"There’s no better person qualified to deliver this message - funny, insightful and useful.”
Dominic Nicoli,  Inaugural Member of the Intero Real Estate Services Hall of Fame

​​​"Inspirational and entertaining while literally providing a pathway to success."
Adam Eyre, Top 100 Lender at PrimeLending and previously Top 100 at Wells Fargo Bank


for real estate lenders, real estate agents and those who would like to learn about the professions.

In ‘93, I started in real estate full-time…

After successfully obtaining my broker’s license, I was a mortgage broker for about seven years and transitioned into real estate brokerage (as a real estate agent) in 2000; overlapping the two product lines for several years.  Even some of my closest colleagues will be learning the following for the first time; I was actually a Top Producer Lender and a Top Producer Real Estate Agent - at the same time (during that overlap).  In addition, once upon a time I dominated the VA market in Northern California – and was consistently one of the larger producing lenders in Silicon Valley.

When I started as a real estate agent, I intentionally placed myself in one of the most competitive offices in Silicon Valley.  I knew that if I could be around the top group, it would push me to go big.  That intensely competitive environment was good for me; it would be a careless mistake to say that I was the #1 guy everywhere I’ve been, but when I wanted to be, I was pretty close.  There was a point in time that my production was ranked #16 out of 122,000 agents worldwide; this was called the Cendant Network which included many name brand real estate companies.

After transitioning to real estate brokerage from lending, I produced an extraordinary large volume of commission revenue those first couple years; an accomplishment apparently shared by few because management asked me to teach a class called, How to Make One Million Dollars Your First Year in Real Estate.  My notes from that class were the starting point for this book.

Other real estate related experiences and accolades: sales person of the month on numerous occasions; completed well over 1000 transactions over a 20 year period; participated in close to 1 billion of transaction volume; guest speaker (teacher) for many small and large groups; mentored countless agents and lenders; successfully managed a 10 million dollar complicated mixed-use development project; built a multimillion dollar rental portfolio; built personal custom home from the ground up; formed numerous partnerships, LLCs and C Corps; experience in many forms of leases including but not limited to office, residential and retail NNN; expertise in commercial math and methodologies; grew-up in the industry with some of the most powerful people in the industry today; no bankruptcies, foreclosures or lawsuits (ever).

In the book, I summarized and simplified the real estate business into the following four categories: Marketing, Operations, Finance and Attitude.  My strength is clearly a tie between Marketing and Finance – with Attitude and Operations coming in at a close second.  The truth is, I’m an entrepreneurial thinker by nature.  In parallel with my real estate career, I have been involved as the leader and/or as the investor – in numerous other ventures.

And on a personal note, my wife and I have three adult-age daughters; and at the moment, I volunteer at the local high school coaching football.

This book was my way of closing out my active real estate career; and more than anything, I wanted it to be truly helpful.  I’m hopeful you find the contents thereof useful, inspiring and possibly funny at times.

To Your Success,

James R. Carter


I was born in Orange, California and lived in Villa Park until I was 15.  At that point my dad (who was drafted by the 49ers in 1960) accepted the Superintendent of Schools job at Oxnard Union High School District and we moved to Camarillo where I attended high school at Rio Mesa High School (in Oxnard).  I have a brother that played for the Seahawks (during the preseason) and is now in banking, and my sister has been in education for over 30 years.  My mom is a retired assistant superintendent of schools.

After high school, I received a football scholarship to Northern Arizona University.  After one year, I decided that I wanted to play at the Division I level so I transferred to Ventura Junior College, and after one season, was offered a scholarship to play football (and of course, attend school too!) at San Jose State University.  At that moment, I had three years to play three seasons.  My sophomore year I played intermittently on the offensive line; my junior year I played tight-end; and my senior year I started at left guard and made first team all-league and Honorable Mention All-American in 1987.

At San Jose State I met my wife and we have been married for 28 years.  She was a 49er cheerleader and NBA warrior girl at that time; my teammates were real impressed with that!  After college, I worked for a computer company for almost four years; during that time I attended graduate school and received my Masters in Business Administration - MBA.

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