Welcome to the blog space at Paratus Realty. I’m Mike: a real estate agent serving Minneapolis and the wider Twin Cities metro area. I wasn’t always a realtor. For over 20 years I worked in Corporate America, but I took a bold step to change careers. Why? Simply put – I love houses, and I love being my own boss.
I hope that in describing my journey as a fledgling real estate salesperson, I can reflect on the progress and growth essential to meeting my clients’ needs. There are comment boxes below these posts, so keep me honest, and by all means, pull no punches.
What It Took to Get Here
The stack of books I got in the mail from Kaplan could help any toddler reach the cookie jar. I swear that pile was five pounds of real estate joy. I made the decision to become a real estate salesperson in March of 2023, or three months before resigning from my corporate gig.
What I didn’t realize at the time was how much I’d forgotten about the art of studying and test-taking. It caught up to me fast. And it’s a good thing too – since my friends at Kaplan gave me six months to complete the coursework. The clock was ticking…
Normally, six months wouldn’t impose much of a hardship, even with five pounds of books staring at me (none of which were labeled in any particular order). But I still had three months of a full-time job to close out, a home renovation crashing to the finish line, and of course, summer vacation for the kiddos.
What’s In All Those Books, Anyhow?
I signed up for a virtual, on-demand course, which after COVID, seems to be the most prevalent choice. I appreciated the flexibility this offered since I didn’t start taking modules until JUNE. That’s right, I instantly lost three months on the clock by waiting to finish out at my old workplace. A little pressure can’t hurt, can it?
I found out early on that most of the books in my hefty stack of real estate texts were essentially follow-along pages that repeated the slide content of the instructors. The heftiest book of the bunch was truly a textbook that was meant to supplement online learning. The best thing about the “big dog” was the section with practice exams in the appendix.
As for the content, you’d never imagine how much legalese around ownership and property rights exists in real estate. Fee simple, fee simple defeasible, estates for years, etc. Whew.
And then you dive into easements, all sorts of liens, joint tenancies, and co-ops, and your head starts spinning. But thanks to the excellent instructors Kaplan uses, all of the materials made sense and I get a good bit of satisfaction explaining these concepts to others. I just had to get my student muscles back in shape.
When becoming a real estate agent, one also has to become proficient at understanding fair housing laws and how to conduct oneself in a fiduciary relationship with clients. These concepts are incredibly important and are often repeated in the coursework to ensure the points are nailed home.
Testing Testing 1-2-3
There are SO many tests! After the first 30 hours of on-demand sessions (mercifully, each segment lasts no more than 10 minutes) there are two big tests, typically taken at once. But before you can waltz off to the test-taking center in the suburbs, you need to pass Kaplan’s proctored tests online.
Getting through this battery of multiple-choice mayhem isn’t hard, per se, but it is stressful. The online “gatekeeper” proctored test took about 30 minutes to complete. And because I passed, I earned to privilege of taking the National and State exams next. Took together, those tests required about an hour and change. The good news is I passed all of these tests with a healthy margin. Still, did I mention how stressful test-taking is?
In typical “life happens, even though I’m in control” fashion, I finished the next 60 hours of credits required for my license, with just FOUR days left before my Kaplan access expired. In early October, I chose Bridge Realty LLC to carry my license. Bridge has a fantastic reputation as a great place to work and it’s exciting to have such a wealth of resources available to me and my clients.
So that’s my story in a blog-o-rific nutshell. Nothing too scary or wild, just a bit of procrastination and stress to fill the summer of 2023. We’ll see how things pan out over the next several months.
As you’ll find plastered throughout this site, my intent is to crush it with amazing client relationships and to help my clients meet THEIR goals, even if that means passing up commissions or Rookie of the Year awards.