Bernice Ross — author, real estate coach and CEO of RealEstateCoach.com — was inspired to enter real estate after meeting a "Million Dollar Club" Realtor who was in her bare feet.

She hasn’t looked back since that day in 1978 and has spent many years building her coaching business and writing books and columns.

Ross’s latest adventure includes developing a real estate game that aims to assess negotiation skills.

Ross will speak at Real Estate Connect in San Francisco, July 23-25, 2008.

She answered a set of questions posed by Inman News:

What do you see happening in the real estate market in 2008?

The market hit its peak in 2005. Historically, real estate cycles tend to be approximately 10 years. If this market follows the patterns from the past, we should see a flattening over the next 12 to 24 months and then a return to price appreciation. The huge number of Gen Ys and foreign investors will drive the next major wave of home purchases.

What advice do you have to help real estate agents and brokers get through this market?

Invest in training at every possible opportunity and embrace the opportunities offered by Web 2.0.

What was your first job?

Worked as a cashier at a small store.

What made you get into real estate?

I got into real estate in 1978 when California passed Proposition 13. I had just purchased my first condominium and needed money from summer session to make my payments (I was teaching at West L.A. College). When Prop 13 passed, they cancelled summer session. The woman who sold me my condo had "Million Dollar Club" on her card, dressed in ragged jeans, and was barefoot. I thought if she could sell $1 million worth of real estate, maybe I could make two sales to cover my payments. I sold two properties my first month and eight my second month in the business.

What’s been your biggest challenge in running the business?

Balancing my travel and speaking engagements with my writing and management responsibilities.

If you had one thing to do over again in your life, what would it be?

I would not have skipped fifth grade.

What style of home do you live in and when did you buy it?

We have a beautiful white limestone Tuscan home, complete with a turret, high ceilings, beautiful cherry cabinetry and magnificent views of the Texas Hill Country. We just finished construction last July and absolutely love it.

What worries keep you awake at night?

I don’t worry.

What lesson did you learn in the last year?

I just finished reading Bob Burg’s and John David Mann’s book, "The Go-Giver." Two important lessons for me from that book were 1) the level of your success is determined by the number of people you serve, and 2) success results from your willingness to both give AND receive.

What would your second career choice be?

I’ve already started on it — game developer. We’re releasing our new negotiation game, Real Estate Dough, at Real Estate Connect next month.

What kind of music do you listen to?

Varies — classical, jazz and oldies from the ’60s to the ’80s.

Who is your hero?

Those who commit their lives to being of service to others.

Hear Ross speak at Real Estate Connect in San Francisco, July 23-25, 2008. The conference program and registration are available online via the Connect Web site .

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