Team Becker - How Our Career in Real Estate Began. From the corporate world with a Fortune 50 company to running Team Becker Realtors of Hershey.
Hello! Many of you may have contemplated a career in real estate at some point, but do not know how to get started or how viable of a career it could be. Well, I am here today to share our story and how we transitioned from the corporate world to the self-employed world of real estate, and ultimately to be the top realtors in Palmyra.
Our "Corporate" Careers. When we first started In real estate, Carin and I both worked for Verizon Wireless. I had been there ten years and Carin five. Carin started in the retail store in Harrisburg and advanced to the business sales team, on to the government sales team, then to a data/training role promoting a new vehicle tracking device called HUM across authorized dealer locations across the northeast area. I started in a retail store in Rockville, Maryland and managed several stores in the MD/DC/VA area before transferring back home to the Harrisburg area to run a few stores here. I was then promoted to be the district manager of retail stores for 11 stores in the Buffalo, NY area. After two years I advanced to a role overseeing 300+ big box retail "store within a store" locations throughout all of Upstate New York, and then after two more years, was promoted to regional director of data sales for NYC and NJ, and ultimately business to business sales in Allentown, then finally regional director of Fios sales for the area northeast area from Virginia Beach to Boston, at times logging 4000 miles per month on my Toyota Camry Hybrid and staying in a hotel up to five nights a week.
Flashback to early 2015. While all seemed to be going well chasing our corporate careers and moving up the ladder, on my mom's birthday, January 28th, 2015, Carin and I were simultaneously "laid off", with both our positions being eliminated on the same day. It wasn't glamorous. There were tons of emotions, tears and stress. To make matters worse, we couldn't even commiserate together in the moment as I had to travel from NJ to NYC to lay off my team of 30 in the data department by hosting an impromptu mandatory meeting at the Verizon office in midtown Manhattan the next day. After this, I returned home - feeling defeated and dejected. The company I had spent 10 years with and relocated for five times was in essence offering to pay me to leave - what a humbling moment. We had 6 weeks to find new jobs in the company, or we would be unemployed. At that time, it ended up working out for us and we stayed at Verizon - even each getting promoted another time or two along the way - but this moment left us in total fear and forced us to realize that we were "disposable" and just small cogs in a giant company. I doubled down and campaigned hard to stay at Verizon, ultimately receiving two job offers to stay - but neither in areas that excited me. I remember driving home to our house in Palmyra on Faschnaut Day 2015 (another silly thing to remember - but I did stop and pick up a dozen on the way) to talk through my options with Carin. But over the six weeks we spent searching for jobs inside and outside the company, we made a pact that we would start making steps to insulate ourselves from ever being in that position again. I am very pleased to say that we honored that pact, and it is truly the reason we are where we are today – self-employed realtors, working for ourselves and in control of our destiny - right here at home in Palmyra, PA.
We looked at a variety of franchise opportunities (unrelated to real estate), other professions, and really "stumbled upon" real estate. By that time we had a little knowledge of the real estate world. We owned a rental or two, and I first got my real estate license in 1999, and my father had his license and was an on-again, off-again new home builder/investor, and we enjoyed real estate and going to open houses. We had recently sold Carin's home in Lebanon, and bought ours in Palmyra, further exposing us to the world of real estate. So we decided that we would fight to stay with Verizon for the time being - for the pay, and stability, and benefits, but instead of being "lifers" like we had always assumed we would be; we decided Verizon would be our means to an end. We volunteered for dual careers - and decided to give real estate a "try" while working full time to see if it would be possible to build something sustainable, as we simply had too much to lose by taking the severance package and going "all-in".
In Spring of 2015, we both signed up for an online course with McKissock, took our pre-licensing pre-requisites and ultimately sat for and passed our real estate salespersons exams. And the rest is history! Haha, not really. It wasn't easy, and it wasn't glamourous, but its how we got started. In the next post, I will pick up where I left off and discuss the launch of Team Becker Realtors, how we built a brand from nothing, and our burning desire to become the number one real estate team in Palmyra/Hershey area and beyond.
In the meantime, if you are thinking about a career in real estate, our brokerage, Keller Williams Realty, now offers free real estate school called KSCORE, free of commitment. Whether you are thinking of a career in real estate here in Palmyra, Hershey, or Harrisburg - or anywhere across the U.S., we can be a resource for you. It certainly is not a career for everyone, but if you are interested and motivated, real estate might be a great option for you too. Look us up to learn more.
Thanks for reading,
David & Carin Becker