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Do What You Love!

How it all got started: … Where do I start?  At the beginning of course! Seven years ago I got married to the best woman ever and moved to Costa Rica. Being married is one of the best decisions I have ever made.  After getting married, Elena and I moved to Huacas Guanacaste, a small town about 15 minutes from Tamarindo and Flamingo Costa Rica.

Before getting married and moving to Costa Rica I had two businesses in Kentucky: Custom Home Building and an Auto Repair Shop. After getting settled into Costa Rica and taking Spanish classes, it was time to work. What to do… That was a decision I made carefully. After scouting around and asking lots of questions, I had decided, A/C repair and installation would be the business.

Most of the people who have Air Conditioners only speak English and most all of the technicians only spoke Spanish – good reasoning for getting into it I reasoned. After a few months we were up and running.  Quite a few clients, and a whole new vocabulary to learn. (Why can’t the name of the parts for air conditioners be the same in all languages)?

So one day I was in the Re/Max office servicing their A/C. While I was working, two other agents were talking about getting an iPhone but did not know how to unlock them for use in Costa Rica. (That is the way it used to be, you had to “unlock” the iPhone for use in Costa Rica – not anymore).

Well.. I had been unlocking and selling iPhones for a while. So I came down off the ladder and explained the process to them. The Broker called me upstairs and offered me a job selling Real Estate.  I readily accepted!  Now we could end the story here with the famous words: and the rest is history… But that’s not my style.  The Broker explained how the pay structure would work: I would pay a monthly desk fee and when I sell something, I’d get a commission.  Sounded easy enough.  I had been a salesman my whole life, in one-way or another.  That’s how I got the best woman on the planet to marry me, Sales!

I heard a saying 20 years ago: Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.  It was time to ACT!

Re/Max, the largest Real Estate Company in the world, just offered me a job! Me, a redneck, hillbilly from Kentucky! Of course I took it! After a short time of learning the ropes and riding around with my Broker while he showed properties (I was memorizing everything he said and did!)  He is the best at this job, no pressure, he just asked lots of questions and listened to what the client said, then, helped them find what they wanted.

In no time, I was showing property by myself.  I was answering client’s questions through email about the home buying process in Costa Rica and how to get residency in Costa Rica with a property purchase. I have always looked for a way to improve on the current business model rather than re-invent it.  That is what I decided to do with Real Estate also – Do it really good – and improve on what others were doing.

I noticed that most all of other Real Estate agents in the area were not taking pictures of their listings, or at best, 4-5 pictures that were blurry.

I got a good camera (as a gift from a good friend) and started taking pictures. In the beginning I didn’t have any listings of my own.  So I would go and get keys to all of the other agent’s listings and then go and take 20 – 30 pictures of their $500,000 condo for sale.

Then I thought, why are there no videos of these properties? So I made a video for almost every property for sale in our territory.  I took the video with me in front of the camera, explained who I was and how to contact me, gave a full HD walk through and then would post it to several web sites.

The owners of those properties would then Google there own property and see me in it. For example, I would take a video of Diria Condo #104 – then post the video on the internet and use the title: Diria Condo #104 for sale in Costa Rica – well, the owners would see the video and contact me and tell me they want me to be the listing agent and get there condo sold.

Needless to say, some of the other agents didn’t like that… My Broker took me aside and told me something that has stuck with me: “If You’re Not Out In Front Of Them, Leading Them, They Can’t Kick You In The Butt! Keep Doing What You’re Doing And You’re Going To Be Very Successful!”

So I did just that!  Year after year, the one I could not out sell was my Broker, Chris Simmons is the best, and without even trying he is awesome!

Before long House Hunters International contacted me and asked me to film an episode for the show!  I was so excited! To this day, I have no idea how they found me and chose me. To prepare for the show, I watched as many re-runs as is humanly possible.  What to do and what NOT to do in front of the camera.

That show brought me quite a bit of business.

This “Job” truly is the best “Job” I have ever had!  I cannot imagine doing anything else to make a living.  I get to meet different people everyday and help them find a great place that makes them money and gives them a great place to bring there family on vacation.

My Mom calls during “working” hours and she will start will the same sentence most every time: Are you working? I don’t want to bother you while you’re working. I am never sure how to answer that question, because to me, this is not a “Job” – this truly is, doing what I love!

So lets close with these famous words: Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life!

Thanks for reading!

Chris Spear