How to Make Money Four Months out of Twelve

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As part of my 10th anniversary series (I celebrated a decade in real estate on January 5th of this year), I went looking for, and found, my 1099 for my very first year in real estate.


That figure, in case it’s difficult to read, is $18,112.92. That was my net take-home pay in 2004.

Granted, a dollar went farther in 2004 than it does now, but it didn’t go as far as it had in 2003, when my salary was greater than $40,000.00 .

Attached to that form is a Statement of Earnings and Deductions for each of my sales that year. My very first paycheck in real estate totaled, $457.63. Oh my gosh!!! The gross commission earned on that sale was $1950.00, after four months of office expenses and with my split at 58.8%, I netted $457.63. Goodness! I wonder why I stayed in the field!

I also see that I received paychecks on May 3rd, June 21st and 29th, July 7th, and August 18th, 19th and 31st. AND NO MORE FOR THE YEAR!!! Four months without earning a penny, four months where I earned over $18,000, and then four more earnings-free months. No wonder my husband was demanding a new career for me early in 2005!

Yesterday, I showed a house to a couple. They’ve outgrown their old house and it’s time to move to something larger, with more storage space, and distinct areas for how families live when there are teenagers in the house and privacy becomes a commodity. I had already shown them another house, and went on to show them more. But the minute they walked into this particular home, they knew it was THE ONE. They crossed the threshold and I saw the look I’ve seen dozens of times, and yet never grow tired of seeing. It’s a dreamy-eyed look of hope, and possibility, and plans coming to fruition. Some people show it less than others, some people broadcast it across their faces. But it’s something buyers have in common and it never fails to make me smile.

And I think that’s why I didn’t give up after that first year. It’s why I’m still doing this ten years later. When you can usher someone into the first stage of a dream, why would you choose not to?

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About The Author
Cari McGee

My husband and I came to the Tri-Cities in 1994, and we thought it would be a temporary stop on our way to larger cities. He was a television sports anchor at the time, and we planned to go wherever the "next step up" took us. Twenty-plus years later, we're still here and we've loved every minute of it! We have two children now, and we've found the Tri-Cities area is a wonderful place to raise a family. It's a great place to do outdoorsy things -- I like to hike Badger Mountain or run along the river path. I also love reading ... by a cozy fire in the winter or a beautiful picture window in the summer (with the A/C on!). I've been a licensed Realtor since 2004. I earned my managing broker's license in 2016, which means I can run my own brokerage, or create a team of real estate agents and supervise them, which is exactly what I did when I formed the Cari McGee Real Estate Team in 2018! We have administrative and marketing personnel, as well as additional agents to serve you. I became a director of the Tri-Cities Association of Realtors Board of Directors in 2016, became Secretary/Treasurer of the organization, and was elected to Vice President in 2019. Want to talk about real estate? Click here to schedule a meeting with me!

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