I began my life in Real Estate because of a bad agent.
Well, a string of bad ones for my very own “first time buyer and seller” experience. In spite of that, I realized I really, REALLY loved buying and selling houses.
I enjoyed and became energized by every part of it. I relished looking through the listings every day, analyzing the sold properties, mentally staging and re-working what a house would look like with a new spin. I simply couldn’t get enough of the actual home buying process.
What I had plenty of, was dealing with someone I felt was making a large sum of money off my purchase, while clearly not trying to be helpful to me or having my best interests as their motivator.
My first time was with a seasoned agent with lots of notches on his belt in the productivity department. Way back then I didn’t understand why this person would take my business since it was clearly beneath him and the only reason he was there was to close on anything as fast as he could.
Something didn't smell right...
Now I realize it was because he probably had a sales goal to meet and he was just another business man in the business of closing deals. If I recall correctly, he was a top producing agent.
I forged ahead with a DIY plan on finding and buying my first property. He was happy to be there to write the contract and collect the commission. Negotiate? Why bother? He had shown me 5 properties. . .”do you want to buy or not”. I was graciously offered the opportunity to consult with a Lawyer if I had questions about the contract. Offer full price and close the deal or magically create more money and up my price range. I wanted the damn place, so I did what he suggested.
At the time I was green...
and didn’t realize that I was paying him and if he didn’t want my business there were others that would. I just didn’t know there were some really amazing agents out there that would treat my business as important.
A couple of years later I was ready to do it again. I wanted to sell my first place and buy something more fixer-upperish. Of course I lost a few points on that first purchase. . .always wondering if I could have negotiated a better deal, or if I had overpaid.
I’m still bitter over that little bit of money lost.
At the time of selling, I was a marketing and advertising executive for touring Broadway shows. I knew how to market, damnit! I had Olympic level designers and copywriters and idea people as my friends. I was hot stuff, surely I can handle finding an agent and selling my place. This time I interviewed and picked one who had sold many properties in my building. Clearly they were used to selling the more expensive properties in my building - as my little hovel didn’t end up with the good photography or star treatment promised.
I could wrap a car in fur, I knew how to market things!
Their listing was horrid even to my virgin selling eyes! So I did photos myself. I re-wrote the copy. I grabbed someone viewing another property and brought them to mine! They bought my place. . .after I realized actual market value was less than I had paid 2 years ago. Back in the hot-market-multiple offer-days. Of course this agent stood to collect double commission since there was not another agent involved. I argued that she had spent a grand total of probably 3 hrs on my place, that I brought the buyer, and I did the marketing! Long story short I paid her 4% commission for just a few hrs of work. Better than 6% I suppose. The best part of all this was I had an epiphany – I could do this! In fact, I loved doing this! I had never been so excited about a work project as I was about doing house stuff.
I started a trend in my office – my tales inspired others to buy houses, with my help of course. I ended up taking all the courses for my real estate license on my off time. I actually worked on a fixer-upper. I got to know lots of agents, and finally met some amazing ones that inspired me.
One day I announced to the world “I’m going to be a Real Estate Agent!”. The world laughed.
By this time the crash was a coming. Stories were everywhere about agents in dire straits. My close friends bought me wine and giggled that I was nuts to give up my hard won and glamour career to BE A REAL ESTATE AGENT!!
It was pure genius really.
I had finally found my passion. I began at the bottom of the market doing nothing more than offering the best service possible. Lucky for me that was just what the market needed.
Happy Hunting my friends.