“Nothing has ever been accomplished in any walk of life without enthusiasm, without motivation, and without perseverance.” —Jim Valvano
The above quote is a favorite of John Kirk’s. It’s enthusiasm, motivation, and perseverance that have brought him to where he is today. As the Director of Sales at The Kilner Group, with over $200 million in closed sales, John is enthusiastic about real estate. And, as a father of 10 children, ages 19 to 3, he knows a little something about motivation and perseverance.
Of course, family is everything to John. His number-one motivation in life and business, the thing that keeps him going, is ensuring his family is well cared for. “Having some success in this profession allows me to provide for my family, but it’s also more than that, especially due to the pandemic — my kids see me working. They hear me on the phone, see me doing market analysis, negotiate home inspections and more. It’s great for them to have such a close view into a business at such a young age. I think they will benefit from this professionally later in life. Even now, though, they are learning some important skills.”
In addition to his own family, helping other families is what really makes John so passionate about real estate. “To me, there is a lot of professional satisfaction being able to help a family during difficult situations,” says John. “So much of real estate is working with people going through hard times. We specialize in working on deals that have tough conditions. I think it’s important to recognize that clients don’t always move for a great reason. Of course, there are some great and ‘fun’ real estate deals, but many people move because of financial hardships, death in the family, divorce, etc. In my business, I am 100 percent in the middle of my clients’ circumstances, and that’s right where I want to be — leading them through.”
Originally from Williamstown, New Jersey, John attended The Catholic University of America in D.C., where he played baseball, graduating in 1998. He married his wife, Marylou, just two years later and they started their family.
Before entering real estate, John was the general manager of a litigation support company in D.C. John first began considering real estate as a profession in 2009. His REALTOR® at the time was Pat Kilner, and over the next several years, he and Pat talked about going into business together.
John obtained his real estate license in 2012 and immediately began building the business with Pat. “I left a well-paying job with six kids to make no money at first, when starting this business, and it is the best thing I ever did,” he says. “The business was not built in a day, and it was not done alone. I always say that having a great partner in business plays a huge role in success. Pat and I have always had a great understanding of our roles within the business and that has allowed us to grow tremendously,” says John. Today, The Kilner Group consists of six other agents and an administrative staff of three. They just recently moved their business to RLAH Real Estate this year and are excited to continue to grow their business even more.
John’s compassion for helping families through tough situations goes well beyond real estate. In conjunction with The Kilner Group, John actively supports St. Joseph’s House, a non-profit organization that serves teens with intellectual and developmental disabilities, offering home-based afterschool care, which enables parents, many who are parenting alone, to hold jobs. “Several of us on the team have (or had) family members with special needs, including in my own family, so this organization hits close to home,” says John.
The group also offers The Kilner Group Young Entrepreneur Scholarship, a $10,000 scholarship competition that is held annually. “We work with high school and college students that have great ideas and we host a competition. The winner gets $10,000 following a live, formal presentation,” John explains. “We have seen the most incredible ideas from the next generation and, for the winner, this money is life-changing.”
As John continues his mission in life and business, he keeps the quote from Jim Valvano top of mind, knowing that with enthusiasm, motivation, and perseverance he will be able to accomplish anything.
“Persistence is key,” he says, “and with so many people relying on me to perform, success is not optional.”