My dad was the one who planted the seed of my real estate career, in a roundabout way!
My dad liked to have meetings with all of his kids, he would sit down and discuss things with us for hours. He encouraged all his kids to think, to plan, to go the extra mile and to figure things out.
So when I was 16 years old my dad and I were in a meeting, and he said, "Yo," I don't think he said yo, but he said, "Hey son, I got 10 kids, I can't send you to college. I can't afford it. I have this nursery and it’s a good business. You need to run this nursery. You're the second son, and I think that's going to be a great career for you."
I sat there, a little bit in shock. The truth was I did not want to sell plants! I couldn't stand them, I wasn't passionate about them!
I grew up in a really small town. I thought I was going to live there the rest of my life. Knowing that I started to really look at what seemed to be a good career, something that I would enjoy. I had to find a good one to get out of the nursery business. I read about real estate. It seemed flexible, it seemed fun, it seemed cool. In fact, I didn't even know anything about houses. However, I was good at negotiations (with family) and liked people.
So I decided, I'm going to become a real estate agent. But everyone told me, "No Chris, you can't. You need savings. Nobody at 18 years old sells real estate. This is people's biggest investments. You're crazy, you can't sell real estate."
I then went and interviewed the top agent in our town, wanting to learn as much as I could before I started.
He asked, "How old are you?"
And I told him, "Hey, I'm 16."
He said, "Come back and talk to me when you're 20, or 21." And he just blew me off.
Now I was more determined than ever to go into real estate. Everyone said I can't, I decided I was going to do it. It became my dream.
My dad then told me “You need to go read every book you can on the real estate business and become an expert at real estate."
I said, "Dad I'm 16."
He said, "It doesn't matter. It's never too young to start."
I went to the library and read every book that I could find on real estate.
When I was 17.5 years old I took my real estate training, the course. I was the youngest person in that class. There was no one else even close to my age. I passed the class, but in the state of Florid, you can't get your license when you're 17. You have to be 18. They had a date for the test that was five days after my 18th birthday.
I remember this like it was yesterday, I drove my mom's Cadillac down to Orlando, because back then you could only do your test in Orlando. Took the test and passed. And frankly, that was the happiest day of my life.
I was on cloud nine when I started my real estate career. I sold 65 homes the first year, I didn't know what I was doing but I was determined to sell homes. I kept learning, implementing and experimenting with new ways to get homes sold and have happy customers. I really shocked the broker that I worked for hustling like that.
Since then I've sold over 3,200 homes. I went on to create a program that helped sell homes during the 2008 crash, when homes were not selling and prices where crashing. I kept finding new ways to do the impossible and sell more homes. And I loved it.
There is no better joy in the world than having a happy customer and knowing that you helped another family fulfill their dreams.