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C.A.R. publishes eight magazine issues and various newsletters throughout the year.

Newsletters California Real Estate Magazine

How I Became Rookie of the Year at My Firm One Year Into a Career Switch

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Success Story: How I Became Rookie of the Year at My Firm One Year Into a Career Switch

Los Angeles-based REALTOR® Ali Jack started her career in digital marketing at The Walt Disney Company. But having spent time helping her grandfather rent apartments when she was 16, she came to realize real estate would be a better fit. “I love storytelling, building things, creating something from nothing,” says Jack. “And that’s a lot of what we do as REALTORS®.”

By taking the time to carefully plan out her career switch — and incorporating what she learned at Disney into her work — Jack hit the ground running. Year one, she earned Rookie of the Year in her Coldwell Banker office; year two, she was in the top 11 percent at her firm. Now she has her own team at Compass, which closed around $30 million in transactions last year. Here’s her advice for REALTORS® seeking to do the same.

Join a Team

I knew when I got started that successful people work under successful people. I was very intentional about interviewing with a few brokerages and planning out tactically my best path forward. Joining a team helped me draw from the experience around me to help my clients. I was also able to immediately offer my clients a network of vendors who had already been vetted by my teammates.

Get to Know Your Market Inside and Out

When I was at Coldwell Banker, my broker used to tell me: “You’re always the last person to leave.” I knew the alarm code and how to turn off the lights. I was always working. I knew from the start that my sphere of influence was going to be buyers, so I really familiarized myself with the up-and-coming areas where people like me would want to buy — because at the end of the day, your clients tend to be like you. 

I knew the walkability, where the coffee shops were. I created certain farms for myself and worked on building very, very, very detailed knowledge to the point where I knew everyone living on those streets and could track things happening off-market. That’s how I grew my business.

Make Sure You Can Financially Afford to Start Fresh

You never want your financial situation to be the driver of your client’s decision-making. It’s an ethical issue. Thankfully when I started in real estate, I was able to make money over my first two years, but I had set money aside just in case I didn’t. You have to already have some money to start a business. I was very thoughtful about walking into it like that. I wanted to start a business from a place where my personal financial health wasn’t tied to my clients. 

More from the January 2021 Issue:

Getting Clients: No Open Houses? No Problem

Marketing You: Level Up Your Video Presence 

Pro Tip: Are You in the 80%?


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