SOLD: Student is town's youngest agent
Not knowing which path to take following high school graduation, Stonewall resident Dustin Nielsen sort of fell in love with real estate.
“I didn’t really know what real estate was and I didn’t know much about it but I wanted to work for myself,” Dustin said.
He then walked through the doors of Century 21 Sunset, Realtors and see if he could learn more.
“I walked in and talked to Mimi (Bartel) and we figured out a plan to get me started,” Nielsen said.
“He came to us and he has been here ever since the first week of school,” said Mimi Bartel, Century 21 broker and owner.
Nielsen began taking real estate courses when he was 17 years old and recently passed his exams and is now licensed to practice real estate in Texas.
“He was probably ready for his exams a few weeks ago but we had to wait until he was 18 to take the exams and become licensed,” Mimi said.
Prior to passing his exams, Dustin spent every school-day afternoon at the real estate office.
He would make trips to local title companies to observe how contracts were interpreted and signed. Other days, he would shadow agents when they showed properties.
“Our agents have been generous in allowing him to show properties alongside them,” Mimi said. “I also spent time with him teaching him everything he needs to know about contracts so he could also easily navigate his real estate classes.”
As in any profession, real estate agents and realtors all have a different way of marketing themselves.
“We have 23 agents at Century 21 and everyone has their own style and has done their own thing, so I think Dustin has gotten a pretty good idea of how he wants to run his business,” Mimi said.
Becoming a mentor
Nielsen is the first student Bartel has worked with to achieve the goal of getting a license prior to high school graduation.
“Education is something that has always been important to me and I have a passion to give students the skills they need to be successful,” Bartel said. “I think we have done that pretty well, as all the agents here have really taken him under their wing.”
Having this mentorship has allowed Dustin to get a taste of all sides of real estate.
“At any given time, there will be six or seven people here and they are all working on other things and they have all asked Dustin to come observe them,” Bartel said.
“Yeah, that has been really nice to learn from everyone here,” Nielsen said.
While Bartel would like to offer this kind of mentorship again in the future, she says they will have big shoes to fill.
“He has set the expectation high and he has fit in very well here,” she said.
‘Meeting the needs’
As an agent, Nielsen believes it is necessary to listen his clients and help them find their dream home.
While that can be a challenge in Fredericksburg due to high market values, he is confident that he can find the best options.
“I want to find them something in their budget and something they can afford,” he said. “We always see something we want but that doesn’t mean we can afford it.”
“I think he will set realistic goals for his buyers and do well educating them about the market,” Bartel said.
With a real estate license attached to his name, Nielsen now has his first listing.
“How exciting for him to, at 18, already have his profession and already have his first listing,” Bartel said.
While some may have a concern about his age, both are confident in his abilities to market himself.
“I am ready to convince someone that that I am fully capable of doing this,” he said.
“What more could you ask for? He just went through all these classes, so it’s all very fresh,” Bartel said.
As an agent, Nielsen will also pick his farming neighborhood, which is the specific area that he would like to market himself.
“I can’t wait to sell my first home,” he said. “I think it’s going to be really special.”
Nielsen will graduate June 1.