Alright, I lied. I didn’t learn how to fly, but I did become a Realtor.
My friend stopped by my office yesterday because he was interested in becoming one and wanted to ask me a few questions about how I did it. Specifically, how I transitioned from a full-time job to being a full-time Realtor.
With everything in life, there are risks you need to be willing to take. In my case, I left a good paying job selling for a well-known wireless phone company to devote my time completely to Real Estate. I just decided one day that enough was enough and there must be more to life than selling the latest and greatest cell phones. I mean, I was selling iPhones to people who didn’t know how to program VCR’s, let alone operate a smartphone, so I just had to leave. I was good at my job, but something kept pulling me towards Real Estate. Maybe it was my Dad. He’s been a Realtor in Toronto, Canada for over 20 years and he’s so established in the Filipino community that he doesn’t even advertise anymore. They just come to him. During family parties he would invite his clients to our house and they would join in the festivities. I saw first hand how he didn’t treat his clients like random people, he treated them like family. That’s what I wanted for me. I wanted to care so much for my clients that there would be no doubt in their mind that I would only have their best interests in mind. I knew that if I approached every potential client like that then I would be successful. So far in my Real Estate career I believe I’ve kept up my promise to myself.
I’ve been many things in my life so far, a newspaper delivery boy, a games operator at an amusement park (I worked the “Guess your age/weight game”), a karate teacher, a roof tress maker, a traffic reporter, a talk-radio host, a salesman selling everything from radio ads to magazine ads to yellow pages, to billboards and cell phones. I’m still a part-time comedian who creates and produces comedy shows, but in 2008 I got my Real Estate license. I started as a Realtor working in one of the coolest offices in Atlanta, GA. Unfortunately for me, my real estate career started while the housing market was in a downward spiral so it really went nowhere. Then I moved to Charleston, specifically Park Circle and decided that if I was to become a Realtor here I was going to have to be the go-to guy for everything in the neighborhood. My job was to meet people, make connections, get involved and learn everything there was to know about my community. In essence, I was making a commitment to my community and I was going to make sure everyone knew that it was one of the coolest neighborhoods in Charleston.
I transferred my license in 2010 and started working at Carolina Elite Real Estate, which is a small boutique agency located right in the heart of Olde North Charleston on E Montague Ave. The street itself is comprised of some of the best restaurants and bars in Charleston. Visit for lunch or dinner and you’ll find the street packed with cars from people enjoying a dinner at places like EVO, or Madra Rua and DIG in the Park. I chose the agency, not because it was conveniently only 5 minutes from my house, but because it allowed me to be close to the people of Park Circle. People will walk past the office during their lunch break and look at the listings I post on the window. I make sure to put up the latest and greatest listings to come on the market in Park Circle.
As I sit here writing this article, I can’t help but think about the days that I almost gave up and took a part-time job when I was struggling to get my Real Estate business going, but my broker said “No! Do not take another job! You either give 110% here or nothing!” Real Estate really isn’t a part-time thing. You’ve got to be ready to help your clients at any time of day. I am thankful for her advice because being a Realtor has been the best decision I have ever made and I look forward to being one for a large part of my life, or at least until I learn to fly, because if I could fly, I’d be doing that like 90% of the time.