What am I supposed to write about? What could I possibly say about real estate that someone is going to find insightful or helpful?! Maybe I will just start with how I got into this profession in the first place. So here’s Part 1 of my story about why I choose to become a realtor!
Where It All Began
At the young age of 19, I started my career in the retail industry. I started off in a leadership role and with every year of experience, I saw myself climbing that cooperate ladder. It wasn’t an easy job, but I was good at it! The biggest downside to a career in retail is the required hours and lack of time with my family. I can’t tell you how many things I missed for my kids and that’s honestly because I missed so much, I lost count. I was late to birthday parties or family events, I missed holidays and sports games, and was the mom that couldn’t volunteer at the school. The good part was, I had all three kids while I was in retail, so they never knew the difference.
I had just celebrated my 16th year in the industry when my daughter came home and told me she made the high school cheerleading squad. This was a super exciting event in my house because she had tried for three years to make a squad in junior high, and she never did. That night I went to bed and it hit me…..that next fall, my three kids had the potential to be in three different zip codes on the weekends. (My two sons play travel hockey, on different teams) I literally had a break down because I realized that my kids were almost all grown up. My job had taken such a toll on me and I realized that I had been working a career that I didn’t truly love. At that moment, I knew I needed to make a change!
I Knew I Needed A Change
Then one day I saw a Facebook post about a career in real estate. I called my sister, who is an agent in Peoria, and I said I was interested in going to this informational meeting. She agreed to go with me because I am sure she wanted to rub in the fact that she had been telling me for years that I needed to do this. So in March of 2016, I attended the meeting and I was hooked. This was my answer! I did dawdle a bit before signing up for class. This was a huge financial commitment and I wasn’t sure I could swing it. But in May of 2016, I started my class.
For real estate classes, they offer the individual a few different ways they can take the course. Because I had a huge time commitment between my job and the kids’ sports, I opted to take the majority of the course at home. They sent me these gigantic books and study guides and I got to work. I would study any chance I got. Kids’ practices, I would study. During morning coffee, I would study. Late at night, I would study. It got to the last 15 hours of class, which are required by law to be completed in a classroom. So for three nights a week, for two weeks, I reported to class. I passed all required pre-work and then passed my state test!! In September of 2016, I signed my new license over to Keller Williams and I was official!
Why I Choose Keller Williams
Starting off as a new agent is tough but Keller Williams does a really great job preparing you as a new agent. As things started off, I couldn’t be in the office much because I was trying to balance my family, my career in retail, and now a business in real estate! I was burning the candle at both ends and I knew I needed to go all in. I didn’t plan on leaving retail as fast as I did. As I started working with a couple real estate clients I realized that if I was going to be successful at this one thing, then I was going to have to remove the other.
So, in January of 2017, I quit retail after 17 years. It was sad, but more so because I was leaving behind a really great team, rather than the profession itself. Also, I left without a financial plan or savings. (That was super scary!) I just knew that if I was going to be successful in real estate, I was going to have to devote my focus and attention to it.
Don’t Get Me Wrong
Look, I realize this post is sugar coating the HUGE decision I made to change careers a third of the way through my adult life. I am not writing about the sleepless nights, the tears, the stress or the joy that came from my decision. I just wanted to share how I came into real estate. If someone reading this is in their own personal debate about changing careers, then I want to first, offer my ear. I am here to listen, anytime! And then second, I want to share something that someone shared with me during my struggle. I am not sure who wrote it first, but it became my mantra,
“You need to make a CHOICE, to take a CHANCE or your life will never CHANGE.”
Thank you for reading! Until next time!