In 1988, I began my real estate career in Virginia. I was a young mom whose husband travelled extensively. Although I initially had every intention of being a stay at home mom, I found that I needed a challenge in my life and real estate afforded me the opportunity to enjoy motherhood and take on the marketplace.
In 1990, my husband was transferred to Toledo, Ohio (where I was born and raised). I remember taking my post licensing training and having the instructor telling me that I should not focus on marketing in my subdivision because the "big agents" already had that market wrapped up. For some reason, I took that personally. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to prove her wrong. Within 2-3 years, I had a minimum of a 30% marketshare which I maintained for years.
When I came to Cleveland 5 years ago, I must admit I was kind of relunctant to start over one more time. Been there...done that. I was lucky to be able to build my dream home here in Cleveland and I was focused on my new home and getting acclimated to a new city. In other words, I had lots of fun while doing real estate "part time". At the time,I decided that I was enjoying my "lighter" load so I partnered with a top agent from my office. But somehow the events of 1988 were replaying in my life again. I missed the challenge.
Since November of 2008, I have been back on my own again, looking to rebuild my real estate practice. I love the idea people think I am crazy for trying to be successful in a "down" market. I have recently completed my training to become an certified home stager and redesigner (and I have started a separate company to pursue that). The entire landscape of the internet has changed in the last year which has led me to extensive coursework, reading and trial and error marketing. I wake up excited and I am enjoying my career (and life, in general) more than ever. What's the result? Well, as of today, I have 3 properties under contract in 2 1/2 weeks. Business is flowing.
Every day is a new challenge. How do I make myself more visible on the internet? How do I use the extensive technology available yet maintain "the personal touch" with my clients and customers? As I continue to hone my messages to the real estate community and to my clients, I welcome any and all input as to what I can do to improve my business model. Any suggestions?