most rewarding part of your business?
I like to say I have amazing clients. I feel I have gained a lot of friends and not just clients. Each and every one of them has a story that will last forever. I am very blessed to have been a part of their story. Their purchase is a house when they receive the keys, but quickly turns into a home one they open a door.
What was your biggest challenge as a realtor?
Like many others, scheduling can be a task. You can wake up and have your day planned and in front of you. Five minutes later everything has changed. Family time is very important to me like many others. However, when your client wants to see a home that went on the market, as a real estate agent, you must juggle and figure out a way to make it happen. This may be their forever home and you don’t want them to miss it. When your client finds the right one, you must be ready and prepared to write an offer. Then you must be ready to help negotiate for your clients. Sometimes you have to work early mornings and late nights to make this happen. Your family must be on the same page as you for your career path. I have a very understanding family.
How does real estate fit into your dreams and goals?
Someday I would love to design and be involved in the building of my own home. Going into existing homes and new homes always gives me new ideas of what I would someday like to have. My parents built their home many years ago. I always admired how they could work their normal job along with working long hours on a place they have called home for 39 years.
What’s your favorite part of being a realtor?
I love helping people. From the phone call to say they have been pre-approved, their offer has been accepted, we have a clear to close are all exciting things to experience. But my favorite thing to do is watch my clients while at the closing table and the keys handed over to them. The look on their face is priceless. I never get tired of that moment. I always go to my client’s new home within a few weeks after closing just for a short visit. I want them to know they are still important to me. I drop by with little gifts and send notes to each of my clients throughout the year. They are just as important now as the day I met them.
Tell us about your family?
I live with my husband, three Chihuahuas and one cat. My oldest son Nate is my business partner at RE/MAX Results. He is married to Caitlin and he has my one and only granddaughter Ava and two grandpups. Son Patrick is married to Brittany and they have blessed me with two grandpups as well.
I love to lounge on the couch and read. However, I don’t have very much time to do that anymore. I enjoy biography books, romance and self-help books. The last book I read was Present Over Perfect.
Are there any charities or organizations you support?
In the past, I have worked with Upwards Basketball and Cheerleading program. I have helped with One Heart Ministry, and volunteer at Cancer Services when needed. I give to St. Jude’s Foundation and United Way. I am a member of Kendallville Chamber Commerce, and I also volunteer with the Basket Brigade in Kendallville and Kendallville Cares. I enjoy doing events with Big Brothers Big Sisters. I very much enjoy serving others and helping give back to the surrounding community. When I have a client that doesn’t want something that has been left in a home or something that they don’t want to take to their new home I will go to their home and pick it up. From there, together we will figure out what is the best organization to give it to. Lastly, with each real estate transaction, I donate a sum to Riley’s Children’s Hospital in my client’s name.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of the business?
My favorite thing is anything that involves my granddaughter Ava. My husband and I enjoy camping and going to sporting events. Our goal is to visit every professional baseball and football stadiums as well as every NASCAR track. Traveling is something else I enjoy. I love a trip that is not planned. If you have a few days free, why not go for a getaway! I love planting flowers in the spring and watching all the colors until fall, and in my spare time, I really enjoy photography.
Given your status and expertise, what is some advice you would give the up-and-coming top producer?
I would say enjoy your clients. When you first start as a realtor, it is tough. You are not sure you are doing things the right way. Keep in mind you need to make the client very comfortable even though you are new. You can still make it fun for all. This is a very stressful time for the buyer and or seller. Don’t make it seem like a job. It is an adventure with new friends all the time. Everything is changing all the time. Be very flexible with your day-to-day tasks. No two days will ever be the same and every transaction will be different. Remember to always give each client the same amount of attention. The brokerage is very important, as well. Make sure you interview with several to find the right fit for you. I am thankful for the opportunity RE/MAX Results has given me.
“This is a very stressful time for the buyer and or seller. Don’t make it seem like a job. It is an adventure with new friends all the time. Everything is changing all the time. Be very flexible with your day-to-day tasks. No two days will ever be the same and every transaction will be different.”
Photos by Tony Frantz