Most people are under the impression that Real Estate is an extremely flexible career, giving someone the option to make their own schedule, work where they want, when they want, and be able to uproot your life and take your business anywhere you'd like!
And don't get me wrong, it can be flexible, and you can certainly work in real estate anywhere that has a human population for the most part. But when it comes down to it, it's your clients that make your schedule, and for the most part, you work when they want you to work.
And as far as being able to uproot your life and take your business anywhere you'd like... it's certainly possible, but comes with many challenges.
I decided, about 2 years into my real estate career, to move to a city about an hour away from where my business had been located when I began my career. Now one hour away doesn't seem like too far of a stretch at first, but when I came to London, I knew one person. Leaving the area I grew up in, and the thousands of people I had met in my 21 years of living there, to move to a city where I knew only one person was one of the biggest challenges I've ever faced.
Keep in mind that I had been working my business, building relationships, making tons of new contacts, and growing my brand for nearly 2 years, and then I walked away from all of that hard work to start from scratch in a place I was completely unfamiliar with.
It was absolutely terrifying.
Now, don't get me wrong, it may have been terrifying, however it was the best decision I made for my career. And I'll tell you why...
When I first got my license, I started my career at a big brokerage. After meeting with tons, I decided on this brokerage because it was full of successful realtors, who were all very knowledgable and stood behind a very well known brand. How could I not become ridiculously successful in an environment like that!?
Now I'm not here to tell you that I gained nothing from those first couple of years at that big fancy brokerage. I met some wonderful people, I had the opportunity to experience working for a builder, and was able to attend lots of networking events and get myself out there. But despite all of that, I realized I wasn't super fond of the huge office, and I continuously felt like a teeny little ant in a big world. It wasn't quite my vibe personally. I needed a change.
It was time I started to browse my options, and this time around I was thinking a smaller, more close knit, boutique brokerage. After a couple weeks of searching my city for a perfect place for me, I came out empty handed.
My boyfriend suggested I explore my options in London (a clever ploy to further convince me to move in with him...) And though I pretty much knew nothing about the place, I figured why not!? And low and behold after a couple weeks of research and a few meetings with brokers, I found my happy place.
Let me tell you, I was beyond stoked when I met Dan & Rachael and found The Agency, it was a no brainer, they were so welcoming and easy to talk to, and I knew right off the hop that I would be able to learn so much from them to further my knowledge.
After meeting with 15+ brokerages across two different cities, I finally found the one for me! Challenge one complete!
But challenge two was a bit scarier...
I found the perfect spot to grow my business, and that garden of business needed some major attention. After all, London was completely foreign to me. I knew about 6 people total by that time and how to get from the 401 to downtown and that was about it.
So I started by doing what any lunatic would do, filled my car with gas and got lost in the city, day after day, with every moment of spare time I had and got to learn the city. By my second week I knew most of the neighbourhoods, the styles of homes in those hoods, and the types of local amenities they had to offer.
Over the first few months, I spent countless hours researching market trends in London, previewing listings, wandering the city and visiting local shops and businesses. Trying out every prospecting method in the books. There was a lot of ground work to cover.
Being that I was brand new and had no connections, it took some time to start getting regular business, so I had to find a full time job to pay the bills, and found myself working from sunrise to sunset between my job and building my career for about 9 months. And while most people would say goodbye to a social life in a situation like that, of course I had to fit that in too in order to start building my sphere of influence.
Now one advantage I did have coming to London from Kitchener-Waterloo, was being familiar with some crazy market conditions. So when things started to hit the fan in the normally stable London market and realtors were losing their minds over the bidding wars and having to compete with their first time buyers against multiple cash, firm offers... that was just another average day for me, and I wasn't overly phased by it.
Fast forward a few more months, and I was laid off from my full-time job, and took that as an opportunity to bump myself down to a part time serving job with minimal hours, and focus more of my time on real estate.
Things were picking up, another wild spring market was just around the corner, and I was going to take full advantage of it.
Now that certainly wasn't an easy thing for me to do, and 2 years into my time here in London, I'm still building my business, networking, blowing up all of your Instagram feeds and juggling my crazy schedule. But I have no regrets, and I've learned more than I could have imagined in such a short time, and met some of the most wonderful people I've ever had the privilege to work with, and fallen in love with the City of London, and I'm excited to keep growing in this City, and getting to know all of you while I do it.