ANNOUNCEMENT! NEWSFLASH! I got a job!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-1997
ANNOUNCEMENT! NEWSFLASH! I got a job!!!
10
Sat, 07-06-2013 - 12:00pm

I am signing on with Coldwell Banker in New Rochelle, NY.  This is my 1st announcement on the internet - it's not even on my FB page.  To refresh, I was laid off from Staples on March 27th (Staples is a public company & as much as they "care about their employees", let's face facts - their stockholders are more important).  I hated being laid off, but I did read the Staples investor page on March 27th & their 1st qtr. report for 2013 and I do have to agree with Staples - they are losing money.  Staples closed more stores than they opened in 2012 and their choice was either close X number of stores OR lay off ALL full time associates across the U.S.  So I was one of those full time associates. 

I enrolled in a real estate sales class which ended early June, took & PASSED both exams for New York State, then spent the past 2 1/2 weeks interviewing with numerous brokers.  I was offered positions with Coldwell Banker & Keller Williams.  I racked my brain all day July 4th weighing the pros & cons & in the end, I believe Coldwell Banker will be a better fit. 

As of this writing, I filled out the paperwork & will be handing it in Monday.  Also Monday, I will apply for my New York State license which will take a few weeks (hopefully less than a month).  I will need to go for training.

Once everything is done, I will be going from a private person to a public one.  So, since this will be my 1st foray out in the public, I will start with my real name - Kathy Lakowitz.  Yep, I will be on FB, Twitter, everything (I don't even have a Twitter account - just facebook).  I will also have my own webpage.  I'm not on Coldwell Banker's website yet since I don't have my license.  My picture can only be posted AFTER I get the license.

Well, that's it for now.  Just thought I'd post here 1st.  As for me, I'm basically nervous, anxious, excited, don't know what to expect, etc.

Kathy

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Sat, 07-06-2013 - 1:10pm

  Congratulations!  That is wonderful news!!  I am looking forward to hearing about your new career as that would be my "dream" career.  I was let go last Friday from MY job of 12 years, but it felt more like a door opening.  (I hadn't been happy there for years.)  Anyway, I would have loved to do what you're doing, but, here in the midwest in our small city, it is hard to break into real estate as most agents are well established and I really need a steady paycheck.  Do you get paid by your new employer or is it commission only?  Here, it's more about "who you know" than "what you know".  My boss put in a word for me with some financial advisors he knew were going to hire a full-time receptionist, so told them I would be looking.  I interviewed with them on Tuesday and they offered me the job.  I've decided to take it as they are willing to pay me close to what I was making with my old office which noone else would probably be willing to do. 

I worked for a tax office before, so am looking very forward to NOT having tax season in my life any more.  Stressful!   I feel FREE! 

Best of luck to you in your new endeavors and I can't wait to hear more! 

 

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sat, 07-06-2013 - 1:35pm

Congratulations Kathy! Great that you found a job so quickly. Can you start the training before you receive your state license?

I imagine that you will be working most weekends from here on out? Recently I was talking to a friend who has been a R.E. agent for years and she was describing how the field has changed over the years, mainly due to the internet. The last time I bought a property was 1995 although I sold my mom's condo in 2005 and things were starting to change by then. Anyway she was saying that the long time agents (with established client lists) have the newbies host their open houses. The old-timer gets the day off or shows other properties and the newbie gets a shot at some new clients...is that how it works where you are too?

Best of luck to you in your new endeavor. Keep us posted!

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sat, 07-06-2013 - 1:39pm

Wow Startingover, you've been busy! Sorry about losing your old job, never fun because of the uncertainty, even when you hate the job. But that's excellent that you found another job so quickly. I hope that you like your new workplace and duties. When do you start?

Congratulations and good luck with the new job!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-1997
Sat, 07-06-2013 - 5:06pm

Startingover, I am so sorry you were laid off.  Just happy for you that your boss gave you a lead for your new job.  Hope this one works out for you.  I worked for Staples for 13 yrs, so I understand what you went through. As for my new real estate career, I do have the HUGE advantage of living 13 miles north of New York City (meaning Manhattan).  I understand your comments about the Midwest & the "established" agents, however, the New York City region doesn't really have that problem.  Yes, there are long time established agents with their own clients & like elc11 said in her post, I'm sure those agents don't work weekends.  The difference with New York City and its suburbs is

1.  New York City itself has about 6-7 million people.  The suburbs immediately surrounding the city have between 500,000 - 1 million residents for each county.

2.  My county (Westchester) has approx. 7,000 real estate agents BUT the population is approx. 1 million.

3.  The NYC region has lots of new residents i.e. job transfers, immigrants, older folks downsizing from the suburbs, 1st time homeowners, etc.

4.  The real estate companies stated in the interviews they want new agents to already have established contacts, but even though I don't have a long list of contacts, I explained in the interview I have my regular customers from Staples & I will be handing out flyers outside the store's perimeter.  A store's customer base is worth a long list of contacts.

In my 23 years living in Westchester, I've NEVER seen ANY agents visiting parks, playgrounds, outside stores, or anywhere outside their sheltered office cubicle.  If there's 7,000 agents in Westchester, why aren't they visible?  Sounds to me like my instructors were right - several of them said only 20% of the 7,000 agents are doing 80% of real estate sales.  Seems like the 80% are too lazy to work.  We grew up in a generation where employees worked hard, came to work on time & never had the attitude of "I don't feel like doing this."  We knew what working hard meant.  So I'm hoping I can take advantage of this tidbit.  These young agents need to be taught what working hard means & having a strong work ethic. 

Kathy

Avatar for shirley_v
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2000
Sun, 07-07-2013 - 12:20pm

Congratulations, Kathy!  Good luck as you embark on this new career!  All the best!

Shirley

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 07-07-2013 - 3:09pm

20% doing 80% of the business". I wonder if its the same here. While I have never seen an agent handing out flyers by a store, there are a few that are constantly getting their name out in other ways. Notepads on doorsteps, full page ads in the free neighborhood newspapers, a booth at street fairs, etc. One of them has her car "wrapped" with her logo. Its mostly the same few names, and a few of them are in our age group. The friend I mentioned earlier, I've never seen her name on anything like that but somehow she's stayed working for many years. I do see other names on the yard signs, but its those few names from the notepads that come to mind first. I think a lot of people use it as a part time job, while the kids are in school or something. I also suspect that people think its "easy money", you just put together a transaction and collect the commission. They don't think about the handholding, the difficult demanding clients, the need to be on call all the time. I wonder how many of those 80% are even really working in the field, or if they got their license and tried it for a while then gave up. The agents who hustle are going to do better...and it sounds like you have your hustle together Kathy!

Do they do an agents' caravan where you are?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Sun, 07-07-2013 - 11:44pm

  Thanks!  I'm going to let the advisors know tomorrow that I'm accepting their job offer.  It's a step back, but, as I said, they are willing to pay me almost as much as I was making, so I'll take what I can get.  I got 4 weeks of severance from my other job, so would love to stay home the rest of this month and start Aug. 1st, but if they want me sooner, of course  I will.  I know they have not HAD a receptionist in a year, so I doubt they're in a huge hurry.  Their full-time assistant was doing both jobs.  Honestly, I'm rather enjoying my time off...exercising more, spending more time with friends.I have been experiencing chronic lower back pain, but have noticed that since I've been off that it already feels better!  Sitting so much is the culprit, but one does have to work.  I'll just have to make it a habit to do my exercises at night whether I feel like it or not.   I already have a coffee date with 2 friends this week and a lunch date.  :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Sun, 07-07-2013 - 11:47pm

 I did  interview a while back for a receptionist job at a real estate agency and I remember the person I interviewed with telling me how few new agents attended certain weekly meetings.  I got the impression that the young people weren't "go getters".  I've always wondered who people live on commission only.  Many realtors around here ARE women, so I often wondered if it's just a hobby job for them as their husbands make plenty.  I know if I could do it, I'd be like you...totally out there working hard to MAKE THAT SALE and drumming up business.  That's a wonderful idea...using customers from your old job as contacts. 

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Mon, 07-08-2013 - 2:03pm

Congratulations, Kathy, and good luck!

Kelly

Avatar for nora_mcl
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2011
Tue, 07-09-2013 - 8:47am

Congratulations on your new job Kathy-obviously your studying so hard worked well. You not only got one job offer-but TWO offers! I have to agree with the others-seems to me, the harder you work, the more you will make in commissions. And you surely must be a "people person" from your last career choice-so this is probably a perfect fit.

And to you 'Starting Over'-good luck in your new job too. You were obviously very lucky & very competent to be able to step into a new job so quickly.

Nora