We had the good fortune of connecting with Harry Solomon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Harry, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I had been selling real estate in Orange County for approximately 23 years and was taking a break from sales. I was assisting a friend in studying for her broker’s exam and she looked at me and said: “You have too much real estate knowledge in your head to not be still in the business. At the very least you should be instructing new agents.” So about 6 months later, I opened NOVA Real Estate Services in Dana Point. We’ve moved a couple of times since then, but we’ve been going strong from inception.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Back in 1991, I was having a miserable day and then the phone rang for the umpteenth time that day. I was anticipating more bad news to be piled on. The call was from a national lender and they told me that I was next in line to be hired as one of their Area Brokers to handle foreclosures for their company. This did not come out of the blue. It took seven years–that’s right–seven years of networking at trade organizations, and mailing campaign. (This was before email). The huge revelation that was presented to me when the paperwork was signed, was that they were moving their HQ from LA to Dallas, and that Dallas wanted to ramp up their network before the move. The feeling was that LA was better equipped to add brokers that they knew to be knowledgable in the foreclosure field. If they had moved before adding me, I would never have been able to get in the door in Dallas. After handling foreclosures for several other companies, to be recognized by this GSE was like earning a PhD. I learned a lot of lessons working with corporate. It’s best to just discuss any issues, problems, extra repair expenses upfront and deal with it, and have a solution to the problem before you present it to the principals. Also, I learned to treat each listing as if it was my own but realize that every transaction requires compromise. We try to impart those last words of wisdom with each client before we start the buying or selling process.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In the time of COVID-19, that’s a bit difficult. But it would have to start with everything outdoors. From LA to San Diego, and as an old LA newscaster used to say: “from the desert to the sea,” and everything in between. If it was summer, we start at the art festivals in Laguna Beach and a sunset dinner at the Marine Room in La Jolla (last time I was there, 2 dolphins breached right as we sat down, I told the crew that was with me that I’d paid extra for them). To round out the week, Las Casuelas in Palm Springs. There are so many other venues to choose from, like a few dive bars with live music. The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, The Belly Up in Cardiff, and the Canyon or Troubador in LA area. Sporting events: we have three very awesome baseball parks within 2.5 hours of each other. The new LA stadium for football is supposed to be awesome. Southern California has too much to do for just one week and all of us that live here should take a minute to just look around and realize how fortunate we are to have all of this so close.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Having worked for a few real estate firms, both national franchises and independents, the basis for my company was borrowing a little from each. Unfortunately, a few of the people that I learned the most from are no longer with us. I’d like to think that I am honoring their memories by continuing on with the things that they taught me. The two most prominent were JC Nash, my first broker, and the one that talked me into getting my license. And Ed Coury, the last brokerage that I worked for. Both of these gentlemen were always available for any of their agents to discuss issues and formulate plans to overcome obstacles.