Connect
To Top

Community Highlights: Meet Gary Cross of Choice Real Estate School

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gary Cross.

Hi Gary, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
Well, I obtained my real estate salesperson license in 2003 and my broker license in 2006 while working for a national brokerage for 12 years. In 2015, I decided to open my own real estate brokerage called Cross Realty, LLC.

In 2018, I was approached with the opportunity to teach those who were interested in real estate and pursuing their goals to become licensed. It never occurred to me the idea of teaching but when I began I must say I was nervous.

I mean here I am in front of a class of adults focused on every word I say, asking questions about real estate, and just flat-out curious about what it takes to become successful in real estate.

It has been 3 years since that happened and this past October, after finishing a class session, I mentioned to my wife that I was thinking about opening my own real estate school in 2 years. She looked at me and said “two years”, why wait, do it now! She always had my back on my ideas, crazy or not, and always pushed me to be the best I can be in what I do. However, what she didn’t realize is I do this for her and our family.

So, in October 2021, we decided to launch a real estate school but we needed a name. My wife, daughters, and I sat around the kitchen table and started sharing ideas for a name for the school. My daughter Kourtnay said “you know what, people will make the right choice” and I said “that’s it” Choice!

Choice Real Estate School is what we will call it. And here we are!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has been a relatively smooth transition for us.

I mean I was used to teaching but the back office and administration were something we had to learn. After speaking with the Real Estate Commission and completing the applications it wasn’t that difficult to get started. My mom always said what GOD has for you there will be no obstacles that will stand in the way that you can’t overcome.

However, there was one thing that almost set me back that I was not prepared for. We didn’t have an actual building or office space to hold class but we were looking. I figured we could offer classes virtually like we had been doing at the other school I taught at.

Well after receiving our approval to open a school and getting the courses approved by the State, the commission let us know that since we were not going to offer instruction in person we needed to get certified by IDECC & ARELLO. These two institutions are the distance learning organizations that approve online learning for schools.

This process was definitely one of those situations that you say to yourself, do I really want to do this? Yes was my answer and I did what was necessary to get certified and completed the training that was required.

We’ve been impressed with Choice Real Estate School, Inc., but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Our real estate school is focused on helping those achieve knowledge and gain the confidence to pass the state exam for licensure. As the owner and instructor, I am very passionate about making sure students understand how to do it the right way from the very beginning.

I explain to them the success they will have eventually, but I also share the pitfalls they need to avoid. Some may say I care too much but I don’t believe that. I am honest about what they should expect once they begin their career as a professional real estate salesperson.

Some will make it and some will not. It’s all about your own hustle and passion to become successful. Our class instruction is for Unit 1 and Unit 2 which amounts to 90 hours of real estate instruction required by the real estate commission.

What sets me apart from other schools? I don’t know. I let students tell me their experiences that they had at other schools and I have heard some not-so-nice things about other schools. I don’t talk bad about another school or say you shouldn’t go there. I do however make it clear that I will tell them what they need to know, be honest about what to expect, and show them that I do care and will be there to answer questions for them.

I am most proud of the fact that my daughters, Jourdan and Kourtnay, assisted me with the branding of the school. I mean they came up with the color scheme, logo design, website, etc. I must say if it wasn’t for them we probably wouldn’t be open right now. We are gaining more exposure as people are spreading the word about our school and that is a good thing.

We offer military discounts to those who have or are serving in the military and we also will offer specials on pricing from time to time that makes it affordable for those who want to pursue their dream. We will be opening our new location in July for in-person instruction but we will continue to offer virtual instruction.

As we grow one of the main things we would like to do is purchase a home that will serve as a place of safety for victims of domestic violence. I used to work for the Fifth Circuit Solicitors Office and I have seen the effects of domestic violence on women.

We would like to be able to offer this as a non-profit source for the Victim Advocates department that works at the Fifth Circuit Solicitors Office in the future.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
You know, at the end of the 3-week class I always give a closing dialogue to the class and that is where my emotions come into play and the students then realize that I care.

I have seen single mothers change their financial life around, and I’ve seen fathers finally be able to make their children’s dreams come true. What makes me happy?

Getting that phone call from a past student who just passed the real estate exam and hearing the joy in their voice. I know what is on the other side of the rainbow and I am so happy for them.

Pricing:

  • Unit 1 is $375.00 (salesperson)
  • Unit 2 is $275.00 (salesperson)
  • Continuing Education is $85.00
  • Unit 3A is $350.00 (broker course)
  • Unit 3B is $350.00 (broker course)

Contact Info:

Suggest a Story: SouthCarolinaVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Local Stories