I started my Journey in Real Estate in 2006. I had just gotten my real estate license and was amazed by what I perceived to be these premier real estate companies who were all interested in hiring me. I really had no idea what I was doing, I had no clientel, yet all of the largest companies wanted me. In fact, they were competing to get me, taking me to extravagant dinners and offering me tickets to sporting events.
Wow did I feel like I was a rockstar!
When I pulled up to my new office, it was a struggle to fit in driving my nice but modest Chevy Malibu. The parking lot was full of Lexus, Cadillac, and BMW. The first day was great, lots of administrative people helped me with ordering business cards that looked exactly like everyone elses, signs that looked exactly like everyone elses, told me they could create me flyers just like everyone elses. This was going to be easy, I thought to myself, I had the exactly same everything as the people driving the Luxury Cars in the parking lot.
What I hadn't yet realized was that I was a self employed individual. While everyone seemed so helpful, nothing was going to be given to me by the big corperation, they have actually set me up to fail. I was using the same marketing items and technics as everyone else, so trying to stand out amongst the hundreds of agents they had wasn't going to happen. I also lacked the market knowledge that the more seasoned successful agents in the office had and there wasn't anyone in the office that was going to help me gain that. I was a minnow swimming in a shark tank. My biggest advantage was my youth.
In 2006, Zillow and the other large real estate websites were not in existance so I made building an online strategy to showcase myself and my abilites my main focus. I knew I had to learn the market so I literally toured 25-30 homes a day even if I didnt have any clients to show them to. This way I could get a feel for the market and track why some homes would sell and some would not. Within 6 months I had gained enough knowledge that I could hold my own on market stats and I was on my way to becoming an expert in the field. This combination of hard work, knowledge, innovation and going against the grain is really what has defined my career since the begining.
I always kinda dreamed of opening my own company, but it wasn't until I started to have kids that I knew I HAD to do it in order to have the autonomy to do business the same way I wanted to do life: ethically, honestly, and with the utmost integrity.
In January of 2014, while my wife Jennifer was eight months pregnant with our second child, I begin my Journey as Heyen Real Estate. A lone ranger. Not only was my family growing, but I also gained this immense amount of freedom in my business. I could begin to market in different ways and advertise myself in a way I felt proud of. If there was something I didn't feel good about, I didn't have to do it.
In February we had our baby and my wife and went on a very lengthy and generous materity leave from Yahoo.