Helen Keller said it – “Life is a daring adventure, or nothing at all”, and I think most of us would have to agree.
2016 has been a year of daring adventures, for sure.
The year started off with fresh new opportunities and a long term vision of being a part of something great….and it truly was. I had the pleasure of taking someone’s baby (Bamboo Realty Houston) and working to help it grow. Despite some hiccups along the way (hey that’s business, right), it was indeed growing. However, on December 12th, as some of my friends and family know, it was time to let it go. Ownership made the difficult decision to close or sell Houston operations of the company at the end of the year. My first feelings were those of confusion, disappointment, some resentment, and of course a lot of sadness. I took someone else’s baby and had made it my own…not the first time in life that I’ve done that (a story for another time). Through the difficult time of realizing that I would now be in a position to figure out the next step for my family and me, I was surrounded by many friends who cheered me on, knowing that my next thing would be just as great or better…and they were right! It really is true that when one door closes, another opens…and if the Bamboo door had not been closed, this amazing door that opened would not have even been placed in front of me.
Ok, Ryan, get to the point!!
A good friend of mine that I have the pleasure of knowing through sitting on committees and advisory boards at the Houston Association of REALTORS sent me an encouraging message, then asked if we could meet for coffee. At this point I wasn’t sure what it was all about, but I agreed. Our 2 hour coffee appointment turned into an outstanding business opportunity that will allow me to use all the skills and passions God has put in me.
I will begin the new year as part of the management team at one of Houston’s fastest growing independent real estate companies, JLA Realty. This will afford me the opportunity to do something I have always wanted to do….be a part of the greater expansion of a brand through relationships, mentoring and training. I will be opening and operating new JLA branches for agents in Houston and across the great state of Texas as the company continues to grow. Over the past two years, JLA has added a new agent to the company virtually every other day…over 300 to a company of almost 400 agents now. As a student of the industry, and one that watches what others are doing (to see what to do, and what not to do), this company always struck me as very interesting as they continued to grow at a rapid pace and retain their agents….it told me that something they were doing was right. It is a company in which family is of vital importance, their mantra is work to live – not live to work, and training is about marketing and agents building an actual business. To now have the opportunity to partner with them and continue to grow the company, is one I am sincerely grateful for and will embrace.
I am also truly excited to get back to personally helping individuals and families find ‘home’, something I let go of for the most part over the past year. In a real estate industry where a large focus is on “homeownership”, I will still be one to stand for and help those that define “home” in a different way (renting)…something I will always carry with me that was an important part of my previous company’s mission.
This past year I also took a break from something I had spent a great deal of time doing previously in my career. I love teaching and speaking to groups inside and out of the real estate industry, and I had said “no” quite a bit in 2016. I have already been approached about speaking to groups in 2017, and it felt great to say “yes!” I’m excited to get to do some traveling and meet more great folks across the country, while doing presentations on marketing, technology, creating systems and overcoming obstacles in a business that is so closely tied to everyday life.
Through all of this I have learned so much about myself and the great relationships I have in my life. Despite the sadness and confusion, I continued to push ahead with the realization that God had me right where I needed to be….a lesson I will never forget and will continue to remind myself and my kids of. I’m so thankful for a supportive wife who stood by me and encouraged me everyday to continue to seek God’s plan and to trust in the gifts that He has put in me.
2017 will be an outstanding year of new opportunities, new relationships and new offices, while doing some of the same things that I have always loved about being in the real estate industry. I look forward to helping families find home, helping agents find success, and continue enjoying life with my beautiful family. Thank you to those that offered their thoughts and prayers during this time, my family is truly blessed by you.
May 2017 bring you joy, blessings, prosperity and new opportunities, as well.