Damian Forrester’s mantra for his entire life has been to work hard, be disciplined, look for opportunities and have the right people at your back.
That’s the recipe the Brooklyn, New York, native used for getting through the University of Buffalo, despite having a learning disability. It was what drew him to join the Marine Corps to help further instill discipline. And it’s what he used to get his master of science in information technology (MSIT) degree at American InterContinental University in Washington, D.C., en route to landing jobs in project management for MCI and the Department of Defense.
But then Cupid stepped in. It was during a spur of the moment buddy trip to Cancun, Mexico where he met his future wife, Montana native Nicole. This is where the geographic and career arc of his life changed.
Soon, they married and Nicole moved to Fairfax, Virginia. After a couple of years, it was their desire to start a family.
“We didn’t want to do it in D.C. and didn’t want to go to Brooklyn,” said Forrester. “We wanted something more stable where to bring up our kids. We thought ‘we’ll move there (Montana) and bring the kids back (to the East Coast) to get more culture.’”
Moving to Billings, Montana, was a great idea for raising a family, but it was also a shock for Forrester, who went from making a six-figure salary in D.C. to $30,000 in Billings. That’s when his father-in-law, who co-owned a local franchise, suggested real estate:
“You have the personality to do real estate — you will make it.”Tweet
But Forrester wasn’t concerned whether he could do it, despite never selling a thing in his life. He was concerned that being a minority in Billings might present an obstacle in developing a client base.
Forrester launched his real estate career in 2005.
In the first few months in the real estate business, Forrester found himself dipping into his 401(k) money. Things were not good.
“My brokerage had a training program for new agents, but it seemed they did not want to share the good nuggets,” recalls Forrester. “They just provided the basics, but not enough for a brand-new agent to succeed.”
Forrester knew he had to tap his project management experience to come up with a plan. So he hunkered down in his house for days and created a business plan, marketing plan and a budget. His goal was to “be a household name.”
He dove in headfirst, turning every idea into an opportunity.
He joined the Billings Chamber of Commerce and non-profits. He did six open houses a month ― every Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. He took a Tom Ferry program in Las Vegas. He even hung out at an affluent bar in Billings several nights a week, drinking tonic water and lime, and introducing himself to the movers and shakers of Billings.
“I became a politician,” he recalls. “Kissing babies and shaking hands. ”Tweet
Forrester’s all-out effort paid off. He closed on 27 houses that year.
But Forrester wanted an opportunity to coach, train and consult with agents on how to be successful. That is when he found eXp Realty.
“After reading about it for 10 minutes, I was done,” Forrester said and wondered, “How is it that the entire world is not doing this?”
Not only did Forrester become the first eXp Realty agent in Montana in 2016, but he had the honor of being named the designated managing broker for Montana.
Everything is clicking with Forrester these days. Sales for his two-agent Forrester Group Real Estate company is anywhere from $9 to $15 million a year. He’s a founding member of eXp’s Black eXp Network (B.E.N.) and eXp’s ONE eXp initiative for diversity and inclusion.
Family is everything for Forrester, where he and his wife are raising their three kids, ages 4 to 12. They all love living in Montana for its open air and beauty. Even though he misses the East Coast vibe, they visit his family in Brooklyn at least once a year for the food and culture.
Extending a hand, offering a smile and expressing his real estate sales expertise is what Forrester continues to rely on to build his client base. And it works.
10 Fun Things About Damian Forrester
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Random unscheduled time playing board games with family.
If you could add a tattoo, what would it be?
Unique version of my family tree.
One thing you can’t live without?
One trait that has led to your success?
Ambition and adaptation.
What celebrity would play you in a movie or TV show?
An individual that does not take responsibility for their actions.
Little known fact about yourself?
I’m a twin.
Song you never tire of?
“The Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts.
Anything Asian. Thai, sushi, Chinese.
Your epitaph will say: