Pat Gregory brings

teams to dreams


Months of planning and preparation behind him — as well as some 40 years

of his life — newly minted real estate agent Pat Gregory walked up to his

new boss at Remax.


“Well … what now?” Pat asked.


“Go sell some houses,” he replied.


Taking his boss literally, Pat went out that day and knocked down all the

pins. In doing so he set the stage for his life’s second great act.


“I was scared,” he said. “I had no idea what to do; I couldn’t even balance a checkbook.” But with a family to support, failure was not an option. He could not let down that team.


His former career was over. Having filled clubs and concert venues night after night for 20 years, driving the region’s most successful cover band, Pat had succeeded in music far beyond his dreams. But the time had come to turn a page.


And even if he lives to 100, he will remember that day. On that day, the drive home from Nashville felt like a magic carpet ride. The air in his face tasted like apples. It was a day of days, and at his feet now lay the Holy Grail of all bands: a contract with a major record company. Travel. Wealth. Fame. Who knew what else?


Time to say bye-bye to the Mousetrap and the Lagoon, to blow off the countless dives he would never have set foot in had he not loved music. His Nashville connection had said the band would have to go country — but that would require only a minor tweak.


Once at home, Pat gathered his team of musicians to relay the golden news. Their moment had come. He was the rainmaker.


“I put it all out in front of them,” he said — “and they said no.”


They did not want to play country. Not for love nor money. The band’s members had been headed in different directions but nobody knew it.


“It means that the team was not a team,” Pat says.


Even now, a lifetime later, his eyes betray the stupefaction of that moment.


“That was the day I quit music.”


It took three years to transition from music to real estate. But it had taken much longer to build a music career.


It all started in 1978, when Pat met Tim Link while studying classical guitar at the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. Taking up an offer to open at the Devou Park Amphitheater, the duo laid down a set that brought the audience to its feet and left it cheering.


The performance marked the start of a two-decade career in which the band went through several different incarnations, losing some members and gaining others. Pat’s was the house band for The Gatehouse Tavern’s first eight years, drawing standing room crowds and branding this new club as the place to be. 


It was a place far from the halls of the Conservatory, where Pat once honed his skills in hopes of becoming a classical guitarist. At that he would make no money, of course — but he heard a tune once, and found it so moving that he had to play it.


“We all start falling in love,” he says. “Then it all changes.”


Pat sold a house his first day on the job. In his first year he sold 36; the average for any year is 7-9. And he has never been out of a contract in his 21 years with the company.


One key to his success is a focus on the customer’s needs. Pat tells the story of a couple that called him to sell their home, but later revealed that they did not want to sell at all, if they could make the house more affordable to keep. So foregoing a commission, Pat helped them rework their finances and keep the house.


“If you go into a sale thinking about how much commission you’re going to make, then you won’t be successful,” he says. “But if you think about what the customer needs, then your money will come.”


Long before his first success came calling, Pat would linger on the steps of the Amphitheater, strumming in the sunlight of optimism, entranced by a crowd swollen with excitement and smelling like spring — like many, future springs — wondering what it all would be like.


Then he found out.


And he went on to find harmony in the search for a home, that place where the heart is, where the refrains of satisfaction never fade. Now working with his sons, he builds a new team. A lasting team.


Pat leans over the table as if to tell a secret. “Selling houses is easy,” he says. “It’s like picking apples. And there are so many of them, you can have all you want.” His tone turns sotto voce. “But you’ve got to climb the tree first.”


Contact the entrepreneur at pat@patgregory.com


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