How I Got Into Real Estate in Portland Maine

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Published 12/14/16

Categories: Marji, Stories
Blog - How I Got Into Real Estate - Featured

It was chance, luck, kismet if you will. One day I was cleaning scraps off food plates, the next I was googling how to spell the word ‘appraisal’ correctly. I could take in 10 lunch orders in less than 15 seconds but sculpting the perfect under contract email had me scratching my head.

After walking down the graduation aisle with a liberal arts diploma in my hand I knew I should fixate my eyes on a bigger prize than a glorified deli cashier. I loved my customers, I loved the breakfast shift and watching the sunrise, I loved the Friday nights where we would produce over 100 pizzas for the hungry families of SoPo. But I felt as though something had to change.

One day a trusty member of our kitchen staff approached me and asked if I’d be interested in a job, as his wife had been looking for more help in her office. I asked about her work place and all I remember hearing was “Real Estate”. Cool. I thought, I like houses, the different shapes, the windows, the gardens and the random colored doors.

Then I heard the word “admin”. I was already a very organized cashier manager; I made the schedule, checked in vendors and hired new staff. But this would be in an office setting, with a desk, a community water cooler, and my own phone line. I began to get excited. I always wanted to get into clerical work since I was a little girl. I even used to set up a pretend office space using old phones, notebooks, and science project poster boards as cubical dividers. My little sister and I would pretend to file our nails, chew obnoxiously loud gum and yell out made up commands with fake names, “Patricia! There’s a cawll on line wone fa ya!” always in a New York accent for some reason (too much Sesame Street?).

As most things do in my life, real estate fell into my lap. I didn’t look at the price of homes in my area drooling over potential commissions. I didn’t study law or work as a property manager. I didn’t even know how to get licensed as a broker even if I wanted to. But I did know that I liked helping people, I liked challenging myself, and I even liked the numerous personality tests I had to take to land this job.

Studying the world of real estate has got to be the biggest learning curve I’ve ever experienced, and after 3 years I’m still learning.

Posted by: Marjorie Swanson