We had the good fortune of connecting with Carmen Howard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carmen, how do you think about risk?
I moved from communist Germany to Portugal right after the wall came down. I didn’t even knew where the Algarve was. From there, I moved to Tenerife, Canary Island Spain and worked for 7 years in Real Estate. In November 1996 I had the idea to move somewhere else. So, in a matter of just 5 weeks, I packed 2 bags: a suitcase and a beauty case, and moved to South Florida. I spoke only ten words of English; it was my first time in America and I didn’t know anyone! Yes, I am a risk taker; I take risks in my live. In 2015 at 58 years of age, I decided to take another risk. I gave up a job I liked (although it was not very satisfying to start with) to become a Realtor in South Florida. It was a big risk and a big challenge, but I knew I could do it. I hit the ground running and it went well for me right away. Now my adventure is not over. In February 2017 I decided I will retire by 2021. However, I know it will be financially challenging so I searched for cheap living and in a secure country and I chose Thailand. That was not all…2 months after I had that idea, I got a vision from God to go to Thailand to help rescue children out off sex slavery. Listen, I don’t have any kids, don’t have any connection with kids and don’t really get along with kids. But here we go again, I am taking a risk, after two trips to Thailand, I met the right people with whom I will volunteer and if it is in God’s plan, I will leave South Florida by Fall 2021. Again, it is a risk, but this time it is not only my idea, but God’s plan. So, my journey goes on. I am a risk taker and the preparation for Thailand is pretty long for me, but I have to be patient because it has nothing to do with my planning instead it is about Gods timing. I would like to pack my bags tomorrow and leave! I have been taking risks my whole life in my personal life and in my career and I have always felt good about it!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The decision for me to become a realtor was not an easy decision to make. I had to give up a Monday through Friday job with a secure salary. However, I knew I could do better and that’s why I finally took the step and started in the Real Estate business. Initially, I worked in an office that was geared more for rental customers instead of buyers or sellers. That environment allowed me to become very familiar with South Florida neighborhoods. I learned the business through those fast deals. I was a very hard working person; therefore, I was blessed to begin early receiving sales leads from my broker. My consistency, my accuracy and my follow through enabled me to acquire the necessary knowledge very quickly. It was not easy to be where I am today and it took some sleepless nights and tears, but it was all worth it. My customers know me to be punctual and persistent (some might say bossy…smile), humorous and by my pink hair. Don’t get me wrong, when it comes to negotiation or working for my customers, I am on target! I love what I do, I love to talk, I love to discover new homes, I love to help people. I am excited to serve my customers and I make money on the side. What is better than that?
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Okay, as I get every 2-4 years friends from overseas I have to be very good to show them in a short time what our beautiful South Florida has to offer. Of course first our amazing beaches, but my favorite beach is Dania Beach as you can take a picnic with you and sit under trees right on the beach. You have to drive to South Beach to see the beach, the art district and many cultural places from Vascaya to Coral Gables and the Museen and Parks we have. I like also Hollywood Blvd with Yong Circle and the little bars, restaurants and stores along the boulevard. If you have more time take a day trip to Key West and check out the most south point from the US, the Duval street and the Hemingway house. Not to forget to take a boat ride through the Everglades with an amazing wildlife. Back to Fort Lauderdale, we have great places here to enjoy from the night life on the Fort Lauderdale Beach to the Halloween street party in Wilton Manor. Restaurants are on every corner with international cuisine I can’t all count them all. One of my favorite restaurants is the New York Grilled Cheese Wilton Manors. I bring customers and friends there and closed some deals…. South Florida is colorful and the biggest variety of people in the USA. It is very cultural and fun to be here.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First of all, I wanted to thank God. He is number one in my life. My church Mount Bethel Ministries in Fort Lauderdale with Bishop C.E. Glover and my spiritual sister Kia Greene and many more supported me in many aspects in my life in the last 15 years. My friend Yolanda helped me becoming a better Christian in her teaching and praying for me. In my first years as a Realtor here in South Florida my previous broker Luciano Guerra was one who tough me the business and helped me to become a successful Realtor. He also inspired me to open a YouTube channel and spread my ideas. My German girlfriends Silvia, Monica, Elke and sister Iris went with me through all ups and downs in the last years. I have to say, I had a lot of moral support from many amazing people. I wouldn’t be here from the moral support of friends like Heike, Sabine and Hernan. What ever I had going on those friends lifted me up and I wouldn’t be so successful and planing the new journey to move to Thailand if not for their support. I hope I don’t missed anybody, but I know I have many people who are loving me as I am. For that I am very grateful
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