When Natalie Niro decided to change careers after having worked for a major financial institution for 14 years, she was nervous and had more questions than answers - but she did it anyway. Born and raised in the West Island of Montreal, a wife and a mom of two wonderful boys, Natalie is now a thriving Real Estate Broker doing what she loves most, helping people to buy, sell and rent properties while having the flexibility to be with her family and friends.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU REALIZE EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANTED TO PURSUE?
This was never a life-long dream of mine. Truthfully, I never had this ideal career in mind that I have pursued since childhood. I have however always known that I needed to do something meaningful, and definitely work with people. I have always enjoyed helping others and assisting them in achieving their dreams. I realized that what I was doing previously was not checking off those boxes for me; I was not fulfilled in the way I needed to be. I had known for quite some time that a change was needed, and I had set out to make that happen.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU START GOING AFTER YOUR DREAM?
When I had just began my maternity leave with my youngest son, my husband and I both agreed that this was my opportunity to go after the change I desired in my life. He had recommended a career in real estate, knowing that it was always something that interested me. I was worried because there are so many real estate brokers; why would I want to join a profession that is so highly saturated? He works in the field of construction and asked me how many other people work this type of job. He helped me make the connection, and he reminded me that there is always room for everyone. He is never without work because there are more clients than there are construction workers, and the same goes for real estate. I applied for the winter session at the Collège de l’immobilier du Québec that same afternoon.
WHAT WERE YOUR BIGGEST FEARS AND HOW DID YOU MANAGE/OVERCOME THEM?
My biggest fears were completely situated around the job I held for 14 years. I had been a part of this company for much of my adult life, and had all the security one could hope for: a comfortable salary that helped provide for my family, a pension offered by my employer, and many friendships and support from all my various connections that I have made over the years. Truthfully, it sounded reckless when I said it out loud; all that I would be leaving behind by changing careers. But deep down I knew that my life was not going to end with this company, and that I needed to go out, start over again and do something that was for me.
I was able to overcome my fears with the encouragement of my husband; he assured me that he would continue to support us knowing that we would take a hit financially and it would be a tough road ahead for a little while. He has all the faith in me and knows that I would never let anything happen to our family. With his support and belief in me, I knew that these initial fears would subside and I would be able to build something great.
WHAT DID YOU HAVE TO SACRIFICE IN ORDER TO WORK ON YOUR DREAM?
As mentioned above, I was sacrificing a stable salary, a pension from my employer, as well as other benefits provided by my employer. However, beyond all of these things, I was also sacrificing peace of mind. Where once upon a time I knew (for the most part) what each week would bring, now everything was the unknown.
HOW DID YOU/DO YOU DEAL WITH THE NAYSAYERS?
I didn’t have that many naysayers; thankfully most people seem to believe in me. I knew that the people who weren’t as positive were just worried for me initially. They knew everything I had a built in my previous career, and thought it was foolish to leave it all behind. Looking back, I can see that most people trusted that I had what it would take to succeed. I have built a reputation of being hard working and dedicated, and thankfully it was not lost just because I was changing careers.
START FIRST, PERFECT IT LATER OR PERFECTION FROM THE GET-GO
Truthfully, I’m a little bit of both! I like perfection, and strive to do everything right the first time. However, in an industry where you need to be creative, spontaneous, and reactive to certain situations, it’s important to be able to act now and fix/modify later. Generally speaking, I work with precision and in a proactive manner, but there is always room to grow and learn.
ARE YOU A PART-TIME OR A FULL-TIME DREAM CHASER?
I am a full-time dream chaser. My original plan was to continue working for my previous company until I was no longer able to support both careers, however was met with an ultimatum and had to make a decision to choose between the two. I put in a lot of effort to become a real estate broker, and after having come to terms with everything that was going to change, I was not about to start backpedalling and not pursue my dream.
WHAT IS YOUR DAILY ROUTINE?
My daily routine includes (but is not limited to) prospecting, client support, follow-up, visiting properties, etc. I am always trying to further my career by trying new things and putting myself in (sometimes) uncomfortable situations.
HOW DOES YOUR DREAM LIFE LOOK LIKE?
My dream life has always been measured by happiness. I want to be able to have flexibility to be with my family and friends, and enjoy the simple things. I want to be able to provide for my family and give them the things they deserve to have. I want to have freedom to do as I please and create my day to day. I want to be able to take time off when I need to, and not have to request it. My dream life is not complicated, it’s to be surrounded by those I love, and have the freedom and time to be with them.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WHO FEELS STUCK? (THEY EITHER DON’T KNOW WHAT TO PURSUE OR THEY DO BUT ARE TOO AFRAID TO START)
As for advice to anyone who doesn’t know if they should pursue their dream, or if they’re too afraid to start, I suggest making a pros and cons list. This way you can see where you really stand in terms of barriers (whether internal or external), as well as the benefits and advantages of moving forward. You may realize that what has been preventing you, is simply YOU. Get out of your way and make room for the new and improved individual; the one who has hopes and dreams and believes there is more than what is currently there.
You’ve got this!