Every time I am asked about how I got into real estate, I find it hard to keep the story short. One thing I do like to include is the fact that I was fired from an internship. Yup, that's right, I was fired after only 2 weeks of working there. This usually surprises people, and it's fun to see the faces of the people when I first say it.
Today I thought I would take the time to explain the whole story of why I was fired, and how I got into real estate while I was still in school for my finance degree.
Why was I fired?
It was the summer of my last year in school in 2018. I had bounced from UW Seattle to Highline in Des Moines, and finally to UW Tacoma. This is where I was to finish my bachelor's in finance, and eventually persue a career in financial planning or accounting; anything to do with numbers, really. Because numbers don't lie. Either you're right, or you're wrong, and the sense of certainty was exactly what I wanted in a career.
At the time, I was still balancing a serving job at Bahama Breeze and an internship at Sound Outreach. But I knew I needed to seriously prepare myself to have a job upon graduation in December, so I decided to leave my serving job and my internship and fully focus on my last 2 quarters at school while looking for another internship opportunity in the field of accounting or finance.
While serving, I had made a connection with the owner of a cemetary. I had helped him organize files in his office a year prior, and thought I would reach out to him to see if I could come on as an intern to gain real life experience in the field. I approached him, and after a few emails back and forth to work out the details, he offered me a position as a paid accouting intern. I had shared that I knew nothing about QuickBooks or any other program, and that that's what I wanted to learn there.
I quickly realized that I had gotten in over my head, as had he. To my surprise, the demand for cremations and plots in a cemetary was incredibly high, and all 5 of his staff, including him, were slammed from the moment they arrived at 8am until they left, often after 5pm. Lunches were frequently eaten at the desks, and it was an overall tense environment. Nobody really had the time to train me. I was given directions to input receipts into QuickBooks without any training, and to file away paperwork for the owner. I beared with it, thinking it would quickly get easier. I was wrong.
One day, two weeks into my internship, my boss called me into his office to check over some of my work in QuickBooks, for the first time since I had started there. He grew upset that I had input dozens of receipts incorrectly, and he was not shy about communicating that to me, and very sternly so. I was embarrassed, but also resented that nobody had ever shown me the right way.
So, he took out his checkbook, wrote me a check for my two weeks' worth of hours, and waved me away with the words: "Good luck with your finance stuff, or whatever."
The Next Day
Man, was I upset. I couldn't believe he didn't take the time to teach me and then embarrassed me by firing me in front of another staff member. But, I already had another idea about how to move forward. I had heard of someone by the name of Grant Cardone, and admired his journey from a drug addicted 25 year old to a successful real estate investor. I wanted to learn more about all things real estate. I picked my work station for the afternoon, at Jewel Box Cafe at Point Ruston and I got to work. I found 5 local real estate firms, and emailed all of them, asking them for an internship. With no idea how real estate firms worked, I crossed my fingers, and by the end of the day, one of them got back to me!
I was excited! A few days later, I went in for an interview, and was asked to stay for the day to get a feel for the brokerage and to get to know the DB and the desk manager.
A Different Outcome
This time, after 2 weeks, I was not asked to leave, but offered to stay on as a real estate agent if I could have my license in hand in 4 weeks. The brokerage's owner, who was still the DB at the time, even offered to pay for my course to get my license in the given time frame.
And so I did.
This was in August, and with my graduation coming up in December, the idea of having a job with 4 months of experience coming out of school was really attractive to me.
I stayed with that first brokerage for almost a year before switching to Theory Real Estate, where I am now.
From Student Server, to Real Estate Agent
And that is how I ended up in real estate. I had never considered myself a sales person, or thought that I would fall into a career where my success is based on my every interaction with home owners, buyers, and investors. Nevertheless, I LOVE real estate, I love the opportunities it brings, and the lifestyle you can build for yourself when taking the right steps.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and a shoutout to Keith Sant, a kickass investor, for telling me about ActiveRain!