Student Success Story: Meet Stacie Testaguzza, Real Estate Agent
March 2, 2017 |
As the leader in real estate education, Hondros College prides itself on educating some of the top-performing real estate agents in Ohio. It’s our mission to continue our relationships with our students following completion of their real estate education. We sat down with recent Hondros alumna, Stacie Testaguzza, who sells real estate part-time with Keller Williams, while also working as a buyer for the US Navy, to learn about how her real estate courses at Hondros College impacted her life.
What made you decide to take Real Estate courses at Hondros?
I was interested in buying a house, and it was recommended that I take classes. I mean, who doesn’t want to be paid to buy their own house? I was in Sales before, so it seemed like a good next step in my career.
What was the most enjoyable part of your RE courses? Did it prepare you for the exam?
I signed up for the biggest package of classes, and it was a great experience. The professors were amazing, and have kept in contact with me after the classes. I made friends in the class, and it felt like it was a big community, during and after the classes. I am a really busy person, and the flexibility was great for me. I had to miss a class once, and it was very easy for me to make that class up during the week.
Can you explain your experience with The Crammer course?
We did a lot of work through the crammer course, I think I took it on a Saturday morning. It gets you in the mindset of sitting down and taking the exam, when you don’t have the help of your classmates. I liked that in the crammer course, we went through the exam afterward and we knew why the answers were what we were.
It’s just funny the people that you meet that come back into your life later. I took the Hondros six-week weekend course, and the career night that I went to actually connected me with my first brokerage. I thought the career fair was great, and there were a lot of companies there.
What did your life look like before your career change?
I used to work full time for Helzberg Diamonds in sales. Now I work as a buyer for the Navy, so I work in real estate as a part time job.
How has your life been since you received your real estate license?
Drastically different! Real estate is a part time position for me, but I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t gotten my real estate license at Hondros. I would still be in jewelry sales, which I loved, but I feel that my career now offers a lot of growth. I own a house now, which is a huge accomplishment. I have also expanded my professional sphere of influences and have met a lot of intelligent and successful people along the way. I am excited to continue expanding my professional relationships here in Columbus.
What is one of your biggest challenges in your courses and when you first got into real estate?
Retaining all of the information that you are learning from the classes can be challenging. I didn’t go into the courses knowing a lot about the real estate market, so there was a lot to learn. But it was a great experience, and I made a lot of friends through study groups. After classes, the biggest challenge was converting “just lookers” into buyers. It is really hard to get someone focused to buy a house. With Zillow and realtor.com, there is a lot of people that are “just looking”, and a lot of people that aren’t serious, so it can be difficult to convert.
So, you have said that you work Real Estate part time, would you consider working full time?
I love my full time job working in the government, so I don’t want to give that up. But I love the extra money and flexibility that Real Estate gives me.
As a real estate agent, can you tell us about work-life balance?
That is really my biggest challenge, managing and delegating my time between work and friends and family. I think staying positive and organized has kept my work life balance, but it can be really hard. But I like making money, and being successful! If I didn’t buckle down and put my time into Real Estate, I wouldn’t succeed. You have to be really committed to succeeding.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I make jewelry! I like making and selling jewelry, and that is my hobby outside of real estate and my Government position.
Tell us about your first sale.
My first sale was a land contract and I worked with a team. I never met the people who bought the land until we closed the sale, I talked to them on the phone and did the research for them, but I met them at the closing table.
How do you get most of your leads?
My hair dresser has brought me a lot of leads this year. I have also been advertising on Zillow and Trulia which has been very successful.
What is your most memorable sale?
I didn’t personally sell the house, but someone I was working with did. They were flipping a house, and when they visited the house for the first time after purchasing it they had found a litter of kittens in the house, and I got a kitten out of it!
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I can see myself being a successful full time real estate agent in the near future. I would like to continue helping clients purchase and sell homes in the Greater Columbus area. I am also considering flipping homes and owning rental properties myself. The future is looking bright and I’m very thankful to Hondros College for helping me kickstart my success!
Any words of wisdom or advice for those considering taking courses in Real Estate?
If you feel like you could be good at sales and you feel like you can establish good client relationships, you should get into Real Estate because, if you have the heart for it, you can make a lot of money. And, it is a very fulfilling job in this world. Impacting people’s lives as a real estate agent by putting people in homes is very fulfilling.