BY TREVOR SMITH, STAFF WRITER; NAYOMI SANTOS, STAFF WRITER
STUDENT: Ishaan Gupta
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO WORK IN REAL ESTATE?
It’s a very flexible job with good earning potential. It is also a very relaxing and enjoyable business. You are your own boss. That has its own responsibilities and own stress with it, but I love it. I enjoy every aspect of the business, from the beginning confrontation with the customer to the final closing of the sale at the end. The main reason I love the job is because it is very business-centered, and it’s almost like running your own business. It ties in with my future plans [because] I’m majoring in finance and I want to work in the business field.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT YOUR WORK?
It is really fun to work with people. There is something so satisfying in helping a client with the next stage of their life, as buying or selling a home is a very big life decision. I like to work the most with buyers [because] sellers usually just need their current house sold. Helping buyers, however, is really exciting; it’s almost like a rush to find people their new home. You work very closely with them to find the perfect match, and sometimes it takes a lot of showings. It’s a lot of work, but eventually you find the right one and a sale is made.
IS IT HARD WORK?
It is extremely difficult. First of all, it’s a very hustler type of business. There is no salary involved, it’s 100 percent sale commissions. If you’re not making any sales, you’re not doing any business. That’s why it’s so tough. Even just getting a listing or a client looking for a house is very hard. 95 percent of the time all the business you get is from your own personal marketing and rigorous prospecting [to find] new business.
One way to get new business is through cold calling, and it’s very hard to land a sale this way because you’re reaching out to them instead of vice versa. Usually, there are good leads to call, but sometimes you have to call random homeowners in hopes that they are looking to buy or sell. You have to be very persistent because a lot of prospects hang up. It is very rare to get new clients who reach out to you or people walking in to the office. Throughout my entire career, I have only made four deals [through cold calling potential buyers for my boss.]. But if the house is average or above average in price, your commission can be really good.
IS IT DIFFICULT TO BALANCE SCHOOL WITH YOUR WORK?
It is, surprisingly, very easy. Usually, client showings are all done on their time and people are usually free after 5 p.m. and on weekends. That works out for me because all my classes are in the morning and afternoon, and I am always free in the evenings and on the weekends. As a part time job, the money I get is enough to help out with tuition and other college expenses. It’s a great job for me, as it fits in with my school schedule, despite seeming like such a rigorous business.
WILL YOU BE DOING THIS FULL TIME AFTER COLLEGE?
I don’t think I will. However, it has definitely led me to think about what my future career options are. I feel like if I get a job in finance or business, I will have the necessary experience from working at the place I’m at now.
ORGANIZATION: Log Rolling Club
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START A LOG ROLLING CLUB AT MASON?
Well, if I’m being really serious, so I didn’t have to pay for myself to go to another tournament. Being the only person and [with] no funding to back it up, I would have to raise my own money to go and work hard to do it. Luckily, my aunt was there to help me, and she chipped in and paid for some hotels and then I drove. For the most part, that was what it was. But [also] being able to say I’ve done something and [left] behind something at George Mason, and hope that the legacy continues and grows. I think at the end of the day, that’s super cool. To leave my mark.
WHAT ARE THE CLUB’S GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS?
Something that I am super happy that we have, that not a lot of organizations have, is a good sense of community and friendship. You can say that you’re a part of an organization, but do you really know anyone who is a part of that organization? We always come together outside [of meetings], whether it be like going to volleyball, or meeting to just talk and hang out [to see] how each other is doing. Even when we’re practicing, we have those side conversations, like, we aren’t sitting there bored waiting to get on to the log. I think that is something that I am really happy that we have. We made our own trophies for last competition, which was really dope.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS SPECIAL ABOUT BRINGING SUCH A UNIQUE SPORT TO MASON?
Well, it’s kind of like you said. It’s something unique and different for people to try. We’re also one of the first colleges to have it, so getting a head start now can put us ahead of the game when tournaments start becoming more frequent and other colleges start catching on to the trend. Also, the way we have it set up here doesn’t require you to be good, or even be competitive. Before I became competitive, I used it as a way to relax after a stressful day or week of school.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE CLUB?
Definitely to expand the club, but at a reasonable pace. Right now, we only have one log. The whole, year-long goal is to get a new log. One of the challenges in that is that we have nationals to go to. And we definitely will try to go, but we have to limit who will go, or see how we can fit that into our budget so we have to fundraise. So, growing at a reasonable pace so that no one is just sitting there but also participating.
And just really improving upon what we have. I think we have a really solid foundation. It’s not something that is super hard to get into. You pick it up and learn it pretty fast.