Life Before Real Estate? You Bet!

By
Mortgage and Lending with SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171)

 All of us had a previous life.  This was mine.  What was yours?

I was a high end real estate developer on Long Beach Island, a barrier reef off the coast of New Jersey, six miles at sea.  This oceanside condo complex, the Breakers, exceeded the height limitation for the town of Beach Haven, on the south end of the island.  But Beach Haven's first homes were built in the 1870s by principals of the Baldwin Locomotive Company.  Those homes were Victorian mansions, with towers and complex rooflines.  The town fathers loved the design of the Breakers, and issued the variance. 

I'm betting that you didn't start out to be a real estate agent, of a loan officer, or a home stager.  Share your story with us in the comments below.  Please use photos (sized down, if you can) and feel free to embed links back to outside posts that tell us your story more completely.

I look forward to knowing you better.  Relationships are everything. Isn't that what makes us successful in real estate?

I think so! And that's the real estate opinion of this Tucson, Arizona mortgage lender.

Mike in Tucson

Mike Jones (Tucson Mortgage Company, LLC): Loan Officer in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona
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Rainmaker
412,298
Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor
Teri Ellis at Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC - Mesa, AZ

Hey Mike: I did have a life before real estate - actually an interesting one.........here's a link to my MeMe which is a tell all for sure.

I have three websites:  www.TeriEllis.com, http://MoveToSunnyAz.com and www.AzLadyInRed.com.

http://www.GlitterMaker.com/ - Glitter Graphics

Nov 04, 2007 05:23 PM #7
Rainmaker
119,649
Sandy Noll
(RSVP Real Estate) 425.890.0878 - Woodinville, WA
Real Estate Team From Mill Creek to Mercer Island

Hey Mike great post!  I had been a child care provider in the infant room and scheduling coordinator for a Montessori School.

                                    

                                                                       

Following in Mom's footsteps, I've done bookkeeping for what seems like forever!! 

When my husband and I married I helped run his remodel construction business.     Then I got my RE license!  One of my very first experiences as an agent I told all about in my posts The Tale of Fix-n-Flip Nightmare parts one and two!  I wish I'd found RE years ago!  I love it!

Nov 04, 2007 07:10 PM #8
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Hi Mike,
This is interesting to hear what members did prior to their Real Estate career.

In my post "I Love My Profession Because It Fits Me", I told about the various jobs I had after graduating from college. 

Nov 04, 2007 07:16 PM #9
Rainmaker
379,456
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

Mike, you already revealed my previous life, thanks to your MeMe tag!  Here's the link to my recent MeMe.  And here's a link to my ZoomInfo page with a biography,

As you know, I went right out of college into being a symphony musician and college music faculty member.  Like Sandy above, I wish I'd gotten into real estate a long time ago, although I did enjoy my music career.  Life changes and you have to change right along with it.

I didn't know Adam Waldman had a music background!  Very cool!

Nov 04, 2007 07:25 PM #10
Rainmaker
198,641
Marlene Bridges
Village Real Estate Services, Inc. - Laguna Hills, CA
Laguna Homes|Laguna Condos|Laguna Real Estate
Mike - Love the concept of our past lives before real estate and real estate related professions.  I'm going to work on a post and stop back to edit my comment with the link.  Great idea.  It was so cool learning about your past life.  I knew you were much more than just a pretty face!
Nov 04, 2007 08:20 PM #11
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

What an interesting and fun post! 

Before I moved to Lancaster County, PA, I lived in New York City and worked for a few years at a financial public relations company on Madison Avenue as an executive secretary.  I would spend nearly every lunch hour on sunny days sitting on the steps of the St. Patrick Cathedral and eat my lunch and "people watch". 

Moving to Lancaster with baby in tow, hubby and I bought our first of 3 restaurants.  One of them, the last one we owned, was a 1950's stainless steel diner.  Besides staying home to raise our boys, I helped out as needed at the restaurants on Sundays and other busy days, and did clerical work as needed.  I obtained my real estate license sometime after purchasing our 3rd restaurant because I really needed to do something for myself (and I really did not like the restaurant business!)

 When we purchased the Clearview Diner we had closed it for a few weeks and renovated it to expose most of the stainless steel and glass block windows that the previous owner had covered up.  Here is a postcard we uncovered of the original diner.  It has since been added onto, with a banquet room and additional dining areas, but this was what the original looked like when it was first wheeled into place.  To the left is a scanned image of a postcard that was sold during it's heyday.  We had quite the Grand Re-Opening when we finalized our renovations, and we had so many customers who came and told us that they grew up "hanging out" at the Clearview and had fond memories of it.

We sold it a few years ago and my husband semi-retired, just as my real estate business started to take off.  The sad part of the story is that the person we sold it to let it run to the ground.  He asked me to list it for him for sale, and although I tried very hard to sell it, it was truly a hard sell because of the condition they let it fall in to.  Still, I kept these old photos of it and will always remember the Clearview the way it was in it's glory days.

 

 

Nov 04, 2007 08:28 PM #12
Rainer
112,847
Ryan Martin
Windermere Real Estate / Whatcom Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Commercial RE Broker

Mike - Life before real estate? That would 5 years ago when I was 23 years old finishing college and play bass guitar in a Punk Rock band.

Nov 04, 2007 08:34 PM #13
Ambassador
717,527
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495

  Ryan, you're too modest.  I googled your name, and came up with this:

PersonnelMike Booth - guitar
Jake Kilmer - drums
Ryan Martin - bass guitar
Sean Danielsen - vocals, guitar

It's got to be you!  Fess up!  Active Rain wants to know!

 

Jeannie, that diner is quite a story!  And lunch on St. Patricks steps.  Thanks for commenting.

Marlene, I'm looking forward to your story.

Eric, thanks for the links.  I thought the same about Adam when I read his comment.  We've got to get an AR band going; I play guitar. 

Cynthia, thanks for commenting.  You'll see me commenting on the post you linked back to; this is fun!

Sandy, I feel about lending like you feel about real estate.  Wish I'd found it sooner.

Lady in Red, thanks for all the links.  I'll be commenting on your meme.  When do you have time to breathe, Teri?

Missy, a pastor's wife! I read your post I Can Only Imagine----Mercy Me  (Members Only) last night, and the song took me to YouTube, where I spent an hour listening to the Gaither Vocal Band and GLAD a capella, looking for a song for my entry.  Thank you!

Linda, I do believe you've found your calling at last!  Thanks for including the link.

Adam, I'm working on a post for your new group!  What a great idea to start Inspired by Song.  Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Karen, what kind of gigs are available for a part time financial analyst?  Enquiring minds want to know.

Mike in Tucson

 

 

Nov 04, 2007 09:40 PM #14
Rainmaker
217,670
Joan Mirantz
Homequest Real Estate - Concord, NH
Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire

Mike ...I was a Cook and in the Food Service business for almost 30 years! Here is a link to a MeMe about my Cafe' Service ....before Real Estate!

MY MEME...Or, HOW NARCICISTIC ARE YOU??  (Members Only)

Nov 04, 2007 09:50 PM #15
Rainer
112,847
Ryan Martin
Windermere Real Estate / Whatcom Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Commercial RE Broker
  Mike - I would love to take credit for that, but it is a different Ryan Martin. I played in a band named The Mullets. I am on the right with the sideburns. Our album Beer Soaked Anthems was not released by a big name label :-(
Nov 04, 2007 10:04 PM #16
Rainer
54,699
Chad Baird
Re/Max Spirit - Dayton, OH

I was in the IT field for 15 years.  At the end I was working for a National Bank.  I was in charge of 1000+ servers, countless PCs, and vendor relations and much more.  I liked the the job, but the passion was fading. 

My wife still works their.  We met at the company, dated, and got married.  Working at the same place always added a bit of stress, but we managed for 5 years. 

Then it was announced that another division within the Corporation was aquiring our department.  Happens all the time in corparations.  Then we were told that our jobs were not secure and we had to interview to remain.  They agreed to retain me but I had to take additional certification classes on my time and my nickle. 

I started the classes and tried to figure out how I could hang myself from the rafters.  I could not do it.  So I went next door to where the RE classes were just starting and the instructor allowed me to join in.  The next day I was signed up.  I continued, and only my wife new that I was taking RE Classes.  When I recieved my license, I gave the company 2 weeks notice and never looked back. 

I wanted to be a Realtor out of High School, but with college, the costs it was not an options.  Then the offer that drug me into the IT field was to much money for a 21 yr old kid to turn down.  It took many years to be able to walk away from the money and pursue a dream.  I love every minute of it!!! 

Nov 04, 2007 10:28 PM #17
Rainmaker
100,233
Lisa Ryan
Callaway Henderson Sotheby's International Realty - Montgomery, NJ
Selling Princeton,West Windsor and Montgomery Town

My life prior to REal Estate was in banking and finance. 

 I worked for about 12 years in the Wall Street area for both Citigroup and American Express as a senior financial analyst.  I actually learned how to do spreadsheets and financial models on the original Apples using Visicalc.  If anyone remembers Visicalc, this will really date me!..

 

I earned my MBA through Citibank's executive MBA program and graduated the same year my husband earned his law degree. (We could write a book on stress!) He put his degree to good use while I put mine to use for a few years changing dirty diapers and scraping Rice Krispies off the kitchen floor.

 

 

I eventually found a really graat job as a States Financial director for First Nationwide Bank until they were bought out by Bof A.  But my true love has always been real estate, so here I am, still loving every crazy minute of it, with my husband as my biggest fan!

Nov 04, 2007 11:31 PM #18
Rainer
130,493
Billnulls Blog Florida Realty Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
AHWD

How far back are we going????? I worked as a bilingual secretary for the University in Konstanz on the Lake of Constance (located between Switzerland and Germany), for the University of Erlangen-Nurembery and finally for Siemens in Erlangen. 

Thereafter I taught school: I taught English in Germany for the adult night school, Siemens, IBM, and a little company called Moog AG. When I returned to the States after 17 years, I taught History, American Government and Geography for the Pinellas County School System in Safety Harbor. 

Then I wanted to do my own thing and I opened a Barnie's Coffee Franchise in Clearwater and lost my shirt! (And the house and everything else because I invested it all as times got tough - ended up filing bankruptcy before it was all over). Met some wonderful people there and had a good time, but sure didn't make any money!!!!

I also met Bill at that coffee shop and he convinced me to get into real estate - an idea I had been toying with before I opened the coffee shop -

And that's my story -

Nov 05, 2007 04:38 AM #19
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous
Adam, Eric, Ryan and Mike -- you'll have to make your way to Lancaster when you form your band -- so you can record in my husband's recording studio!  That's what he did after he sold off the restaurants - finally moved his studio from our basement into a professional space that he built out.  What a talented bunch of people we have here!
Nov 05, 2007 10:10 PM #20
Rainmaker
412,298
Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor
Teri Ellis at Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC - Mesa, AZ

Hey Mike, good participation on your post. Good for you. I breathe Mike, truly I do. Just been kinda slow lately, but business is definitely picking up. Got lots to do........:-)

http://www.GlitterMaker.com/ - Glitter Graphics

Nov 05, 2007 11:20 PM #21
Ambassador
717,527
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495

Teri, I'm glad you find time to breathe.  I love the participation on posts like this, and on the MEME posts.  It's good to get to know others, and it's brought me business since I started doing this last July on Active Rain.  I'm looking forward to meeting you one of these days at an AR event.

Jeannie, sign us up.  We'll need a name, of course.  Help us out here.

Barbara Jo, that's downright interesting!  Ik ben blij dat je gekommen ben.  Nederlandse, niet?  I love your Cheshire cat!  I don't generally like cats, but I'll make an exception for that one.

Lisa, I remember Visicalc and used it on my Apple Lisa.

Chad, I'm glad to hear your story, and glad you made the jump!

Ryan, I'm leaving it there anyhow!  You should talk Broker Bryant into singing one of your Beer Soaked Anthems in a post.  I bet he would do it!

Joan, I read your MEME.  Don't ever come to Arizona without calling first.  We'll build an Active Rain event around your visit.

Mike in Tucson

 

Nov 06, 2007 02:03 AM #22
Rainmaker
110,429
Nancy Brenner
Referral Associates of Georgia, Inc. - Roswell, GA
Roswell Georgia Real Estate Agent

In may of 1980, I started working fot AT&T / Souther Bell as a long distance operator in Miami, Florida.  In 1985, I moved to Norcross, Ga - still as an operator but took at test in 1986 and went into Data Processing hanging tapes, printing out paychecks and printing copies of bills onto microfiche - in Alpharetta, Ga.  In 1987, I moved to a group in the Data Center that managed the storage of data on disk and on tape.  In 1991, I moved to Altamonte Springs, Florida to open up a Help Desk but within a year and a half, I was back in data processing and moved to Maitland, Florida (Just the next town over) to do Storage Management again.  The Data Center moved to Lake Mary, Fla in 1994 or 95.  I met my husband in 1996, moved to Deltona, Florida and got married Nov 1998.  In 2003, our office in Lake Mary Closed and I moved back to Alpharetta.  Today, I live in Roswell, Ga and still work for AT&T.  My goal is to retire with benefits in May of 2010.  Meanwhile, I'm building up a client base and selling Homes during the day while still working at AT&T from midnight - 8am.

That's my story.  Now a YouTube clip of how AT&T went from AT&T to at&t.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtFtcp4mNzA

 

Nov 06, 2007 05:55 AM #23
Ambassador
717,527
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495

Nancy, thanks for the story, and for the YouTube clip! So funny, but it's true.  Thanks for the link.  AT&T, and all the Baby Bells, were my customers until 2003, when I left OPEX Corporation, where I was National Sales Manager.  The link is to another Active Rain post, and that's an interesting story in itself.

Mike in Tucson

Nov 06, 2007 06:41 AM #24
Ambassador
895,571
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Crofton, MD 21114 - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation
Before real estate...  hmmm... that was a long time ago.   Well, I was an elementary school music teacher who had just gotten my dream job in the premium public school district in the D.C. suburbs.  Then my husband, a young naval officer, got orders to a ship stationed in San Diego, California.  Off we went on this great adventure - only to find that San Diego did not have music teachers in their public schools.  So I got a job in a real estate office, and the rest is history.
Nov 11, 2007 08:04 PM #25
Ambassador
717,527
Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495

Margaret:  Did you keep up with your music?  Thanks for visiting and commenting.

Mike in Tucson

Nov 11, 2007 09:05 PM #26
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Mike Jones

Mike Jones NMLS 223495
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