My first few months in real estate felt the way being a beginning swimmer feels. I was diving headfirst into a giant, swirling whirlpool without a flotation device. That may sound scary, but I found it invigorating. Some folks prefer to tiptoe gently into unknown waters, but that’s never been my style. When I decided to switch careers midstream in my life, I knew I just had to take the plunge. I excitedly took a deep breath and dived into the deep end.
I got the down-and-dirty basics required for licensure by taking an intensive week-long class. After studying as if it were my full-time job for four days, I took my exam. Meanwhile, I shopped for a brokerage and found the one that feels like home. After DPOR processed my licensure application, I was a freshly licensed agent at One South Realty. That’s when the real work and learning began.
CRMs, FSBOs, REITs, CMAs, COOs, FHA, LTV, EMDs, ABCDEFG… Okay, not so much that last one. So many acronyms, so little time. I learned a lot of them in class, but I knew I still had a lot more learnin’ to do. The acronyms were just the tip of the iceberg. In order to get my learn on, I set up shop in the office to be surrounded by more established agents whom I could observe, ask questions, and learn from. I also took advantage of any educational opportunities available to me (and still do - life-long learner alert!), including knocking out within three months the 30 hours of required continuing education required of new agents in their first year.
In addition to getting my learning on, I went to work on one of my favorite aspects of life (and real estate), connecting with people. I was so excited about my career switch that I talked about it A LOT with pretty much everyone, but especially with the folks in my extensive social network. Secret agent woman, I was not! I was ready to brave these new waters and help my friends, family, and former colleagues with any of their real estate needs. In a very short span of time, my gregarious nature, friendships, and referrals from friends brought me several clients. Connecting with folks is also what’s led to my joining Home Sweet RVA. Agreeing to work with Scott and Karen has been in the words of Good Times’ JJ Evans a “DY-NO-MITE” decision!
Besides learning new information and skills and connecting with people by nurturing existing relationships and building new ones, I’ve been transferring the skills I honed the last twenty years as a teacher as I build my business. Every day I network, communicate, plan, coordinate, educate, and help others reach their real estate goals. Much as the case was with classroom teaching, each day in real estate is an adventure, and I’m loving it! It also has many of the same facets of teaching without the parts that became joy-stealing drudgery for me.
Now that I’ve been splashing, bobbing, and swimming in the real estate waves for half a year, I’ve had time to practice many new skills. Showing houses, hosting open houses, writing offers, negotiating terms, getting clients under contract and to closing all confirm that diving headfirst into this career minus the water wings was the right move for me. The water is just fine.