1. Tell me about why you chose to go into real estate and explain your process to getting to where you are now.
My main reason for getting into real estate, was to try to make a comfortable living and so I would have flexibility to spend quality time with my children. I worked really hard the first few years I was in the industry and since I started on a shoestring budget, I had to be creative to compete. I started a neighborhood newsletter that I designed, layed-out, printed, folded, and hand delivered to 300ish homes every other month. It took a bit of time, but eventually, I was sought out as being the "neighborhood expert". Along the way, I made friends and lifelong clients and have been fortunate to be able to enjoy the fruits of that labor all these years later! I am now selling homes to grandchildren of some of my first customers (I’ve already sold the kids homes!)
2. What makes you stand out in the real estate industry?
I would say it’s my ability to sincerely empathize with the emotions that come along with most real estate transactions. I estimate at least 95% of all my clients have become lifelong friends. I think the other thing that makes me stand out is my definition of “success” is not all about the $. The money’s nice, but knowing you truly helped someone through an emotional sale is worth a tremendous amount and it usually ends up with people telling their friends how great you are, creating more business in the pipeline.
3. What are your goals/plans/directions for the future?
My goals have evolved a lot over the 25 years I’ve been in the business. I’ve gone from just trying to survive to working to try to ensure some financial stability for my grandchildren in their later years. As I said, I think everyone’s idea of success is a bit different. I feel I will have been successful if I am able to sell real estate for another 8-10 years and then be able to pass my business down to those with more energy as I do a bit of traveling.
4. Since starting your career in real estate, what have you found most rewarding and most challenging about your career?
Without a doubt, the most rewarding is the friendships I’ve made along the way. The most challenging is watching the heartbreak for a first-time homebuyer trying to buy a home in the craziest seller’s market I’ve seen in all my years selling real estate.
5. What is your advice for anyone just starting out in the industry?
The best advice I can give anyone starting out is to try not to get discouraged. You are not going to get every deal you thought you might and you are going to have friends that just don’t want to do business with friends, that’s OK. There’s enough business to go around and you just have to keep on keepin` on!