Leap EDU “Solar Specialist” Certification – May 16
May 17, 2018

Diana Kosov – “College Graduate Turned Real Estate Agent”

Picture this scene. You’re in college studying for what at the time you want to pursue as a career. Pulling all-nighters studying, rushing to class to make it there on time (because you fell asleep and didn't get to finish that paper), writing papers and finishing project in between Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, then running to your “Dead End” job all just to pay back the loans you took out in the first place to pursue your career. It's almost 2017 and at this point, it’s said that there is around $1.3 Trillion in Student Loan debt. These loans were given out to about 44 Million Students which makes the average students in debt a little bit less than $30K after leaving school. Working part-time at that dead end job will maybe earn you $15K a year in which $12K of that will go to living expenses such as food, clothing, and the occasional night out. Living life on a little less than $35 a day is barely living at all.

Now picture that same scene with a few edits. You’re in college studying for your career, still pulling all-nighters to study and complete papers, rushing to class, but instead of going to a dead end job you’re the boss. You set the hours you work, time you go in, set your appointments around your schedule, and even be able to work out of your dorm room.

What's this magical job you ask?

Welcome to the wonderful world of Real Estate!

Becoming a Real Estate Salesperson (Agent) can be the career you never knew you wanted or even looking for. Be your own boss, set your own work hours, work with clients and find them their dream home or apt. Do all of this while making it work around your busy school schedule. After closing a few deals not only will you pay back that college loan before finishing school, your lifestyle on campus will change all for the better. Having your Salesperson license can be a backup plan as well. You know what they say “We make plans, and god laughs”, Moral of the story is not all things go as planned. It's said that the lowest 25 percentile Real Estate Salesperson earned over $25K annually. That 25 percentile is the Salesperson who is working as a part-time Agent. Even with those numbers, that's still more than what most college students are taking in and with 50% less stress and 100% more appreciation.

There is living proof all around us and we don't even know it. Take college graduate Diana Kosov for example. Born in Moldova, Diana, and her family decided to move to the USA at the age of 3, seeking a better life for their children in pursuit of the “American Dream”. Being First-generation American, and descendant of Russian immigrants, Diana constantly felt the pressure to succeed and over achieve. Being part of a family of high-achievers which consists of Optometrists, Pharmacists, and Attorneys didn't make it an easier.

Personable and professional, Diana always possesses a natural tendency towards helping people, making Real Estate a natural choice for her career, but never knowing it. Fluent in Russian and English, Diana has a Bachelor of Science in Economics with a minor in Psychology, as well as studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Diana possesses years of experience in the business and is always looking forward to expanding her horizons.

So then why go into Real Estate after putting all that time, effort, and money into studying for her degrees?

We'll let Diana answer those questions.
What peaked your interest in Real Estate?
The company I was working for at the time lost a big account and several people were let go from their positions. For someone like myself that has a college education, I still felt lost as to what I’m going to do next. My family members gave their opinions as to what I should do next, but nothing spoke to me. Real Estate was something I took a complete chance on and it turned out to be the best decision in my life.

Do you consider Real Estate a career?
Without a doubt Real Estate is a career. I take what I do very seriously and if you take it as seriously as I have, you will achieve a lot. Being able to practice Real Estate within these past few years made me very happy. What’s not to like; a flexible schedule, being out on the field meeting and greeting clients, spending time with motivated Realtors, attending Holiday parties, and my favorite … closing deals!

When you started working in the Real Estate field, did you go into it thinking it would turn into a career?
My reality turned into crunch time and here’s why; being first generation I had a lot to prove amongst my striving successful family, I was not looking forward to have to sit in front of my computer and send out resumes. Even with everyone that doubted my decision to begin in Real Estate I managed to prove them wrong. I was able to be in control of my own success without having someone over me nagging and telling me what to do. It was pleasant to work hard and see results almost instantaneously. In Real Estate, that’s possible!

What do you find satisfying about Real Estate?
Everything! Working with such amazing people, that includes my colleagues and clients. Being able to help someone find their home is a truly gratifying feeling. That is why I tend to go above and beyond by providing unbiased knowledge to my client. It is not an easy time when you are looking for your new home. Changing your scenery, potentially changing your location, and working with a reliable agent that won’t try to screw you over is very difficult. I prefer to be the difference amongst all of these Real Estate agents that are only driven by the money. I only wish to have a long career within this wonderful industry.

How long have you been practicing Real Estate?
I became a Licensed Salesperson as of February 2014. Within my first year, I closed over 70 deals in Residential Leasing. In 2015 I opened up a brokerage with my previous partner. We were successful during the first 10 months of being in operation, but I made a business decision to attach myself to a new brokerage based in Williamsburg called EXR.

What inspired such a decision, going from being an Owner/Partner to starting at the bottom at a new Brokerage?
Being an Owner/Partner isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be, although it does sound glorious. What we perceive isn’t always what it really is. Leaving my Brokerage was a big decision on my end but I felt that joining an existing strong supportive team would be much more beneficial at the end of the day. When I started at EXR I immediately had a team under me, brought my own listings to the table, and shortly after had my own desk in a flex desk environment. Luckily everything worked out for the best. I am now the VP of Sales for the Williamsburg Branch!

Some people look at Real Estate Agents as "Glorified Salespeople", what do you have to say about that?
Some might say so, but it’s all a matter of perception. For me it was more about working closely with clients, satisfying their needs, flexibility in schedule, and so on. If you take it seriously Real Estate can and will be your career.

Knowing what you know now would you still have gone to college and acquired your Bachelor's degree?
I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. Pursuing my degree was more of an achievement for my parents but it sure does feel good mentioning my Bachelor’s in Economics and minor in Psychology. Life is short so why not do as much as you can?

Although Economics is a very relevant part of Real Estate, why not pursue a career in such field?
A study from CBS news shows that 47% of college graduates did not find a job within their college major. Why I didn’t pursue a career in my major is very simple; an Economics major is too broad to distinguish an exact career path, and I wasn’t interested in being managed. Having a flexible schedule is beyond favorable for any individual if you ask them. What more can I ask for? Conversing with clients, making your own schedule, attending meetings, etc… You are your own boss!

Lets talk about how do you apply today's technology into your Real Estate Career?
Technology in today’s day and age serves a great purpose and provides a great advantage for Real Estate agents like myself. Personally, the platforms that are available have tripled with where we can advertise listings. Not only do we have StreetEasy and Craigslist we can now use Facebook, Instagram, PropertyShark, and even Snapchat as a marketing tool.

How did you hear about PropertyShark?
Who hasn’t heard of PropertyShark! From the first brokerage I began working with, to my previous partner, and all of the big time Real Estate agents.

How do you use PropertyShark in your day to day?
PropertyShark is a great tool when I need more details on a property or to retrieve owner information. Very informative and easy to use.

How do you feel about the Internet Real Estate world such as Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy etc?
Platforms such as Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy, and so on definitely serve as a helpful tool for all real estate agents. I find that many clients seem to be quite familiar with all of these platforms. Now there is definitely much more competition considering most if not all agents are using these platforms.

What are some technological tools do you feel would make it hard for you to continue you daily work routine?
Well there are definitely a lot more advertising platforms on the market today. This is quite helpful but at the same time it requires more time to make sure you are advertising on each and every platform. If you don’t advertise on all platforms then another agent will have the advantage over you.

What would be your advice for college students pursuing a diploma?
Pursuing a diploma is fundamental in today’s world and in general it’s a great benefit. My parents goal for me was to stay out of trouble, finish school, and be the best I can be here in America. There are so many opportunities at your fingertips that require some attention but it is all worth it. You will feel better as a human being knowing that you achieved a college education. It’s a great advantage in your career 100%!

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