I just got in the office at 8:18 AM today from a 3.5 hour ride from Baguio City. Going to different workplaces may not be the novelty on a regular workweek for a typical employee, but this has been quite my life for the past 4 years. As my title suggests, I work in real estate. A lot of my friends are asking about what I do, since they mostly see my Facebook posts checked-in in various cities. Considering that I am not a flight attendant, or a celebrity, this career basically feels like both, only better! Let me share to you why.
I get to travel. A lot.
Now, who would not want to get paid while you travel? Of course, it probably is everybody’s dream to see the world, may it be through local or international, and get paid for it. Well technically, I am a registered nurse, but since it is not entirely my passion, tides have brought my restless and wandering feet to real estate. Currently, I work as a Sales and Marketing Training Officer in Empire East. (If you’ve read my previous post entitled Empire East x Bb. Pilipinas 2016 Opens Cebu Showroom, you would have an idea already! Haha :)) )
Regarding the travel part, since it is my task to train our real estate agents who are in and out of Manila, it would be necessary and more practical for me to go to them, instead of them going to me, or to us, the Training Team for that matter. So far we have 4 sales groups that are based outside the metro, and these cities are in in Baguio, Batangas, Pampanga and Cebu. So that explains why I just got back from Baguio, and then will be flying to Cebu next week, since we’re really on strict and urgent hiring right now. It can get busier than this though, but I am not complaining!
Going to Cebu is actually my favorite, because apart from meeting and training a new set of personalities, eating new delicacies from restaurants that are only operational in the Queen City of the South, and getting to practice my Cebuano dialect proficiency, I also have the opportunity to meet, dine and catch up with my lifelong friends who are based there! Talk about hitting not just two, but many birds with one stone!
2. I can express my independence, creativity and sense of fashion through the clothes and shoes I wear!
This may come too shallow for some, but this is one of the major things that attract me most in a company. I like dress codes, because these standards push you to improve yourself in terms of how you exude your professionalism through your impact setting and sense of fashion. This is very much emphasized in our company by the way, since our products cost millions per unit, it’s just imperative to look like millions as well. This is in line with strengthening your image, credibility and value as a professional. 🙂
I have always fancied Andrea “Andy” Sachs, played by Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. I never knew working in a corporate world can be so glamorous. The ladies working in Miranda Priestly’s Runway are like swans amidst a stern and cold lake – beautiful creatures floating peacefully but are paddling very hard underwater to keep their poise on point. Since I belong in the Marketing Department, it is just so amazing to be working with like-minded people who rejoice with your triumphs and self-development! I just love how my work demands me to always look, do, and be at my best all the time!
3. I meet a lot of personalities and attend exclusive events.
This job sure has perks! Working in one of the country’s topnotch real estate developers, Empire East, and under the leadership of the 3rd richest man in the country, Dr. Andrew L. Tan has allowed me to join and attend exclusive events, fashions shows, concerts, business launches and luncheons, executive seminars, etc. and meet great, kind people, and who are also masters of their own respective fields.
Actually the best part of all this taste of a lavish lifestyle, are the friendships and connections made, plus all the huge and relevant insights you reap along the way. The experience is thrilling, as well as humbling, because all these are complementary to the happy and dynamic working environment of real estate. Who would have thought that working in what seems to be a steely industry, such as real estate, could be so much fun?
4. I get to be more familiar with shortcuts and routes.
Honestly, when I entered Empire East, all I am familiar with are EDSA and Aurora Blvd. I don’t even know where C-5 road is! Yes, I am not proud to announce that, but hey, that glitch is cured already! Thanks to real estate training, the probability of getting lost is so minute now!
Since I do training to the agents, it is necessary that I should know these myself firsthand. That is why I had to study maps and memorize roads. The repeated all project site-orientations were my bread and butter in being more acquainted with public highways, commuting trails and trips! The GPS is very helpful indeed! Waze too! I believe this is not just essential with my line of work, but with life in general! Bawal mawala! Haha :)) Parang lovelife lang, it pushes you to become a better person! Char!
5. Income is truly unlimited.
Yes, it’s not just in the ads, paychecks and bank account statements talk. Money talks. We work not just for experience, but also to earn more. May it be for our lovedones, ambitions, dreams, as a means to prove something etc. Well, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that working and earning are the only things that matter, of course there is more to life than just that. But my point is, like what I train in my “Sales as a Business” module, is that if you are working so hard for something that limits you or is only compelled to give you this certain amount, maybe you’re not in the best opportunity yet. That opportunity that can definitely match the strategy and hardwork you put into, everyday. That opportunity that doesn’t limit, and may possibly give you that unlimited income you could have only hoped for in the past. But what if, just what if.. one opportunity can.
My function may not be totally inclined in sales, but I know and I have seen how many lives have changed through this industry. I have trained them since Day 1, and they have blossoming careers, wealth and family life right now. As a trainer, I couldn’t be more proud. And it feels really heartwarming when these people come up to you to say thank you, because you taught them, you passed them in the oral exam, and that you have been an indispensable persona into the growth of their career (and bank accounts, if I may add *wink!*)
6. Career growth is fast and there is always an opportunity to learn and stand out.
When I graduated from Nursing school and passed my board exam, I wondered, “Where will I work?”. It was clear in my head that I will not be pursuing my medical career anymore, so I had to devise a Plan B. I felt a little limited too though because I kept asking myself if companies would entrust their enterprise from someone who never had a degree in Marketing. I mean investor-mentality wise, why would you put your money in something that could be unsure? So I thought of applying for jobs that have training, and are willing to accept graduates of any course. At least there, I am safe. Hehe 😛
Actually I applied for an HR position in Empire East, thinking that I can learn that job fast, and that it doesn’t need much grave technicality, so I might just stand a chance. But my interview didn’t work the way I had planned it. Little did I know, there was something better in store for me! I was offered the Training Assistant post instead. I think it is due to the fact that I was really madaldal in the interview. And the interviewer and I were like literally laughing the whole time! It was the best and the most fun interview I had!
Fast forward to now, I can say that working in real estate has allowed me to really become a butterfly. It is such a great breeze to work with people who gives you room to do things your own, valuing your ideas, how you can help and improve the system. I remember asking my boss about what kind of format he wants for my very first module, I can still recall him saying “Ikaw bahala. That’s your module. Do what you think is best!” I was really shocked; his voice didn’t even mirror any slight tinge of hesitation or doubt.
OMG! It’s really one of the best feelings in the world. Your boss trusting you. Along with these, the career also envisions to discover more of your talents and skills and hone them to become good assets for everyone’s favor.
7. I became more sociable.
Truth be told, I am not the friendliest person on the planet. My friends way back can attest to that. I think that is one drawback I had when I was starting in the real estate training career. I find it difficult to connect to my audience. If it was a contest, I might have gotten a shameless and well-deserved 0% on the “Audience Impact” criterion.
But knowing that I am assuming a role I have to be more approachable and I have to exert extra effort to build rapport with everyone at work. At first, it was a bit tedious because it wasn’t natural, and it felt scripted. I find myself enumerating topics to discuss should the mood simmers down or if there were long awkward silences. Because honestly, I am just too shy and scared to get rejected.
I remember evaluating my success in training with the number of times I made my class laugh. To think that I only have two jokes prepared! But as I do training after training, I was able to concoct the kind of trainer I want to be, and how my class should feel everytime they hear that it is me who’s going to handle them. I told myself, fake it, ’til you make it!
True enough, with so much practice, and finding the joy and passion through the process, training felt natural already. And talking to people, striking up conversations became easy! I am happy this made me more confident in social situations. It actually feels great to not be the awkward one! Haha :))
8. My negotiation skills improved.
Before, I do not really have the energy to argue or bargain. I feel like it is a waste of time. Or probably I get persuaded easily, nevertheless, real estate taught me so much about standing on your claims and the ability of influencing other people’s decisions without directly asking them to.
I learned that you must understand what people need first, so you can better assist and convince them to your propositions. Because people who actually have something in mind already won’t listen to you and value what new idea you’re setting up on the table, especially those people who are in the bracket of Baby Boomers. Those born in the 60’s and 70’s currently holds up a big bulk of our client demographics. They have this tendencies of not being easily influenced unless they find your claims relevant and sensible.
I realized you have to look at the concerns raised on their security-oriented mindset. You have to recognize how they think, and then when they feel like you are on the same page and has built a good foundation of rapport, explain what you have in mind. Proper timing will also be your bestfriend during negotiations.
9. I became more decisive and practical.
In the real estate corporate world, a hundred decisions are made everyday. And in training and classroom management, you also have to make decisions; they may not reach a hundred, but it does entail a lot of coordination and consideration to achieve a smooth flowing training itinerary.
As for the photo above, the woman in black is our real estate trainee, while the one in gray is the client. I can’t help but feel so much pride as I directed our agent into approaching a person she totally doesn’t know. And for the fact that the prospect accommodated and did not reject her, is a great milestone for me, which means the approach was done well, and it could pave to a conversation that we’ll be working on so that it can be converted into a sale.
To cite examples, real estate training involves classroom discussion, so you also have to determine the final count of each class, as you may have five different classes in a week, and they may not necessarily be in the same city! So you have to check training manpower, vehicle availability to bring trainers and trainees to certain locations, availability of classrooms, updates of powerpoint presentations depending on price increase and condominium project details, training materials to be given to the trainees, monitoring of attendances, plotting the schedule of special training classes of sales teams depending on their most convenient time as to not disrupt their regular sales and prospecting activities, etc. So yes, whew! Typing that even made me think that you have to be quick in finalizing decisions, to save and maximize time and effort.
10. I get to touch lives and inspire people.
I have always had a dream of conducting a career talk. But this later succumbed to cynicism as I know I cannot do that in my college, knowing the fact that I never pursue the degree I finished. But there’s still hope in my highschool!
Anyway, I really like how this position makes me an instrument to let my trainees see what bright future they have in real estate. It is a goal for them to be excited about the wonderful things they can get once they realize that this opportunity is a gem.
The best thing about this job is apart from being empowered, I have the opportunity to meet people, train, influence, and shape them on how this industry can change their lives. This wonderful responsibility is heartwarming, as well as self-enriching, because while my trainees learn, I also do.
11. I help people fulfill a dream.
By far, this is the best thing about working in real estate. As for clients, it’s delighting to know that I get to be a part of families’ goal in obtaining their dream homes. And for our agents, honing them to become effective salespeople so that they can give quality presentations and services to their clients. It’s like being the good samaritan, wherein you are directed to achieve and promote the welfare of the common good. Makes me feel like a real estate fairy godmother! :))
Owning a home is a basic need that each family must have, and being a provider of beautiful and quality homes makes my heart swell with joy everytime we hand a key to a new home owner. Because in fulfilling their dream, I fulfill a promise of a good life ahead.
I actually never thought about being in the real estate industry. It’s actually a paradox for me, because I don’t really stay at home that much, yet I promote owning one, or two, or as many as you can, for that matter. This investment is like a lifelong commitment you know you can cherish forever. And when there’s forever (although it’s tedious work to find one), you know it’s worth it.