Getting To Know You. - A Real Challenge

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart SA541769000

Wow, I think this month Carol Williams and Kathy Streib may have opened Pandora's box. It is going to be hard to put some of these things we have learned back in the box. But I have already read some interesting posts so it was worthwhile.

Here is my contribution.

  1. What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

My first paying job was as a busboy at In the Round Dinner/Playhouse in Chicago. I would set up the tables before the show, clear tables during and after the show, and perform other assorted tasks like filling water glasses, carrying food plates, and assisting the server with anything but alcohol. I was too young for alcohol.

The job only lasted about 3 weeks. The owners were very difficult to work for and very few busboys stayed more than a few weeks at a time. I got paid $3 per show, but sometimes the server would share their tips with me so if lucky I might make $6 or $7 per night.

What did I learn? I learned to pay better attention to my studies in school.

  1. How long have you been in the real estate or related service industry?

I have been a licensed agent in Arizona for 19 years. I started working with two custom home builders buying vacant parcels of land and splitting them into Single Family lots. We built on some and sold some off to other people. They taught me a lot. After the crash in 2006, they went out of business. I transitioned to resale. For a few years, I sold a lot of foreclosures.

I rode the wave again in the mid-2010s. I considered retirement, still considering it.

Right now, just hanging in there watching for the next transition.

3. What is your biggest fear and what have you done to try to conquer it?

You would think by now fear is in the past. It isn’t. Failing at my next career as an author scares me. It is far more difficult than I imagined. Still learning, learning, and learning. I may run out of time before I get there. Full steam ahead.

  1. What would you do if you knew you would not fail?

Buy cryptocurrency. I know nothing about it and do not want to take the risk. I would buy some if I knew I would not fail.

  1. What is a habit you would love to eliminate or change?

I like to buck the system. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. I am slow to change. I wish I could get ahead of the curve.

  1. What is your favorite meal (forget about calories or what you shouldn’t eat )?

You can tell by looking at me I have a lot of favorites. I like pasta. My grandmother made the best Ravioli on the planet.

My wife is a great cook. Maybe the best I have known. She makes a fantastic Chicken Pot Pie. I wrote a short story about it. You can read it here:

  1. What is something you wish you’d done?

I wish I had learned to dance. I could see myself in the Fred Astaire (or even John Travolta) role. One of my favorite movie scenes is in the movie White Christmas, when Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen dance to The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing. It makes me want to dance.

  1. Who has been most influential in your life?

My parents and grandparents. Almost everything I learned about life I learned from them. 

  1. What are your favorite business-related books?

How to make friends and influence people. – Dale Carnegie.


Probably not a true business book, but essential to anyone in business. 

  1. Other than business books what are your favorite things to read?

I enjoy Literary Fiction, I like stories about people, their trials and tribulations, and their success and failures. One of my favorites is a book titled, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni.

I will also read an occasional memoir if it has an interesting story. I recently read, Timeless On The Silk Road: An Odyssey From London To Hanoi by Heather Ellis. The book is not particularly well written but it is an incredible true story.

  1. What are your top 5 favorite movies?

The Godfather (no surprise there), The Blues Brothers (loaded with Chicagoisms), Goldfinger (Bond, James Bond), The Princess Bride (destined to become a classic), It’s a Wonderful Life (because it is).

  1. If I came to visit your city for one day what is the one thing I must do or see?

There are a gazillion things to do in Phoenix. If I only had one day, I would go to the Desert Botanical Garden. You learn a lot about the desert and living in the desert. It gives you a greater appreciation for life here.

  1. If I came to your city to visit for one day what is the one restaurant you would recommend?

One of my favorite restaurants is the Cholla Steakhouse & Lounge in Casino Arizona. It is a hidden gem. Most people don’t think a restaurant in a casino can be fine dining. Cholla defies the norm. It is intimate, quiet, and somewhat affordable. Make your reservations early or you won’t get seated. 

  1. If I was going to relocate to your area what advice would you give me that is unique to the area?

Spend a little time getting to know the different areas and what they have to offer. There is a huge difference between the North, South, East, and West, areas of the valley and you cannot tell by looking. All the houses look the same, they are not. I know a lot of people that tell me they love their house but hate their neighborhood.

  1. Do you have any special talents?

I fix things. I learned long ago how to troubleshoot anything electrical, mechanical, or technical-related. I was trained well.

16 Do you have any quirks?

Ask my wife. 

  1. What is your best character trait?

I am about as easygoing as you can get. I try not to let things I cannot control get to me. Some people call me a wuss. I don’t wish to lose sleep over something someone else does or says. I do my thing, they do theirs.

  1. Have you ever done anything you would never do again because it was too hard or too dangerous?

No. I guess I should have taken more risks?

  1. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I play tennis whenever I can. I wish I could play more. When I am not on the court, I am writing some nonsense that no one ever reads.

  1. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you want to live?

I really like living in Scottsdale, AZ. I have thought about other places, like Hawaii. I like visiting Hawaii, but I cannot imagine living anywhere but the Phoenix area.

  1. What is something that we don’t know about you that would surprise us?

I am a published author. Having written several novellas, under the pen name J. Salvatore Domino. Currently, I have 6 published ebooks and one available as a paperback. All are available on Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and more.

They are not Tolstoy, I haven’t won a Pulitzer. They are just fun, imaginative stories.

Coming soon (in editing) is a full-length novel titled “Saint Joseph”. Wish me luck.


That's it, now you know more than you wanted.

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Comments (19)

Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:

Thank you for the great information in your blog today to share with us here on the Rain.  Make it a great day! bill

May 17, 2022 12:37 PM
Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

Very cool Joe. The author and the would be dancer....Nice! 😎


May 17, 2022 03:59 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

One of the things I have enjoyed about this challenge is getting to know more things about those who have participated.

May 17, 2022 05:13 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Joseph- I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and getting to know a bit more about you.  I love the old movies with Fred and Ginger. I had no idea that you are a published author. In fact, after I leave this comment I'm heading to my Amazon app and guess what I'm going to do!!!!

May 17, 2022 06:33 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


I really enjoyed learning a lot more about you! Good luck with that novel, and more to come.

White Christmas is a favorite of mine and that dance scene is pretty special...and there are a lot of good scenes in that movie.


May 17, 2022 08:18 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I loved reading this and did not know you were an author. Congratulations on the already published books and the upcoming one. That's fantastic!

May 18, 2022 05:46 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Joseph,
That's so cool that you've published a few books. I need to check those out.  Honestly, I think bucking the system is a good thing... as long as what you're doing is legal and moral. That's how change happens.  Thanks so much for sharing more about you!

May 18, 2022 06:37 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Joseph I didn't know you started out with a builder. Too bad they went under with a lot of other folks back in those days.  So you're riding the wave - good way of putting it!  I'm hearing that quite a bit from agents around town.  I had no idea you were a writer.  That is really cool!

May 18, 2022 10:24 AM
Ray Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA

I agree, the Desert Botanical Garden is a must.

Thank you for the restaurant recommendation and for telling a bit about your story.  Congratulations on being a published author.  Well done!

May 18, 2022 04:34 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

I enjoyed reading your May Challenge answers.

Have an outstanding weekend.

May 21, 2022 12:40 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

May 21, 2022 06:42 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Joseph. Interesting response to the contest. Keep writing. Something I have never given much thought to but maybe should ponder! Enjoy your day.

May 22, 2022 05:15 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Joe - I really learned so much about you.  It is interesting that pasta seems to be the top food for you, me, and mostly everyone else.  I will look for your book.

May 22, 2022 06:06 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Joseph Domino 480-390-6011  I am looking for a summer book I think I just found it Wow I am excited - dancing is fun just move to the music  anything goes 

so glad Kathy Streib  featured this 

May 22, 2022 07:22 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning joseph,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week!! Well written, loved getting to know you better and who knew you were an author?? I'm definitely going to read a couple of your books....they sound wonderful! Good luck with your new novel!

May 22, 2022 07:40 AM
Ed Silva
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I have always enjoyed reading and to have another published author on ActiveRain is cool

May 22, 2022 06:47 PM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Found this on Kathy's post! Looks like we have lots of authors in our midst here in the Rain. So glad she included you.

May 22, 2022 07:53 PM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
Relocation to NW AZ with elbow room & more freedom

Thank you for taking the challenge. Good to know about another Realtor in AZ.

Jun 02, 2022 02:23 PM