Me, a Real Estate Agent?

Two questions I often hear:

What do you do for work? I’m a teacher educator ( most people don’t know what this means) and I am real estate agent. Well, you know, I just do it part-time. I’ve done a handful of deals for friends, I am still pretty new at it.

You’re a realtor, right? Yes. Awkward silence.

When I would be asked these question, I would feel opaque and disconnected. Yes, I was a realtor meaning I passed the exam and joined the National Association of Realtors. I worked on deals. I listed and sold a few homes and helped some friends buy one. But I didn’t feel like a realtor and the title never fit. You’re a writer. Yes! You’re a mom. Yes! You’re a professor. Yes! But …You’re a real estate agent or realtor? Umm. Ye-es. I mean yes. (I guess.)

I am not pushy and I am not salesy. I am not motivated primarily by money. No, actually, this isn’t true. The reason I work in real estate is because it’s means to make money. I don’t like to promote myself or brag. I don’t pretend to know what I know little about. I am not all about numbers, financing, and analysis. These are sometimes qualities of agents I have worked with.

But this is what I am: I am creative, caring, and hard-working. I develop relationships and enjoy connecting people with each other. I hustle to get work done in ways nobody sees. I take time to do my research. I enjoying making over broken, worn-out homes so they look better. I am curious and modest. I am artistic. I am sensitive and a good listener. I am intuitive and empathetic. I want to impact my community. I want to help others succeed.

Are these the qualities you think of when you think of the term real estate agent of realtor?

Reflections:

I struggled for a long time with whether or not to quit real estate because it simply wasn’t “me”. My qualities seemed to fit those of a counselor or artist, but not a realtor. But recently I had a discovery: I realized that since I am a very creative person, I need work that allows me to constantly expand and develop my role into something unique and meaningful. This is why the term “real estate agent” didn’t sit well with me. Instead of simply seeing myself (or not seeing myself) as a real estate agent, what if I saw myself as a business owner? Having a business is personalized, and I could develop it creatively. I could grow relationships with clients and professionals in the field, and I could individualize the way I cared for my clients. I could create marketing and a mission statement, and I could specialize and grow my knowledge. I could expand or change the business. I could create my own role.

So….Am I a real estate agent? I have a real estate license and I own a real estate business. I support and help clients meet their goals when buying or selling homes. I listen to my clients’ needs and help them decide what’s best for them. I walk with them during the process of navigating whether or not to buy or sell property and use my knowledge and experience to serve the community.

This discovery about my need for creativity in my career is a real game changer. In the next blog I will describe how I came to this discovery and a tool that may the helpful for you.

Questions for Discussion: Have you ever felt like you were a poor fit for a job? How can you personalize your job so it fits you? How might you be able to transition into work that fits you better, while drawing on your knowledge and experience?

Author: Patricia Tina Wu

I'm a teacher educator, realtor, mom, and now also a blogger. I've worked in corporate sales and marketing and as an elementary school teacher. Settling into a career has always been difficult for me. I hope that my experiences will help career seekers, young people, and their parents navigate what is sometimes a confusing and difficult area of life. I'm not out of the desert yet, but things are finally starting to make more sense.

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