I’ve been getting crushes on houses since I was a kid. My first “windshield” house tours were on my elementary school bus, where I got a glimpse of my favorite houses every day when we cruised by.
When I was a schoolteacher in my 20s and looking for my first home, I loved touring homes with my realtor. My favorite houses were the ones where I couldn’t immediately tell what the layout was going to be. When I learned realtor.com existed, it became one of my go-to places to browse on the Internet.
In the early 2000s, I was making a career change and real estate was on my list of paths to consider. But I didn’t feel I had the courage and skill to start my own business. Besides, my family had a realtor—my mother’s cousin, Jean Tutt—who had been selling homes for decades and still loved her work. And she helped countless people in the process.
But I played it safe and went for the corporate jobs in advertising and marketing. I learned a lot about catalog and Internet advertising and many aspects of B2B and B2C marketing. I wrote just about every kind of marketing copy you can imagine for the retail, education, and high tech industries. And at every transition, the one path that kept popping up was real estate.
When I started working as a freelance technical writer and marketing consultant, I did very well working as a social media marketing manager for a great big software company. I earned a grad certificate from Rutgers Business School in Social Media Marketing to help me understand content marketing strategy and the use of technology to reach audiences.
As that project wrapped up, I knew that it was time. I had a nice little nest egg, a big bag of skills, and—most importantly—the gumption to make the leap to the career I’ve been dreaming of for over two decades.
I got my license, found my broker, and have great mentors and coaches to guide me. What amazes me the most about where I am in my career is how every step along the way gave me a deep understanding of the unique skills used by realtors on a daily basis.
A decade of teaching taught me: how to be flexible, how to plan, how to think on my feet, to anticipate what someone needs, to research, to LISTEN, and how to care for people.
A decade and a half of marketing taught me: how to create marketing plans and develop concepts, how to set and MEET deadlines, how to help other people stay on schedule, and how to adapt to technology and communication methods.
And that’s just scratching the surface of what I learned on my path to real estate.
Here’s what’s essential to who I am, and who I will always be:
I love to learn.
I love to help people get what they want and need.
I still get crushes on houses.
I’m thankful to set foot on this path, and look forward to walking this path with those who will join me along the way.