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I felt drawn to become a software developer because, while I enjoyed being a successful realtor, I wanted to challenge myself and have a career where I could solve problems and learn in an ever-changing landscape.
Real Estate vs Software Development
Prior to attending Punchcode, most of my professional experience was in real estate sales. While this may seem vastly different from web development, and it some ways it is, I have found quite a lot of common ground between my previous career and web development. Here are a few of the similarites I have found:
- Top real estate agents all refer to their database of clients and leads as the lifeblood of their business. As a realtor, the most important activities I conducted were to systematically work with my database using Customer Relationship Management software such as Top Producer and Liondesk. Data driven decision making and continuous problem solving were at the heart of my professional real estate career. This foundation was incredibly applicable when working to resolve project planning and debugging challenges in software engineering.
- One of most important skills in real estate is managing customer expectations and eduacting customers about what is realistic in the current market. Sellers frequently want to list their home for more than it is worth and buyers frequently expect to get more features and a better location than their budget allows. Customer service in real estate is all about understanding clients' needs, respectfully educating them about what is feasible, and guiding them to a positive resolution they end up being very happy with in the end. This process is very similar to what I expect to encounter in developing software to meet customer needs.
- The process of managing the workflow of a real estate transaction is very similar to tackling issues or tickets in a software project. As a realtor I used Kanban style system to keep track of critical deadlines and milestones in each transaction. Meeting customer due diligence deadlines, keeping track of appraisal and loan contingency deadlines as well as ordering appraisal and inspection reports, scheduling payment for multiple transactions all require diligent organization. I feel that these activities have prepared me very well for developing software in an Agile or Kanban oriented system and meeting sprint goals while communicating what activities I have been working on.