MOORESVILLE – Eric Trump, the 29-year-old son of Donald Trump, says making skyscrapers soar out of a piece of raw dirt is something that’s engrained in his DNA.
“I wouldn’t exactly call any Trumps reserved,” Trump said. “You know we’re all very, very Type A. But I think probably out of the family, I’m the one that likes to be in the shadows the most.”
Still, he’s living at least partly in the spotlight working as executive vice president of development and acquisitions for The Trump Organization. The group acquired The Point Lake and Golf Club last year and rebranded it as Trump National Golf Club Charlotte.
Since joining The Trump Organization in 2006, Trump’s worked to expand its collection of golf clubs and maintain existing clubs at the highest levels of quality.
“If I couldn’t be building, (my job) would have to be with my hands,” he said. “Maybe I’d be a surgeon or something, an emergency room surgeon, something’s that’s fast that still uses your hands, and you need a little bit of creativity and off-the-cuff thinking.”
Trump’s sleek blonde hair and silver wristwatch caught the afternoon light as he chatted on the club’s patio June 27 about renovations being made to the Greg Norman-designed golf course.
Yet he was in town to celebrate another milestone: the official opening of Trump International Realty Charlotte on the club’s property.
The full-service brokerage already has locations in New York, Chicago and Las Vegas. The Lake Norman club is the first of 15 golf clubs to open a real estate office on site, but Trump said the plan is to have an office at each location eventually.
“You have a state that’s one of the fastest growing states in the country that has great tax rates compared to a lot of places,” Trump said. “(It) has a thriving metropolis, a really great urban market with some of the biggest banks in the country. People want to be here. The quality of life here is incredible.”
The Lake Norman realty office opened in mid-June. Sales Manager Dawn Wight said it will be a general brokerage firm like Allen Tate, helping connect buyers and sellers with luxury property – $400,000 and up – in the area and around the world.
“If somebody wants to look at a home in Colorado, I can find an agent in Vale and refer my client to them,” Wight said. “We’re just hoping to have a part of the market.”
While the office is open to the community at large, Trump said it will be particularly convenient for club members searching for a new home.
“It’s not just about selling the house. It’s not just the business proposition,” Trump said. “You get the member that comes and eats here four times a week, and they ask you, ‘Can you recommend us a broker?’ How about this? Not only do I recommend a broker, but I put you with the best broker, and I make sure that broker’s here doing an incredible job for you because you’re an amazing member to us.”
Allen Tate, Lake Norman Realty and Re/Max top the list of influential real estate agencies in the community, Chamber of Commerce President Kirk Ballard said.
Ballard has worked with Allen Tate for the last 15 years.
All Realtors, regardless of the company, have access to Carolina Multiple Listing Services, a database of home listings, Ballard said. When someone approaches a Realtor to sell a home, he or she will list it on the database. Realtors from other companies, however, may sell the home.
Ballard said the standard 6 percent commission on home sales is generally split four ways, 1.5 percent each to the listing real estate agent, the listing firm, the selling agent and the selling firm.
If a real estate company desires to target a luxury market, it searches the CMLS for prospects. Online tax records help create a mailing list, so agents can offer their services directly to neighborhoods, Ballard said.
Brand recognition is not something that Trump International Realty Charlotte will struggle to obtain.
These days, Trump is also using his family name to help terminally-ill children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital get well again.
Since 2006, his nonprofit, The Eric Trump Foundation, has raised more than $7 million for the cause. Last November, the foundation pledged $20 million toward a new, state-of-the-art medical center on the research hospital’s campus in Memphis, Tenn. The project’s expected to be complete by 2015.
The foundation’s primary fundraiser is a golf invitational held each September at the Trump club in Westchester, N.Y., but Trump plans to expand the tournament’s reach to the Lake Norman area in the future.
Working hard to reach his goals is nothing new for Trump.
“(My father) cared about education. He made sure we busted our butts. There was no slacking off,” Trump said. “There were no handouts in the company. If I wanted a bike, I worked for it. I worked for him, on properties, cutting down trees with chainsaws, digging ditches.”
Want to visit?
Trump International Realty Charlotte is open daily from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at 120 Trump Square.