Career Update: “So, How’s Real Estate Going?”

Career Update: How Real Estate is Going


So, how’s real estate going for you? That’s what we’re going to talk about in this video.

Hey, guys. Welcome back. It is Eric Sztanyo from Keller Williams Realty and where we are helping families find their way home. In this video, I’m gonna do a little personal video. It’s not a market update or anything like that.

Changing Careers With a Growing Family

It’s been a little over 18 months since I got into the real estate business. When I was actually getting my license, Witni was giving birth to our fourth child, Miriam. When you’re in the hospital and you’ve got childcare for three boys, you can knock out a lot of online training. That’s what I did. I did a video when I first launched and had no idea where this thing was gonna go. I titled it something like Why I Changed Careers With Baby Four on the Way. There was a lot of risk back then. I feel super… I’m very blessed to have a wife that was… we’ve been through enough hard things with work that she was like, “Go for it.” She’s been fully behind me, which has been awesome.

starting a real estate career with baby 4 on the way

In that video I did, I think I talked about a couple things about work. I had kind of a wrong view about work, how I was looking at it. I was really struggling with what to do career-wise. I also talked about going through this process of trying to figure out my own strengths and skillsets and figure out how does that play into work and which work should I do, and then coming across to real estate and saying, “Oh, this fits those things, plus it fits where I want to go in the future.”

So, How’s Real Estate Going?

There’s this question, as I’ve been doing this now for a little over a year, that I keep getting from people when I run into them, friends you haven’t seen for a few months. The question’s always the same, which is, “So, how’s real estate going?” My answer has been the same, which is, “It’s going really, really well. I love it.”

I get two responses from that. The first response is… and it’s always the same too. The first response is that people are surprised. I think it’s because real estate is kind of a business where most people don’t make it. Almost everyone probably knows somebody who got into real estate thinking it’s going to be a piece of cake, and then a few years later, they’re out of it.

The Failure Rate of Real Estate Agents

That’s backed up. There’s a statistic on The National Association of Realtor site from 2014. That stat says that 87% of all new agents fail after five years, which is crazy. Roughly 13% of agents are the ones who make it. I think when people say, “So, how’s real estate going?” I’m going, “It’s going really good, and it’s only getting better,” they’re like, “Oh, that’s new.”

For me, I’ve been thinking through that a little bit and wondering why is it going well this time? Well, I was in I feel like what was the similar industry that had a similar turnover rate. When I first got out of college, I went and got my Series 7 and 63. I was a financial planner, and I sold life insurance. I worked for MassMutual. Probably some of my friends and family out there bought life insurance policies from me, and that was it.

That’s kind of the business model, which is recruit like crazy all these young 20-somethings out of college, and pay them a commission-based salary, and see if they can sell to their immediate friends and family, whether that’s a life insurance policy or getting assets under management or something like that. If they don’t make it, then fine. You’ve got those policies on the books, or those assets under management, and that person could go on with their life and their career.

That was totally me as a 22-year-old whatever idiot. I didn’t know anything, didn’t know how to lead generate, was trying to talk to 50 and 60-year-olds about their assets and financial planning and was terrified of cold calling. I mean, that was my, that was… My manager literally like took a phone book one day and plopped it on the desk and was like, “There’s your lead generation program. Get to work. I need to see X-many dials a day.” That was the worst thing I could possibly imagine or think of. It did not bode well for me. I failed miserably.

But now here I am roughly 15 years later, and I’ve had a little bit of experience in the business world, a little bit of experience with sales and have launched a few businesses and have learned some Internet marketing skills, which are really helpful for an introvert to lead generate because I can talk to a camera instead of cold call someone, which is great. That’s the first reaction is people say, “Oh.” They’re surprised when I say, “It’s going really, really well.”

Finding Work That Fits Your Makeup

The second reaction, which has been really fun for me and really encouraging for me, is my friends will, and family member will say something. They’ll say, “So how’s real estate going?” I’ll say, “It’s going great.” They’ll go, “Oh, yeah. Seems like you’re perfect for it,” or, “It suits you really well,” or something to that effect.

If you’re one of those people who said that, thank you very much. It’s been really encouraging for me because it’s been confirmation, I feel like, of the journey I was on with work and where the Lord put this in front of me and to say, “Yeah. This actually is a really good fit for who I am and what I was made to do.” That’s been super encouraging to me.

There’s a few reasons because of that, I feel like, of why it has been such a good fit and why I love it so much. I want to briefly go through there. If you’re watching this, it’s a longer video. Just, I don’t know, eat some popcorn or something. You might not make it all the way through. That’s okay. I just wanted to get this out there and maybe more of a journalizing this thing than anything else, but…

Why I Love Being a Real Estate Agent

The different reasons I have really fallen in love with it is that first reason, it does suit me really well. It fits my skillsets really well. I’ve learned that in real estate it’s part kind of like data analysis and mathematician when you’re figuring out the market. It’s part negotiation skills, which I really enjoy doing that in that process. Part of it is being a friend to people, and you get to go deeper in your relationships, which is, one of my top strengths is a relater. That’s right up my wheelhouse. I love not necessarily a super wide net, but going really deep with people. You’re doing this thing with them where it’s kind of this intimate journey when you’re buying or selling a home.

Then the last thing, which I didn’t really think of, but I’ve had some experience with is you’re kind of a counselor as a real estate agent, or a therapist, or one of the two, because you ended up just having to listen a lot and coach people through the kind of rollercoaster that is buying or selling a home. I usually tell people when you’re doing this, there’s about three happy moments in the whole thing, like maybe when you go under contract or the appraisal comes in the right way or when you close. You’re like, “Yay. Everything’s awesome.” Then there’s probably like 20 or 25 times that are like, “Oh, that’s a problem. We gotta fix that and work through it.” Part of it’s just being a counselor and helping people walk through that journey. That’s been a good fit.

The second thing is it’s really flexible being a self-contractor. I don’t have to be here certain hours. Now, I’m probably working, I’m definitely working more than I ever have in my entire life, putting in a lot of hours, but… and that’s a good thing. I’m really… In fact, it’s even created a problem where it’s like for the first time I love the work so much that I need to scale back because I could just keep doing it.

I think that’s an amazing place to be in. I’ve never had that experience before with work where it’s like I just want to keep going and doing this. I could keep going. It gives me energy, but it’s also flexible so I can work when I need to. I can, if when Witni needs me with the kids for some reason or there’s a doctor’s appointment or a sick kid or… I still have that freedom to do that, which is a big deal for me, who’s, let’s be honest, usually kind of rebellious and not always the best follower. That’s been great.

The next thing is there’s variety. So fits my skillsets. There’s flexibility in it. There’s also variety. I started this by, there’s kind of two paths I’ve gone on. The first thing I started with was actually this company where I’m a cash home buyer, those “we buy houses” signs you see. That’s about half of my business is I’m working with people who are in some kind of distressed situation and need to sell their home fast.


selling homes to my friends

Then I’m also working with family and friends over here on the residential side, the Keller Williams, buying and selling home side, and investors over here too. One day, I might be in this really nice neighborhood. The families are doing well, and things are clicking financially maybe for them. Then the next day, or maybe even the same day, I’m in a neighborhood that’s a much lower income. I’m seeing a lot of poverty throughout the city. I’m seeing people who are really hurting. I really enjoy this because usually there’s a problem they need solved, and I can help them solve that problem. I can also treat them with a lot of dignity and respect while doing that. I don’t think a lot of people in that side of the business do that so much. That was one of the reasons I went that direction.

Seeing that entire spectrum, I guess, of the city has been really, really healthy for me, really good, just in terms of thinking about the people in the city and not being separated into just Fort Thomas living or something like that, but it’s really good for my soul. I’ve really enjoyed that part of it. I like the fact that I get to just not be behind the desk, and I get to go meet people and see those different things. So there’s variety.

There’s financial opportunity, there’s no question. I mean, anyone who’s done a sales job before knows you’re taking on a lot of risk when you only get paid if something sells, but at the same time, there’s no cap. There’s no ceiling. If you are good at your job, if you work hard, if you’re helping people and they start referring, then you have the opportunity to make a lot of money. For me as someone, I love the challenge of that, personally. We’ve done enough things risk-wise that we’re able to, it’s kind of a risk tolerance we were able to bear, and I like the competitiveness of it. Some of you might know that I’m competitive. I don’t know.

Work Helping to Fulfill Your Life’s Vision

The last thing, and I’ll wrap this up. Thank you for all… If you’re still watching this, you’re probably my mom or my aunt. Hi, Aunt Marcia. But the last thing that’s really been great for… Thanks for liking all my videos and posts by the way. Keep doing it. The real estate has, I mentioned this when I first started in the business, but it fits the vision of where I want to go. My dream of a good life and what I’m aiming for is I want to be an old man married a Witni sitting around our dining room table that’s really long because we have a lot of kids, and all the kids are over. They’re grown up. Their spouses are there, and the grandchildren are running around. We’re together. That’s what I’m aiming for. We are a strong family that loves to be together and is serving God in our city. That’s what I want.

the sztanyo family

Real estate is great for this. While I’m busy buying and selling them, I also have my eye out for properties that I want to add to my portfolio, not just for the economics of it, but I specifically have an eye on properties that could be potential residences for my kids when they’re in college or when they’re newly married or young families because I want to be around them. I want them to… I would love for them to stay. Now, they’re going to have that choice. Who knows what’s going to happen. The Lord could do anything with that, but that’s what I’m aiming for. It’s been really fun that real estate gives this opportunity to fulfill that vision.

That’s it. That’s the update. People are asking, like I said, very often, “How’s real estate going?” It’s going really well. I love the fact that I get to help people and build into my friends and family and build into this city. It’s been great. That’s it. Thanks for watching.

If you, I guess here’s my little pitch, if you do know someone who is looking to buy or sell in the future, I’d love to help them out. Referrals are a massive help to our business. Whether somebody closes the sale or not, if you send me a referral, I’m going to send you a huge thank you and a gift because that’s so important for this business and helpful for my family. Those of you who have referred to us, thank you so much. It means the world to us. That’s it. That’s the Eric Sztanyo/Team Sztanyo update, guys. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you soon.

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