How I Got Here; How About YOU?

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty

How did I get here? I dabbled in investing in the late 90s, actually making a whole lot of money on one penny stock that I followed, some guys in Los Alamos I saw in the local paper who were working on hydrogen cells. I followed popular advice, diversified and lost it all. There were companies, big companies, I owned shares worth $80 at the end of the day when they admitted that they had been cooking the books. By the time I, a puny individual investor, could get onto the market at 7am, it was worth 80cents from the institutional selloff overnight. For a long time, we didn't do anything to grow our money, just earned wages, with our tails tucked between our legs. Finally, I told Andy, "We have to do something to grow our money, we are not going to be able to retire on what we can save from paychecks!" We bought a couple of investment properties, a duplex in Round Rock behind Sirloin Stockade and a shack in East Austin. I'll have to admit, I didn't have a lot to do with them. I was starting a teaching career and if you know a teacher, you know that they bring work home, grade on weekends, etc, etc. Andy decided he didn't want to be a landlord, although the tenants brought checks to our house and put them in our mailbox before the 1st (what's wrong with that?) We sold the duplex and made about $10,000. (What's wrong with that?) Then, he worked on the house in East Austin, getting it ready to remodel, but was unfamiliar with foundation issues and worried about it. Another contractor came along and offered him $10,000 profit and we took it. (Again, what's wrong with that?) But our thought was that we were done with real estate. After I left teaching after 4 years, I was in a Women's Investing Group and Real Estate came up. Lynn Morgan, who owns Austin Institute of Real Estate, spoke. Lynn said if you want to invest in real estate, and you want to buy 1-2 properties a year, get a good Realtor©. If you want to buy 3 or more, it is worth your money and time to get a license and join the MLS to have the information as soon as it becomes available and to handle your own transactions. Sounded good to me, so I went home and told Andy, "If we keep going the way we're going, we are going to be living in a trailer park when we are retired. I think we need to invest in real estate, because it's the only thing that can't lose its value overnight, and you can invest a little but control a lot. I think I need to get my real estate license so we can do it intelligently." He said, "How much is that going to cost?" I said, "I think about $900." (This, of course, is a joke, it was more like $3000-but still awfully little capital to start a business.) "OK," he said. My first class, Principles of Real Estate 1, by 10 am I'm thinking, "Oh, yeah. I need to be doing this full time, doing it for other people, this is it!" I finished in 3 weeks solid, got my license in December of 2003, and joined Keller Williams right away. I was not very successful my first 6 months, spending a lot of time trying to buy a half block of downtown Taylor, a listing of a colleague in the small office space I shared. Ultimately, we didn't buy it but of course I learned a lot. Expensive learning. But you know, as they say, the only thing more expensive than learning from experience is not learning from experience.

I did become successful in my 2nd and 3rd years, serving on the Agent Leadership Council at Keller Williams, and obtaining my broker's license and several education and production-based designations.

 

I started recruiting and training as an agent, so it was a natural progression to the Assistant Team Leader position in the Round Rock office when it became available. I was in that position for 8 months, before I decided I needed to be back in sales. I am a salesperson. I have never had a hard time admitting it. I have never pretended that I am a ‘consultant', or anything that doesn't have the word ‘sales' in it. I believe that everything is sales. Business, law, politics, education, acting, even health care and parenting are all about one side persuading another to buy what you're selling. All you have to do is make sure that you are selling something that is true and good, and then go for it!

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Rainer
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