At 19, my oldest son packed his T100 and drove to Portland.
A home-schooled child, Ryan was my partner in crime. He was there when I bought my first sports car. Landscaped the entire back yard with me. We rode dirt bikes together. Rafted the middle fork of the American River. He was my roadie for many a concert performance. My sidekick on trips home to NYC.
He needed out of the small town and fell in love with Portland. The 23rd St. district to be exact. So he spent a week walking the streets knocking on doors looking for an apartment.
His goal, spend a year. Experience life with rain. And study for his license exam through Pro Schools.
Ryan already owned two homes. He had dreams of investing and wanted to participate to some degree in an industry in which I have been immersed for 12 years. His grandmother (my mother) sold real estate. It’s in his blood.
Today, Ryan called. My wife happened to be in the office at the time. He passed his test. Over 200 questions. He got almost all of them right. It was a cause for a celebration.
Today my son is a real estate agent.
He has become part of a great industry – a new entrant with ideas, talents, desires and hopes. He wants to make millions he tells me. The stack of books in his apartment stand testimony to his passion. Along with the links to scores of industry blogs he reads.
He wants to be independent. He wants to carve out his own niche. Make his way. Build his own empire.
I remind him that there is more to life than money: “I know dad,” he says. But at 20, with gas, food, housing and all the basics at such a premium, making money is paramount.
Ryan is the next generation. A 20-year old independent self starter. He’s comfortable with gadgets. IM. SMS. The Web. He’s not big on social networks — he finds them a bit juvenile and a waste of time. They may in fact be, or he may not have found their purpose yet. A simple message uploaded to Twitter would save him hundreds of minutes of cell phone time.
He finds that intriguing.
I asked him if he plans on representing others. He thinks that at some point he will. After he spends time doing it for himself. Learning the ropes. Making mistakes on his dime rather than practicing on others. I suggested he find a mentor. A broker or an agent who can take him under their wing. I tell him to forgo earning right now. Do whatever it takes to get the education. Don’t be greedy.
There is a beautiful Windermere office around the corner from where he lives. The environmental branding within is worth beholding. I advised him to stop in and make their acquaintance.
That’s on his list. Along with this home he looking to buy, fix up and rent. But that’s tomorrow. Today, tonight, he will celebrate. As will my wife and I.