I sold my very first house when I was 18.
I made a cold call to a couple that wanted to sell their own house, but when we talked, they decided they wanted me to represent them.
It was thrilling to put up our company sign there. I then asked the couple if I could keep that for-sale by owner sign. I brought it back in the office as a trophy. That was a moment I knew I belonged in real estate.
I did real estate in the Dallas area for nine and a half years.
My dad was the primary real estate broker for his area of Dallas for a larger relocation management company. I sold a couple of houses, and I really liked the model of corporate sellers rather than individual sellers.
I found it stimulating to be talking to people all across the country, whether it was a fast-talking New York City attorney or a laid-back real estate broker in Yazoo City, Miss. The experience gave me a really good overview of what the real estate industry was like outside the suburbs of Dallas, and I decided to focus my career in the relocation management arena.
Over the years, our business has changed. In the mid-90s, corporate America started outsourcing more and more of their relocation programs, such that a relocation management company today typically handles the entire relocation event for a client. We help them find temporary housing and process the expenses and back-end compliance. We help them move their household goods around the county.
A relocation company in the District offered my wife and I both jobs, and we have been here ever since. I worked for that company for 13 years, starting in an entry-level role in inventory and progressively moved up in the company to vice president of operations, doing about 3,000 transactions each year for government agencies.
I knew I wanted to grow in leadership to eventually run a relocation company. But I realized the missing ingredient for me was, not keeping clients happy, but getting new clients.
I took a job as a business development person at CapRelo when it was a startup. I went from a Fortune 100 company and being responsible for 100 people to being responsible for just myself. It couldn’t have been a better decision.
You don’t always have the resources that a big company might have, but it was absolutely essential to connect the dots of what a prospective client wants and needs in a relocation firm.
Today, we move 7,000 people around the world each year. And now I am thrilled to help embark on a quest to become a perfect third-party company.
— Interview with Vanessa Small