Q & A with John Wenner, 2023 RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker

Colibri Real Estate’s Education Manager, John Wenner, DREI, CDEI, was recently selected as one of RISMedia’s 2023 Real Estate Newsmakers! With over 45,000 hours of teaching real estate under his belt, this award is more than deserving!

Check out our Q & A with John below to learn more about his experience and the impact he’s had on the real estate industry.

Q: What’s one of your fondest memories as a real estate instructor?

A: In pre-licensing, we learn about 1,000 terms that are legal in regards. Unless you’ve grown up in the industry or been around it, it’s a new language and can be very mind-boggling. I had a woman in one of my classes that was struggling with the terminology. English was her second language and, knowing she was having a hard time translating the terms, I pulled her to the side and talked through her challenges. I was able to get her sample copies of all the contracts translated to Spanish. As a result, she became a start student and went on to sell real estate and is doing very well!

Q: What is the best part of being a real estate instructor?

A: When you go into this business of teaching, it’s the passion that fuels you. You get little glimpses, you never know when it’s going to happen, but someone recognizes you. You don’t search for it, and you don’t go after it, it just happens. It’s fun when you have those moments. You don’t know how much you’re going to change somebody’s life.

Q: What does it mean to be selected as a 2023 RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker?

A: It’s very humbling to have an award like this. I have 45,000+ hours now of teaching real estate and what I’ve learned over all those years is that it’s a reflection of the accomplishments. There’s been failures too, but you learn from those and you grow. That’s what I find humbling. Over all these years as an agent or an instructor, it’s not just about me but about the people who have helped mentor me as well.

Q: Why did you get into the real estate industry?

A: I was in the corporate environment, in aerospace, and always thought I’d be a VP of contracts or contracting. My wife said she wanted to sell real estate and get out of the snow and cold in Grand Rapids, MI. I decided I was up for the challenge, and so I said OK! My wife and I decided to pour ourselves into it, and we were successful with it. We had to adjust for the downturn and the recession, and then we had to adjust again. It’s all about finding what you love to do and making it a passion. Let it fuel you and you will enjoy it. Have fun and before you know it, it’s been 29 years and you still love what you do.

Q: What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in real estate?

A: I think the easiest answer to that is technology. Technology has made a big change on who we are and what we do. But, what one person said to me has stayed with me for a lot of years. At the end of the day, you’re still dealing with people. People are looking for that place to call home and that hasn’t changed. Human beings are still human beings. You have to embrace technology but human behavior and relationships will always be there.

Q: What’s one thing people don’t realize about real estate?

A: If you get a real estate license you can obviously sell, but there are so many facets in this industry you can get involved in. You can do so many different things, not just sell, if you choose to. That’s the beautiful thing about this industry.

Q: Why is now a good time to get into real estate?

A: Interest rates are just as interesting now as it was in 2008 when we had a recession. People are still coming into the market. When you come into the business in a market that’s changing, you have to realize people are still going to buy and sell real estate. Times like this help you develop really good sales habits. My advice is to get into the business and learn it now. We have an opportunity to understand the market and the more prepared you can be, the easier your job will be in the future.