Every Path is Different with a Career in Real Estate

Pablo Garcia
Recruiter / Agent – Partnerships

When I initially decided to make the jump to a career in real estate, I had a different picture of what my path would look like. I envisioned myself getting my license, taking off on the commission-based income rocket, and never looking back. However, my path led me in a few different directions before landing where I am today.

I got my real estate education from ASREB in 2016 taking in-person classes. At that time, online self-paced courses were not an option like they are now. Now you can take classes via livestream with an instructor in real-time or on your own time with self-paced online.

ASREB’s exam prep options played a big part in helping me pass the exam. Overall, the coursework was relevant to the exam and I took the exam prep course with Instructor Randy Helfman. The exam prep course really helped me couple together the material I learned from all the classes I took with the test-taking strategies covered in the exam prep course.

When I got my license, I felt accomplished. I was excited for the next step, but at the same time, I still was unsure what to do next and how to find my niche in the market. In real estate, there are so many options including commercial, residential, property management, and more, which made it  hard to decide what was best suited for me and my skill set. Despite my worry, ASREB helped me find my first brokerage through their career expo. I was able to meet with a lot of great brokerages here in the Valley and decided where I wanted to hang my license.

This is the point where things started to go on a winding path that I didn’t expect. Previously, I thought my career in real estate would be a linear progression. When I first got my license, I had a goal of eventually wanting to work and specialize with investor clients. After interviewing at a few brokerages, I ended up joining a residential brokerage that did a lot of work with investor clients and I felt I could eventually work toward my goals there. Although I joined a great brokerage at the time that was suited for my goals, I was ill-equipped in my personal, professional, and financial life that made working in a 100% commission-based role very difficult. Cutting the cord from other income and going full commission-based is not something to take lightly. If I’m honest with myself, I was also lacking professional skills and experience that would have helped me succeed. If I could go back, I see an opportunity for more self awareness over my situation and be able to save some trial by error.

Looking back on it though, sometimes trial by error is necessary to get to your destination. You pick up skills and growth that you didn’t expect. Just a few months after I passed my test, I took a recruiter job with Aerotek while deciding to practice real estate on a part-time basis. I eventually moved into corporate recruiting with Deloitte as a contract recruiter after Aerotek. I had no intention of getting into recruiting but I ended up learning a lot of skills in recruiting that I knew would serve me well if I ever got back into real estate full-time. While I was recruiting at Aerotek and Deloitte I also wanted to become better with technology. I came across some coding lessons, took  several courses and over the span of  three years and a few portfolio projects, I received a job offer for a junior developer role set to start in March 2020. Then COVID-19 hit and my career change was put on hold. Eventually, the position was canceled. I knew I needed to find something fast so I decided to step back into recruiting to bridge the gap. Several months later, I saw an opportunity with Homie where I could utilize the three different skills I had been nurturing: Recruiting, Real Estate, and Technology. I had been developing these professional skills all along and now they were about to pay off – together. I was also attracted to Homie because its mission is based on making real estate a better overall experience for its clients.

I feel through all this, I have come full circle in a way. At Homie I have been able to recruit agents here in Arizona and also have been able to work with ASREB to represent Homie at career expos to help other agents as they consider their career options. I also do technical recruiting for Homie and work with our tech team for their recruiting. In addition, I am practicing real estate by working with some of Homie’s investor partner clients. When I look back I see all the experience and skills I gained through my recruiting jobs and my self education on software development have allowed me to be a better agent and perform in the roles I am in now.

One of the biggest misconceptions I had starting out was I felt it would be a linear progression. Nothing could have been further from the truth, I think the biggest thing to understand whether starting out in real estate or any endeavor is that there are going to be challenges and most times things will not go as planned. Although things may get unpredictable, my advice is to never give up, be open to detours, and always continue to self-educate. When you get your real estate license, it will be there for you when you are ready. (Just make sure you keep up with your CE requirement!) And who knows? You may end up right where you wanted to be from the beginning, or find something even better than you imagined.