Setting up a major league baseball game at Yankee Stadium is akin to selling a $1.6 million home in Southlake.
Eric Hacker, real estate agent for Briggs Freeman, Sotheby’s, played pro baseball for 17 years and applies the same process-oriented strategy to working with homebuyers as he did to baseball diamonds.
“Athletes competing at the highest level need to love and understand the process as much as they do the outcome,” Hacker said. “I wake up hungry and ready. I don’t focus on the result. I focus on the relationship with that person. If we reach the finish line and happen to close her house, that’s another checkpoint in the relationship.”
Hacker said he treated his pitching starts in a similar way while playing for the New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants, Minnesota Twins and in a Korean league.
You get some Ws, you get some Ls, he says, but it’s all about how you play the game.
“In sports and baseball, the next game is just a checkpoint in your career,” Hacker said. “And the awards, the closures, the things that are happening is just a checkpoint in your career in real estate. I don’t chase numbers. I wake up and think, ‘I’m going to hurry up, connect with clients and people I want to help achieve something.’ I am also in contact with other brokers, mortgage lenders and title companies. You don’t even have to be in the industry; They could run the local restaurant. I want to offer other people added value. I’m not worried about the return. What happens when you help someone is that they remember you were nice and helpful. The sports industry created that for me. When I focus on being helpful day in and day out, the results are always there.”
Put me in, coach
Hacker was a dual athlete at Duncanville High School but broke his foot while playing quarterback for the DHS Panthers.
“My opportunities changed in the way teams discovered me,” he said. “In my senior year of baseball, this injury limited my mobility. I played a little bit of third base and ultimately it allowed me to spend more time with that over the long run [pitcher’s] Hill.”
And then, in 2002, Hacker got a W—a big one. He had a beautiful girlfriend, graduated high school, and was drafted into the New York Yankees.
“As a kid, I was a DFW guy,” he said. “Nolan Ryan was in Texas in his heyday. I was a baseball guy, but I wasn’t a history junkie. I don’t know if I really thought much of being drafted by the Yankees. I just wanted to be a professional athlete.”
While playing baseball along the way, the energetic athlete began investing in real estate.
“I’ve always loved design and architecture,” he said. “I love being with other people. I love helping other people. That led to me getting my driver’s license in 2019 and jumping on board as a full-time real estate agent.”
Hacker married his high school sweetheart Christine and had three children. They bought a house in Southlake and Hacker brainstormed with the agent who helped him find his home.
He joined his friend at Compass and immediately started to grow his career and set new goals.
“I’m a big picture person,” Hacker said. “I love to coach and mentor. That’s how I grew my business. I’m a guy who puts my head down. I grew my business by being a yes man. It was like, ‘Would you like to host an open house?’ “Can you turn on the light?” ‘Can you help me with something?’ Yes, I said yes to everything.”
The Compass team supported their protégé in setting up and leading their own team. The 39-year-old began interviewing other brokers and landed at Briggs Freeman about six weeks ago.
“I loved how honest and open they were at Briggs,” Hacker said. “One thing that was really great was that they looked at me as an individual and as a person. You wanted to help me. They weren’t concerned with what I was bringing to the table in terms of production. It was really great.”
Glide into the house
The real estate agent is still trying to start his own team of agents at Briggs Freeman.
“I run the marathon, not the sprint,” he said. “Real estate is about what you earn for yourself. The turnover rate is around 87 percent. I say think about the 13 percent. The chances are good. I have a 13 percent chance. In baseball, I had fewer chances of making the major leagues. People say, ‘I will fail.’ I say, ‘Go out and fail today.’ Ask someone if you can help sell their home. If you fail, who cares? Most people automatically feel that someone will reject them. You had a chance to learn something and sharpen your pitch.”
Hacker was recognized as a Leading Residential Real Estate Producer in 2021, 2021 and 2022. He says it’s an honor but it’s all about numbers. He’d rather be noticed for his character, he said.
“It’s hard to be recognized for your passion and the relationships you’ve built,” Hacker said. “There’s a lot of people who are really good at what they do that don’t get the awards because they don’t have the numbers. There are some local recognitions in Southlake where you are chosen by your community and recognized for your true passion.”
Those are the awards that mean the most, Hacker added, explaining that he values volunteering and helping out in his children’s schools.
“I want people to remember me as a person who is always willing to help, honest, ethical and concerned about the good of all,” he said. “I’m a big family man. I love spending time with my family and my children. My wife and I have been together since high school. I am very fortunate and blessed to have a family and wife to make all of this possible.”