I had the privilege yesterday of attending a reunion of my former co-workers from the position I held prior to my career in real estate. It was the first time I had seen some people in 15 years. It was sales in a different industry and we were all managers. The work was difficult (what sales job is easy?), but to a man we credited it with preparing us for our next job or career. 11 of us met for dinner at the famous Sylvia's in Harlem, where we caught up and shared memories of our time in the trenches.
What struck me was the large proportion of us who entered the real estate industry. I am a broker, 2 are investors, and a 4th is a mortgage loan officer. That is over a third of us! As I have said before, real estate is not a career many college students state as a goal. There was no real estate degree at my college, and most people I know in the industry found ourselves in the business after other careers. Yet I would be astounded if 1/3 of former teachers, nurses or cops get into housing. Perhaps it is a coincidence, but perhaps great minds think alike.
The other 7 of us didn't do too badly either. Dan Meltzer (lower left) is a radiologist, as a matter of fact. I am proud to say that I hired him right out of college. My old boss took the cake. Ananta Alva (standing, striped shirt) lives full time in Guyana where he runs a cooperative project to help at risk teens. Given the nature of our old work (literacy, programmed instruction, educational publishing) this is perfectly aligned with his values. The project is an awesome undertaking and got the attention of Unicef. I'll post about it at a later time- everyone should know and appreciate what my friend is up to.
That said, there are very few Alva's in the world. Many of the rest of us chose this very noble profession of real estate, and I am glad to be one of them.