Q&A with Judge Parker
Cook & James is committed to building relationships in the community and wants to spotlight our partners -- realtors, brokers, agents, and other industry experts – as guests on our blog. Today, in the second of an ongoing guest blog series, we feature a Q&A with Judge Parker, an award-winning Atlanta south side real estate professional who is also a sought-after trainer. This summer he opens a brick and mortar training center for realtors in Fayetteville, TAP Training. Watch for extended video interviews with Judge to be featured on our Growth blog channel (including how he got the name Judge – yes, it’s his real name!).
C&J: Tell me a bit about your background and how you got into real estate.
JP: I had a bit of a circuitous route to real estate. I actually turned down a college baseball scholarship for the military where I was a criminal investigator. I worked in Desert Shield and Desert Storm and was honored to participate in Operation Just Cause, the action that overwhelmed dictator Manuel Noriega and restored the democratically elected government of Panama. After attending Georgia State as an accounting major, I worked at Equifax in the Credit Reporting Department. Then I went to NationsBank (which later merged to create Bank of America) where I was ultimately responsible for a $2.8 billion portfolio of foreclosed special assets. It was here that I realized my affinity for real estate. This year I celebrate 20 years as a full-time real estate professional specializing in Atlanta’s metro south areas and have a strong focus on professional development and training.
C&J: Wow, you’ve done so much in your career! Any “mountain top” moments?
JP: Sure. I have to say family tops all other moments. My son and his wife gave me a granddaughter last year and that is my current most favorite role. My beautiful wife of 28 years, Telida, and I absolutely dote on that little girl – and my daughter is the best aunt around.
But I know you’re really asking about real estate mountain top moments, so I’ll answer that now. I must say it’s training where I find rich rewards. I realized early on that I not only loved matching people with properties, but also loved sharing my knowledge with others. I knew I was not only a very effective teacher with a real “people connection,” but I was personally motivated by training others. I’ve actually been conducting training now for 15 of my 20 years in the industry and later this summer I am thrilled to announce that I will open a physical, brick and mortar real estate training center in Fayetteville.
C&J: That’s so exciting. We at Cook & James are excited to participate with you in some TAP Training.
JP: And we’re happy to have your legal expertise for continuing education (CE) opportunities at TAP Training. In additional to your subject matter knowledge, we will feature every aspect of residential and commercial real estate education topics including fair housing, code of ethics, CE courses, contracts, pre-license, and brokers and sales persons. The TAP curriculum varies because no student has the same needs and we expect our flexible classes will draw participants from all over the Atlanta metro area. Students will benefit from four- to eight-week tracks and options; they can choose morning, evening or weekend classes – or some combination thereof; we even factor in Atlanta traffic, beginning at 10 instead of 9 a.m., in most cases. The key with TAP is that it’s individualized and taught by people who are currently practicing. This adds a relevancy so, with TAP classes, students keep their fingers close on the pulse of the real estate business and really grasp the heart of the industry.
C&J: You said you’ve been training for 15 years already?
JP: Yes, with TAP opening in Fayetteville, I am merely giving yet another option for people to benefit from training – a physical location and the interface that comes with a group setting. But yes, I’ve been training as a consultant with Georgia REALTOR (GAR) for years and, in fact, I’ve had hundreds of students take my broker course in the last six years and 98% of them have passed it.
C&J: Why do you think your students do so well?
JP: The courses I design – and will be taught at TAP – hinge on my belief that adults learn in three ways: verbally, visually and with variety. That’s why I only bring in practicing professionals to teach; it’s far more relevant that way. Also, we embrace technology. Just like when the internet dawned, I didn’t think it would replace agents; but I knew it would replace those who didn’t use it. Similarly, technology won’t replace the agent, but it will replace those who don’t embrace it.
C&J: That’s a great analogy, any other words of wisdom before we close?
JP: One of my favorite sayings which is particularly poignant for realtors is this: the biggest tool you have is your ears. What I mean by this is: focus on what you’re being asked, hold your tongue and listen. It’s amazing what results you can achieve by focusing and actually hearing those with whom you’re interacting.
C&J: Good advice. Just one more thing: why the name “TAP” Training?
JP: The name actually came to me one night in a dream. TAP stands for Technique Application Practical, because I believe all training needs to be relevant and practical or it’s of little application or worth. I also want TAP to become known as a place where agents can come to tap into their potential. “Tap” also just so happens to be what a judge does with a gavel. So, the name just made sense to me, creatively and practically.
C&J: Thank you so much for spending time with us.
JP: Thank you for the opportunity. And I look forward to seeing you at TAP!
TAP training website - tapacademyatl.com
Judge Parker earned his real estate license in 1998 and broker license in 2001. He achieved annual sales high enough to place him in the Multi-Million Dollar Club and has handled real estate transactions in numerous areas, including first-time buyers, investment properties, foreclosures, residential resales, luxury homes and commercial resales. Actively involved in his profession, he has served on and chaired numerous local and state committees, especially educational initiatives, for the Georgia REALTORS® association (GAR), the Metro South Association of REALTORS (MSAR) and his professional memberships also include the Georgia Real Estate Education Association. A 15-year veteran trainer in Georgia, Judge adds national training certifications to his credentials when he becomes a licensed National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) instructor this summer.