Young entrepreneurs are always trying to position themselves as the expert in their industry. However, when it comes to Damian Hall he is not trying to position himself, he is the expert in his field. Welcome to the world of luxury real estate. Starting his career in Charleston, South Carolina, Damian has been the definition of a businessman and a real estate “ninja” since he graduated college in 2007. He has started several of his own companies and has become a leading entrepreneur in the business community. He explained to us the lifestyle and career choices which have led him to become a successful real estate agent.
“We go above and beyond 100% of the time”
Sophisticated Professional: You’re obviously very successful, tell me about the start of your career?
Damian Hall: In 2007 when I graduated College of Charleston, I was a Political Science and Pre-Law major headed to law school. I got my real estate license the summer before my senior year. The market was on fire right before it crashed in 2008. In my senior year, we were selling 2 million-dollar, gorgeous homes South of Broad in Charleston. Then the recession happened, people stopped buying houses, banks weren’t lending on properties. I restructured at age 23 or 24 and started a property management company because a lot of people couldn’t afford to buy, and their only option was to rent a house. So, I started a management company that handled long term rentals and we had about 200 properties under management. I spent most of 2009-11 on the rental side of things and grew that business to become the biggest management company in the region. I stepped out in 2011 when the market was picking up on residential sales and jumped back into real estate sales. Started the Damian Hall group and have been rocking and rolling for 8 or so years.
What makes you stand out from everyone else in such a competitive market?
It’s all about value. Realtors are a dime a dozen. We go above and beyond 100% of the time. We deal with mostly higher end properties, so we provide a lot of value for our clients. We started a company where we would send our employees to our clients before they close on their houses and would help with unpacking, hanging pictures, mount tv’s, etc. That is one thing, and our marketing acumen, being innovative, and staying ahead of the curve gives us a major advantage.
So, tell me about some of the properties you deal with?
Damian Hall Group Equestrian helps with horse farms over a million dollars throughout different locations in the upstate. We have DHG Lake which is focused on homes on or around Lake Keowee, lot of properties in the cliffs and the reserve. And then the DHG group that represents luxury homes in the area, Five Forks, Augusta Road… the fun stuff.
How do you market your company to set your properties apart from everyone else?
One of the things that others have tried to replicate is for our properties we do an MTV Cribs style video shot in 4K by our videographer. That gets a lot more attention on social media than just panning through a kitchen or living room. Then we have our own web series for self-promotion. That is the million-dollar listing show format from Bravo, behind the scenes with my team and I. We have done 15 episodes between 8-15 thousand views. Our sponsors also pick up half of our production costs as well.
I believe you were on HGTV, tell me a little bit about that experience.
I did actually! We shot an episode of House Hunters around December 2017 and it aired around July of 2018. I was working with a family looking for a horse farm. The husband wanted a pond, and that was a fun thing to work with. They sent a camera crew out to us and we spent every day of the week with them shooting, all for a 29-minute episode! I really enjoyed the experience.
“We grew that close to 100 properties”
I heard that you used to own a travel company where you owned property in different destinations. Tell me about that.
After the property management company, we shifted gears and started a vacation rental company in the mountains. Almost like when you would rent a house at the beach, we rented several cabins in the mountains. When the Equestrian Center gained ground, I partnered up and we were able to be the main company to handle their offsite accommodations. As they were having these giant horse shows, the people who needed a property would book through us. We grew that to close to 100 properties and then I sold that company to a company outside of Ashville last year.
How did you know what properties to buy or to represent? How did you get these properties booked?
To sell, we put a lot of time, energy and money into those. We want to make sure the sellers have a reasonable expectation on market value and time on the market. If they are too high, we are dealing with an unrealistic seller and we probably don’t need to be working with them. You get to a point where you enjoy saying no more than yes. When you are getting started you have to say yes, but with season and experience you earn the ability to say no. You form a sense of the vibe of them being unrealistic, then you are at a place of saying thanks but no thanks.
“Right now, my main passion seems to be work!”
So, tell me about you. Where did you grow up and what are some of your passions and hobbies?
Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina and went to USC Columbia for the first two years of college. Then transferred to College of Charleston for my Junior and Senior years. I lived in Charleston until 2009 when I moved into Greenville. I have lived in Greenville since 2012. Right now, my main passion seems to be work! I enjoy the startup and entrepreneurial aspect, and lately that’s where my extra time has been. But not work-related, a day on the lake at Lake Keowee or even a beach if I can find one. I always enjoy golfing or horseback riding! Another thing is balance. Balance is health, fitness, and mental. I always make time to work out, run, ride my bike, unplug for an hour a day, and block my schedule so I can get everything accomplished and done.
What first got you interested in Real Estate?
My grandmother. She has been in the business since the early 80s and I would take her old bag phone and brief case and I would pretend I was in the industry making business deals as young as 8 years old! She has definitely been the one to initially gain my interest in real estate.
What are some things you enjoy the most about what you do?
Freedom and flexibility above all. I make my own schedule, and decisions on what properties I take. I cannot work if I don’t want to, I don’t have a boss to ask for two weeks off, I can just go to the Bahamas if I want. That is the most rewarding part. It has its ups and downs, but once it gets in your blood you have a hard time going back.
What are some of the main things you have learned?
To bounce back quick and learn from your failures. You see the memes and quotes, but you have to learn to have thick skin where nothing fazes you. You can’t take it as an emotional thing. You work through it and get over it and come back stronger. I think that is something every entrepreneur must learn. Those who can are the ones that succeed.
Finally, where can everyone find you to keep up with your activities?
Either my Instagram @damianhallgroup, or through our Youtube series.