First-timers bringing energy to industry |

First-timers bringing energy to industry

William Ferchland

Armed with technology and youthful enthusiasm, a new generation of real estate agents are earning trust and making money in South Shore.

Doug Rosner, owner of Century 21 in South Lake Tahoe and a 25-year industry veteran, said he’s seeing more young people choose the profession as a first career.

“They’re looking for a career where they can have unlimited income potential,” he said. “Real estate (agents were) getting rather gray and/or bald and the influx of young people has been refreshing and they’re bright and they’re eager and they soak it up fast.”

Cory Halter, 27, graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in mechanical engineering. He moved to Tahoe and saw a slim demand for mechanical engineers. He worked for the U.S. Forest Service and Caesars Tahoe as a card dealer.

Halter said he made $55,000 in his first year doing full-time business. This year he estimates his income will be closer to $80,000.

People told him to be ready to work, to brace for getting contacted by clients seven times a day. He told himself he’d call people 10 times a day.

Halter uses his age. He brings business cards to hand out on the chairlift when snowboarding at Heavenly Mountain Resort.

“When you have something in common with people you’re in contact with, it helps a lot,” he said.

Meyers-based real estate agent Jesse Barchetti, 25, is in her second year.

“I grew up in Pennsylvania in a run-down trailer or cabin and I’ve always been interested in real estate and houses with full amenities because we didn’t have (many) amenities,” she said.

Barchetti has her California and Nevada licenses and has received awards for her sales performance. She has also embraced technology to boost sales.

“I’m huge on the Internet,” she said. “I get a lot of my leads that way. That’s a lot of what we bring to the table that a lot of older agents don’t.”

Rosner agrees.

“The Internet is fast becoming a key marketing ingredient,” he said. “The young people are picking up on that faster than the old-timers.”

At Lake Tahoe Community College, an extra class of principles in real estate was recently added, making the class available in the fall, winter and spring quarters.

Virginia Boyar, director of vocational education, said the real estate course is filled with up to 40 students at the beginning. It’s the most popular course along with the emergency technician classes, she said.

“It bursts at the seams,” she said. “We had to move it to a larger classroom.”

“There’s a lot more interest in the field because prices are going up but I don’t think that necessarily means (they are) more successful agents once they get into the field,” said California Real Estate Principles instructor Steve Heggen.

Barchetti and Halter don’t plan to slow down. They feel they’re building a foundation for their new careers.

“We’re here and we’re tough competition. We’re giving the older agents a run for their money,” Barchetti said.

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