The Reality Show…
One of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of was the Go Reality Show. Among many other things, Go introduced me to blogging. You can find some of my entries from the show here.
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My Dream Job
Every kid had a slap bracelet, Hypercolor shirts were all the rave and I was starting fourth grade at Millbrook Elementary. Due to my father’s job, my family had just moved down to Raleigh from Somers, New York. It was definitely a huge change for all of us; especially since we were temporarily staying at an apartment while my parents worked with a Real Estate Agent to find a new home for our family.
I really missed my friends and our neighborhood in New York, but I was also really excited about moving into a new house! I had two other siblings at the time, so I definitely wanted to call dibs on my bedroom first. I would always want to tag along with my parents while they went house shopping. Although this may have been boring to most kids, I on the other hand, loved it. I particularly enjoyed touring the Parade of Homes with them. Every house we went to had its own unique qualities. I liked some, while others just didn’t seem to suit our family. We looked at so many houses. It was a pretty long process, but I will never forget the day that I had my first glimpse of the house that would soon be our home.
It was during the Parade of Homesthat year when my parents and I left our apartment to go look at houses. My sister and brother stayed behind at the apartment. My parents had picked out a few houses that they wanted to visit from the big Parade of Homes book. I vaguely remember the first one we looked at, but I distinctly remember the second one. It had a stucco exterior, huge first floor and a bonus room and bathroom upstairs. I was running around the house trying to pick out my room when I overheard the Agent talking to my parents about a house across the street that was on last year’s Parade of Homes but was still vacant. She said she could take us across the cul-de-sac to look at if we wanted to. I peeked out the window and looked across the street. I’m pretty sure it was love at first sight. From that moment on, I made it clear that I wanted my parents to buy the “third house” we saw.
Of course we didn’t walk away with the keys that day. I remember being really determined, though. Whenever I heard my parents discussing their options, I would always be heard in the background yelling “I like the third house! I like the third house we saw!” Luckily my persistence paid off. My parents made an offer and it was accepted shortly thereafter. Whether it was true or not, I always thought I had something to do with them choosing our new home. It was an amazing feeling that I will never forget.
It’s almost twenty years later now, and my parents still live in the same house. It’s a walk down memory lane every time I go there. The neighbors have changed some, but other than some standard updates and remodeling, the house is still the same. To us it’s not just where we live, it’s a place where some our best memories were made. It’s where our friends and family have gathered for various milestones in life. It was and still is a place of happiness and celebration – from graduations to weddings, to birthdays and anniversaries… there’s definitely no shortage of fond memories. It’s my sanctuary. Even if things aren’t going as well as I want them to, I know I can go back to the “third house” and feel comforted again. I can watch TV in the same room I used to play Super Nintendo in, I can walk up the same stairs I used to run up as a child and sleep in the same room I used to do book reports in. It’s an awesome feeling that I will never get tired of.
So recently, when I was trying to make a decision on whether Real Estate was really for me or not, I often thought of that lady sitting next to her business cards in the kitchen of that stucco house. If it wasn’t for her, we probably wouldn’t have ever found the home that we’ve made so many great memories in. The thought of being able to help another family find their dream home inspires me. I can’t wait until I get my license so I can start helping other families just like she did for mine.
I Wouldn’t Change a Thing
It had been a while since I had seen my friend Jenn, so I shot her a text asking if she wanted to meet up for lunch. After exchanging a few text messages, we decided to meet that week at The Rockford in downtown Raleigh. This is when I found out about the Reality Show.
I had mixed feelings after checking out the link that Jenn had given me. It seemed like a good idea, but lacked…. well… a lot. Beyond the initial ideas that were detailed in the blog, I had no idea how this reality show was going to work. My main concerns were scheduling conflicts with work and the commitment that was needed in such an endeavor.
It only took me a day or so to decide, but I was still hesitant. I am so glad that I put my reservations aside, stuck to my gut and went for it. It was the best decision I had made all summer.
I couldn’t have had a more fulfilling August! I started and completed my Pre-Broker’s Licensing Course and passed the class exam. I also got to meet numerous inspiring and supportive people including the team at Go, our awesome instructor, Kim Frye as well as our guest speakers, Sheri Moritz and Meredith Oliver. But most importantly, it has brought me even closer to my family. It was too easy for me to get caught up in everyday life and I found myself forgetting to keep in touch with those closest to me. My parents now regularly read my blogs and my siblings even created a Team Nam page on Facebook. I was surprised to get an email from my dad the other day stating that he hadn’t seen a blog from me since August 23rd. Thanks for the reminder, Dad. I had completely checked out after the exam last week.
So Jenn, thank you for telling me about this opportunity. If it wasn’t for you, I would have never gone on this awesome adventure. Jim, your enthusiasm and positive energy are contagious. Thank you for taking a chance with me. I hope to make you proud! Zach, your people skills are killer and I love your blog posts. Thanks for your guidance and encouraging words throughout this adventure. It has helped more than you know. Kevin, and everyone at Go – the support has been amazing. I couldn’t have done it without you guys. The feedback on Facebook has been phenomenal. You guys have gotten me through class and the first exam! I’m excited about working with everyone after I get my license! To all my loyal friends – Thank you. I am so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life. Through thick and thin, you guys are always there for me. And of course, my Phamily. Your opinion always means the most to me, so all the support I’ve gotten from you guys has been especially encouraging. Hopefully I will be passing the State Exam soon and we can all get together to celebrate!
We are one month in and I couldn’t be happier. This has been and continues to be such an awesome experience. I am so excited about the future and all the possibilities that it holds. Thank you to everyone for following me along this crazy journey. It’s had it’s ups and downs, but you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing.
Christine started out today’s Power Lunch saying that she didn’t have a ‘system’ like a lot of the other Agents we had Power Lunches with. I beg to differ. Her system might not fit in a spreadsheet, but it’s definitely a system that works!
Go Agent, Christine Danko is one of the most personable people I’ve met. She has a system that uses various outlets to network such as serving as assistant girl scout troop leader and volunteering at the animal shelter. She’s also an avid ‘Go Green’ supporter and is involved with a BNI group.
Throughout the delicious meal at An, Christine shared with us several ‘Realtor Horror Stories.’ Although they were all really interesting, I really hope that none of those things ever end up happening to me later on! After her unsuccessful attempt of scaring us out of Real Estate, she decided to go the other route and gave us tons of advice to help us out when we become Agents such as methods on how answer difficult questions involving Fair Housing Laws. She also and gave us different ideas for using MLS and helped us get a better understanding of how offers and counteroffers worked during negotiations.
Christine was really helpful and answered all of our questions. She is very approachable and I look forward to working with her and everyone else at Go. Everyone has been so helpful and supportive. I am so lucky to have such great people around me.
The last seven weeks have been really incredible. It’s been tough though – I’ve never had to learn so much new knowledge in so little time before. I probably could not have done it alone though. I am humbled that so many people have donated their time, energy and knowledge in helping me succeed. It has been such a positive and memorable experience that I will hold onto forever. Thank you to everyone involved in making the Go Reality Show such a success!
Systems and Self Accountability
I’m reminded everyday of how lucky I am to be a part of the Go Reality Show. The last couple of weeks have been so helpful. I am a huge fan of the Power Lunches and mini field trips that we’ve been having. The hands-on approach has definitely helped me have a better understanding of how to succeed as an agent.
When I arrived at Go Cary this morning, Cassondra Liles from Hometown Realty was already there. She was actually scheduled to come for Power Lunch tomorrow, but I was excited that I got to meet her today since I wouldn’t be able to attend tomorrow’s lunch. Like many of the other successful agents that I’ve met during the last week, Cassy had her own system, and it worked. We also learned that she was using the same Contact Manager Software that we just started using. Being a newer program, it was reassuring to know that someone as successful as Cassy was using it too. She was able to help us out a lot with that. I wish she had been there when I was figuring out the ‘bulk edit’ feature. It would have saved me a lot of time and guesswork. I’m really glad that she came to Go this morning. I’m definitely going to use what I learned from her today to my own systems into place.
Today we also had the privilege of meeting Karen Roberts of Fonville Morisey. She had been in the business for about 18 years with the same company! I picked up pretty quickly that Karen is big on self accountability and building trust with client relationships. I couldn’t agree more. It’s a pretty big deal that the someone is trusting you with their biggest investment. She finds it really rewarding when that trust is established. I think I’m going to enjoy that part of the job a lot too.
Although all the Agents I’ve met so far have had different approaches in achieving their goals, they basically have all had the same advice for me. I need to love what I do, have self accountability and have my systems in place from day one. Surely this is going to take a lot of man hours, but I’m definitely ready for it.
Mexican Food and Listing Presentations
Knowledge is Power
With yesterday’s Power Lunch still fresh on my mind, I was eager to meet Ashley Wilson for today’s Power Lunch. She shared her system with us and has proven that it definitely works! I can’t believe the earning potential as a Real Estate Agent. Being a very systematic person, the meeting with Ashley today left me really excited about the possibilities.
After lunch, we began our Listing exercise. Zach and Jim have begun showing us the different steps in listing a house by setting up a mock listing. Role-playing a mock listing will definitely help when it comes time for my first meeting with potential sellers. All this backstage knowledge will be so useful when I become an Agent. Again, I feel lucky to be privy to it.
We are in our final weeks of the Reality Show and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve poured my heart and soul into this project and I am anxious to get my license so that I can start my business. All the knowledge from class coupled with all the advice from everyone I’ve met through the Go Reality Show will definitely help jump start my career in Real Estate! I can’t wait!
I have always lived for that moment. I thrive on it. I love it when it happens, and I especially love it when it’s unexpected.
I met the nicest couple tonight. After initially greeting them at their table, the couple explained to me that they hadn’t been to Irregardless since coming a year ago with friends to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. They had a wonderful time and decided to come back again, only this time sans friends. Immediately, the pressure was on. I wanted to be sure that their experience tonight would be just as good, if not better, than last year’s celebration.
Meredith did not disappoint. Her presentation was engaging and it got my creative juices flowing. After she explained her strategy involving a Hub and Drivers, I immediately started thinking about how I was going to use it to help my future business in Real Estate. The possibilities seemed endless.
I’m so glad I got to actually meet @CreatingWOW today… and to think, it all started with a Click.
A Costly Mistake
To my dismay, my section ended up being rather slow for a Saturday. I was excited when Amanda, our most proficient hostess, sat me a table of five people who ended up ordering quite a bit of food and several drinks. My check for the table was quickly increasing and I was anticipating a nice tip from it! Everything went really well until I went to close out the check. I realized that when I was splitting up the check, I never charged them for an entire seat. That meant I was left with a bill for Sesame Crusted Tuna, a Cosmopolitan, glass of wine and a coffee. My heart sank. Sure I could use my employee discount for the food, but this was still a large chunk of my tips for the night. How could I have been so careless?
After realizing what had happened, I immediately thought of my instructor, Kim Frye. I could hear her voice telling us to take our time and to not make careless mistakes on the exam questions. “Use your calculator – anyone can make a simple mistake even if it’s simple math!” I always tried to take her advice in class, but I didn’t really think of taking this advice outside classroom. If I was just a little more careful and had taken the time to seriously look over the check as I was splitting up, I would have noticed my careless error and saved myself the grief of losing out on my biggest tip of the night.
I left work that night undeniably upset at my carelessness. However, I knew it was only me that could have prevented the situation at work earlier. I realize that this may have been a blessing in disguise. Hopefully when I’m taking my exam next week I will take Kim’s advice to heart and think of what happened at work on Saturday. No matter how comfortable I am with the information I’m being tested on, I should take my time, read carefully and double-check my answers. Losing out on thirty bucks is a small price to pay if it helps me pass the exam.
It was a typical Wednesday. I had just gotten to my parents’ house from a long day of class and Reality Show stuff at Go. I was exhausted and had forgotten that my parents had made arrangements for me to visit with Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Delek.
Both my brothers had met him the previous week, however I wasn’t able to go due to my work schedule. My parents were very anxious for me to meet him and explained that he wasn’t to be confused with Lama Zopa Rinpoche, whom my parents had hosted at their house several times before in the years previous. Apparently he was even higher in the lineage of Lamas. Gyumed Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Delek is one of a small number of living lineage lamas who were educated in Tibet before the uprising of 1959. This was only his second visit to the United States.
I didn’t really know what to expect as my father pulled into what seemed to be a normal residence. The only thing that seemed out of the ordinary was the monk out front watering the plants in the yard. He was happy to see my parents and quickly moved the car over to one side of the driveway so that my dad could park beside it.
As we walked in, I immediately noticed the altar that my father had built for the Geishelas that lived there. It was the only thing truly setting it apart from any other typical house. My mother gave me a khataand some pastries that she arranged on a plate as an offering for Khensur Rinpoche. I was to present this to him before I received his blessing. We were lead up to his room where we sat on cushions on the floor before Khensur Rinpoche who sat on the bed behind a table. Although I felt a little awkward at first as I knelt before him to receive his blessings, I immediately felt as ease after sitting down and looking up at him. This man was revered by so many people and here I was sitting before him. It was very humbling.
Since Khensur Rinpoche did not speak very much English, the Geishela who stayed at the house translated for us and Khensur Rinpoche. He asked me if I regularly practiced Buddhism. I looked at my parents and smiled. Although I believed in the principles of the religion and tried to live my life by them, I definitely wasn’t as devout as my parents were. He explained that as long as I had a good heart and lived my life according to the philosophy of Buddhism, it was all right that I didn’t formally practice Buddhism like my parents did. My parents also mentioned to him that I was working towards my Broker’s License. He laughed and said, “that’s an easy job! You just sit behind a desk all day, answer phones and sell houses!” Knowing that this was not the case at all, I just smiled and thought to myself how boring that would be if that were true.
Before our meeting was over, Khensur Rinpoche gave me another blessing and told me that he could tell I had a good heart and that he would include me in his daily blessings and prayers. Khensur Rinpoche wished me the best with the upcoming exams and my future Real Estate career and then gave me a couple of gifts including a black and white bracelet that had been blessed by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.
As I sat in the backseat of my parents car on our way back to their house, I realized how lucky I was. What else did I need to prepare for the final exams and my future in Real Estate? I had all the resources I needed and the support of my friends and family, everyone at Go, and now I had Khensur Rinpoche’s blessings, and ultimately, the Dalai Lama‘s blessing.
Although this doesn’t guarantee that I will pass the exam next week, it does remind me that I am not alone on this journey. I guess I could say I feel really… blessed.
10 Things I’ve Learned Since Starting at Go
5. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, as long as you learn from them.
6. Twitter is actually a really useful tool.
7. I haven’t forgotten algebra.
8. It’s OK that I work best when I feel like it.
9. Eating Cheez-its keeps me more awake in class.
10. Coming up with blog topics can be pretty difficult on a Friday night.
This Isn’t Your Father’s Real Estate Company
I arrived at Go Cary this morning with next week’s Real Estate exam on my mind. I was pretty nervous about the impending exam date. However, after having my personal tutoring session with Chris from HPW, I was left with some free time while I waited for Jina, Jill and Haley to have their own one-on-one sessions with Chris. I definitely needed to study more, but I really wanted a short break from all things pertaining to Real Estate.
Being well aware of where I was, I still decided to step away from the books and grabbed my iPhone to share some funny YouTube videos with Haley that I had seen recently. One thing lead to another and before I knew it, Zach was showing off his DJ skills on his iPad while sharing some interesting tidbits about at the office and Candace and I were unknowingly photographed surrounded by a plethora of felines. This may have been faux pas at any other Real Estate company, but not at Go. Their wacky culture advocates it.
Go is different. The atmosphere there isn’t stuffy. They don’t frown upon innovation or make you dress a certain way. With an open floor-plan, they promote agents to interact with each other, while upbeat music and friendly staff set the convivial tone for everyone that enters. It’s pretty hard not to have fun at Go.
For me, being a stressed out Real Estate student trying to juggle work, school and a Reality Show, physically being at Go reminds me of why I’m doing it. Some have said that I’m burning the candle from both ends. I definitely have a lot on my plate, but I also want to be the most prepared new agent out there. I couldn’t imagine being at any other Real Estate company.
The sign outside the front door is right… This definitely isn’t your father’s real estate company. If it was, I wouldn’t be there.
Blue Team… Go!
What a crazy day yesterday was. Jina, Haley, Jill and I were split into two teams. We had a mission: Each team was to visit as many Go Realty Listings as possible in three hours. I approached this challenge with confidence. I knew that Haley and I would make a great team… and boy did we!
After spending three hours in a car with Haley, I’ve come to the conclusion that she’s a pretty cool cat! Immediately, we started messing with the radio so we could start jamming out. This impromptu jam session didn’t last too long though, since Nicki Minaj was drowning out the robotic GPS voice. After missing a couple of streets, we decided to turn down the tunes a bit… We had a mission to accomplish. We were pumped and ready to hit up as many Go listings in Raleigh as possible.
I was very pleased to find out that in fact, Haley and I made an awesome team! We left Go Cary that morning with a plan. After a little confusion with the GPS and radio, we ended up going to the wrong house first. I’m still not sure how it happened, but things worked out though. We quickly devised a new plan and went with it. Instead of alternating driving like we had decided earlier at Go Cary, we both stuck to what came naturally to us. I was the tech guy dealing with the iPad, iPhone and GPS while Haley took control of her Honda and got us to all our destinations safely!
While we tried to make the challenge as fun as possible, it was still pretty intense. It was a million degrees outside – we could never seem to get cool enough! Not to mention I couldn’t seem to stay organized for the life of me! There were various car chargers, iPhones, papers, books, pens, an iPad… all sorts of stuff falling off my lap. It was a mess. I never really got that under control… but I guess ultimately it didn’t matter.
It was a tough challenge, and the Blue Team ended up scoring the most points. However, the experience is what really made it worth it. In the end, Haley and I got to know each other a little better while having some fun along the way too, despite having to drive around in crazy hot weather for three hours, stopping only to film short commercials on our iPhone in front of the houses listed by Go Realty. It was definitely a good challenge. I look forward to next Wednesday when we have off from class again to see what Jim and Zach have in store for us!