A force to be reckoned with, Jessica Tam is synonymous with self-made entrepreneur. What started off as a position in sales, turned into a full career in real estate. Working for a top developer in the city, she developed a bold sales approach and learned quickly the ins and outs of the game. After a few years selling pre construction residential projects, she decided to get her real estate license. Closely approaching five years in the industry, and she can also add title of real estate investor to her account, with over ten doors and counting in her real estate portfolio. Here’s her entrepreneurial journey to success on her own terms!
Tell us about your journey into real estate?
I had a lot of different venues, meaning I was trying out a lot of different paths in life and I come from a long family restaurant background. And then after that, I started my own and had a couple of start-ups but unfortunately it never worked out. After graduating in human resources, I was looking for a job and that’s when my friend, who at that time, was working in real estate directly for a contractor/builder. I was always very curious about real estate, and I contacted her because I wanted to invest but I had no knowledge of how things worked. I was offered a job that would take me in until I found a job in my field.
I went in as a sales representative and started really learning the ins and outs of it while also investing. I was mainly doing pre-sale condo projects for quit a while. I loved that while I was selling these units to people, I got to meet so many various people from different backgrounds and get to see all kinds of different life perspectives. I really fell in love with real estate from there and my whole mentality changed. Instead of spending my money and bonuses on purses or other things of that sort I put all my money in different types of real estate.
That was my thing for a couple of years. And then after four years working with the builder, I started to feel like there was no advancement for me. Like there was no more to grow. So then after that, I decided to do my real estate brokers license while working at the same time. By October it was all done, and I was loving it.
I feel like you came at a very good time into the industry as a real estate broker.
Yes, it was perfect timing. It was crazy there were months I worked every single day for 30 days straight. If I had stayed at my old position, I would never have had the opportunity to grow as I did. And have had the personal development as I did work for myself. As a real estate broker, you really must manage everything from marketing to the business aspect to the clients. I don’t think there is any better way to grow at an exponential way. It’s crazy, in such a little amount of time I have grown so much, unbelievable. I honestly love it, every single part of it and that is why I have been working harder than ever and it doesn’t even feel like work.
I realized that my strong suit isn’t marketing but what I really love and enjoy about this career what I really like is when you have that special connection with your clients, and you earn their trust and there is such a bond that is build that is when I feel like super woman.
Do you feel like with time you exude more confidence and really get in the groove of things?
Absolutely, the more you do something the better you get at it. I’ve always been a bit good at reading people because I’ve always been in sales. But I would say it’s very different because when I was in the sales, people would come to me and ask me question and I wouldn’t know everything by heart. In real estate it’s very different because each case is different, and each person’s needs are different. I would say most of my clients today have become my friends and still message me long after our transaction has ended.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years?
My long-term goal is truly to own as many doors as I can and build a large portfolio of properties. I also never want to lose the passion I have for this industry and most importantly for what I do because then why am I even doing it. I know that if I keep this up for the next 10 years success will naturally follow. I also remind myself how important it is especially with a long-term vision, to keep a work life balance. I always want to have time for friends and family and one day for my kids and that is something you need to develop from the beginning or else you get caught up in work and the hustle too much.
What are some of the things that bring you balance in your life?
This is something I really need to work on and be more proactive because I am very generous with my time. I really enjoy what I do and its not an excuse, but I don’t do as much as I should for myself, like physical activities or pampering myself. But it’s something I am working on every day.
Have you noticed any shifts in the way people are investing nowadays?
It’s hard because most of the investors didn’t want to buy during the pandemic because of the multiple offer situations and the bidding war situation and a lot of my investors had to be on hold because the prices were getting out of hand. About a month and a half ago, it slowed down a little bit so some investors, they were able to get some pretty good deals, but which is very rare as well. A lot of buyers were looking for homes and would lose offer after offer because the competition and the prices were so competitive. It’s really a seller’s market, like they have the full control of the situation, they can get anything they want. But a part of that it’s also being a psychologist in the sense of supporting your clients and having empathy for them because its not easy to want to settle into a home and get your offer rejected multiple times. It is the hardest part of the job in my opinion.
Tell us what inspires you?
I love the moment that I call my clients and tell them the good news that their offer got accepted and that there dream property is now officially theirs. It’s quit the feeling. So far as a new broker, I’ve done zero marketing, it was all raw. Like, I mean, which is good for me, because I, I’m not good at doing marketing. But I know that eventually, this is an aspect that I would have to focus on to grow my business. However, so far, it’s all by references, because I’ve worked with a couple of clients, and then they refer me to another one of their friends or family. It’s truly a connection that being built and it gives me all the energy and love to keep pushing harder and poring myself more into this field.
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