Teaching Real Estate


by Elizabeth Maora Sickels

ivoting from an investor to an educator can be a challenge; however, if you exude passion for your craft, you can do it. It’s important to be open to opportunities, even if you have no interest in educating. The way you pivot from an investor to an educator is literally one event at a time. I was asked to run a subgroup for a local real estate investor’s association. It’s important to be totally up to date on your area of expertise. To do this, I read constantly, attend six major conferences a year, and share my knowledge freely. That old saying “a rising tide raises all ships” is very true. I want my other short-term rental/vacation/urban rental hosts to be successful as well. When you believe that, it shows. Educating others is a true honor and privilege. Writing blogs and articles, being on industry panels, and being a voice for your niche will get you noticed. A big plus as well is to be vulnerable and share the not- so-pleasant aspects of your area. For example, in my weekly series called #emdirtylaundry, I share on social media a little tidbit of the unpleasant side of running short-term rentals while humbly admitting to mistakes my team and I have made in the business. That level of transparency, especially today when people want to appear that they have attained perfection, is appreciated by those in your area of expertise and beyond. It shows you are human and not everything is pleasant, unlike what most social media pages like to portray. In 2019, my company implemented a huge software package; it was literally six months of torture. We had a lot of issues for various reasons. I was vocal, but P

more importantly respectful, with a C-level employee of the company when I said I’d like to relay our three biggest areas of pain so other companies don’t have to go through that. Even though I was frustrated beyond words, I remained calm and explained why these three issues caused so much grief for my team. During that call, I was asked to speak in front of 700 people at their user’s conference. I had no idea I’d be asked to speak, and that was all from being respectful, passionate, and caring for the industry. Getting your name out there in a genuine way is how you can really excel at educating others. When I finish a session, I play the Jeopardy music and give folks a few minutes to stop and absorb what they’ve learned and ask for them to share their biggest takeaway from the class/ meeting. I call it “The BIG take.” The days of walking away from meetings and saying, “that was awesome,” but not being able to recall what we learned need to end. Be a little unconventional in your approach to let folks walk away knowing their biggest takeaway and do something to make everyone feel smarter and walk away a winner. • Elizabeth Maora Sickels is a farm girl from Indiana. A Purdue graduate, she had a rewarding corporate career and traveled the world. In 2016, she "retired" from her planning/strategy position at Ford Motor Company to strike out on her own! She traveled for six months, and via Airbnb hosted her condo in Michigan. Having a great experience being a host, she has built a full-service hospitality and property management business for vacation rentals. Elizabeth is also a licensed Realtor ® , real estate investor, and philanthropist.

56 | think realty magazine :: april 2020

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