John Lloyd, a former Australian Open finalist, and Britain’s last Davis Cup captain before Leon Smith, tells The Tennis Space about his new life as an estate agent (“passing the Florida real estate exam was tougher than any tennis match I ever played”).
How did you end up working in real estate?
“I have always enjoyed real estate, and was always very curious about the many different styles and designs in properties all around the world. Even after the tour, I was still traveling all over the United States, and I would attend many open house tours in whatever city I was in. In 2010, a very good friend of mine told me that he was opening a residential real estate company in Palm Beach, Florida and asked if I would be interested in becoming a part of the firm. The timing was perfect, as my post as the British Davis Cup captain had just come to an end.”
Had you ever imagined that you would work in real estate?
“Yes and no. As a professional tennis player, it is hard to imagine doing anything besides tennis while you’re still playing. However, several years ago my interest in real estate led to my being a part owner in a property development with my brother David in Barbados. With my playing days behind me and this venture’s success, I have kept an open mind about the possibility of property dealings in the future.”
What exactly does your job involve, and have you moved to Florida on a full-time basis?
“I am a real estate agent; my job requires me to try to bring clients to my company, Barrett Welles. Relationships are the keys to success in American real estate, and I am lucky that my tennis background has helped me acquire clients and, perhaps, given me an edge in this sports-crazy town. As such, my days are filled with playing tennis and golf with potential clients, attending as many open houses as possible, and continuing my education in this field. As of this moment, I am in Palm Beach from October through May, which is the popular season here. I still regard Los Angeles, California as my main residence, but this could change depending on my success here in Florida.”
Are there any similarities between working in tennis and working in real estate?
“Tennis, like any other sport, is about competition. There are a lot of bigger, more established real estate companies in this town, and it is my job to make a name for myself, just like when I was a young player going up against the big guns.”
How much of a challenge was it passing the exam in Florida?
“Tougher than any tennis match I have ever played. It has been forty years since I have last been in school, and I was certainly not the best student at Southend High School (in fact, I was one of the worst). 500 pages of gobbledygook and numerous exams are quite daunting. However, even though it was frustrating at times, I did enjoy the challenge and was thrilled when I passed.”