by Jess Phillips
When I decided to get my real estate license, I was so excited—and nervous, to be honest. I had spent the last seven years learning all about hotels, so to start a career in something that I knew nothing about was scary. Going back to school did not come easy. It was like I forgot how to study, and I struggled. But, like always, I gave it everything I had. I passed both my class and state exams on my first try. Ecstatic and relieved is an understatement.
I began training at Nest with two others: Cliff Miller and Elizabeth Martin, both of whom have lived in Atlanta for more than a decade. I was not only new to the career, I was also new to the city. The No. 1 thing you need as a real estate agent is market knowledge. This is scarce when you’ve lived in that city for less than a year. I instantly felt inferior, which was really hard for me to digest. I was unsure if being so brand new to a city would end up hurting me in a career like real estate. However, I voiced my concerns with my Broker, Jennifer, and she gave me great advice. When you start something new, you’re always inexperienced. But everyone is inexperienced at the beginning. Knowledge comes with time. I had to decide if I thought this would be worth my time.
I’m a year in now and I can honestly say it has been worth my time. I can also say I understand why people get licensed but then never make a career out of it—I am so glad I stuck with it when I felt like quitting. I couldn’t have imagined how much joy this career would bring me going into it. At first I figured it would be another sales position, similar to the one I had in hotels. I was wrong. This is so much more. Buying and selling your home is so filled with emotion; sometimes it’s joy, and sometimes it’s sadness. Either way, you are helping to facilitate one of the biggest events in someone’s life. Although it can come with many challenges, in the end, it is truly rewarding.
Real estate has also given me the ability to understand Atlanta better. Before I started in this industry, I would drive straight to work, then straight back home. I would put the bar or restaurant that I was meeting my friends at into my GPS, drive there, then drive home. Rarely would I cruise off course. I knew how to get from Buckhead to Midtown and back no problem. But ask me to go to Grant Park or Old Fourth Ward and I had no idea.
Being in real estate has given me a much better feel for my new city. I would drive to caravans or open houses and suddenly I began to see where the neighborhoods connect. I would take a turn and pop out somewhere I recognized. It gave me my footing in a city I once found to be overwhelming.
I recently started a social media campaign. Nest Atlanta does this amazing thing where it highlights a neighborhood each month. I thought, why not coincide with this newsletter by highlighting my favorite parts of each neighborhood? Every Sunday, I shed light on my favorite bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and activities within each neighborhood. It allows me to promote the places I have been and loved while also forcing me to explore new ones. Is there anything better than being a tourist in your own town? Please feel free to follow along. My handle is jessphillips_realtor.
Real estate has definitely been way more rewarding than I ever imagined. It has given me life in a new city and purpose in my heart. If you have ever thought about it, I couldn’t recommend it enough. It truly can give you an all-encompassing life.
Jess Phillips is a Realtor with Nest Realty Atlanta. Her love for travel combined with her hospitality background make her adaptable, communicative, and ready for anything!
Photo credit for header image: Aaron Coury