Why I'm going back to selling real estate

Building business from the ground up in a new town has its challenges, but I've got a plan

Back when Britney Spears was wearing a snake to the VMAs, and “Survivor” was taking over the airwaves, an 18-year-old high school student decided to get his real estate license.

Fast forward through 28 seasons of “Survivor,” lots of life lessons learned and a recent move to a new state, I’m going for “take 2” at the crazy world of being a Realtor.

I previously sold for seven years, and I started an office that grew to 180 agents. So, why did I leave? I had built the company, many of the agents and their careers, and I wore myself out. The doctors thought I had meningitis, and after a botched spinal tap I laid in a dark room hoping to regain my strength. Once leaving the hospital I didn’t have the strength to keep up — or the desire to return.

Being in real estate is more than just showing homes and filling out paperwork. I also saw a change in the market, with buyers who had no business buying homes walking away from the closing table with large checks.

I sold the business and moved on to other pastures for a few years. I never lost my passion for helping agents or the occasional friend who needed help with a transaction. It truly is in my blood.

About four years ago I got back into the real estate space full time in a consulting role, helping agents and brokerage companies with their strategy, using my experience as a former agent and brokerage owner. Being a consultant means you’re on a plane 78 times in an eight-month period and you miss your family and loved ones a lot.

I knew change was on the horizon. A month ago, I toured homes for a family member and saw the level of agents doing deals, and the overall experience of a ho-hum real estate transaction. It got my wheels spinning, but it also made my heart sink.

I realized I love coaching agents on a one-on-one basis and being onstage sharing my knowledge, but I also care about the millions of homeowners and the real estate industry as a whole. I thought long and hard and prayed harder for what I should do. I saw a lack of leadership and agents following the advice of people who had never sold real estate.

How could I make a difference? By becoming an agent again, by having an active role in decisions being made and educating from within the industry. I’m excited to be a Realtor again; I’m excited to share my experience of what it’s like to know one person in a new town (I have been here one week).

I will build my business and I will allow all of you to watch. There will be challenges and choices to make, but I’m excited to start over again.

If you are wondering where I am going to start, here is my plan:

1. I am back to meeting 100 people a day.

2. I am driving the neighborhoods to learn where all the communities are.

3. I am watching my competition.

4. I am talking to local shop owners and letting them know where I will be farming and getting them excited about real estate.

5. I am remembering to remind everyone that I am happy to help people buy and sell real estate everywhere in the world.

Here is my question for you: Should I start my own company or work for an established brand? I would love to know how you started. Leave comments below, and let’s grow together.

Aaron Woodman has over a decade of real estate sales experience as both an agent and a managing broker/owner, and most recently as a consultant for residential brokers, property management firms and real estate technology startups.