These real estate industry pros share their turning points when the stakes were high, the future unclear and the possibilities endless.

Saul Klein, one of the creators of RealTown Labs, was summoned in 2008 to save a floundering tech company as its new CEO. This meant living away from his family for two weeks every month in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan — a Canadian province — to work on a little something called “real estate syndication.”

“It was quite a risk for me. We had no idea where this idea or concept of taking listings and distributing them everywhere on the internet; we were a little bit unsure of what that would bring,” Klein says.

Meanwhile, Michael Meier (now an entrepreneur and principal broker) sold a big piece of software to a pizza chain before his career got off the ground. That commission money gave him enough in the bank to buy an apartment. During that process, the mortgage loan officer told him — you should work in real estate.

And the rest is history.

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