Karlton Utter, director of learning for Better Homes & Gardens® Real Estate, answers ten questions with Clean Slate, and talks about enthusiasm, music and The LEGO Movie and Frozen.
Which of our BHGRE® P.A.I.G.E. (Passion, Authenticity, Innovation, Growth, Excellence) core values do you identify with most, and why?
That is a tough one, but for me it is passion. Passion is what drives me in all aspects of life. Passion for real estate, passion for family, and passion for music. It creates an internal drive that pushes me to constantly want to succeed in everything I do.
What are your favorite qualities in a customer?
Enthusiasm. I love working with clients that are excited about the home buying or home selling process. Why? Because I am always excited about helping people buy or sell homes. When we are both enthusiastic about the transaction it makes the process a lot of fun.
What is the one characteristic that’s helped you the most in your career?
Determination. I have an inner drive to succeed in everything I do while also helping those around me to succeed.
What was the last book you read?
I am currently reading Power Questions, Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others by Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas. I am a firm believer that all business transactions start with a moment of truth that will define the relationship. This book is helping me ask good questions and listen. Although I am very excited for Dancing With Myself from Billy Idol. That is next on the list.
If you were not in real estate, what would you be doing?
I would be touring the world as a rock star. I currently play bass guitar with my band The Hazmats (‘80s and ‘90s music) but would have loved to make it big in the music industry. I have my associate’s degree in music composition and love writing songs in my downtime.
What was the last song you heard that you couldn’t stop humming?
”Everything Is Awesome” from the LEGO Movie. That and the entire Frozen Soundtrack. With three kids at home, those two movies have been on a constant loop and I can’t get those songs out of my head. “Do you want to build a snowman”? Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!
Who is your real-life hero?
My kids are my heroes. I watch them everyday try to find their way through the world and it amazes me. Between my daughters passion for art and dance, my sons constant enthusiasm for life, and my littlest guys determination, I learn something new from them everyday.
What is your favorite motto?
“Try Not, Do or Do Not, There is No Try.” From Yoda. I still remember the first time I watched Empire Strikes Back as a kid and heard Yoda say that. I thought to myself…”WOW! That just kind of makes sense.” If you are going to do something, go all in and give it all you have. I also like Marvin Phillips quote, “The difference between try and triumph is just a little UMPH.” So simple but in business, it really is about that little bit extra you can do which makes a big difference.
If you could sell a home in any market in the world, where would it be?
Somewhere warm with beaches, palm trees, and an average selling price of 5 million dollars. Does that exist?
What advice would you give your younger self starting out in real estate?
Ask more questions! Real estate is a relationship-first business. Listen more and talk less. A valuable lesson that I learned over time. Also, invest heavily in Apple and Google stock.