Leaving A Legacy

I will be the first to tell you that I was intimidated to get into Real Estate right out of College. The average age of a Realtor according to the National Association of Realtors is 53! I was 23 when I got my license. All I could think about was the fact that I had to make up for 30 years of experience somehow before I gained any confidence.

I decided in my junior year at Northern State University that I was going to get into Real Estate. I have always had an entrepreneurial mindset and knew I wasn’t going to work a nine to five job. I wanted something that had no ceiling, something that wouldn’t put me in a box with no room to grow.

The summer before I got my license I had a coffee talk with one of my Dad’s good friends, Craig Nester, who is head of business development at Marketplace Mortgage. He asked me, “Why do you want to get into Real Estate?” I answered, “Well my grandpa did it, my dad did it, I have grown up with Real Estate my entire life and it’s something I am very passionate and interested in.” What he said next really stuck with me and gave me a new perspective that I truly hadn’t thought about yet. He said, “You will be helping someone with the largest purchase of their life, something extremely personal and important.” I knew these things but had never thought about how big of an impact I could have on someone’s life. A new fire had ignited inside of me, but I still lacked the confidence of someone who had been in the industry for twenty plus years. Then I thought about the legacy my Grandpa and my Dad had started.

-My Dad (Bill Pankonin) next to his Dad (Kenneth Pankonin) original Pankonin Realty yard sign.

My Dad is a huge reason I chose to be in Real Estate. He also started Real Estate right out of college. Here is a short story about what made my dad dive right into the industry. “My father was a farmland broker in rural Minnesota.  I was home for a vacation and I must have seemed bored one day when he said, ‘I have a farm for sale.  Why don’t you go around and talk to all of the neighbors and see if you can sell it to somebody?’ So, not knowing any better, that’s what I did.  I drove around from farm to farm and by the end of the day and to my surprise, somebody said yes.  Having no experience, I had him write down on a yellow legal pad what he was willing to pay and sign it and I took it home.” He returned to work.  Six months later he received a check in the mail for his part in the sale of the farm for more than seven times what he was earning monthly at his full-time job.  “The light bulb went on and I said, ‘I’m going into real estate full time!”

Forty years later and he is still in the industry as the Upper Midwest Regional Owner for EXIT Realty Corp. International. I get to work side by side with him and see how passionate and hard working he really is on a day-to-day basis.

As I thought about the legacy they had left behind and all the hours I spent growing up around the industry, it gave me the confidence I was looking for. I knew I wasn’t your average “brand new agent”. I have seen the good and bad sides of Real Estate, the investment side, and the day-to-day grind that it takes to be successful in this business. I also have some characteristics that are attributing to my success right out the gate. I know how to leverage technology and social media to help grow my business. With the industry average age of 53 years old, this isn’t the case with every Realtor.

All of these things, along with learning something new every day, are giving me the confidence I once lacked before I got my license. My Dad spent 30 years picking the right brokerage and ended up with EXIT Realty. I couldn’t be happier that I get to start my career with such a great company that cares more about the agent than the numbers. Not to mention it is the ONLY Real Estate company that sets you up for retirement along the way.

If this industry interests you at all, I would love to hear about your legacy and if Real Estate would be a good fit for you. I’m just a call away!

Juan Lopez on July 24, 2017 at 11:30am
Thanks for sharing such a personal part of your life! It's very telling of your passion for helping home buyers and sellers with one of the most important decisions they make in their lives. You are a rising star my friend! Lots of cool stuff ahead for you!
Scott Roussel on July 24, 2017 at 05:29pm
Impressive view at this time in your career. You have a great family support and training through the EXIT system. I look forward to watching you grow and prosper !
Annette Anthony on July 24, 2017 at 11:16pm
Great first read of many! You are going to break records at EXIT, Spencer! How do I know this? Because you are destined for greatness! Be the change you want to see in the industry and blaze a trail!
Jim Mazziotti on July 24, 2017 at 10:12am
Thanks for the great story and perspective, Spencer. Many great things are in your future and you have the right role models at hand.
Tami Bonnell on July 24, 2017 at 08:09pm
You are building your own legacy and honoring your Dads and your Grandads , way to go !
Vince Pankonin on July 24, 2017 at 10:18pm
Great story! I remember when your dad started real estate! I know he and grandpa spent a lot of time talking about land sales etc.
Tammy Metz Washington on July 24, 2017 at 11:55pm
Spencer, you are wise beyond your years and will be very successfull in your real estate endeovrs! Loved the story!! Thanks for sharing!
Jon Niemeyer on July 24, 2017 at 10:53am
Great story Spencer! Well written, too. You will do well.
Cade Pankonin on July 24, 2017 at 10:02pm
Well said brother! You are a true entrepreneur and a great example of a great leader. Keep up the good work.
Whitney Pankonin on July 24, 2017 at 12:30pm
So proud of you, Spencer Pankonin!! You helped make our home-buying experience exciting and personal, just the way it should be.
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