Monday, September 23, 2019

How—and Why—I Got Into Real Estate

Why did I choose real estate? Let me share the story of how I got into real estate.

To explain what makes the AJ Team who we are, I’ll share my own story of how and why I got into real estate. 

We’ll start with my graduation from George Mason University in 1999. My degree was in English literature, but my first job out of college was at a used car dealership in Fairfax. My dad was happy I landed a sales job. My mom was less so considering I just completed an English literature degree and she assumed my career path would start elsewhere, but God has a way of positioning us in places we need to be. 

Two years later, my dad suggested it was time for me to buy a house. You see, his graduation present to me was $5,000 to put toward buying my first house. At the time, I was doing well at the dealership, and because I worked a lot and didn’t have time to spend a lot, I had enough money saved up. 

During my first weekend checking out open houses, though, no one would talk to me. This was the early 2000s, and I had Allen Iverson cornrows and was wearing baggy sweatpants because it was my day off. I didn’t look like a typical buyer, and I wasn’t treated like a typical buyer. Next week I told my dad what happened and said it was a sign that I should stay where I was at. 

"At this point, it feels more like family."

He disagreed, and when the next weekend came around, he went with me to check out open houses. As you can imagine, most of the agents talked to him instead of me. At the last house we visited, though, the listing agent (who looked like my aunt) we talked to said I reminded her of her son, and that she’d love to help me buy my first house. 

However, when I showed up at her office on my next day off, she stood me up. I called my dad and tried telling him again that it was a sign not to buy. The next day at work, the first person who walked into our lot was a young man named Lydio. He ended up deciding to buy a Mazda 626, and when I saw his loan application, I noticed that he wrote “real estate agent” as his job. 

That’s when I told Lydio I would buy a house with him, and three months later, I did. In those three months, I also obtained my real estate license. I had a bunch of friends graduating college at the time, and I didn’t want them to go through what I went through. I wanted them to be treated right—to have a Realtor that they could grow with, helped them understand the market, and do right by them regardless of how they looked. 

18 years later, I’ve sold over 1,200 homes, and I’ve had the pleasure of helping so many people buy their first home. At this point, it feels more like family. 

As always, if you have any real estate needs I can take care of, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to help you.

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