Agent Snapshot: David Johnston, Realtor, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene, Bay Area/Clearlake


David Johnston is a Realtor for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene in the Bay Area/Clearlake.

What was your first job in the realty industry?
My first job was as a mortgage loan officer.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Southern California in Redondo Beach.

What is your favorite free-time activity?
I like spending time on the family boat. We have a 42-foot Trawler power boat.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
I love boating, but in addition to that, I have a fondness for wine. There’s a good chance there will be an open bottle of wine on the boat.

Growing up, what did you want to be?
Coming out of school, I was thinking that I would like to be an attormey. I have a good ability to negotiate and I can take any side from a debating standpoint, regarding a matter; which would have been a good skill in a courtroom, but it’s still an important skill when you’re representing buyers and sellers.

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?
I’d like to sit down with Ted Turner. He built a very large media organization, but prior to that, he was known as an America’s Cup sailor. He has always done things “his” way, and I think he’d be very interesting to sit down with. On top of that, he is one of the largest private property owners in the country.

Where is your favorite place to hang out?
Outside of an island on my boat, I like to hang out in my backyard and swimming pool.

What do you love most about the industry?
I like helping people understand the process, and getting them through the process as easily and painlessly as possible. I think there are a lot of people who really don’t understand all of the various ways of constructing a transaction, and that’s something I enjoy, so I can be of help to them.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
Going back to one of your previous questions, I started in the industry as a mortgage loan officer, and I had a 20-year career to where I finished as a Senior Vice President of one of the largest banks in the country and ran mortgage operations. So I think that what separates myself from other agents is numbers, or to put it another way, my financing background, to where I can work up all the numbers as far as taxes and insurance and show them all their different scenarios. Also, when it comes to seller contribution, what’s allowed under the various loan programs and constructing transactions.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
One of the most difficult things is getting principals of the transaction, whether it’s buyers or sellers, to focus on big issues versus little issues. There are the big issues, like the house, and there are little issues, which I call $100 items and sometimes we tend to get hung up on the $100 items.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients?
I belong to a yacht club, so I meet people who have the same interests as I do there, and who are qualified as well.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Personally, I think my greatest accomplishment was completing the Ironman Triathalon, 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a full 26.2 mile marathon. Professionally, I’m very proud of my 20-year career at the bank and what I’ve accomplished there. It was a very rewarding period of time.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read?
I probably don’t do enough of either, but when it comes to movies, I like inspirational movies with an underdog that achieves and wins, like Rocky or Top Gun.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Right now, my favorite restaruant is Opus Bistro in Clear Lake Shores.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Houston?
I’m somewhat new to Houston, but I’m going to say Reliant Stadium. The first time I went to a Texas game and went inside, it was awesome.

What kind of car do you drive?
Right now, I drive a Toyota Sequoia. I find it to be a nice comfortable vehicle for taking clients around and it has one of the best AC systems, which is really important out here.

Smartphone or Paper?

What is your favorite city after Houston?
Santa Barbara, CA.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
There’s no replacement for desire and effort.

What’s your favorite Real Estate iPhone/ Blackberry app?
The HAR.com app.

Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter?
I’m not on Twitter, but I’ve been thinking about it. If I was on Twitter, I’d probably follow Dwight Howard! Go Rockets!

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