Dallas Cowboys fullback Nick Ralston finishes his workout in the Cowboys’ weight room, showers and dresses in the locker room. He walks three minutes to The Formation, a professional workspace in The Star, the Cowboys’ world headquarters.
He sits at a desk in the Engel & Völkers Frisco office in The Formation, tending to his other role: real estate agent. At the private Cowboys Club, he can host a real estate seminar for his Cowboys teammates or meet clients over a meal.
From his Pee Wee days to his day at Arizona State, through his pro days, Ralston has maintained a strict schedule, diet, and workout routine. “To be great, you must put in the work, day in and day out,” he says of the structure and discipline required to succeed. “You have to come up with a game plan and execute it.” Now where is that more evident than in his college career, where he was accepted into the Barrett Honors College and a two-time recipient of the Pat Tilman Award. He graduated with a 4.0 GPA.
Each week, he creates a real estate game plan. It helps him stay focused, hit key objectives and measure performance, using the feedback to improve going forward. In addition to football, Ralston developed a passion for business, earning an MBA from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
He began training for College Pro Day in early 2020. But the country went into COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Pro Day was canceled.
The biggest risk of his life
Ralston took what he called the biggest risk of his life by training for another year. Meanwhile, he worked on earning his real estate license. He had another shot with Pro Day in March 2021. The Dallas Cowboys signed him on as an undrafted free agent.
Nick is with the Dallas Cowboys for his second season, where he’ll certainly be facing some new challenges in balancing his career as a real estate professional and a professional athlete. While it’s new terrain to navigate, he’s confident in the support of teams — both Cowboys and Engel & Völkers Dallas Fort Worth — to help him manage his book as he’s practicing and traveling with the Cowboys.
As a professional football player, Ralston says he’s wired to do whatever is required to succeed: push his limits, work long hours. Most of Ralston’s time is spent on football tasks, requiring him to be “hyper-focused on the task at hand,” he notes.
Football equals discipline in all aspects of life
In real estate, it takes an equally superior work ethic to stand out from the pack – Texas has more than 150,000 real estate agents, Ralston notes. “Closing deals is an extremely hard task, especially in this wild real estate market,” he says, adding it requires going the extra mile for clients.
That includes “running around showing multiple homes to marketing listings to solving all the issues arising during a real estate transaction – ‘putting out fires’ as my broker says,” Ralston notes.
He’s up early in the morning building his database, analyzing the MLS, and searching hot sheets to stay updated on the current real estate market. His real estate hours also include listing appointments with clients, showing houses, and meeting new people as he builds his brand.
Ralston credits Roxann Taylor and Engel & Völkers Dallas Fort Worth for the support offered him in training, operations, marketing and maximizing opportunities. Real estate – like football – is a game of inches, notes Ralston.
“What can go wrong will go wrong,” he says. “Offers will be pulled. Financing will fall through. Clients will get upset. You have to keep pushing forward and roll with the punches. The agents who win are the ones who aren’t afraid to fail and never quit.”