Before They Were REALTORS®: What Missouri REALTORS® did before getting into real estate

By Missouri REALTORS posted 03-29-2017 06:36 PM


Before They Were Realtors Many REALTORS® had previous careers before getting involved in real estate. In a recent discussion on Common Ground, Missouri REALTORS® shared stories about their past jobs. We discovered that our REALTORS® have done it all, from banking to event planning to meteorology! There were so many great responses that we couldn’t include them all, so click here to read more.


“I was a news reporter and I learned to be fearless and ask anyone anything!” Sharon Keating, RE/MAX, Jefferson City

“I spent 30 plus years in broadcasting at some remarkable television properties. Since we moved around from TV market to TV market I had the pleasure of working with some really great realtors. That is one reason I chose to become involved in real estate.” David Stockard, House of Brokers Realty, Columbia

Healthcare Industry

“My occupation prior to becoming a realtor was as a dietary manager. There was once a large strike that lasted for 2 weeks, and I was grateful for prior relationships I had established because there were many violent outbursts and damage done to homes and vehicles of the employees that chose to work through the strike. I think two things I use in real estate from this experience are documentation and negotiation skills.” Isabelle Walker, Eagle Management & Realty 1, Springfield

“Before doing real estate, I was a business development manager for a healthcare company. Being in the healthcare industry helped me get used to and overcome rejections.” Joseph Magsaysay, Keller Williams, Chesterfield

“For over two decades I worked as an RN and case manager in home health. I was in a lot of homes and meeting new people every day. I loved doing that then and I love doing that now! I love helping people. There are several similarities between those two professions - both require good assessment skills, high levels of knowledge, patience, teaching skills and genuinely caring about people and their outcomes.” Gail Yancik, Realty Executives of Kansas City, Lee's Summit


“I was Vice President of Small Business Banking for US Bank.” Barry Upchurch, Barry Upchurch Realty, St. Louis

“I was a banker for 19 years, both in Iowa and the Chicago area. Then I was a technical writer through a contract for the U.S. Department of Moving On, and a retail manager for a brief time. Afterward, I became a property manager for a private owner. I have been an agent since 2005 and am still active, but now focus on pre-license and continuing education through my real estate school.” Katie Anthony, Old World Realty, Ozark

“Prior to becoming a Missouri REALTOR®, I worked for four years at a law firm specializing in estate planning, family trust creation and land sales. Afteward, I spent another 25 years in the banking industry, primarily focused in all types of loans. I worked myself to a VP level in management, overlooking 90 offices loan production and 26 loan processors. Then 16 years as a broker and owner of The Joerling Group real estate team. And today, I love real estate, all facets of it as well as management and coaching.” Donna K. Joerling, Lake of the Ozarks


“I started out in the US Air Force where I first managed the largest food service operation they had in the Pacific as a 2nd Lt., then managed the largest food service operation they had in Europe. My final job before real estate was as a dietetics instructor at Fontbonne University.” Dale Weir, Coldwell Banker Gundaker, Chesterfield

“I went right from school into the Army and spent 15 years in the Army before I started selling real estate 26 years ago.” Craig Conant, Key Realty, Warrensburg

“I worked for IRS and then was a stay-at-home mom!” Jodie Iams, Crown Realty, Ottawa, Kansas 

“I was the first female police officer hired in a 55-man police department in St. Louis County. I worked there just under five years before I started doing real estate on the side in 1986 for extra income.” Janet Judd, RE/MAX, St. Louis

“Immediately before becoming an appraiser I was a planner for a quasi-governmental agency. The most important thing I have to say is every job I have ever held gave me some experience that is useful in my career. For example, my second short-term job after getting out of the service was as a taxi driver. I learned to find my way around, both location and people.” Steven Owen, Owen Appraisal Service, Joplin

“I worked for the post office as a city carrier prior to getting my real estate license. I also clerked, worked the sales window, ran sorting machines and filled in as supervisor. I not only worked with all kinds of people, but also came across several types of people while delivering and working the window, which gave me great communication skills.” Debbie Barlos, Keller Williams, Joplin

Real Estate

“Real estate was my first profession after college. Prior to and during college, I worked construction in the summers on primarily custom home builds with my father. Obviously, knowing how a home is built from the ground up helps me on a day-to-day basis in this career.” Derek Schriewer, RE/MAX, Washington

“Well, it seems I am in the minority since real estate was my first career! I did work at a furniture store during college and for a couple months following, which taught me how to budget accordingly and that I CAN survive on straight commission.” Heather Condon, Century 21 Whitney Agency, KirksvilleBusiness/Business Management

“I was Chuck-E-Cheese when I was a senior in high school. During college, I sold flooring and copy machines. After college, I sold retail advertisements for the St. Louis Post Dispatch and then industrial packaging before getting licensed. I learned through all my jobs that I didn't want a boss. I wanted to control my life and income, and the rest is history!” Michelle Walker, STL Buy & Sell, St. Peters

“I had several manager positions in the upper echelon of companies where I learned that the word "no" is not in my vocabulary.” Dixie L. Collins, Mexico

“Before real estate, I worked as facilities manager of a law firm.” Aundre Gray, BHG Kansas City Homes, Kansas City

“Before I started my career in real estate, I was a retail marketing specialist for Kroger's and oversaw the marketing and operations of 263 stores in Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. The biggest skill that I learned in that position that I still use today is organization.” Alan Wheat, RE/MAX, Jefferson City


“I worked for two large distribution companies for 30 years. I was in industrial sales for half of that time and sales management for the other half. Work ethic is the most important skill that transferred to my career in real estate.” Daniel ONeill, Reece Nichols East, Lee's Summit


“Before real estate, I was a teacher. Teaching prepared me for working with the public and building relationships. I loved teaching, but I really love the flexibility of my schedule with selling real estate!” Dawn Long, RE/MAX, Platte City


“Before becoming a realtor, I worked as a sanitation engineer, or trash man. When you graduate from high school at 17 you find out you are not a candidate for most jobs. I then began a career at Union Electric, Ameren, Ameren Missouri and then retirement.” Randall Bandy, Berkshire Hathaway Alliance, Fenton

“Before becoming a real estate agent I was, and currently am, a musician for 37 years. Playing, as well as being a guitar instructor, taught me that dedication and discipline reap great rewards. Also, when you play guitar, you can't stop. If you mess up, keep going. No one knows you did unless you stop. So in real estate, I'm always just going to keep going!” Scott Theis, Stutesman's Action Realty, Nevada

“I was a charter and school bus driver for 12 years.” Deana Wolfe, CJR Tri Lakes, Branson West

“I was an event planner for a college. 300 events per year and working with the community prepared me to be flexible and listen to concerns.” Anna Hatridge, Goodson Realty, Park Hills

“Before becoming a REALTOR®, I was a meteorologist. Following retirement from the NWS, I find enjoyment in working with people to deliver a smooth transaction in residential sales.” Thomas Townsend, Reece Nichols East, Lee’s Summit

Did you have a previous career before becoming a REALTOR®? If so, share your story in the comments below!