Joan Congilose's Real Estate Blog: Getting my feet wet, my first real eatate transaction

Getting my feet wet, my first real eatate transaction

My first real estate experience began 25 years ago. I was recently divorced, working a full time job  and attending college at night. I knew that some time in the future I would like to buy my first home as a single person. I really wasn't real estate savvy so I decided to take a real estate class and get my license during the Summer when college was over for the semester.

I couldn't have selected a better school to attend. The instructor was  a real estate attorney who had sold real estate prior for 20 years and the classes were enlightening. He not only taught us what we needed to know to pass the test but also shared his experiences as a Realtor. Needless  to say I passed the test the first time and decided to get my feet wet by working for a small Mom & Pop real estate office part time.

The owner took me under his wing and as my mentor I think he made me  watch, listen and read everything  Tom Hopkins ever published . In addition, his wife would take me along with her on appointments from time to time so that I had some street smarts.

Finally it happened, my first up call from first time buyers ready to buy a home. I think I was lucky because they knew as little as me and it was a learning experience for both of us. I should mention that interest rates at the time were about 16% which wasn't even an afterthought. We searched for homes ,they found one they liked , their offer was accepted and success  it closed!

I knew then that this was something I was not going to walk away from. I did continue to finish college,worked full time on my previous job and part time as a Realtor. No matter where I was or what I was doing my mind was always on  real estate. I was hooked. Eventually I took the plunge and made real estate my full time job.

25 years later I l still love what I do and still look forward to each new challenge that comes with every sale .In additon, I have personally bought and sold several homes since then. I just love to move and real estate moves me!           

Joan Congilose, Broker/ Sales Associate

my picCentury 21 Action Plus Realty

Call or e-mail me Office (732) 462-9510 Cell (732) 232-5277


Comment balloon 23 commentsJoan Congilose • April 30 2014 05:22AM


Good Morning and this is a great story!!  Keep up the good work and good luck with your business,  E

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) almost 5 years ago

Which supports my belief that many good agents are made by good employing brokers.

The tendency today is to hire as many agents as possible and toss them in "the deep end". 

A nurturing broker is money in the bank.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 5 years ago

I agree, I couldn't have asked for a better mentor.

Posted by Joan Congilose, Marlboro, Manalapan, Freehold NJ Homes (Century 21 Action Plus Realty ) almost 5 years ago

What an inspiring story.  Much success.  Agents are very fortunate when they have nurturing brokers.  I am so glad to be a fortunate agent!

Posted by Diana White-Pettis, GRI, CDPE, CNE, WHC Upper Marlboro Homes for Sale (Bennett Realty Solutions) almost 5 years ago

Your story reminds me of an interesting event one of my friends told. She was just starting out in real estate and had one her first showings. She was just starting in real estate and was driving a school bus for income until she could earn commissions. She was short on time getting to the showing and actually drove the school bus to the home that was being shown.

Posted by John Mosier, Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142 (Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert) almost 5 years ago

Hi Joan, I enjoyed reading about your first real estate experiences and I so agree with Lenn's comment to you. 

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) almost 5 years ago

Great story! surely would inspire a lot of newcomers out there. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by John Jonas, John Jonas (ReplaceMyself - Virtual Assistants) almost 5 years ago
Getting our feet wet as fine as long as we don't drown the Deepwater LOL. Sorry, I'm in a joking mood. :) Love and light, Laura
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) almost 5 years ago

I remember those 16% interest rates all too well, when I was first looking also.

Posted by Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate (Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500) almost 5 years ago

Joan, we must have had a similar broker. Listening to the Tom Hopkins tapes was a must in the office.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA almost 5 years ago

For some that first transaction hooks them for life....for others that first transaction is also the last transaction.

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) almost 5 years ago

learning life lessons takes a life time sometimes...But then, that is why we are here

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) almost 5 years ago

Great story, Joan. Congratulations and hopes for continued success!

Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) almost 5 years ago

Joan, You are a hard-working and dedicated woman.  I can feel your drive and passion reading this post. Great job.

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) almost 5 years ago

Joan, it seems a tough beginning of journey of 25 years! Glad you are there - and you love what you do.

Posted by Praful Thakkar, Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale (LAER Realty Partners) almost 5 years ago

Yay, what a nice success story!  That first transaction worked out well for both you and the buyer.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, almost 5 years ago
Wow, your entire story sounds like me right now; but fear stands in the way of taking a plunge into Real Estate full-time. It is so scary and stressful, but I my mind is on Real Estate constantly as well.
Posted by Andrea almost 5 years ago

Having a great place to start your real estate career, where you are actually trained in the business...not what it takes to pass the test, is critical.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 5 years ago


Congratulations on sticking with it and on your anniversary as a Realtor. Keep up the good work. 

Posted by Alan Kirkpatrick, Alan in Austin (Austin Texas Homes) almost 5 years ago

Hello Joan,

These are the stories we love to hear...from start to current (can't say finished!) a true success story!

Posted by Lisa Von Domek, ....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless! (Lisa Von Domek Team) almost 5 years ago

Joan,  I enjoyed reading about how you got into real estate.   I think the first ones out are always the most exciting.   I know I was too.  

Posted by Elyse Berman, PA, Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR (Best Connections Realty, Inc.) almost 5 years ago

Joan, having a little help along the way from more experienced agents willing to share their knowledge is always a big help.  Getting into the business back when rates were 16% plus was tough...glad the mid eighties are past us.

Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL) almost 5 years ago

Good Morning Joan - when you have the passion then it is not work and you give it your all.  Congratulations on a great career.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) almost 2 years ago