Abraham W. Tieh
Abraham Tieh, ABR®, ABRM sold his first house for $90,000 at the age of 19. It was the first of 1,100 houses he would sell over the next 16 years. And he did it six years after arriving in this country at 13, fresh from Taiwan, speaking not one word of English.
"I started working in the real estate business while I was in high school in a Century 21 office," he says in a Texas drawl. "I always wanted my own business, but when I graduated college in 1986 the economy was extremely bad. I went into selling foreclosure properties." Tieh took a single bit of advice from his broker and mentor, Paul Bice. "Always do something different." And he did. After starting a traditional real estate brokerage and finding it hard to compete against established brokers, Tieh went into buyer's representation.
He started by buying a franchise in 1992, and then went solo in 1998 when he and his partner Elizabeth Foster opened Buyer Agents Realty. "We don't waste time and effort on people who are not motivated or qualified to buy right away, and we have developed a sense of loyalty back from our clientele," he says. "Since we offer exclusive buyer representation without any conflict of interest, our clients know and seek out the value of our services."
He's grown the company into two offices, and now employs more than 20 agents. "In my marketplace we are the premier and the largest exclusive buyer brokerage," he says. "We have consistently been on the forefront of promoting the benefits of buyer representation in the marketplace." So has Tieh himself. He travels the country speaking on buyer agency issues and chaired the committee that established professional standards for the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA).
"I have a philosophy: In everything we do, the bottom line is we get our business from referrals from our satisfied clients," he says. "Buyer agency is a way that I see in doing this business that I can provide full loyalty to the people who buy homes with me. They understand we are there to take care of them, and they appreciate that, and they tell people about it, and that's how we do our business."
Buyer Agents Realty