Please welcome Michael Bertoldi:
Please welcome Agent Genius’ new writer, Michael Bertoldi who has spent many years in the marketing sector and is now *almost* a real estate professional. We met Michael on Twitter where we talked about technology and college football (see, he’s an Alabama fan and I (Lani) went to Texas, so we’ve got an unfriendly rivalry going on). I learned that he was considering becoming a real estate professional and like a true sadist, I was highly encouraging. By reading his personal blog we gained an appreciation for his writing and creative thought processes, and we thought that his taking our readers along for the ride of his new career would be valuable to him AND for those readers who would benefit from thinking back to their first days. Michael will be crowdsourcing his real estate career right here on Agent Genius and we know this will be a blast!
About one year ago, my career was going pretty well. I was a copywriter at a local marketing agency downtown. For those who are unfamiliar with copywriting, when you see a funny commercial or a clever billboard, someone came up with that funny or clever concept. That’s what I did. I wrote websites, billboards, brochures, TV commercials, and radio spots.
During this time, I talked to a local real estate agent on twitter. He and I discussed real estate and I found myself very intrigued. First of all, it seems very satisfying and meaningful to help a family new to the area find the perfect home. I love my city and I thought it’d be awesome to welcome new families to Huntsville. Secondly, I wasn’t really on the same page with the higher ups at my marketing company. Last but not least, I thought “Hey, I’m in marketing, it’s what I do. I bet marketing experience would carry over well to real estate.”
So, here I am.
One Year Later, It’s Exam Preparation Time
Since I initially became interested in real estate, a lot has changed. I was married in June, laid off in September, and found out we’re expecting in December. How’s that for a 7 month span!? With that being said, having no real job is bad for two out of those three events. I’ve been blessed to find a great place in Huntsville called the @Homes Realty Group. I’m not only going to be an agent there, but also head of marketing. While not really fruitful yet, this situation has loads of potential. And, with seven months to go until my life changes forever, I’m determined to make something happen. At this point, I’m not sure what’s going to happen with my career. Perhaps I’ll end up in real estate full-time and only pursue marketing on a freelance basis – only time will tell.
I’ve finished my real estate coursework and am preparing to take the exam. I don’t think the coursework was that hard, but it wasn’t that easy either. To all those who think real estate licenses should be harder to acquire, I’d ask, what should the requirements be? I think the real estate license requirements are good, maybe not great, but pretty good as they are. I have a bachelors degree in advertising and a minor in psychology, but I can assure you I can’t remember much about the War of 1812 nor have I used the FOIL method to produce any writing. Would you like real estate to require a 2-year degree? A 4-year degree? I like the fact that real estate course work is all about real estate. Now, what that course work should encompass is something I’ll leave to the professionals, you guys and gals.
I understand that I’ll probably never be showing a house and have a client say “Hey Michael, do any of the neighbors have an easement by prescription here?” If they do, I’ll be shocked and impressed. By the way readers of AG, how many times have you used “easement by prescription” in your everyday work? What are some other things you learn in the course that are useless in the every day job? I guess those are some of the things that could be changed about real estate. However, just because you seldom use information doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t know it.
So, as I prepare for my exam and my career in real estate, what should I know? What have you learned that wasn’t taught in the coursework? You know the saying “I’m telling you my experience so you won’t have to make the same mistakes I did?” Let’s go for that. But not just mistakes, let’s be positive and talk about successes. What did that mentor teach you that was valuable? More pressing, how did you prepare for the exam? I’ve heard horror stories!
I’m off to read Jonathan Benya’s post on “10 Things I Wish They Taught in Real Estate School.” The comments here are yours.