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In December 2015, Art Obleton Jr. was finishing up what he hoped to be his last day as a substitute teacher in a Cleveland, Ohio, suburb, with aspirations to become a full-time REALTOR®.

“I originally started in real estate in 2005 and I just didn’t do that well, so I stopped after a year,” says Obleton Jr., who came back to real estate in 2013 with a determination to work harder, do more and apply himself more. “I was also subbing in schools—and it wasn’t providing enough—so I knew I needed to do the best I could with real estate to benefit me, so I decided I was going to do it full-time.”

A fortuitous phone call is all it took to help cement those plans in place.

“Ironically, on my last day subbing, I was sitting in a kindergarten class when a sales rep from called,” says Obleton Jr. “While I was skeptical about the zip codes at first, I decided to try it, and two weeks later—after the phone started ringing—I went back and bought more zip codes.”

Over the last year, not only has Obleton Jr.’s phone continued to ring, but he’s also gotten business via email and text. In fact, he’s now up to seven zip codes on the East Side of Cleveland.

“I have a great sales representative, which I am very thankful for,” says Obleton Jr. “I think the zip codes are reasonably priced, the phone numbers and the emails are good, and the leads work really well. I’m constantly getting leads on a weekly basis.”

In his first full year as a REALTOR®, Obleton Jr. has averaged roughly three transactions a month, a level of activity that led him to convince his brother to get his real estate license and join him in the business.

“Right now, we’re deciding which zip codes he should be purchasing,” Obleton Jr. says. “The business I’m receiving from is more than enough for me, so he can work with some of those zip codes, but he’ll get some of his own, most likely in the northeastern or western suburbs.”

Although he doesn’t discount the power of working his sphere of influence in bringing in business, Obleton Jr. understands that many of those people aren’t ready for a real estate transaction, which is not the case with the leads he receives from

“With, people are ready to buy,” he says. “I get the emails, the texts and the phone calls from buyers who are prospects. They aren’t tire-kickers. They’re looking to see a house, to get pre-approved, and some have already been pre-approved. If there’s somebody who wants to immediately start with buyers, this is a great realm for them.”

A year removed from teaching, Obleton Jr. is doing what he set out to do in a business that he loves. And he’s glad the call from came when it did.

“I simply like fulfilling people’s dreams of homeownership,” concludes Obleton Jr. “I like giving people those keys and helping them start a new chapter in their life. That’s what makes this job so fulfilling.”

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