Realtor Excels in Sales
Reprinted from the Front Page of the Tribune’s Business Section
By Lesley Mitchell
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE — Sunday, April 21, 2002 DRAPER — Leslie Thorup says little as she strolls through each room of a tidy brick rambler in an upscale east-side cul-de- sac.
But her mind is racing with the possibilities: decent-sized family room with newer beige carpet; nicely finished basement with bathroom; no clutter.
By the time she has entered an airy country-style kitchen a few minutes after walking through the front door, this veteran real estate agent already has calculated in her mind how long it will take her to sell the home (four months tops) who the buyer will be (a family with a few children) and based on comparable sales, at what price it probably will sell (around $255,000).
Chances are, she will be right on all three. Thorup, the Salt Lake Board of Realtors’ 2001 salesperson of the year, is among only a handful of Wasatch Front agents whose selling savvy affords her a six-figure income.
Thorup, who works for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, last year sold more than 100 homes worth more than $18 million. That’s a feat unmatched by most other agents not only in Utah but in many parts of the country.
What makes her accomplishments even more impressive is how tough it is to make a decent living selling homes. Most real estate agents in Utah make less than $20,000 a year, some much less.
“People think that all real estate agents do is drive nice cars, wear nice suits and show a house and collect big bucks,” said Jim Naccarato, president of the Wasatch Front Regional Multiple Listing Service. “The majority of agents are not like Leslie — they aren’t making enough to even be in business.”
What also sets Thorup apart is that while many top-grossing real estate agents focus on only luxury homes, her listings range from a modest $100,000 starter home to mansions worth more than $1 million.
As she zips around the Salt Lake Valley in her gold-colored Lexus GS300 sedan, Thorup says she has no magic formula for selling homes.
What she does have is a system honed over two decades that enables her to attract large numbers of new customers, whose homes she, her husband and associates aggressively market to prospective buyers.
Her clients say Thorup also succeeds because she focuses on the ultimate goal of selling homes and isn’t afraid that her honesty will cause her to lose listings.
She isn’t shy about telling sellers interested in hiring her to sell their homes that they are asking too much. She has no qualms about pointing out properties’ weak points and suggesting ways to address them before trying to sell. And if she and a seller are too far apart on these points, she walks away.
“I’d rather tell them up front that I can’t help them than to list a home and have it not sell,” she said.
(Photo: Ryan Galbraith/The Salt Lake Tribune)