2013 - What a turbulent year it's been for me

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-1997
2013 - What a turbulent year it's been for me
Sat, 12-14-2013 - 12:37am

Thought I would update this Board since I know I've been away for months.  I can't wait for 2014 to start just to bury this past year.  So here's a recap:

Jan. - Mar.  - had a job working in retail  Laid off March 27th (Staples laid off all full time employees across the U.S.)

Apr. - June - decided to enter real estate & studied for license (Licensed mid June)

July - Oct. - studied some more learning about the business and marketing myself

Oct. - Coldwell Banker training course (more studying)

Nov. - Dec. - finally on my own with buyers and sellers

First time being an entrepreneur.  I've always had regular paychecks & W-2's so running my own business and waiting for commission checks is new to me.  Challenges - yes, making mistakes - yes.  Doing things for the 1st time - taking way too long when I know experienced agents can do it in 1/2 the time.  Forgetting a few details - yes

So, at this point, I'm getting there.  I have about 75% down pat.  The other 25% will come into my brain soon enough.  The HUGE advantages? - Not having small kids living at home.  I would be much further behind if I had to be a parent to school age kids.  Also - having spent 13 yrs. working for Staples made me as tech savvy as any teenager or 20 something kid.  I really think if I wasn't as tech savvy, working in real estate would be a huge challenge.  There's one agent in my office who is a few yrs. older than us and I've heard her ask questions about the computer that are common sense to me, but I know from working in retail, how many baby boomers are not good with technology.  And finally, the best advantage I could only dream about a year ago - I get to work my own hours!!! - no more punch clocks, nobody telling me what time to start work or end it AND I have NO SUPERVISORS!!!  Literally, nobody looking over my shoulder or telling me how to do my job - I get to make all my own decisions, run my business as I see fit, etc.  In real estate, we're independent contractors, so the broker of the agency does need their agents to get listings or close deals with buyers BUT they cannot tell you how to do it.  Bottom line is, if the agent is not working hard enough = no commission check and eventually that agent will get a job outside real estate or wake up and work harder.

One thing I did (not sure if it's good or bad), I joined Zillow to become a Premier Agent.  The decision came about because my sphere of people I know personally is quite small.  I don't belong to clubs, organizations, etc. so joining Zillow I figured would get me more clients.  Well, living near New York City, I've been quite busy getting lots of leads from Zillow.  I recently attended a workshop summit hosted by Zillow and met some executives.  Learned a lot.

Anyway, I'll try to post more often if time allows.  I know it's after midnight here & this weekend will be home due to the snowstorm expected later.  Goodnight guys.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-1997
Sat, 12-14-2013 - 12:48am

Meant to add - if any of you Google me - Kathy Lakowitz or Kathleen Lakowitz - the photo is professionally done = the hair is a wig, my face was photo enhanced to get rid of my age spots and generally to make me look younger than I am (59 yrs.).  The suit purchased on sale at Macy's.  Hey, I've know you guys a long time, so I'd rather be honest with you all.  Kathy


Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997

Bravo! Sounds like you've really pulled things together for yourself , turned the mess into something very positive and become stronger from it all.  Thanks for sharing!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Sat, 12-14-2013 - 4:35pm

Good for you, Kathy and best wishes on your new venture!

Avatar for nora_mcl
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2011
Sat, 12-14-2013 - 8:56pm

You've done well to adapt to such drastic changes, Kathy. And your professional photograph looks great-we won't tell your secrets! I think that after so long at Staples-I'd have just given up & said "That's it, I'm retired now" but you had such determination & did GREAT! I think you are an inspiration for a lot who are younger than you.