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Sold on His Career

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John Asdourian, head of the San Francisco Association of Realtors, has been described by his predecessor Matthew Borland as "an organized and patient visionary."

John Asdourian (B.S., '81), 2007 president of the San Francisco Association of Realtors, isn't alarmed by slowing home sales or the threat of rising interest rates. Yes, it's a challenging time for the more than 5,000 real estate agents in his trade group, but he insists the industry has always endured peaks and valleys. "In the long run, real estate is a brilliant investment," says Asdourian, a top-producing salesperson at San Francisco's McGuire Real Estate. "People lose when they're forced to sell in a hurry, desperate situations. The ones who hold on and ride out the market come out doing well."

And while residential home sales have slowed across the nation, he points out that appreciation is on his side in San Francisco. "Consumers are still very motivated to buy," he says.

One of Asdourian's top priorities as SFAR's president is providing professional development opportunities for real estate licensees. "My biggest mission is to help them become better professionals. For a long time we've been viewed as one notch above used car salesmen," he says. He also works in the community on behalf of SFAR to help shape legislation related to home ownership and property rights.

Asdourian earned his degree in finance with an emphasis on real estate and taxation at the University. He says his business education continues to serve him well in his career.

On average per year, Asdourian sells 12 to 25 probate, trust and income properties in the $500,000 to $2.8 million range. The biggest misconception about his job? "That it's easy money," he says, adding that three out of five agents leave the business within a few years. A great deal of time, effort and stress is involved with selling a property—and the stress doesn't end until the close. Last-minute financial issues can quickly dismantle a sale.

He advises any Gators who wish to try their hand at the business to start as assistants to seasoned agents. "If you have that entrepreneurial spirit," he says, "real estate is one of the most gratifying and rewarding careers."

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