Real estate is one of those careers where flexible jobs mean the possibility to fast-track your earnings and make millions in the early stages. Real estate professionals don’t earn a salary — which can sometimes work out to their advantage because if you know how to earn money in real estate you can earn a lot of it.
Of course, it doesn’t always work out like that. Sometimes, it can be tricky to grow your real estate business and many agents get discouraged when they find out it takes a lot of hard work to earn top dollar. For Melanie Bajrovic, however, the business came naturally.
“I didn’t want to be a bartender forever,” said Bajrovic. The daughter of immigrants, she worked in her family’s restaurant from a young age, saving most of her earnings to propel her to something bigger.
She bought her first house at just 22 years old and has continued investing in real estate, hitting the multi-million dollar mark in investments when she was just 27 years old.
Here’s how Bajrovic did it, and her recommendations for real estate professionals who came into the industry for the flexible jobs and want to learn how to grow their wealth within it.
Q: Many people consider real estate for the flexible jobs and earning potential, but few successfully make the jump. How do you get started?
“I always recommend, first and foremost: education is incredible. But, it’s not the key. Knowledge without execution is useless. Not only do people need to become educated on real estate but all the magic is in the action.
People keep dilly-dallying for way too long. They take too long in the learning phases because they’re scared.”
Bajrovic’s recommendation: “If you have the proper contingencies in place, which is what getting a real estate education will teach you, then people should be taking those action steps.” In other words: get started!
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Q: You first profited on rental income from residential properties, but your real money has come from your commercial property assets. How did you find the money to make a big commercial real estate investment?
“People think, ‘I don’t have the money so I can’t invest.’ That’s backward. If you find the right deal, lenders love asset-based deals that have equity in them. I got savvier over the years with creative financing.
The real big-ticket for me was when I was 27 years old. That’s when I got my first commercial property. That was the really big deal, that’s a big huge decision that shifted the tiny portfolio of a few houses. That one required some creative financing to close the deal on the commercial property.
Not only did I have money saved up for that but it wasn’t only that, I leveraged my other properties and used them as collateral. That enabled me to make that jump.”
Q: How do you go from being a bartender to becoming a successful real estate professional? Did you have a head start? Can anyone do it?
“I was a minimum wage bartender and I went to having a net worth in the millions of dollars. I didn’t have any special education in real estate or any silver spoon. I didn’t have a head start. Anyone can do this. It’s just a matter of you’ve got to be hungry for something.
Real estate doesn’t discriminate against anyone, it’s accessible to everyone if you want it bad enough. You’ve just got to learn a few things about it to get started and the possibilities are endless.”