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Eric Gibbs
Designated Broker
Realty ONE Group Integrity
Tucson, Ariz.

Region served: All of Greater Tucson, including Sahuarita and Vail Counties
Years in real estate: 14
Joined Realty ONE Group: 2018
Number of offices: 1
Number of agents: 47
Career advice: When someone opens the door, you have to walk through it.
Greatest joy in real estate: Handing the keys to a first-time homebuyer.

How has your market weathered the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic?
The market is doing fairly well. Sales have dipped about 2 percent (at press time), but we had five contracts come in over the last three days. Our people are out there working—they’re being safe and doing virtual tours and virtual open houses because serious buyers are buying. The problem is a lack of inventory, but that was the case before the pandemic.

How has Realty ONE Group helped you navigate the challenges presented by the coronavirus?
I was with another company before I came here, and I can tell you that what Realty ONE Group has done is by far exceeding my expectations. They’re holding Town Halls for brokers as well as agents. To see Kuba (Realty ONE Group Founder and CEO Kuba Jewgieniew) and the leadership heading up these calls every day makes us feel like we’re all in this together, finding ways to keep doing what we’re doing. I’ve always believed leadership starts at the top, and it definitely does here.

Realty ONE Group emphasizes its culture as a big differentiator for the firm. Do you find this to be true? Yes, very true. At my last company, everything revolved around the corporation—you didn’t have the ability to think outside the box. Here, they want to know what you think and what suggestions you have, and, in turn, that’s how I am with my agents. I empower them with the Realty ONE Group culture: It takes everyone to win.

I see that you’re very involved in the industry at the regional and national levels. Why is that important to you, and how does your involvement help your day-to-day business?
When I first started in the business, I never knew what my next was; I never knew what I had to give to my career and to others. Someone suggested I get involved—someone opened a door and I walked through. Giving back to the industry has given me the opportunity to change people’s lives. I can then take what I learn and bring it back to my agents and be a better leader and a better person. Someone opened that door for me, and I’ve opened doors for others to walk through.

What are a couple of your most important strategies for running a successful brokerage?
The first would be onboarding the right agents. I’m not just looking for warm bodies to fill desks. I’m looking for someone who is enthusiastic and really wants to do this business—who has the desire to commit to themselves and the community, not to me.

The second most important strategy is teaching agents to stay positive and communicate in positive ways with clients and the community. We have a responsibility to be factual…not to give in to the hype. We gravitate to the positive in order to be successful and move forward. That strategy has helped me a lot.

What do you love most about the real estate business?
I’m very passionate about this business. As a broker, I love watching my agents do the work to become successful. And as an agent, I loved handing the keys to a first-time homebuyer—it changes their life, and that is my greatest joy. It’s about more than buying or selling a home; it’s about the relationship and the connection. Whether it’s on the agent side or the client side, for me, it’s about what’s going on in people’s lives and how I can help them.

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Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to