Executive broker looks back over first year at Clark & Co. Realty
December 3-9, 2018
By Becca Bona
Originally from Arkadelphia, Jesse Clark, owner and Executive Broker of Saline County’s Clark & Co. Realty, hasn’t strayed too farm from home.
Clark joined the United States Marine Corp in 2004. He was an infantry team leader and a squad leader when he was deployed to Iraq in the mid-2000s. Afterward, he landed in construction and became a licensed contractor with a remodeling business. The work would actually lead him to the real estate industry.
He remembers a particular day eight years ago, when he was doing concrete work in the middle of the summer.
“[The Client] was sitting there on a Wednesday – drinking a beer by his pool with his feet in the water,” Clark remembers. “I asked the guy who I worked with what the client’s profession was, and he told me he was a real estate agent.”
Clark got his real estate license and promptly joined the team at Keller Williams in Little Rock. Thanks to Roddy McCaskill, Clark’s mentor and coworker, he was able to learn quickly. “[Roddy] was also a licensed appraiser so he really taught me to be particular,” Clark says. “He was very meticulous about his listing presentations and his comps. I think that’s kind of what sets me apart from most of the other agents.”
And, at that time, Clark needed to learn the particular ins-and-outs of the industry, as the market was gearing up for a crash. “It was the worst time to be in real estate – but it helped me learn and I had to fight my way through it,” he remembers.
To this day, Clark utilizes the skills McCaskill shared with him, and is proud to do so. “Usually my reports are anywhere from 30 to 50 pages,” he says. “I have graphs, I have data, market data, area data – it’s really kind of an art form.” He relishes in being able to provide a personalized service for every client.
After gaining momentum at Keller Williams, Clark joined iRealty, first at their Little Rock office, and then the Bryant office. He was approached by the team to serve as an executive broker, so he took the test required, however, it didn’t pan out.
“I thought, now that I’ve got my broker’s license, I feel like I need to do something with it, to step out there and take a leap,” he recalls.
And so he leapt.
In the winter of 2018 Clark opened up his location in Benton, operating out of a space that provides a comfortable, boutique vibe. Funnily enough, he actually sold the building to its current owner – Josh Farmer – who operates his law practice there.
“He also leases this building out to another attorney and then I’ve got a part of the upstairs for my office and we kind of share the common areas,” Clark explains.
The house, a product of the early 1900s, has been restored and offers a comforting vibe to all those who enter. The space offers Clark the ability to speak one-on-one with clients, helping them through likely the largest purchase they’ll ever make.
Clark likes to focus his business in Saline County, but also works with buyers and sellers in Pulaski, as well. Saline County, however, is definitely his home.
“If I never had to leave Saline County that’d be fine with me,” he says with a chuckle. “I go to a church right across the street, it’s a very close knit community. The real estate community is close-knit as well – they do a lot together.”
Clark is also happy to see the energy downtown, as he says, “The area is really turning into a sort-of Heights or Hillcrest. People are completely redoing these beautiful old houses, and it’s made the market really take off.”
Besides taking pride in working the data and personalizing his services for every client, Clark draws on his past experiences to take his services one step further.
“I’m a one-stop shop because I once owned a remodeling business and I am a licensed contractor,” he explains. He can offer estimates on various projects that a seller might be interested in which could affect the listing price. He stays up to date with of that information as he says, “I’m going to be able to tell you the granite cost per square foot and things like that.”
While Clark has enjoyed the upswing in the market compared to when he first got in the business, he says this past year seems to have been his busiest yet.
“The last two or three years have been really good,” he says. “Last year has been really good. This has been the best sales year I’ve ever had.”
When not working, Clark likes to spend time with his family – including his two-year-old and wife. He is particularly excited for the arrival of another little one on the way.
After nearly a year of operating Clark & Co. Realty on his own, Jesse Clark is ready to see what the future might bring. (Photo by Becca Bona)