Travis Book

Travis Book never really thought he would be a realtor. He actually got into the business to help his growing house-flipping business.

“When I got my real estate license I really planned to do it part time,” the 2003 Plano East graduate recently told Check Out DFW. “But after I got my license I got connected with Ryan Cave as a buyers agent and things really took off.”

They sure did. In his first year he closed 36 transactions, which he was pretty happy with, noting at that time on average agents were closing 10-12 transactions a year.

That was in 2016 and by the end of 2017 he had left the Cave team and started his own team.

“In 2018 I was by myself with part time admin help,” he said. “I hired my own buyer’s agent and our business progressed.”

Now at Elite Real Estate Group, Book sold 49 homes last year and closed $20 million. That’s all with a full time admin, a buyer’s agent and Book.

Grow, grow, grow and adjust

Book said after he branched off and started his own real estate group, he was having a lot of success through expired home sales, real estate that did not sell.

However, that form of real estate really dried up in the first half of this year because inventory levels changed so drastically.

“A third of my business vanished, because they were not expired listings,” he said. “I pivoted my focus to grow my database. We have been able to do a good amount of business without a huge database but we are now really growing this part of our business.”

Book recalled hearing over the years how critical growing your database was. It took a major shift in the market though for it to really hit home.

“People can beat you over the head with something but you have to be ready to hear it and act,” he said. “I didn’t realize eight years ago how much I needed to have enough sources of business and where are those new deals going to come from? That’s the biggest thing.”

As Book built his long term business plan a few years ago, he actually expected the market to slow down.

“We have been on a tear now for years,” he said. “It will have to eventually slow down, I thought, so I built my plan on a business slow down. If it had slowed down my strategy was going to explode because I was focused on expired homes. But sometimes your plan will take its own path and you have to be prepared. Having a strong database can help prepare you for whatever comes your way.”

Book said this year they are on track to triple the listings in their database.

“I hired a buyer's agent because I had too much business to handle,” he said. “The amount of business I can generate will have a ceiling but we can bring others in and plug them right into the database and be successful with that.”

Providing a superior level of service

Book said being a constant professional is one of a realtor’s most important jobs.

“When a client may not know something is out of order, I am the pro and I need to make sure it is taken care of,” he said.

Changing how the public perceives realtors is critical, he said.

"We are losing business because the level of service is not there," he said. "We have to show the level of service we are able to provide is better than what a customer might get if they go to sell their house through Zillow.”

It all comes down to creating a great path for his business and for his family.

“I want to raise the bar for the industry and so clients see the value that we can create for them,” he said. “And then from a personal and business standpoint, I want the ability to create for my family and provide the best possible life for them. It’s what was so motivating for me to get into real estate and control my own destiny and not put limits on my children’s futures.”