Name: Amber Dorsey
Current Location: Dallas/Fort Worth
Favorite quotes: “Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” -Langston Hughes
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” -Fredrick Douglas
Amber Dorsey took getting let go from a city job and turned it into a real estate career. That resourcefulness and adaptability made for a successful transition into the highly competitive field. Through ups and downs, she has persevered and looks to grow further in real estate. We COSIGN her and her hustle, see why below.
When did you become a real estate agent and why did you want to enter this industry?
I can honestly say it was all God. He exposed me to it and trained me for it and then I heard him and went after it. I graduated college with the hopes of pursuing my degree as a broadcaster, but I had a strong Texas accent and I couldn’t hear it. So, I had to refigure my life out or better yet, ask God. I took jobs that intrigued me in the marketing and sales field, which I thought were cool, but I craved more. I had met a very successful realtor and an unsuccessful realtor in search of God’s purpose for me, not realizing how those encounters shaped my thoughts and future until years later. I then started to work for a city in the [Dallas/Ft. Worth] Metroplex and I was responsible for PR work, initially. However, being it was a city, I was overworked and underpaid. I held tons of responsibilities. I used to think it was because my boss knew I was amazing at what I did, but truth be told, she didn’t like me. I was that employee, if I was to be at work at 8 a.m., I would walk in between 7:59 a.m. and 8:10 a.m., I utilized my clock-in window. And despite how great I worked, that was her pet peeve, so she picked on me, trying to get me to fail. But God used that part of my life to shape me for who I am today, the service I offer, and professionalism even when it’s hectic. [My] Duties expanded to helping manage the city’s budget, oversee the requests from residents or builders in Planning and Zoning and writing city contracts. Hearing this again just makes me laugh, I didn’t even realize what was happening to me. One day, I was written up for forgetting to clock out on a Saturday [that] I volunteered to get a city proposal to the city council together; she put me on administrative leave. Back then, I didn’t understand how could she be mad at me, I did so much and was unappreciated, so I took my check and paid for real estate school and honestly the rest is history.
Are there any real estate agents, developers, or investors you admire? Who and why do you look up to them?
Yes, of course I do. Locally, Tenesha Lusk. She’s my better brain. I surround myself with people I admire and hope that I pour into them just the same. Tenesha has a heart bigger than she is, she has been an angel to me, helping me and just being a friend in the business. You need that. I admire her work ethic and where she currently is, career-wise. She’s always lending a helping hand to everyone and I admire what her business is built on.
There are some more realtors that I watch on IG and I just admire their social media presence and the story they tell via social media. If you’re a realtor, I suggest you follow Quiana Watson, Yakira Price, and Nancy Almodovar, all successful women, who have made a mark in the industry, taking strides towards growing their business.
I once read “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and the author’s father described owning a home as a liability. Do you agree or do you believe it’s an asset and why?
I think owning a home can be a liability just like any other possession, but it can be an asset in time. It’s a bill, you live in it, so you aren’t necessarily making money. With that being said, in 10 years, if you gain $130k in equity and decide to sell this home, your perspective may be a bit different. I have a client who has gained over $100k in equity in three years and another who gained over $50k in four months, I even have another who walked into their home with over $30k in equity, so if they sell these homes today, they will walk away with a profit. Now is it an asset or liability? That’s not always the case, but it does happen.
Investment properties are the more ideal asset in the “Rich Dad Poor Dad” scenario.
As a realtor in DFW, how do you feel about the current housing market in Dallas?
Dallas is crazy. Rental rates and purchase prices. I think that there is no better time than NOW to buy. Of course it would have been better to purchase in 2004 or even three years ago, but we won’t get that time back and if you watch the market trends, buy now to have a more reasonable purchase or to have a more affordable home … of course you have to save. However, the rental rates are just as much or more than your mortgage. So, if owning a home is your goal, it’s ideal to sit with a realtor and find out what works for your goals and start putting a plan into play.
Real estate has become a lucrative side-hustle and career, for entrepreneurs looking to become real estate investors, what tips would you provide them and how do you suggest they start?
Stay organized, money management, discipline and don’t be shy. Real estate is a great business, with so much opportunity for growth and learning for everyone. Not every realtor or investor has the same vision, but just remaining focused and keeping your day to day life orderly is key. Of course money management. I don’t think a lot of brokerages teach you how to manage your funds. It’s a big deal, but I would advise getting a financial planner or advisor.
You’ve done an amazing job of branding yourself, what are three things you believe every realtor should do to help build their personal brand?
Tell your story. Don’t hide who you are, even on social media. Home sellers and buyers are selling and buying homes with or without you, but don’t hold back who you are, it’s you who they buy into.
Talk about real estate but don’t overly saturate your page, I don’t think you need a business page in real estate, but that is me. Follow your trends and see what your followers are liking, sharing and book marking. And last but not least, find your niche and push it on your social media pages.
What are some positive and negative aspects of being a realtor?
Positives: There is no limit to how much you can grow or make; You get to help a family go after something they had never envisioned; Ability to invest in many avenues; The relationships you build. No two days are the same, you may have a bad business day and tomorrow or next week may be your best day.
Negatives: Money isn’t always consistent; You are your own boss, discipline even on the tough days; Sometimes dealing with other individuals’ personality can be a lot, not just clients other realtors, lenders and or anyone else involved; Loans not closing on time; Paying IRS, being it’s tax season.
With the 2019 tax season here a lot of people will soon be receiving their tax refund. How could someone invest their refund in real estate? How much do you think they would need to start?
This is a great question, but everyone’s situation is different. If you qualify for down payment assistance or are looking at a new construction home and your budget is $250k, $2,000 approximately per month, I would say $15k. You may not use all of that, but I like the cushion. If not using any assistance, I’d say you add 4% to the purchase price. However, every situation is different.
What do you believe separates you from other real estate agents?
I get to know my clients, their goal, the way the think and what they need. In that process, we will partner with a lender that can match them and what they need. It’s important, that my clients understand, I am here for them and I wholeheartedly am here for them, no matter what. I want you to feel like this selling and shopping process is being done by someone you trust and that has your back so tough, they will fight for you. I also make sure my clients understand what they are doing and what is happening, step-by-step. The communication isn’t as common as we’d think, unfortunately.
You’ve been successful, what does the next chapter of your entrepreneurial journey look like?
Growth; figuring out how to move from an entrepreneur to a CEO. Those are two different things and it’s my idea of leveling up.
As an entrepreneur, what has been your darkest moment and how did you overcome it?
My first year in real estate, my grandmother was on her death bed. She went into the hospital and doctors told us she wouldn’t make it out. She stayed there for four months. However, when you work for yourself, you realize you don’t have tons of quiet time, if you are doing well. Your clients feel bad for you, but they still have a goal and need your help to achieve the sale or purchase of their home. It was hard, ’cause I wanted to shut down, but I learned the importance of taking a designated self care day, even when life is going great, because you need it.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Crazy, but making my mom cry because she was so proud of me. My mom is a tough cookie to crack. When she said it, I broke down, she’s my soft spot. I also have loved watching my growth.