Struggling to find time and motivation was not part of the plan when I decided to sign up for an online, pre-licensing real estate course. Much like every other decision I make, I took time to consider and ponder if real estate was the route I wanted to take. Being stuck in a corporate gig that was no longer providing any opportunities to grow – not to mention the heavy dose of gaslighting and blackballing I was experiencing – forced me to sit down and seriously consider what was next for me professionally.
Going back to school for another degree was out of the question. It took me eight years to obtain my BA at Indiana University Bloomington, largely due to hitting a few financial bumps in the road, and I was not about to take on any new debt as I was about to finish paying off my student loans. Getting a certification of some kind or simply finding another job to prosper in seemed to be the best direction to head. The thing about the corporate environment is, I’m actually very good in team settings and I’m a natural leader. When given the opportunity to thrive and connect, I do very well. When I’m met with multiple roadblocks as it relates to promotions and developing a team, I become frustrated. Who wouldn’t though? Just imagine being told that “The department is yours! Let me know what you need! Jamal is doing such an amazing job…” only to be met with “no” after “no” or some lame budgeting excuse.
Communicating and connecting with people is a major strength and superpower of mine. Leaving a toxic office space and a business that said they cared, but really didn’t, to become an independent contractor who could control the experience my clients and customers have became a potent and attractive plan. I’ve always had an interest in real estate, and I do enjoy helping people. I fancy myself a pretty awesome advisor, so I know I’ll be able to help guide clients through the process of finding and purchasing a home. That interest paired with my extensive customer service and success experience felt like finding a missing puzzle piece. Excitement and preliminary relief washed over me the moment I decided to make the move. I ended up signing up and beginning my real estate studies weeks before I accepted another corporate position, in a FAR better workplace environment.
Completing the ninety-hour pre-licensing course is your ticket into the state and national exam before getting a real estate license. The danger with online courses is that if you’re given too much time to complete the course, it’s very easy to procrastinate. I wrapped up my BA in 2014, so it had been awhile since I donned my student hat. Trying to keep up with lectures online, readings from textbooks, and reviewing digital flashcards after working my regular full-time job was a challenge. Focus was a tough task to accomplish, but I’m so happy to have pushed through. I’m not the best at exams, so I’m beyond elated to be done with that part and to start building my real estate career and identity in Indianapolis.
So you may be wondering what’s next now that I’m officially licensed. Well, I’m definitely keeping my current nine-to-five job. I fully plan to transition into real estate down the road, but it’s going to take some time to build my clientele and such. In the early stages of getting to know my brokerage, I got to interview with a leading manager of one of our branch offices. She shared with me her experience as an agent, and how she decided to take the dive fully into real estate. Like myself, security was a big factor for her, and she needed to know she’d built up a strong enough foundation in real estate before leaving her corporate job. She worked that job and did real estate for three years before committing totally to the field. Flash-forward to present day where she was recently named our REALTOR Association President, representing central Indiana’s REALTORS.
I’m excited to hit the ground running and to start learning every nook and cranny of the real estate industry. Coworkers at my current job are worried I may jump ship, but that’s really not in the cards anytime soon. I guess time will tell, but I’m more concerned with building my education and understanding the business now that I get to experience real estate beyond my textbooks. I like to think I have a pretty realistic view of how this journey will go. I don’t have those HGTV-rose-colored goggles on, if that’s what some of you are thinking. Eighty-five percent of new agents don’t last past their first couple of years because the false glamour of what baby agents see on TV robs them of what the reality of working in real estate is really like. I’m lucky to have friends already in the industry, and I will definitely be picking their brains as I get my bearings.
I’m so proud of myself, but right now, I think rest sounds fabulous. Thanks for reading, everyone! And thank you all who supported me and lifted me up during my pre-licensing process.