When the internet first came around, I was already working in Pearland with my dear friend Mary Star, who took pity on me and gave me a chance at her successful office. I had just been to Barbara McCarver's office, and she flat turned me down, stating that "Clear Lake already had enough Realtors." I was down and out.
But let me back up. I had had an ERA franchise in The Heights in partnership with my mother, who had a brain aneurysm in 1986 and subsequently died in 1988 without ever regaining full consciousness. My daughter, Katie, was born during that time, and my (then) wife, Rachel and I ventured into the gourmet coffee business with 4 other partners. That was fun, but we went broke. We went so broke that our cars were repossessed, and we struggled to pay the light bills. I took a part-time teaching job at San Jacinto College (South Campus) and tried to run the coffee shop and build my appraisal business. We kept going deeper and deeper in the hole.
Since I'd made many friends while teaching, I decided that -- in order to survive -- I needed to get away from the coffee shop in The Heights, so I ventured down south near San Jac to find a real estate position.
I slowly started building my business, but then the IRS started chasing me, trying to levy my commissions. By this time, my wife and I had split up, though we didn't have money to file for a divorce.
What saved us was owning real estate. We sold our two houses, got some cash, traded in our beat-up clunker cars that we'd been forced to drive since our new cars were repossessed, and went and bought ourselves two new Geos -- me a 4-door, Rachel a 2-door. We found a house in Southdown using my now "infamous" "Absentee Owner Marketing Plan" with an owner who agreed to finance it to us with no money down. Even though we were no longer together, we ALL moved in together to save funds.
Imagine, 1325 square feet -- two exes, their new partners, daughter, and now my real estate business since I had to skate the IRS's levy until I could get them paid off! My father had had a stroke, and my step-mother calls and says, "I'm taking a cruise . . . and I'm dropping your dad off with you for a week while I'm gone!" There we all were . . . happy home, happy work, happy dad, happy daughter -- all in 1325 square feet in Southdown. It's comical now; it wasn't then.
So, I "put blinders on" and pulled a Scarlett O'Hara, "with God as my witness, I shall never be this way again!" And "focus" became my mission. And I became "Pearland Sam." And while I still sell tons of Pearland Real Estate and stay #1 in Pearland . . . the majority of my business is back in Houston where I'm from. But I love my Pearland Home . . . and I love my Houston RE/MAX office (RE/MAX Top Realty, Beltway 8 @ 288). And I'm no longer in danger of losing my vehicles, thanks to God and guts.
There are morals to this story: (1) focus is the key to success; (2) you CAN do it with time; and (3) Tomorrow IS another day!
xoxo Happy Holidays!! -Sam Ferreri