The Bay Area real estate market has been red-hot this summer as the median price of homes rose and sales surged to their highest levels in eight years. With prices expected to rise even further next year amid a strong housing market in San Francisco, the potential for greater demand in real estate professionals is also expected to grow. Lance King, CEO and founder of King Realty Group, offers valuable insight on what it takes to be successful in the real estate industry.

(Photo Courtesy of Lance King)

(Photo Courtesy of Lance King)

What experience/education is required to get into the business?

“Entry into the business is easy,” King says, “being successful in the industry is not. A salesperson’s license only requires a high school diploma, and salespeople must work under a broker. A broker’s license requires either a four-year degree or a salesperson’s license and experience in the field.”

What is your background in management?

“I began my career as a manager for a construction supply company, eventually starting King Tool & Supply Co. Inc. in the interest of selling better products and offering better incentive for salespeople who performed well. After selling that company, I formed a partnership with a real estate mentor to buy and sell land throughout California, eventually training and managing other clients to do the same in other areas.”

During the course of this partnership, he obtained his broker’s license, and while later going through the process of dissolution of that partnership, founded King Realty Group (originally Fixed Rate Properties). Ironically, he only intended to do occasional transactions to supplement income, but both buyers and sellers responded so well to the company’s model of better rates and better service that it became his full-time occupation and he continues to add associates and expand the company’s territory.

What advice can you give to someone interested in your field?

“The exam doesn’t prepare you for success. Find a firm that provides intensive and ongoing training, someone great to mentor you on a continuing basis and a model that leads to success. Many agents and brokers think all they must do is get a license and the money will start rolling in – wrong. Determination, people skills and confidence are musts, but most will fail without training and guidance.”

“At King Realty, we bring each associate along at his or her pace, every step of the way backed by me or one of my pros so they can approach potential new clients with confidence. To help insure success, we also coop them on deals from the beginning so they can earn while they learn. Make sure whatever company you work for offers similar support or keep looking.”

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on


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