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Andy Ogorzaly, Real Estate Pro in Chicago, IL

How did you get into real estate?

Asked by Andy Ogorzaly, Chicago, IL Mon Jun 4, 2012

What was your first year in real estate like? What got you over the hump?

Help the community by answering this question:


Mark Malave’s answer
My family has been involved in Real Estate for my entire life so it came very naturally to me. The first year was a little slow, so I did some rentals and co-listed some properties with my broker to get the ball rolling. Once I had some sold properties under my belt, it just went from there. I was also very early to the party doing my marketing online before many agents in the area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
I joined Coldwell Banker and then was immediately hired away by Richmond American Homes in 2003. I was with Richmond a short time before landing with Engle. Engle folded several years later as the recession delivered a hard blow to east Boulder County. I've been with PML ever since.

My success - survival - is largely due to the fact I have a great deal of experience working for home builders. I know homes inside out. I developed a number of industry contacts working with agents who brought buyers or dropped by. I have attached my license to a firm that is established and is run by a Realtor whose experience complements my own. He is very well-known in Longmont. It also helps he is quoted often in the local newspaper.

The years when I struggled followed the great energy recession in Colorado. I couldn't sell my modest home for 10 years. Business just didn't exist. I don't know how some agents survived, unless they had someone carrying them or they got a break or two. Several industry friends from those early days regularly bring buyers to scout my listings.

It's worth the struggle. Eventually, the hard work pays off. People in real estate come to recognize your name. The referrals start coming from past clients. Your network expands and then you're there.

Social networking may get agents there faster these days. Trulia is an excellent venue.

What got me over the hump? I was fortunate in the opportunities that came my way. But I would say the most important ingredient in my success was my determination. Desire was my ally. A lot of hard work was accomplished. I think I helped a lot of people get into great homes. I made friends where I could. Plenty of folks know I have integrity and I put the client ahead of my own interests.

Extremely important is forming good habits. Follow up and learn as much as you can about the business. People respect that. If you can combine that with a good nature and good humor, you can do well.

Integrity is a good thing to possess. Clients will recommend your name readily if you have demonstrated integrity.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jun 24, 2012
Andy -- Good luck with your venture.

Use your first year to actually become the most knowledgeable, most talented and hardest working agent in your niche area. Study the market, the trends and locate the opportunities for your clients that will make them want to share your name with all of their friends!

Good luck!

1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 7, 2012
Hello Andy!

You asked great questions that sparked a lot of input from fellow Realtors. Here are my answers:

How did you get into real estate:
I've always had a passion for real estate.

What was your first year in real estate like?
My first year in real estate was by far my hardest, especially since I took on a double-whammy of starting my career as a Realtor in a new state during the housing crisis. However, with a solid business plan, reigning in expenses and lots of networking, each year has gotten better and better.

What got you over the hump?
Focus! I focused on my business plan and networking; eventually doors began opening and the rest is history. I now operate a terrific group of like-minded team members at Luxury Living Fort Lauderdale. Together we provide exceptional service and results to our clients.

I hope my experience is helpful. Let me know if you have questions.

Best of luck Andy!

Chad Gray, Realtor
Luxury Living Fort Lauderdale
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 7, 2012
I'm a new agent myself and I just wanted to thank Andy for asking a great question and for all of the experience shared by the seasoned vets who answered. I am inspired! Thank you...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 12, 2012
It was through an offhand remark that my brother made who has been in the business 30+ years. He told me he thought it would be a great fit for me and since I was at a crossroads of wanting to get out of the corporate fast track I decided to check it out. The rest, as they say, is history. My first year was definitely the most challenging but I spent it figuring out what it would take to set me apart from everyone else in my area. By year 2 I was in the top ten agents and have been in the top 3 agents the last 3 years. While I tried many things to get where I am, by far what has worked best for me is having an outstanding website, blogging, Trulia advertising, and providing a level of service that earns consistent referral business. Best of luck to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 9, 2012
The first year was the hardest. Definitely got easier as I became more experienced. Biggest thing is to run it like a business.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 9, 2012
I was and still am a Loan Officer. I dealt with many Realtors and convinced myslef that I need to do Real Estate as well. This was 7 yrs ago that I starting doing both and to this day I am still doing both and offering what I hope is a very well rounded approach of rela estate and mortgage knowledge to my clients.

Go to a company where you can learn. Training and Mentorship is very important. Don't worry about money too much yet. Although it is important, 100% of $0 is still $0. Learn Learn Learn and you will establish a foundation and gain the confidence to be successsful in the future.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 8, 2012
I was an administrator for a real estate law firm and I saw firsthand all that could go wrong with a transaction in the hands of the wrong person. The more I saw, the more I wanted to get into real estate sales to do it right. It seemed like a natural progression of events. I have been an agent now for over a dozen years and haven't looked back!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 6, 2012
I bought an investment property and thought it would be a wise move to get my license for myself. my first year was interesting because it started with the mortgage fall out and I saw half the brokerage leave real estate. I made first transaction within three months of starting, and nothing for the remainder of the year.

my favorite class was "I got my license now what?" my real estate license class never taught me the business/sales side of real estate so I had to learn on the fly. what does not break you, only makes you stronger and wiser.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 6, 2012
My first year in Real Estate was challenging to say the least! Got in as a "second income" several months before 9/11/01. FIrst sale was not until following year and have been doing well since.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 6, 2012
My wife and I decided years ago that we wanted to be our own boss. We quit our jobs and jumped into remodeling homes. From that it was a natural progression into selling real estate. We love it!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
Hi, I was laid off from my music industry career and introduced to real estate by a friend. I was fortunate enought to work with a company that hired us as employees, gave uis a salary, a percentage of comission from sales, a car, cell phone, laptop, and paid all our fees! It was the cushion I needed in the beginning and a great learning experience.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
Passion to learn all the ways to build wealth for retirement, meet amazing people, and have the freedom we deserve!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
You have to throw yourself in there. The first thing you can do is learn as much as you can about the business. Then ask questions. Always ask questions. Dont act like you know everything. I am still to this day asking questions. I would also find a good mentor. Someone you can go to when you have questions or need some business advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
Oh what got me over the hump, taking lots of courses, connecting with people who genuinely would share good advise, and not giving up. There can be some really down times.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
I thought I would lose my job. So I said, I had to find something to do. That was 25 years ago and I am still here. I love the independence, the excitement of learning something new and putting deals together.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 5, 2012
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