This site was brought online during 2004 as part of my effort to become a real estate agent. Having been laid off from the high-tech industry during 2001, I dabbled unsuccessfully in a few things that I had always wanted to try and eventually decided I’d try my hand at real estate.
Real estate appealed to me at the time because I had spent more than two decades working for a big corporation and was sick and tired of that scene. Real estate agents make their own hours for the most part, work independently a lot and were considered “independent contractors” – at least by the big real estate company I worked for.
In retrospect, I kind of went into real estate with unrealistic expectations. I suppose the fact that I felt like I was running out of options and had bills to pay had a lot to do with that, so I decided to dive in. What I did not know was whether I would sink or swim!
Studying for my real estate exam, which is something most, if not all states require agents to pass in order to get their license was something I took very seriously. I vividly remember the day I went to take the test. To say I was nervous would be a substantial understatement. Fortunately, or so I thought at the time, I passed with flying colors and was off to real estate school in no time. Since I was working for one of the big names in real estate, all new agents were required to go through a period of formal training.
It didn’t take me too long to reach the conclusion that real estate was not for me once I was turned loose as a full-fledged agent. It was a rather slow time for the industry and although I had a chance to work with a few clients, I never made a single sale! Towards the end of my career, I was about as sure as I could be that I was on the verge of closing a deal and collecting my first commission. Right up until the clients called and informed me that they had decided to move to a neighboring state! Within days I had informed the office manager that my real estate days were over.
The loss of that potential sale was not the real reason behind my decision to quit real estate, although it was that last little nudge I needed to push me over the edge. The truth of the matter was that I absolutely hated just about every aspect of the job. It seemed to me like it was an industry created to keep red tape manufacturers in business!
There was a form for just about everything you did and you always had to worry about having all your ducks (paperwork) in a row. We couldn’t even bring a client out to look at homes without getting them to sign off on a particular form!
Crooks, criminals and con artists pulled off enough shady real estate deals over the years to push regulatory agencies well into the realm of the absurd with the amount of regulation and paperwork they piled onto agents who wished to remain within the confines of the law.
As I mentioned towards the start of this story, I created this website (it looked much different back then) as part of my efforts to market myself as a real estate agent. It was a time when every real estate agent was beginning to realize that they had to have their own personal website and with my background in the high-tech industry, I figured it wouldn’t be all that tough for me to build myself a site.
I was right. Thanks to my industry experience, I picked up the website-building skills I needed pretty quickly. What surprised me a bit was that I discovered that I was enjoying the work I was doing on my website much more than I enjoyed actually working in real estate!
Don’t get me wrong. This was not a case of someone rediscovering a lost love. I had not spend more than two decades in the high-tech industry because I loved it. I did it to put food in the table and pay the bills. I didn’t particularly like it, and at times I downright hated it. It did however, pay pretty well, and my family was always well-fed and our bills were paid.
One thing lead to another and as I got more and more into website development I started to learn wonderful new things about the internet – particularly that one could make a living with it. Around the time I was hanging up my real estate hat, I had developed a new internet-based business that wound up making me a lot more money than real estate ever did. I guess that’s not saying a lot, but it was a big help getting the bills paid for a few years until that market kind of dried up.
Although I had spent years in the high-tech industry, I had never been involved with website development or much of anything else to do with the internet other than surfing the web like most everyone was doing. It just wasn’t my area of expertise, although I was quite excited and happy to learn about all the legitimate opportunities that there were out there to make money on the internet and the skills I had developed over my years in the high-tech industry definitely made it a lot easier for me to get into website development, so in a way I kind of came full-circle and am now back working with computers but with one big difference: I work for myself now and don’t answer to anyone but myself (and my wife!). It’s now quite difficult for me to even conceive of going back to a “real” job. Ever.
That’s the “condensed version” of the story of my career in real estate. Other sections of this site will offer more useful and practical advice where real estate is concerned. Although I was not a terribly successful real estate agent, I did learn a thing or two while hanging around the people who did know what they were doing.
I also learned a thing or two about the real estate industry that I never would have had the opportunity to learn had I not spent the time that I spent as an “insider.” Those are tidbits that I will also be sharing on this section of the site.