I’m a real estate agent and mom rolled into one, work hard to balance it all, and love every minute. Before I moved to Florida, I was a first grade teacher in Georgia for 7 years. I really loved teaching but it all started changing after I had my first baby. It became harder and harder to leave him every day. Soon after my husband and I finally decided that I was going to become a stay at home mom, his job relocated us to North Carolina, then eventually to Florida. I spent my first year and a half in Florida staying home with my (by then) two children and enjoyed all that Ponte Vedra had to offer. We went to many events, made so many friends, and enjoyed our “fun in the sun”.
Then, in the late winter of 2016, my husband and I decided it was time for me to go back to work. It was definitely heartbreaking every time I thought about not being home with the kids every day. Reluctantly, I applied for my Florida teaching license. I remember telling my mom, “I don’t know how I’m going to have the patience and energy to teach first grade all day and then come home to a 6 year old and 3 year old!” My mom asked me what else I could see myself doing. I thought about it for a while and at first, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else…teaching was what I knew! Then all of a sudden, “real estate” popped into my head.
I was terrified of going out of my comfort zone and possibly starting a whole new career. In January 2016, I took a chance and enrolled in real estate school- not at all sure if it was the right move or if I’d go any further with the career change. After one class, I was hooked! Within two weeks I had my real estate license and was interviewing brokerages. I never realized that being a realtor meant I would be running my own business. Most real estate agents are independent contractors .
By March 1, 2016, I had finally decided on Keller Williams Jacksonville- primarily due to the amazing training program they offered. Thanks to the training I received, I hit the ground running. Even though my office is in Jacksonville (Mandarin), most of my business tends to be in Ponte Vedra/Nocatee because that’s where I live and where more people know me.
My first year, 2016, I closed 13 homes. I was also named “Rookie of the Year” for our Keller Williams Jacksonville office. In 2017, I closed 43 homes! I became the number one single agent in our office and ranked number 89 of all agents in the area (approximately 7,000!) Sometimes it’s hard to believe especially since most of my business comes from referrals and repeat business. I have an absolute passion for real estate and honestly love helping people. I don’t believe in pushing people into decisions that aren’t right for them.
Believe it or not the biggest adjustment for me wasn’t the complete career change. The biggest adjustment was adapting to being a working mom with no set schedule and two young kids. My daughter was 3 and my son was 6 when I went back to work. Thankfully I have a flexible schedule, so I do whatever I can to work my schedule around them! It’s not always possible but I try. If there’s a school play or event, I’m almost always able to make it. I also make it a priority to pick my daughter up at preschool at 3:30pm every day. If I still have work to do or calls to make, I’m often able to continue once we are home and settled. However, I have made my phone calls while driving them to afternoon activities. Once I had someone call me from Zillow about a home I listed. I vividly remember my daughter screaming and crying in the backseat during the entire call. When I hung up, I thought, “Well, I’ll never hear from that woman again!”. It turned out that the caller was a grandmother and found it endearing. She went on to buy two houses with me and sell one with me as well! We have become good friends and still joke about that first phone conversation.
I’m still not perfect at balancing but I have a lot of help! My assistant Tarra Dodaj helps me tremendously. She started as a client and now we work together. I also rely heavily on my husband, my parents, and my in-laws. My parents get my son off the bus almost every day and start homework with him while I’m picking up my daughter across town. My husband picks up more slack in the mornings so I can go to the gym early and workout before the craziness of the day. Because I am a realtor, I’m never really completely “off”. My phone, texts, and emails are always dinging and ringing. I pride myself on getting back to people immediately.
Running my own real estate business is a lot of fun. I love to help people sell their homes. I joke that I know the “secret recipe” to sell homes quickly. I also love helping people find the right home. In the real estate business, many of us say that it’s like matchmaking. There’s no better feeling than someone find that perfect home that matches everything they are looking for. I may not ever sleep, but I love my two jobs- realtor and mom!