Part of the Activerain August contest challenge is to give credit to early "mentors" and those whom I looked up to. When I started in real estate in 2006, I felt very idealistic. The market was still rising, anything coming up for sale sold pretty much the same week. It wasn't that inventory was low, it was just that everyone wanted to get into the action, and loans were easy to get.
A broker whom I had befriended and I were going into business together, his specialty was commercial real estate, and I was going to concentrate on residential properties. With my many years as an advertising and public relations executive in the corporate world, I felt I was going to ace marketing. In fact, the Internet was going to be a big part of my reaching the public, something that was quite new to real estate in 2006.
What did I know of writing contracts? Well, I had bought and sold properties myself so that gave me a leg up when reading documents. I had been around lawyers as friends for much of my life, even worked for one, so reading these documents came easy for me.
What about my broker?
Except for checking in with him when I needed to, and having him write off on contracts, we pretty much went our separate ways and that left me to expand my own vision of how I wanted to run my real estate business. In fact, I started to study for my own broker's license in part because I wanted to learn more than what I was able to get from my day-to-day activities.
AND THEN THE MARKET CRASHED.
Although there were signs of a slowdown, it really happened pretty quickly in my market. I had just sold a pretty sizeable home when, almost immediately, all activity seemed to stop. Dead.
Rather than worrying, I just continued to study for my broker's license.
So who was my early "mentor" during those first 3 years?
Although I fought him tooth and nail on many issues and how to run our business, I do need to give credit to my first and only broker -- who is now out of the business and I would rather not name him here. "Bill", who then was really on his way to retirement, wasn't ready to change his "handshake" ways of doing business. Struggling with the Internet that changed marketing, MLS, forms and lightning speed of interacting with the public was a struggle. Commercial real estate was dead, residential real estate was all about "short sales" and bank owned properties, it was all too much for him, I suspect.
How did I learn my early "best business practices"? the seat of my pants!!!
Hey, we all did; it was that, or get out of the business which many did.
Fast forward to 2017 and my best "business practice" now:
Since 2009, I have not only opened my own brokerage, but got incorporated as Rothwell Realty Inc. in California and officially opened my brick and mortar office in Carmel-by-the-Sea, but also got my broker's license in Hawaii in 2013.
I continue to have an active real estate business in northern California in Del Norte County.
My client base is happy with me, especially investors who have given me much repeat business. No, I am not a high volume broker with a big team; my "business practice" is to give the best individual customer service to each and every one of these clients.
Staying my course.