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On The Table Read, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author and realtor Jason Gelios talks about his career in real estate and being inspired to write Think Like A Realtor.

JJ Barnes The Table Read

Written by JJ Barnes

I interviewed author and realtor Jason Gelios about his work, what inspires him, and the writing of his new book Think Like A Realtor.

Tell me a bit about who you are.

I grew up in middle class suburbia located in Southeast Michigan with two hard working parents who provided a great childhood for my sister and me. To paint you a picture, I was that kid who could not sit still, running around causing trouble in school, striving to be the class clown. But there was a side of me that not many people knew about. l had a love for books, which had me spending hours in the school library around classes and after school. 

Fast forward to my 20’s, I met a woman who I now call my wife. When we met, I was a laborer who didn’t have goals in place or a bright future at that. My wife was in college pursuing her college degree in nursing and it was at that moment that I realized I really needed to do things differently so that I could have a better future.

Jason Gelios, author of Think Like A Realtor, interview on The Table Read
Jason Gelios

As my wife and I spent time together, I watched as she set goals and expectations for herself to maximize her chances of success. It was this drive she had that motivated me to want to become more in my life. I always had the work ethic, but I was not getting anywhere. This would set in motion the things that would later transform me into the successful professional that I am today.

While I was trying to figure out what my interests were and what I was going to do, somebody mentioned to me that I would be great at sales. This person felt that I had the personality for it. After giving this some thought, I decided to try sales in the mortgage industry. It was rough, but I soon learned how to be a success in this role, which led to many other accolades for my effort.

Then the world learned of the housing bubble and many of my colleagues were being let go as the housing market crashed. While this surely was a terrible tragedy, I took this opportunity to make a change in my career.

After spending years in general sales positions, I decided to pursue becoming a licensed Realtor. I always wanted to be on the more interesting side of the real estate business, interacting with the clients and seeing their face when they saw the right home for them. After making the change, I quickly earned multiple awards for my work, which made me feel like I really found my niche in life.

Even to this day, I continue to grow my business year after year with a love that just won’t quit. One of the biggest drivers in my career is to focus on creating value to others and changing the perception that people have of what a Realtor does. Who knew that this ambition would lead to where I’m at now?

I am currently a Top Producing Realtor, an author of the book ‘Think Like a Realtor’, the creator of ‘The AskJasonGelios Real Estate Show’ and an Expert Media Contributor for many media outlets across the world requesting my real estate expertise. I have come along way from being that troublemaker in grade school, and I am enjoying every bit of it. 

When did you first WANT to write a book?

It was early 2018 when I decided to put a book together. I’m an avid reader and a huge fan of printed books, so when I thought more about the possibility of putting my knowledge and real world expertise into a book, it got the creative juices flowing. I began to visualize holding my completed book and how others would benefit from it. My goal was to further share my knowledge with those not on social media.

I felt the best way to accomplish this was to write a book. Books have always had an impact on my life as far back as I can remember. There’s something to be said about reading someone else’s words and applying what you can to your own life that is empowering. Once I decided to take the leap, I never looked back.

Think Like A Realtor by Jason Gelios on The Table Read
Think Like A Realtor

I also visualized handing out a copy of my book to those I meet who were interested in what I do. I didn’t want to be like everyone else and just hand out a business card. I wanted something in print that would make an impression that would be long lasting.

When did you take a step to start writing?

The decision to write a book came after I had already documented some experiences I had in my career. I had kept a bunch of thoughts in a Notes app on my Ipad for some blog posts when I decided to expand on those thoughts and start focusing on compiling them into a book. I felt I had great information to share with others. When I had decided to actually put pen to paper, I further increased my writing eventually leading to a rough draft.

How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?

Writing and completing my first book was challenging and took longer than planned, because I went back and forth to make sure that it was perfect, at least in my eyes. The whole process from the first idea to the release was about one year. Of course this was me working on the book around work and family demands. Much of my free time was spent adding, removing and revising my rough draft. I would jot down ideas and words in my Notes app {which now I use Google Keep}, whenever inspiration would hit. I would then transfer those words to my rough draft and find a place for them. I loved having something on the go with me that could capture something that I was thinking. This made the process go quicker and helped me to complete my book faster.

Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write Think Like A Realtor?

My first goal in creating a book was to help me stand out from my competition, while sharing my knowledge in a printed format. I remember asking myself how many other Realtors in my field had their own printed book. The book became another way for me to help change the perception that the general public has of Realtors-that we are all the same. Many people like to read books making this a great way for someone to digest the information on their own terms. Handing out a book that I created to someone is a great ice breaker too. It sure beats just handing out a business card. 

What were your biggest challenges with writing Think Like A Realtor?

One of the biggest challenges I had was keeping the overall concept top of mind. While I knew there would be changes made often throughout the process, I had to really make sure the overall theme matched what I wanted it to be once completed.  I had sketches of various cover and page designs, as well as what sections would go where. There were so many nights where I would have different ideas running through my head, forcing me to jot them down in a notepad so that I would not forget them.

It wasn’t until I set a deadline and shared that date with others that I really propelled forward in the process. Having the deadline also forced me to avoid running in circles making so many changes and to stay the course. It also reminded me of what my main goal was for this book, which was to share my expertise in a printed medium.

Jason Gelios, author of Think Like A Realtor, interview on The Table Read
Jason Gelios

After setting the deadline, I also had less challenges, because I felt the need to get past the milestones I set for myself. These included laying out the outline, coming up with the cover design and knowing roughly how many pages I wanted the book to be. Some people work better under pressure. Had I not set a strict deadline for myself, I would have never completed the book.

What was your research process for Think Like A Realtor?

The majority of my research for this book was on how to self publish a book, how long should the book be, how to get it printed and sell it online, how to configure the design in the right software and submit it to the printer. I honestly did very little research as to how the pages of the book would look. I thumbed through some of my favorite books to get inspired by their designs, but I had a good idea of how I wanted my book to look.

Having a background in graphic design has also helped me tremendously. Had I not been experienced in that area, I probably would have done a lot more research with the interior of the book. I suggest aspiring authors look at books that they love to get inspired by those designs.

How did you plan the structure of Think Like A Realtor?

One of the decisions I made that really helped me write this book was to create sections covering the topics that I felt should be included. I jotted down a bunch of things I wanted to cover on index cards and placed them in various order until I figured out the final outline. This was helpful because it allowed me some flexibility to visualize the outline of the sections with ease.

Once I had the outline in place, I then typed up a formal outline for my rough draft. Anytime I had a thought to elaborate on a section, I would review the rough draft and add those words in the appropriate section. As I continued to do this, my rough draft grew to more pages; eventually leading to a full rough draft of my book. This was very satisfying to me because it started looking like a rough book. It also made me feel like I was more than half way to having a completed version of my book. I will be applying this same method to the upcoming books that I’m working on.

Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did Think Like A Realtor need?

Anyone at the point of a completed rough draft should have someone proofread their work. It can be the difference between night and day and can take you’re rough draft to the next level. I don’t recommend having someone proofread your words early in the process, because I feel that will hinder getting your ideas out into the rough draft.

When I was in the process of writing my book, I put as many thoughts down as I could. I wanted everything out on paper so that I didn’t miss anything valuable I wanted to share. Having someone proofread and edit your work is an amazing benefit and ensures that you are putting your best foot forward in your work.  

My main goal as a professional is to share valuable expertise and advice with my readers, not to focus on how perfect my English is. So when it came time to clean up my rough draft and make it shine, I enlisted the help of my mother in law, Patricia Gordon. With her advanced skills of proofing and editing, she took my project and turned my words into polished paragraphs. I was always good at English in school, but when you put random thoughts down on paper, it can become clustered.

Jason Gelios, author of Think Like A Realtor, interview on The Table Read
Jason Gelios

Knowing I could have someone proofread my work gave me more freedom to get my thoughts and ideas out of my head and on paper. I don’t recommend anyone proofread their rough draft until it is absolutely complete. This allows you to get further into the process and not get stuck on some areas. I attribute the excellent grammar and placement of punctuation to Patricia.

What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?

My first piece of advice would be to just get started. I’m a firm believer that everyone has at least one book in them. How selfish is it that someone could write a book that impacts another person, yet they keep it inside them. Writing a book should not be this overwhelming feeling that stops us in our tracks. I’ve had conversations with people who said to me that they wished they could write a book, but they just didn’t feel that they could. When you get over that first obstacle and decide that you’ll write the book, the rest becomes much easier.

Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?

While the majority of my expertise I share is about real estate, I’m currently working on a personal book on how people can make the change to achieve the life they truly want to live and not just settle for average. This is not to say that everyone’s life is average, but for those who are wanting to make that change to better their situation, this will be the book for them. In my own life, I had to reinvent myself multiple times and overcome hurdles placed in my path. With this book, I want to inspire others to do the same. You could say this is a passion project of mine.

And, finally, are you’re proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?

I am very proud of the book I wrote, because it is a big accomplishment to me. Seeing the reaction I received from others when they come across my book is also rewarding. The book I created will be around long after I leave this earth. I feel that a book is one of the best legacies someone could leave behind for others. When I look back at the effort I put into the book from idea to completion, I can tell you it was worth every minute spent. 

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