How does someone decide they’re meant for more than just the ordinary working world and jump head-first into an entrepreneurial lifestyle? According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 82 percent of agents got into real estate as a second career. Not all of us are made to stick to a 9-5 way of thinking- some of us are determined to do more so we can put more into our families and the world around us. Read on to find out how Jacob Krull left his careers in personal training and at Wells Fargo to break free of the status quo. He shares his story of defying the odds to take on the exciting, but unpredictable, world of real estate during a global pandemic. 

started real estate career during a pandemic

I have a diverse work background. After college, I worked in various gyms across Minnesota and Iowa as a personal trainer. I’ve always had a passion for health and fitness so a career as a personal trainer seemed like a no-brainer. Then I worked as a preschool teacher for KinderCare learning centers. It was great because I love kids! But it didn’t work out how I hoped so I left for Wells Fargo. For four years, I worked in the Real Estate Owned department as a contract specialist for their program. It taught me a lot about the mortgage industry and gave me the confidence to finally jump into real estate. 

What Makes Someone Leave a Stable Job for Real Estate?

From the moment I married my wife, I’ve always wanted to make a living that lets her do whatever she wants to do, whether that be working or not. She has worked so hard for our family and continues to do so tirelessly which motivates me more to make this a successful career. 

The final straw for me was my last 6-7 months at Wells Fargo. I became very unhappy with such a set schedule every single day- which is weird because in my personal life I am a creature of habit. But at work, I knew what I was doing during the day was exactly what I would be doing a month from now and that was just unsettling. 

I tried changing careers and moving up or even sideways to break up the monotony but nothing seemed to work. I explored a field called dropshipping. It’s a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep its products in stock but rather purchases it from a third party and ships it directly to the customer. I tried it for a year but just could not get the hang of it and ended up selling my store at a loss and never looked back. It did give me a ton of knowledge of online marketing which I hope carries over to real estate.

Finally, one day I just had enough and decided to go straight to being a REALTOR® so I could finally start living the way I want to live. 

Starting a Real Estate Career During a Pandemic

My first full day as an agent was the first day of lockdowns. I couldn’t plan that again if I tried! So on top of living the new agent life where I was told it might take me 3-6 months before I have a client, I’ve also had to navigate a pandemic along with every other agent. 

It’s been interesting so far. I’ve always wanted a job where I can work where I want and wear what I want. Now that I have that, I almost don’t know what to do next! The biggest obstacle is not having things move at the pace I thought they would. I read and studied and prepared for a life of some busy weeks and some slow weeks, but to live it just seems weird. I wouldn’t change it for the other careers I’ve had though. 

I have mental freedom! I can wake up and my mind is clear and focused because I don’t have to worry about getting to work on time, what to wear and what the workday is like because now every day is different. It gives me mental clarity to be there 100% for my clients and peers because I don’t have “trivial” things to worry about. 

My work-life balance has improved because I can be there for my family when they need me and they’re super understanding when I need work. 

started real estate career during a pandemic
My wife, Martha, and I with our daughter Amelia.

Advice for Others Who are Unhappy with Their Careers

I chose real estate because I want to know I helped someone buy a home they’ll bring their first pet to, get married in and experience joy and happiness in. I also want to help them sell that home because they need a bigger one for their new family or because they got a new job and can afford it. I want to be there for other people’s big moments and know I played a small part in them.

Do what makes you happy. Obviously you need to do a little planning and thinking about how you’re going to execute a change. But if what you’re doing now isn’t making you happy then don’t do it! Think about what you want to do, explore ways to make it profitable and then go do it. Making a drastic change like this is scary, but if you let that fear stop you then you will stay right where you are now. 

Ready to break free of the mundane and build your life the way you want it to be? Find out more about what it means to join the relentless team at C21®. Check out our website to learn how to build a successful real estate business.