What I admire about real estate

I was thinking about what my technology & business development plan is going to be for the next version of Zearch, and it reminded me what I really admire about real estate professionals.

You see, it’s occurred to me that people in this industry are self-employed entrepreneurs, free agents, and independent consultants. It doesn’t matter if they own a RE/MAX franchise, an independent brokerage, or is just an agent starting out. They don’t have a safety net of a 9-to-5 job. They also don’t have to deal with the inane responsibilities that life in a cube farm curses you with. But most importantly, they bare all the responsibilities and they reap the ultimate rewards of their eventual success or failure. For the most part, they only answer to themselves and their clients.

As somebody who shares the dream of becoming self-employed, I certainly admire the difficulties of obtaining that objective. Which brings me to asking the following questions of my entrepreneurial mentors?

  1. How did you get involved in real estate? Was it your first career choice or your second (or third, etc.)? Did you have any mentors or role models when you started?
  2. Why did you get involved? Was it the freedom that working for yourself brings? Was it the possibility of having a larger income (with a lot of effort, of course – there is no easy way)? Did you enter the industry because you enjoy helping people attain the American dream of home ownership?
  3. How long did it take you to “make it”? When did you know that you’ve “made it”? Did you try to work a day job when you got started or did you jump in with both feet with no safety net?
  4. If you haven’t made it yet or didn’t make it, what have you learned from experience?
  5. Knowing what you know now, what would’ve done differently when you started out?
  6. Any other insights you’ve gained on the road to being your own CEO? Has the journey been all that you hoped it would be?